2015 MINI Cooper Convertible Spied Before LA Auto Show Debut

Signs that the new version of the MINI Convertible is getting close to production can be seen anywhere. After spotting the Cooper S version on the Nurburgring, back in June, we’re now taking a look at the Cooper model going for tests.
2015 MINI Cooper Convertible 10 photos
Photo: SB Medien
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The difference between the two, from the outside, is rather limited. The more substantial changes come from under the bonnet where the ’S’ has more power, more torque and even one extra cylinder. When it comes to the design, the upper spec version has a meaner front bumper, a hood scoop as well as a new rear spoiler with two center-stacked exhaust tailpipes. That’s about it if you don’t count the extra badging.

What’s new on the 2015 model?

No much is known for now, apart from what we’ve seen on the hardtop models. We do know that the soft-top will be kept on as you can see in these spy photos. However, inside the cabin things will be a bit different.

The new model will take all the fresh interior bits from the hardtop and indulge its passengers with the new materials and design. Could an air-scarf type of feature be integrated in the seats like we’ve seen on the 4 Series? Highly unlikely considering the price range MINIs have but nobody would mind.

What about the engines?

After we’ve seen the Cooper S out testing, the Cooper version will come with the brand new B38 engine, featuring a 3-cylinder inline configuration and 1.5-liter displacement. Thanks to BMW’s TwinPower turbocharging technology, that plant is now making 136 HP, just the same as the old 1.6-liter 4-cylinder developed in collaboration with PSA.

The new one, however, has a different sound to it, one that resembles the an inline 6-cylinder 3-liter plant that BMW is basically renowned for, without losing any power or torque. Of course, the one to have is still the Cooper S with its 2-liter 4-cylinder plant that’s good for 192 HP and 300 Nm (220 lb-ft) of torque.

Diesels will probably also be on the plate but, no matter how refined the new BMW plants are now, nobody wants an oil burner in a convertible.

When will I be able to buy one?

MINI sales have plummeted since the introduction of the new version. The US market was the one that took the blunt of the blow but somehow, the British brand is still convinced that it can turn things around.

Therefore, as we reported 3 weeks ago, the MINI Convertible will be launched in November, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, in the US. If what our source reported will turn out to be true, then we’ll the new car on public roads in early 2015 with prices slightly higher than for the hardtop.

In the US, the Cooper hardtop starts at $20,700 MSRP so prices for the drop top should range around the $22,000 mark.
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