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By John Matras
MINI Sales Hit
The Max by TCC Team (9/6/2004)
But can it keep the momentum going?
CEO sees plenty of opportunities, also rues quality problems.
Can you spell SPF? MINI USA is requiring new purchasers of the convertible MINI introduced here to sign a Convertible Contract (the car is a convertible, the contract is not) that has a “90-10” clause by which the new owner promises to keep the convertible top lowered at least 90 percent of the time. There are certain exceptions, including while washing it, driving in the rain at less than 25 miles per hour, after hair plug surgery or when the temperature is lower than 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise, the top goes down. So you’re going to need that sunscreen.
subscribeWhich is not a bad thing. Driving a MINI Cooper is one
of the most fun things one can do within the length and width of any automobile,
so taking the top off at least doubles that. Depending, of course, on your
proximity to a swarm of angry hornets.
Seriously (more or less), MINI is keeping its promise to keep its lineup fresh by adding new variants, such as the 200-horsepower John Cooper Works modification of the Cooper S. The 2005 MINI Cooper Convertible and Cooper S Convertible are the next step. (What’s next? MINI won’t say).
The convertible loses none of the functionality of the sedan and even adds some. You couldn’t carry a surfboard, Beach Blanket Bingo style, stuffed in the back seat of a sedan. You can in the convertible.