• Jan 9, 2007


Click on the image above for our 36-image high-resolution gallery.

Though it's hard to tell, there's a new Mini in town. The convertible version won't get the facelift for another couple years, however. So to keep an old model interesting to buyers, they've done what every automaker does: a special edition!

The Mini Convertible Sidewalk takes the outgoing Mini cabrio and stuffs it with a host of special equipment and standard features bundled into a comprehensive package for the Anglophile open-air motoring enthusiast. The Sidewalk is available in five special exterior colors (two silvers, a green, a black and an off-white) with a special set of black-and-silver 17-inch rims. But inside's where the action's at: the Sidewalk gets a special (and especially sumptuous) leather package in rich medium brown with white piping. Of course, it also gets special badging all over lest a passer-by think this is an ordinary Mini.

Nothing groundbreaking here, just a leather-lined new spin on an old model.

Follow the jump for the press release, read our original post on the release of the Sidewalk, and click on any of the images below for our full hi-resolution image gallery.

Check out all the debuts and galleries from the Detroit Auto Show here.


PRESS RELEASE:

A Glorious Appearance: World Debut of the MINI Convertible Sidewalk.
Driving pleasure growing from one bend to the next, the thrill of open-air
motoring starting with the first rays of sunshine, and the MINI Convertible
Sidewalk catching the eye of the thrilled beholder right from the start.
Through its exclusive design and unique interior, the top model in the range
quite literally makes all aficionados of open-air motoring wax lyrical while
enjoying their wildest dreams.

The MINI Convertible Sidewalk is not only thrilling from the outside in its
sporting and elegant look, but also comes with an appropriate interior making
every drive in this unique car an equally unique experience: Never before
has open-air motoring in a MINI been possible in such a sophisticated ambience.
Stylish paintwork, specially developed light-alloy wheels, exclusive
leather upholstery and a wide range of features – these are the most striking
highlights of the MINI Convertible Sidewalk. And to make this thrill even
greater, all of these fine ingredients may be combined with three four-cylinder
power units ranging in output from 66kW/90 hp through 85 kW/115 hp all
the way to 125 kW/170 hp.

In the US market the MINI Convertible Sidewalk comes exclusively in its two
most powerful versions, the Cooper Convertible Sidewalk with engine
output of 115 hp and the Cooper S Convertible Sidewalk with maximum
output of 168 hp.

Regardless of the model the driver ultimately chooses, fresh wind and the
feeling of nothing but the sky above are natural highlights in all versions of the
car. Within just 15 sections, the soft roof of the MINI Convertible Sidewalk
opens completely and fully automatically, closing again just as quickly
whenever required. And with the roof open, the steep windscreen and the
optimum seating position give the occupants a truly perfect experience
of motoring in the open air. So there can be no doubt about it: Driving the
MINI Convertible Sidewalk is a fascinating experience on all four seats.

Typical MINI look, exclusive colour schemes.
With its waistline rising slightly to the rear and further accentuated by an
all-round chrome trim bar beneath the windows, the MINI Convertible
Sidewalk boasts a powerful, compact and chic profile. The steep windscreen,
frameless side windows, the double rollover bar beneath the rear seats and
the space-saving soft roof folding up into compact dimensions without even
requiring a tonneau cover round off the sophisticated look and appearance
of this eye-catcher from Oxford. The black band extending all around the body
forms a distinct and powerful borderline at the bottom, again underlining
the sporting look of this athlete crouching down low on the road.

The MINI Convertible Sidewalk is available in five special paintwork colours:
Pepper White Non-Metallic, Sparkling Silver Metallic, British Racing
Green Metallic, Astro Black Metallic, and White Silver Metallic. The caps on
the rear-view mirrors are finished in each case in body colour, and a
discreet emblem proudly bearing the letter "Sidewalk" designates the exclusive
character of this Convertible directly behind the white additional direction
indicators on the front side panels. Foglamps are incidentally also standard
on the MINI Convertible Sidewalk.

With the roof closed, the rear end of the Convertible makes a truly powerful
and agile appearance further enhanced by the short overhangs, the steeply
rising side panels, and the black wheel arch covers. And with the roof open,
this compact car also leaves a powerful and muscular impression from behind,
showing the connoisseur at first sight that this is a real performer.

As a specific design feature typical of the MINI Convertible, the high-rising
third LED brake light is integrated in the chrome trim bar running along the
window line.

A special feature exclusive to the MINI Convertible Sidewalk is the newly
designed light-alloy rims in twin-tone Night Spoke design.
Measuring 17 inches in size, these silver and anthracite-coloured wheels
come on runflat tyres allowing the driver to continue to the nearest
workshop even with a completely flat tyre. For thanks to their failsafe qualities,
the runflat tyres allow the driver to cover a distance of up to 150 kilometres
or 90 miles at a speed of up to 80 km/h or 50 mph even after suffering
a complete flat. And as a further highlight, the Tyre Defect Indicator fitted as
standard permanently monitors air pressure in all tyres and warns the driver
about any gradual loss of pressure.

