The Mini Cabriolet is now 30 years old and Mini is launching a special model in the US to celebrate.
The original fixed-roof Mini was launched in 1959, but a convertible version didn’t appear until the early 1990s. The first factory Mini convertible made its debut at the 1992 British Motor Show in Birmingham, UK, where it was dubbed “the world’s smallest four-seat convertible”.
Produced by German contract manufacturer Karmann, the original Mini-Cabriolet went on sale in 1993 and continued through 1996 with 1,081 examples built. BMW revived the convertible around the turn of the century with the relaunch of the Mini brand, and an open top has been part of the Mini range ever since.
1993 Mini Convertible
To commemorate the launch of the first convertible Mini, the automaker is launching a special model called the Seaside Edition in February. It will be differentiated by the available paint colors Nanuq White or Caribbean Aqua, the latter with white graphics. All versions get 18-inch 30th-anniversary-branded wheels in their center caps.
The interior will be upholstered in Carbon Black leather, with a 30th Anniversary badging on the steering wheel, dashboard and doors. The key fob is also finished in a blue two-tone scheme.
The Seaside Edition is available in Cooper and Cooper S classes. The base Cooper has a 134hp 1.5-litre Turbo 3, while the Cooper S has a 189hp 2.0-litre Turbo 4 engine, which Mini says goes from 0 accelerated to 62 miles per hour. The power soft-top on convertible models can also be opened or closed at speeds of up to 18 mph, Mini noted.
2023 Mini Convertible Seaside Edition
This special edition is expected to be one of the last Mini models of the current generation. Mini is preparing the fourth generation of its modern range, starting with a redesigned hardtop, due later in 2023 as a 2024 model. It will be based on parent company BMW Group’s FAAR platform, an evolution of the UKL platform that underpins the current Mini range. In addition to the redesigned Cooper hardtop with an internal combustion engine, an electric version with a special EV platform will also be presented.
Mini has set 2025 as the date when its final internal combustion engine model will be launched. The automaker has shown off an electric convertible concept based on current-generation Cooper SE mechanics, so it’s possible the convertible roof will live on in Mini’s planned all-electric lineup of the future.