Mini Cabrio: Open for business

2005 Mini Cooper S cabrio

8th December, 2004

    • Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S: fun, four-seater drop-top
    • Innovative sliding sunroof, fast folding top
    • Cabin well insulated from the wind even at high speed
    • Priced from $35,900 for the Cooper and from $44,900 for the Cooper S

Mini introduces the first model derivative of its hardtop in the form of the Mini Cabrio, available in both 85 kW Mini Cooper and 125 kW supercharged Mini Cooper S versions.

Also available from launch will be the Mini Cooper S Cabrio with John Cooper Works Tuning Kit offering 154 kW of power and 245 Nm of torque, cutting acceleration times well below seven seconds for the 0-100 km/h charge. The John Cooper Works Tuning Kit will be available only from Mini dealers.

Mini Cabrio stock arrives in the 24 Mini dealers nationwide for delivery to customers in early January.

Mini Australia expects to deliver around 600 Cabrio models in 2005, subject to availability from the factory.

On sale in Europe for five months, the Mini Cabrio has been a success with more than 13,000 sold to date. The Plant Oxford factory is running at full capacity to build both Mini hardtop and Cabrio models, with more than 160,000 sold this year to the end of October.

A maximum model mix of 20 percent Mini Cabrio build is envisaged; though at present demand is running at a far higher level.

Pricing has been set at $35,900 for the Mini Cooper Cabrio and $44,900 for the Mini Cooper S Cabrio. The John Cooper Works Tuning Kit adds $9,850 including GST and fitting to the price of the Mini Cooper S Cabrio.

Australian specification Mini Cabrio models are extremely well equipped. And like all Mini Cooper models, they can be personalised with a huge range of optional features, in a wide variety of trims and colours, including unique-to-Mini colour-coded dash and door trims that echo the exterior paint scheme.

Striking good looks, gutsy personality and clever packaging, mean the Mini Cabrio is open-top fun on wheels, wrapped in a delectable body that demands no compromises of its occupants.

Both 85 kW /150 Nm Mini Cooper Cabrio and 125 kW / 220 Nm supercharged Mini Cooper S Cabrio models are available at launch, both featuring a power-operated roof that folds away in a zippy 15 seconds.

The innovative integrated sunroof, unique to Mini Cabrio models is also standard. This allows the front section of the soft top to slide back up to 400 mm while the car travels at speeds of up to 120 km/h. Ideal for catching elusive rays of sunshine while on the run.

The Mini Cabrio roof can be folded from outside via the remote control key fob, and the glass rear window contains a demister.

Uniquely Mini, the soft top comes in a selection of three colours: black, green or blue to match or contrast with the selection of 12 exterior colours, two of which are exclusive to the Cabrio body style: Hot Orange and Cool Blue.

Mini Cabrio also benefits from Easy Load, a smart system that allows the rear section of the soft top to fold up (with the soft top closed) for easy access to the boot.

The bottom hinged boot lid drops flat and can accommodate up to 80 kg, or the weight of two children who may like to use the deck as a perch for watching sports or picnicking at the beach.

Safety is addressed via Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS), Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), as well as a strengthened bodyshell that incorporates strong reinforcement tubes inserted into the A pillars and dual roll-over hoops with integrated headrests sited behind the two rear seats.

Four airbags, two front-mounted and two fitted into the outer edges of the front seats and an intelligent crash sensor provide high-levels of passive safety in the event of an impact.

Electric windows, dual reading lights and ambient lighting in the door handles are all standard.

As an added convenience feature, all Mini Cabrios will be fitted with Park Distance Control.

The Mini Cooper Cabrio comes in five-speed manual or with the stepless Continuously Variable Transmission (complete with steering wheel shift paddles) as used previously on Mini hardtop models.

The Mini Cooper S Cabrio features the feisty 125 kW supercharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine and is capable of producing 220 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm and can reach 100 km/h from rest in just 7.4 seconds, only 0.2 seconds more than the hardtop model.

