Cute as a button and highly desired by the jet set, the Mini Cooper convertible will be in hot demand after making its début at the Auto Africa show last week.

Cute as a button and highly desired by the jet set, the Mini Cooper convertible will be in hot demand after making its début at the Auto Africa show last week.

A four-seater able to drop its roof within 15 seconds, this convertible is perfect for lazy summer days. At the push of a button, first the sliding roof mechanism and then the complete roof folds back. With the Z-folding mechanism, the entire roof can be compactly folded behind the seats without the need for a tonneau cover.

The integrated sliding roof can be opened up to 40 cm while driving up to a speed of 120 km/h.

The convertible is able to carry loads of up to 400 kg and the luggage compartment accommodates up to 165 dm3 with the roof closed. Even with the roof down, the storage capacity is a handy 120 litres.

Performance is sprightly, with the 1,6-litre engine offering 85 kW at 6 000 r/min and maximum torque of 150 N.m at 4 500 r/min. Top speed is claimed to be 193 km/h with the zero-to-100 km/h benchmark sprint covered in 9,8 seconds.

With a stiff body construction and an efficient restraint system, the Cooper Convertible complies with stringent crash test standards. In the event of a rollover, passengers are protected by a reinforced A-pillar and a roll bar constructed from high-strength aluminium tubes featuring integrated headrests.

Four disc brakes with ABS, EBD and cornering brake control ensure optimal driving stability in any situation. Further optional safety features include Automatic Stability Control and Traction and Dynamic Stability Control.

Standard features on this convertible include a heated glass rear window, two front and head/thorax side airbags, electrically operated exterior mirrors, electro-hydraulic power steering, Park Distance Control and a height-adjustable driver’s seat and steering column.

Optional equipment and accessories include Xenon lights, a navigation system with 16:9 colour display, automatic climate control, a multifunction steering wheel, a rain sensor and rear-view mirror with automatic anti-dazzle function.

The Cooper Convertible is available in ten different colours, two of which – Hot Orange and Cool Blue – are reserved for this model. The roof is available in black, blue and green and the convertible will become available in South Africa early in 2005.