Happy 25th, Mini! Special ragtop for 2018 and costs…

  • Quarter-century down the lines come new Mini
  • The first convertibles were the rarest models
  • Each of 300 2018 special editions to cost…
THE FIRST MINI CONVERTIBLE: It came with a roof system similar to that of a baby pram. Image: Google

LONDON, England – Mini UK is celebrating a key milestone with the 25th anniversary of the Mini convertible, and another ground-breaking landmark as the best-selling convertible model in the UK.

First there was…

The 1993 Mini Cabriolet…

The Rover Mini Cabriolet was introduced in June 1993 after a successful UK trial of the Mini Lamm Cabriolet in 1991. Germany’s Lamm Autohaus was first to remove the roof  and it was an instant hit: all 75 topless units were sold almost immediately.

And so created the rarest Minis ever produced.

At the Mini Cabriolet cost almost double the price of the 1993 Classic Mini and was available in two colours, ‘Caribbean Blue’ with a grey hood and ‘Nightfire’ Red with red hood,. The cars also had new 12” Revolution wheels and chromed sill kickers.

READ MORE Mini features on Carman’s Corner

The body was, of course, strengthened to accommodate the lack of a steel roof and the installation of a hook mechanism.

That Mini Cabriolet’s mechanical components were identical to those of the Cooper 1.3i of the time, but the cabins was luxuriously finished with a burr-walnut facia, black leather-wrapped steering-wheel and colour-coded crash protection belts.

…and then came the

2004 Mini Convertible: ‘The Convertible re-imagined’

SOMEWHAT CHANGED: For 2004, came a much more sophisticated model with a superior roof mechanism. Image: Google
SOMEWHAT CHANGED: For 2004, came a much more sophisticated model with a superior roof mechanism. Image: Google

This version was launched at the 2004 Geneva auto show as a four-seater in three versions – Mini One Convertible, Mini Cooper Convertible and Mini Cooper S Convertible, each available with a choice of 10 paint colours and re-designed front and rear bumpers.

Since 2004 more than 89 000 vehicles have been sold in the UK with the Mini  Cooper Convertible most popular at 43% of sales and ‘Pepper’ White as the most popular paint job and manual transmission the most popular at 86%.

…followed by the

2009 Mini Convertible ‘Openometer’.

Originally a physical dial on the facis, a feature that tracked how many hours the top had been down since purchase. It’s still around but now called ‘Always Open Timer’ and recording on a digital display on a ‘Visual Boost’ screen.

The Rain Warner function also sets the Mini Convertible apart. It’s been available since 2016 to monitor the weather forecast to alert the driver to raise the roof.

In March 2018, the new Mini Convertible

AND SO TO 2018: The anniversary edition of Mini's convertible. Image: Mini / Newspress
AND SO TO 2018: The anniversary edition of Mini’s convertible. Image: Mini / Newspress

Launched in the UK featuring new design and technology upgrades. Every MINI Convertible includes a fully-electric roof, front and rear LED lights, Rear Parking Distance Control (PDC), 6.5” colour infotainment screen, Intelligent emergency call (E-call), DAB digital radio, Bluetooth and more as standard.

…and for the quarter-century

A 2018 25th Anniversary Mini Convertible

2018 MINI CONVERTIBLE ANNIVERSARY EDITION: Super luxury and showing how cars have changed over the years. Price? Read on...
2018 MINI CONVERTIBLE ANNIVERSARY EDITION: Super luxury and showing how cars have changed over the years. Price? Read on… Image: Mini / Newspress

They will be delivered complete with anniversary tread plates and plaque, an exclusive combination of leather upholstery in ‘Satellite’ Grey with a ‘Starlight Blue’ metallic exterior (perhaps to recall that first experiment?).

The latest Mini Cooper S Convertible also has white mirror caps, white bonnet stripes, Mini Yours Union Jack woven fabric roof and 18” Mini Yours Vanity two-spoked alloy wheel rims. They will be finished with a Chili Pack, Navigation Plus, and Harman Kardon sound, as well as an interior commemorative plaque for the fascia.

  • A limited run of 300 units will be available at Mini retailers across Britain priced from the equivalent of R561 000 (May 2018 direct Rand/Sterling conversion).

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