The Mini Cooper S Cabrio is mated to a six-speed Getrag gearbox, while a six-speed automatic transmission with six-speed manual sequential selection will be available early in 2005.

All manual gearboxes in the Mini Cabrio line-up hail from Getrag while the new six-speed automatic for the Mini Cooper S Cabrio (and hardtop) is sourced from Aisin Warner.

The suspension settings are different depending on model. The Mini Cooper Cabrio runs Standard Suspension setting, while for the Mini Cooper S Cabrio has firmer ‘Sport’ settings. Both models have anti-roll bars front and rear.

The Mini Cooper S Cabrio adds 16-inch 7-Fin Spoke light alloy wheels, chrome plated finish atop the rollover bars behind the rear headrests and body-colour front grille.

Standard Mini Cooper S Cabrio equipment also includes cruise control, alloy patina dashboard finish, sports seats, multi-function steering wheel and stainless steel pedals and footrest.

Striking profile.

Mini Cabrio looks its best with the roof folded. The waistline gradually rising to the rear gives the car a strong and distinctive profile further accentuated by the chrome strip continuing along the window line.

Designers and engineers have retained the iconic Mini profile with the roof raised, providing a solid link to the much-loved hardtop model,

The upright windscreen, rear aluminium tube roll-over bars, B pillar-free design and neatly stowed roof contribute to a sleek and cohesive Cabrio look.

A Cabrio with a sliding roof all in one.

The fabric roof comes in a choice of three colours and opens up fully automatically in a zippy 15 seconds: Pressing a button, you first open the integrated sliding roof, and then push again and the roof completely folds itself away, stacking neatly above the boot.

For added convenience, the key fob includes a button which allows the driver to activate the folding roof remotely.

As the roof folds, it automatically retracts the pillars and side windows for a fully open look. The Z-fold roof and its ingenious integrated sliding roof section folds in such a way as to make a tonneau superfluous.

The unique and imaginative sliding roof integrated in the soft top can be opened by infinite increments up to 400 mm while driving, up to a speed of 120 km/h.

The soft-top system has been supplied by OASYS (Open Air Systems), a joint venture between Webasto and Pininfarina.

The Mini Cabrio does not require any manual disassembly of roof components.

That go-kart feeling so typical of Mini.

Combining a very stiff bodyshell with superior chassis and suspension features, the Mini Cabrio, like the Mini hardtop, offers a unique mix of superior agility and handling, losing nothing to the steel roof versions.

With a long wheelbase, low centre of gravity and wide track, the multi-link rear axle and the direct, electro hydraulic power steering combine to provide the foundation for the excellent driving behaviour and that go-kart feeling unique to Mini. Just 2.5 turns lock-to-lock enhance the direct steering feel.

Sporting performance wherever you go.

The peppy 1.6-litre engine in the Mini Cooper Cabrio takes it all the way to a top speed of 193 km/h, with acceleration to 100 km/h from standstill in 9.8 seconds. The multi-valve overhead camshaft engine has an aluminium cylinder head and produces 85 kW at 6,000 rpm and 150 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm. Fuel consumption on the EU cycle is a miserly 7.3-litres/100km.

The supercharged Mini Cooper S Cabrio produces 125 kW of power at 6,000 rpm and 220 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm and has a top speed of 215 km/h. Spirited, lag-free acceleration hurtles the Mini Cooper S Cabrio from rest to 100 km/h in just 7.4 seconds (Mini Cooper S hardtop 7.2 seconds) with fuel consumption a remarkably frugal 8.8 l/100 km on the combined EU cycle.

Suspension with that Special Fun Factor.

Agility and direct handling naturally remain characteristic features also of the newcomer to the Mini range. Featuring very direct steering and enjoying the advantage of its extremely stiff body structure, the Cabrio responds immediately and smoothly to the driver’s steering commands, offering the same driving pleasure as its fixed roof counterparts.

