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MINI Introduces New Cooper Convertible


2010 MINI Cooper Convertible

2010 MINI Cooper Convertible

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First seen at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show, today the BMW Group officially rolled out its latest four-seat MINI Cooper Convertible featuring, as they say, "improvements in the areas of design, quality, handling, performance, efficiency, and functionality." Built on the latest-gen MINI platform, the new soft top comes in both standard and S models and receives all of the benefits of the hardtop, including new four-cylinder engines, electromechanical power steering, and a stiffer body structure.

The Mini Cooper Convertible's roof is electrohydraulically powered and may be raised or lowered at speeds up to 20 mph. Standard is a delightfully kitschy "Openometer," which records time traveled with the top open to the elements.

New for this second-gen convertible is an electromechanically operated rollbar located behind the rear seats. Vehicle sensors raise the rollbar rapidly if they sense an impending rollover, unlikely with the Cooper Convertible's low center of gravity and tenacious handling. MINI claims that this safety measure is sized and situated such that visibility to the rear is only slightly hampered.

BMW-developed four-cylinders reside underhood, both displacing 1.6 liters. The S-Model gets a direct-injected, twin-scroll turbocharged mill making 172 hp and a stout 192 pound-feet of torque when engine management sees fit to engage in overboost. The regular-grade 1.6 gets BMW's valvetronic system, eliminating the throttle valve and upping efficiency. That engine makes 118 hp and 114 pound-feet.

Despite the extra equipment and stouter structure, the new MINI Cooper Convertible tips the scales at 22 pounds less than its predecessor. With engines also more efficient than its predecessor, we're betting on impressive mpg figures once the EPA does its rounds of testing. Definitely the top-down sportster choice for a tough new economy.--Colin Mathews
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2010 MINI Cooper Convertible

2010 MINI Cooper Convertible

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Comments (5)
  1. Are there any top-down sportsters that are locally made? A G6, though doubtfully as much fun, would be a better (some would argue, straighter) choice as far as the economy goes...
     
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  2. Straighter...? Just what are you driving at JKD ;-) Well, if you went with a G6 convertible, you'd have to endure worse build quality, a seriously porky car (just under 3,900 lbs), and good old pushrods. Yup, Pontiac relegates the G6 Convertible to either a 3.5-liter pushrod V-6, or a 3.9-liter pushrod V-6. Can't get the DOHC 4-cyl, nor the excellent "high feature" 3.6-liter DOHC V-6, alas. The 3.9 does feature variable-valve timing, and as such is a respectable performer. But 22 mpg highway is nobody's idea of efficient. And please don't explore the upper reaches of the tach, where the gruff engine will let you know it's running out of breath. So you think the Mini Cooper is a bit light in the loafers? Well, it'll be sashaying sassy rings around the G6 in terms of driving fun, handling, acceleration, braking, build quality...ok, I'll stop. Come, taste the rainbow of fruit flavors, JKD. The Mini Cooper Convertible wants you as a new recruit.
     
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  3. Maybe when the kids are all grown but mini will be all electric then :-( ... In the meantime, the vans are all that I can realistically get excited about (VVT-i baby!) I tried the GTO for a couple of years but my back is shot now... The G8 may be calling my name though (why oh why would they bring the pickup and not the wagon???)
     
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  4. BMW leases the electric MINI for $850 a month.
    To see how utterly ridiculous the above is, you need LESS than $850 to lease its FLAGSHIP brand-new over-400 HP 750iL,
    on whose platform the new "smallER" Rolls Royce, also owned by BMW, will be built (but will cost more than twice the $100k 750iL)!
     
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  5. Needs to be electric!!
     
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