This might be a good time to mention the idiom never say never. That's because the car featured here wasn't supposed to exist beyond a single prototype, but Mini says "positive feedback" was simply too great to ignore. As such, say hello to the 2023 Mini Cooper SE Convertible in its roofless, all-electric glory, arriving later this year in limited numbers for European markets.
How limited are we talking about? Mini will build 999 all total, but that's 998 more than the company planned to make so consider it a bonus. When the Mini Cooper SE Convertible prototype debuted in July 2022, the automaker was clear about it being a one-off creation pointing to the brand's all-electric future. That was reiterated in our special first drive of the prototype, but Mini is keen to bring a bit of that future to buyers right now. So yeah, never say never.
Gallery: 2023 Mini Cooper SE Convertible
The production version is pretty much the prototype brought to the street. And since the prototype was based on the production Cooper SE Hardtop, the stats should be quite familiar to Cooper fans. A single 181-horsepower (135-kilowatt) electric motor puts power to the front wheels, which Mini says is enough for a sprint to 62 mph (100 kph) in 7.3 seconds. On a full charge, the Cooper SE Convertible has a WLTP-tested range of 125 miles (201 kilometers).
Appearance-wise, the convertible gets the same 17-inch Electric Power Spoke wheels seen on the hardtop model. It's offered in either Enigmatic Black or White Silver, with bronze trim on the outside save for Mini badging, which is finished in Piano Black. Inside you get leather heated sport seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and more Piano Black trim with occasional flashes of yellow. The hardtop's eDrive system with a heads-up display is part of the tech package.
Specific to the convertible is the folding roof (obviously) which can be raised or lowered at speeds up to 19 mph (30 kph). The door sills also receive special branding, identifying the car as one of 999 special edition models.
"Three years ago we launched the all-electric Mini Cooper SE, and today one in five Mini sold in Europe is an all-electric Mini," said Stefanie Wurst, head of Mini. "This success has spurred us to implement the small series of the Mini Cooper SE Convertible within only a few months. I'm delighted that we can offer 999 Mini customers an extraordinary and exclusive open-air go-kart feeling."
Production begins in April, and it will be exclusive to Europe. Pricing will be announced at a later date.