New Mini Cooper Convertible coming in March 2009Enlarge Photo
Existing stock of the current model will sustain sales through July, and BMW does not plan to build more. Since the next version of the Cabrio isn't going to begin production until March of next year, it appears there will be at least a six-month gap in supply. Like the current model, the new cabrio is expected to feature the 3-in-1 soft top with built-in automatic sunroof and heated rear window. Both standard Cooper and Cooper S variants are expected as well, according to AutoTelegraaf. Further details are not yet forthcoming, though with the rise in fuel prices and increased concern for emissions, a diesel-engined cabrio may not be out of the question.
The Mini Cooper Convertible recently made news as one of the better choices out of the rather unsafe crop of mini cabrios available on the European market. The model's rear roll bars protected back seat occupants better than any other model in the test, but the A-pillar partially collapsed, which combined with poor seatbelt placement meant front-seat occupants were at risk of head injury in the event of a rollover. Hopefully engineers will take these test results into consideration and provide better rollover protection for the next generation.