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It was inevitable that a drop-top version of the latest Mini hatch would emerge and now we have the first official images of the new R-56 Mini Cabrio.

Australian’s love affair with the Mini  has continued unabated with the latest model selling strongly and more than 1500 finding homes here so far this year, although the Cabrio has been soldiering on with the previous R-52 version.

With the release of these official images of the new Mini Cabrio the company says the driving pleasure and individual style so typical of Mini are combined once again with all the flair and refreshment of driving in the open air.With its design improved in an evolutionary process and with an even wider range of practical functions, the new Mini Cabrio is unmistakably Mini.

Equipped with the most advanced and sophisticated suspension technology, even more powerful and efficient engines, and with optimised safety technology, the new version of the open-air four-seater Mini consistently raises its strengths and qualities to an even higher level, all while maintaining the superior agility and go-kart handling, typical of Mini.

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There are 12 colour variants as well as new equipment features that add an additional touch of style and class. Automatic air-conditioning with Cabrio mode is available for the first time that serves to provide a consistent set temperature under the influence of wind when the roof is opened.

Also available is the seamless integration of external music players, a USB port and Bluetooth hands-free telephone system, suitably compatible with the Apple iPhone.

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The occupants are safely protected from wind and weather in the new MINI Cabrio by the high-quality soft top with its integrated sliding roof function.

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Even while driving at a speed of up to 30km/h, the soft top folds back fully automatically in a complete process within just 15 seconds.

There is even a timer in the rev counter to show the driver and passengers the time they have spent driving with the roof down – motivating the driver to really enjoy the thrill of open-air motoring as frequently as possible.

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The new Mini Cabrio offers outstanding everyday driving qualities through the Easy-Load Function, the rear-seat backrest folding down individually on either side, as well as the unusually large through-loading between the luggage and passenger compartment. Luggage compartment capacity has increased to 125 litres (+5 litres) with the roof open, 170 litres (+5 litres) with the roof closed, and 660 litres (+55 litres) with the rear-seat backrest folded down.

This variability, quite unique in the Cabrio segment, is made possible by the innovative design and construction of the rollbar: The new Mini Cabrio comes with a single-piece rollbar behind the rear seats extending across the entire interior width of the car, not obstructing the driver’s line of visibility in any way when looking to the rear, and moving up automatically in just 150 milliseconds, in the event this safety feature is required.

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The new Mini Cabrio will enter the market during the second quarter of 2009 with two engine variants. The Mini Cooper Cabrio offers sporting qualities right from the start with its 1.6-litre, four-cylinder power unit featuring fully variable valve management for maximum output of 88kW at 6000rpm.

The Mini Cooper S Cabrio is even more dynamic and performance-oriented, its 1.6-litre, four-cylinder with a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection delivering 128kW at an engine speed of 5500rpm and thus providing a particularly refreshing feeling of power and dynamic performance.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions on the new Mini Cabrio are reduced by up to 19 per cent compared with the cars’ respective predecessors.

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From the start the Mini Cooper S Cabrio and the Mini Cooper Cabrio are available with a six-speed manual gearbox featured as standard or optional six-speed automatic transmission.

At the same time the new Mini Cabrio owes its fascinating handling to suspension technology significantly enhanced and upgraded over the former model. Indeed, thanks to sophisticated wheel suspension, extremely precise electromechanical power steering, the powerful brake system and DSC Dynamic Stability Control featured as standard, the open-air Mini combines supreme agility with equally exemplary safety all round.

Specification:

Mini Cooper S Cabrio:
Four-cylinder petrol engine with Twin-Scroll turbocharger and
direct fuel injection.
Capacity: 1,598 cc, max output: 128 kW/175 hp at 5,500 rpm.
Max torque: 240 Nm from 1,600–5,000 rpm (260 Nm with Overboost).
Acceleration 0–100 km/h: 7.4 sec, Top speed: 222 km/h.
Average fuel consumption: 7.2 litres/100 km,
CO2 rating: 171 g/km.


Mini Cooper Cabrio:
Four-cylinder petrol engine with fully variable valve management based on
the BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC technology.
Capacity: 1,598 cc, max output: 88 kW/120 hp at 6,000 rpm.
Max torque: 160 Nm at 4,250 rpm.
Acceleration (0–100 km/h): 9.8 sec, Top speed: 198 km/h.
Average fuel consumption: 6.1 litres/100 km,
CO2 rating: 145 g/km.






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