Compared with the Sports Suspension fitted to the Mini Cooper hardtop, the Mini Cooper Cabrio adopts Standard Suspension while the Mini Cooper S Cabrio is fitted with Sports Suspension, compared with Sports Plus Suspension fitted to the Mini Cooper S hardtop.

Elaborate chassis and suspension.

Mini Cabrio has McPherson spring struts up front enhanced by an anti-roll bar to ensure superior wheel guidance. The multi-link rear axle of the Mini Cabrio remains unique in this segment of the market, and combined with the anti-roll bar, provides optimum grip in every situation. As a result, the rear axle makes a significant contribution to the agility and neutral driving behaviour of this open-air performer.

To combine driving exhilaration with equally outstanding safety, the Mini Cooper S Cabrio is equipped with Automatic Stability Control + Traction (ASC+T). This feature is optionally available on the Mini Cooper Cabrio and both models can be equipped optionally with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC).

One good turn deserves another, and another.

Electro hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering (EHPAS) in the Mini Cabrio offers direct, responsive driving characteristics, a key feature of the Mini brand.

Electro hydraulic assistance means the hydraulic steering pump is driven by a small electric motor. Unlike conventional power steering, the hydraulic pump in the Mini Cabrio operates independently of the engine and cuts in only when required. This alone reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.1 litres/100 km.

High standard of safety.

The Mini Cabrio has a specially stiffened body structure which when added to the standard advanced restraint system provides excellent levels of occupant protection.

The restraint system comprises two “intelligent” front airbags and two seat-integrated head/thorax side airbags as standard to enable the Mini Cabrio to comply with the world’s strictest crash standards.

A wide range of structural improvements and features ensure a particularly high standard of torsional stiffness, which also stop the door-sills from bending in the event of a head-on collision and offer occupants optimum protection in a side impact.

Roll-over protection has been carefully thought-out with A-pillars containing a tube made of ultra-strong steel able to absorb 1.5 times the mass of the car. And at the rear, double rollbars made of high-strength aluminium tubes, complete with integrated headrests, afford superior passenger safety.

Optimum utilisation of space.

Access to the rear is aided by wide opening doors and by front seats folding far forward with their own memory function. Two ergonomically designed rear seats come with three-point seat belts and headrests are integrated in the double rollbars.

Rear seats are specially contoured for maximum legroom. Despite the elaborate roof closing mechanism hidden behind the side panels at the rear, there is ample space for full-size rear passengers as well as for a high-quality loudspeaker inserted into each side panel. The two rear seat backs can be lowered and locked in position to expand the luggage carrying capacity to 605-litres.

The boot lid is bottom-hinged, and is secured by steel cables with a spring-mounted retractor system. The lid is designed to accommodate up to 80kg, which means two children can sit on the open lid when the vehicle is stationary.

The Mini Cabrio is able to carry a maximum of 400 kg, and the luggage compartment accommodates 165-litres with the roof closed.

And even with the roof down, luggage compartment capacity remains a substantial 120-litres.

The unique-to-Mini Easy Load system offers generous through-loading capacity:

With the roof closed, all you do is turn two levers in the luggage compartment to lift up the bottom section of the roof, like a hippo opening its jaws.

The enlarged aperture allows larger items to be easily loaded into the boot.

Boasting features such as its highly functional roof, the variable luggage compartment even with the roof open, an ultra-strong and stiff bodyshell, as well as the dynamically efficient chassis with its multi-link rear axle, the Mini Cabrio raises the benchmark for fun-filled open-air driving.

Optional interior upgrade features include a Chrome Line Package, which adds a high-quality chrome trim finisher to items such as speedo surround, central instruments and the cup-holders.

The optional Cockpit Chrono Package emphasises the sporting and elegant Mini Cabrio interior ambience. The central instrument section features three circular dials comprising fuel gauge, oil and coolant temperature, as well as oil pressure. When this pack is fitted, the rev counter moves next to the speedo on the steering column.

A halogen lamp integrated in the upper frame on the windscreen serves to brighten up the interior at night, in place of the digital clock on earlier models. The clock function is now integrated into the speedometer LCD display.

