New Mini Cabrio

Second-generation Mini convertible is revealed in Cooper form

Mini has revealed its all-new soft-top, the second-gen Cabrio. It is essentially the current, two-year-old Mini with a canvas roof, replacing the first reborn Mini cab that went on sale in 2004.

Two models will be launched next March, the 118bhp Cooper and 172bhp Cooper S. Both use a 1.6-litre engine, with the S beng turbocharged (as opposed to the supercharged motor in the outgoing drop-top). Power is up but consumption and emissions down compared to the mk1, with some thanks going to BMW's efficient dynamics systems, including stop-start and brake energy regeneration technology.

Expect lower-powered models, including a diesel, to follow later in 2009.

Compared to the batchback Mini, the car has a raised shoulder line and increased strength and stiffness to the structure. Expect a nice boost in handling and minimal scuttle shake in comparison to the convertible Mini at the moment.

The roof remains largely the same, with an old-school pile of black canvas on the bootlid when it's fully folded down. The Mini seems to have the charm to get away with it, though, with the new Cabrio likely to command strong sales and perhaps a waiting list - a very rare thing for cars at the moment. The soft-top folds down in 15sec, and even comes with a fun 'openometer', telling you how many of your miles of driving have been sans roof.

It's the kind of trick that's kept Mini cool, while fellow retro re-borns like the VW Beetle have faded away and suffered a drop in image. If you want a Mini Cabrio, set aside £15,995 for a Cooper or £18,995 for a Cooper S - a £3k hike over a comparable hatchback. If you want a car that'll keep its value, though, look no further: the Mini diesel is the UK's least depreciation-prone car, keeping 63.2 per cent of its value after three years.

Most Popular

Aston Martin V12 Vantage officially coming in 2022
V12 Vantage teaser
Aston Martin Vantage

Aston Martin V12 Vantage officially coming in 2022

Aston Martin’s dreamy small body/big engine combo is back, a new V12 Vantage is coming next year
1 Dec 2021
Used car deals of the week
used cars

Used car deals of the week

Here's what caught evo’s fancy this week on the second hand car market
25 Nov 2021
Audi RS3 2021 review - Audi Sport set to take on AMG’s A45S
Audi RS3 review 2021
Audi RS3

Audi RS3 2021 review - Audi Sport set to take on AMG’s A45S

Audi’s new RS3 hyper hatch finally gets the technology to take on AMG’s range-topper
22 Nov 2021