Although its new-generation replacement won't be out for another year, Mini's tarting up the current-edition convertible as a kind of farewell-to-thee. Well, it's more of a buy-it-now-so-we-don't-get-screwed thing, though the Mini Sidewalk does come with a new spectrum of colors, a "malt brown" leather interior, 17" painted alloys and unique badging. Oh, c'mon, you know you can't wait. I mean, malt brown leather, sheesh.
MINI Convertible takes a walk on the style side
MINI will be unveiling a new addition to its Convertible range at the 2007 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), when it presents the Sidewalk model for the first time on January 6 in Detroit.
MINI Convertibles have always combined great handling characteristics with the thrill of open-top motoring, but when the Sidewalk hits MINI dealers from April 2007, MINI fans will have the opportunity to get their hands on a fresh model boasting a raft of luxurious design enhancements.
Andy Hearn, General Manager for MINI UK, said: "The MINI One Seven, Cooper Park Lane and Cooper S Checkmate editions of the MINI hatch have been hugely popular, with nearly 8,000 models sold in the UK in just 12 months. We are confident that Sidewalk will offer the same exclusivity and maximum value for Convertible customers. Undoubtedly it will reinforce MINI's unique position as a premium small car."
The new Sidewalk model offers a host of exclusive and additional options, and is available on the One, Cooper and Cooper S. It includes a choice of four paintwork colours, Malt Brown English Leather upholstery, 17" Night Spoke light alloy wheels, bi-colour leather steering wheel and gear knob and special 'Sidewalk' interior trim, floor mats, badges and door inserts.
Additional MINI options that are standard on Sidewalk models are Automatic Stability Control and Traction (ASC+T), multifunction leather steering wheel, mirror caps in body colour, chrome line interior, passenger seat height adjustment, sports seats, storage compartment pack, front fog lamps, manual air conditioning, on board computer, interior light pack and white indicators.
On the road prices are as follows:
MINI One Sidewalk 16,910
MINI Cooper Sidewalk 17,960
MINI Cooper S Sidewalk 20,235
Should a customer wish to specify these options on any other MINI Convertible, the cost of the extra kit would be approximately 25 per cent higher than if purchased as part of a standard package on the Sidewalk edition.
The MINI One and Cooper Convertible Sidewalk editions come with a five-speed manual gearbox, with the more powerful Cooper S version boasting a six-speed transmission. As an option, the MINI Cooper Convertible Sidewalk is available with a CVT transmission, while the MINI Cooper S Convertible Sidewalk may be fitted with a six-speed automatic transmission to further improve performance. Both auto gearboxes are equipped with a Steptronic function, providing a sportier driving experience.
The entire MINI line-up provides customers with an unrivalled opportunity to personalise their new car. Key to this is the extensive range of accessories available at dealers across the UK. The Sidewalk editions of the Convertible can be accessorized with cycle, surfboard and snowboard luggage racks, as well as the John Cooper Works tuning and styling kits.
Since its launch in 2004, the MINI Convertible has been a storming sales success and found itself a place deep in the hearts of British drivers. In 2005, MINI Convertible outsold its nearest competitor by a whopping 27 per cent. MINI is the UK's best-selling convertible car in 2006, with more than 8,500 models sold year-to-date. The range is set to receive a further boost when the MINI Convertible Sidewalk arrives early in 2007.
Spy Photos: 2009 Mini Convertible [internal]