The interior light package also includes door entry/exit lights, front reading lights, footwell lights as well as ambient illumination in the door handles.

Mini in colour.

The Mini Cabrio makes a vibrant statement wherever it goes, and no more so in Hot Orange or Cool Blue, the signature colours for the new model.

In all, both Mini Cabrio models are available in 12 exterior colours including two unique colours for the Cooper (Astro Black and Solid Gold) and two unique colours for the Cooper S (Hyper Blue and Dark Silver).

For a matching or contrasting effect, the Mini Cabrio comes with a choice of three roof fabric colours; black, blue or green. Customers may mix-and-match body and roof colours, limited only by personal taste.

Dashboard and door trims are optionally available in body colour finishes for the following colours: Chilli Red, Liquid Yellow, Hot Orange, Cool Blue and Hyper Blue.

The seat upholstery is available in cloth, three combinations of cloth and leather, and with three different choices of all-leather upholstery.

Unique to Mini Cabrio is Dark Blue Gravity leather with orange stitching and Sunrise Cloth/leather in an orange and blue combination.

Everything goes.

The wide range of standard equipment on the new Cabrio comprises an electrically operated roof complete with sliding roof function, a heated glass rear window, two front and two head/thorax side airbags, four-sensor ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Tyre Defect Indicator (TDI), electrically operated rear-view mirrors and window lifts, power steering, leather-wrapped steering wheel, height adjustment on both driver’s seat and steering column, as well as central locking with remote control plus comfort opening. Air-conditioning and Park Distance Control, 15-inch 5-Star Rocket light alloy wheels, chrome radiator grille bars, radio with CD player, and runflat tyre indicator are standard on all Mini Cabrio models.

Mini Cabrio comes with an equally wide range of optional equipment including Xenon headlights, a DVD navigation system with a 16:9 colour display, harman/kardon HiFi audio system, automatic air conditioning, a wind deflector, a wide range of light-alloy wheels, a three-spoke multi-function sports steering wheel, a rain sensor, and an interior mirror complete with anti-dazzle function.

The Mini Cooper S Cabrio adds further standard equipment in the form of 16-inch ‘7-Fin’ light alloy wheels, ASC+T traction control, cruise control, front fog lights, alloy patina dash, and sports seats.

Mini stats.

A typical Mini comprises 2,415 components
The body-in-white is assembled using 230 robots
The most popular Mini Cooper colours are Pure Silver and Chilli Red while Dark Silver is popular on Mini Cooper S

Standard Equipment
Mini Cooper Cabrio

  • Park Distance Control
  • ABS
  • Cornering Brake Control
  • Electronic Brake Force Distribution
  • Four disc brakes
  • Run Flat Tyre Indicator
  • Driver/front passenger airbags, front seat-mounted side head/thorax airbags
  • Roll-over bars with integrated headrests
  • Fully automatic folding roof with unique integrated sunroof function
  • Remote central locking with roof opening button on key fob
  • Four power windows
  • Air conditioning
  • On-board computer
  • Heated, glass rear window
  • 50/50 split fold rear seats that lock flat
  • Easy-entry folding front seats with position memory
  • Easy Load luggage bay
  • Electro hydraulic power assisted steering
  • Height adjustable driver’s seat and steering column
  • Two-spoke leather wrapped steering wheel
  • 15-inch light alloy wheels
  • Choice of black, green or blue roof colour
  • Octagon Cloth upholstery
  • High Gloss silver dash finish
  • Radio Boost CD

Mini Cooper S Cabrio
As above plus:

  • 16-inch 7-Fin light alloy wheels
  • Automatic Stability Control + Traction
  • Chrome plated roll-over bars
  • Runflat tyres
  • Sports seats
  • Sports suspension
  • Twin chrome exhaust finisher
  • Cruise control
  • Front fog lamps
  • Space Cloth upholstery
  • Alloy Patina facia and door trim
  • Six-speed manual gearbox
  • Two-spoke leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel

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