MUNICH, Germany – Winter is upon Europe but when the daffodils sprout for spring in Europe they will arrive with a brand-new Mini with a canvas roof – and a very strange name.
It’s the Mini Sidewalk convertible with, its maker says, ”individual design and equipment and ideal conditions for making an extroverted appearance in urban traffic” and a promise of release early in this new year.
That’s followed by some corporate waffle involving joie de vivre but the happy news is that there will be a choice of three engines, co-ordinated colours, various paint jobs, soft-top design, rim styling and interior fittings developed especially for the model.
Mini believes it has created another attractive combination of typical go-kart feeling (wow, is that dated!) and flair to provide a unique open-top driving experience.
The Mini Convertible is said to be the only open-top model in the premium small car segment. ”The sporty character of the open four-seater,” Mini says, ”is emphasised by the model-specific bonnet stripes.”
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Variously available are black, silver, black metallic, grey metallic, and thunder grey, each with matching external mirrors. The fully auto and powered soft top takes 18 seconds either way.
The cars will ride on 17” light-alloy ‘Scissor Spoke’ two-tone rims and side indicator bezels, known as side scuttles, which bear the Sidewalk model badge.
Leather upholstery is available; door sills are aluminum and the for mats have colour-matched seams.
The leather-wrapped steering-wheel bears a “Sidewalk” logo and contrasting stitching..
The shell bears diode head- and fog-lights while the cabin hosts a lighting package, auto aircon, height-adjust adjustable front passenger seat and a storage package.
But back to those three engines… each with TwinPower Turbo technology:
- Mini One Convertible Sidewalk generates 75kW from a 1.5 litre three-cylinder engine.
- The new Mini Cooper Convertible Sidewalk is also powered by a 1.5 litre three but capable of 100kW.
- The 141kW four-cylinder of the new Mini Cooper S Convertible Sidewalk provides, its maker says, ”the sportiest fresh-air experience”.
Each has a six-speed manual gearbox though a seven-speed Steptronic transmission with double clutch is an option for the new Cooper Convertible Sidewalk hardtops and convertibles.
Alternatively, the new Cooper S Convertible Sidewalk can also be equipped with a seven-speed Steptronic Sport transmission with double clutch, which provides even faster gear shifts and can also be operated using paddles on the steering-wheel.
On top of all that there’s said to be a wide range of options for all engine variants to, Mini says, ”provide extra comfort, driving fun, and spontaneous open-air pleasure”.