Thanks to a tipster at Mini enthusiast site MotoringFile.com, we've got an early preview of the 2010 Mini Cooper Convertible. The new ragtop convertible is set to debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January and go on sale in Spring 2009.
The styling changes are subtle and evolutionary, taking their lead from the tin-top Mini Cooper and Cooper S which went on sale in 2007. Among the changes are a new gloss black trim option for the Mini's headlights and window line trim, both of which have historically been chromed.
The old convertible's prominent (and view blocking) fixed roll bar has been replaced by an integrated pop-up roll bar system similar to those found on the BMW 1 and 3 series convertibles. The new convertible top also has a larger glass rear window with integrated rear defroster.
All of these changes should improve visibility behind the car, but the broad swaths of fabric at each corner will still make lane changes a tense proposition when the top is up.
New "Always Open" Gauge
Another new development is the addition of a new "Always Open" gauge. Unique to the new Mini Cooper Convertible, the new gauge indicates the number of miles driven with the top open. Positioned to the left of the Cooper's tachometer, the new gauge is intended to encourage drivers to drop the top whenever possible.
New colors; JCW kit on sale at launch
New color choices will also debut when the new convertible hits the streets next spring. Interchange Yellow (top left) and Horizon Blue (bottom left) will be available, along with the Hot Chocolate canvas top color. A denim blue top will also be offered, but we don't have pictures of it just yet.
According to MotoringFile, the new Mini Cooper S convertible will be offered from launch day with the factory optional John Cooper Works tuning kit.
The JCW kit includes an upgraded intake and exhaust along with a reprogrammed ECU with a more aggressive boost curve and higher peak boost. The kit is expected to cost about $2000; a JCW-tuned Cooper S will churn out 192 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, with 200 pound-feet of torque available on a limited basis when the factory overboost setting is engaged.
The JCW kit can also be installed after at the dealer for those who either buy off the lot or wish to add power to their Cooper ragtop after purchase.
Early rumors coming from MotoringFile say that March 2009 is the projected on-sale date. As the Detroit show draws near, we'll have more details on pricing and trim updates as well. Stay tuned.