Supreme features within the interior.
Getting into the car, the driver and his passengers first step over an entry trim
bar proudly bearing the name "Sidewalk". And admiring the interior surfaces,
the seats, the steering wheel and the gearshift lever, both the enthusiast
and the casual driver will realise immediately that driving the MINI Convertible
Sidewalk is a truly exclusive pleasure, the driver and passengers enjoying
utmost comfort on sports seats in piping design and Malt Brown leather
upholstery providing a particular highlight in conjunction with the silver-coloured
piping and the very special look of the upholstery seams. This extremely
sophisticated stylish leather also adorns the armrests on the doors,
the gearshift lever knob, and the lower half of the steering wheel rim finished
in two colours.

The special design of the interior surfaces is also exclusive to the new
Sidewalk, with exceptional high-gloss materials featured, inter alia, on the
dashboard cover, in the door linings, and on the loudspeaker surrounds.
A particularly sophisticated highlight is the Chrome Line finish within the
interior adding a highly attractive look to the instrument rings, on the surrounds
encompassing the hazard warning flasher knob and the light control button,
on the handbrake lever cover, and on the surrounds adorning both the
cupholders and the gearshift lever.

The Lights Package featured as standard, finally, makes yet another very
special contribution to the unique atmosphere within the MINI Convertible
Sidewalk, comprising reading lamps, entry lights and indirect illumination
on the door handles inside the car.

Wide range of comfort features.
Apart from high-quality materials and beautiful design, MINI Convertible
Sidewalk also offers an impressive standard of comfort functions,
with air conditioning, an on-board computer, Park Distance Control (PDC) and
the MINI Boost radio including a CD player as well as an AUX connection
for external entertainment sources all coming as standard. Both the driver's
and front passenger's seats are adjustable for height, and the two-piece
leather steering wheel comes complete with multi-function buttons controlling
both the speed of the car and the audio system. And last but certainly
not least, important features such as a heated rear window made of glass,
electrically operated rear-view mirrors and window lifts front and rear, power
steering, a steering column adjustable for height, as well as central locking
with remote control and a comfort opening function all come as standard.

A wide range of optional extras and special equipment serves moreover to
meet all of the customer's individual demands and wishes. Inter alia,
these features include xenon headlights, a TV navigation system complete
with a 16 : 9 colour display, high-quality HiFi audio systems, a heated
windscreen, automatic air conditioning, a wind deflector, rain sensor and
interior mirror with automatic anti-dazzle control.

Muscular four-cylinder power units for superior agility and performance.
While the new MINI Convertible Sidewalk guarantees exclusivity at all times,
the high standard of driving dynamics can be enhanced even further:
The new model is available with a choice of three engine variants, all of which
are four-cylinder power units displacing 1.6 litres for superiority on the
road at all times. The "standard" model is the MINI One Convertible Sidewalk
combining 66 kW/90 hp maximum output with peak torque of 140 Newtonmetres
or 103 lb-ft. This ensures acceleration to 100 km in 11.8 seconds and
gives the new MINI Convertible Sidewalk a top speed of 175 km/h or 109 mph.

Average fuel consumption in the EU composite cycle is 7.0 litres/100 kilometres,
equal to 40.3 mpg Imp.

Developing maximum output of 85 kW/115 hp and peak torque of
150 Newton-metres/111 lb-ft, the power unit in the MINI Cooper Convertible
Sidewalk gives the car a top speed of 193 km/h or 120 mph and acceleration
to 100 km/h in 9.8 seconds. Fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is 7.3 litres
of premium fuel per 100 kilometres (38.7 mpg Imp).

The wonderful feeling of enjoying the wind rushing by while motoring in the
open air is of course enhanced to the highest conceivable standard in
the MINI Cooper S Convertible Sidewalk with its supercharged four-cylinder
intercooled engine offering maximum output of 125 kW/170 hp combined
with peak torque of 220 Newton-metres or 147 lb-ft. On the road, this kind of
power is sufficient for acceleration to 100 km/h in just 7.4 seconds and
ensures a top speed of 215 km/h or 133 mph. But despite all this sporting
performance, the MINI Cooper S Convertible Sidewalk makes do with
8.3 litres premium fuel on 100 kilometres (equal to 34.0 mpg Imp) in the
EU test cycle.

Automatic transmission with sporting Steptronic function.
The MINI One Convertible Sidewalk comes as standard with a five-speed
manual gearbox, the two more powerful versions boast a six-speed
transmission. As an option the MINI Cooper Convertible Sidewalk is available
with an infinite CVT automatic transmission, while the MINI Cooper S
Convertible Sidewalk may be fitted with a six-speed automatic transmission
for an even higher standard of performance.

The electronically controlled CVT transmission differs from conventional
automatic transmissions in particular through its oil bath multi-disc clutch for
conveying the power of the engine instead of the usual torque converter.
Both automatic transmission models are equipped with a Steptronic function
enabling the driver to intervene manually in the selection of gears and thus
providing an even more sporting driving experience. On the CVT transmission,
in turn, the infinite transmission ratios in the automatic mode are replaced by
six fixed transmission ratios acting as "gears" and allowing the engine to reach
higher revs with even more agile driving behaviour.

A steering wheel with Steptronic paddles on the front and back is also
available as an option, the buttons on the front serving to shift up, the buttons
on the back enabling the river to shift down.

Ideal for agile handling.
The MINI Convertible Sidewalk combines superior agility with direct handling
on the road. Indeed, nimble performance is ensured from the start by the drive
concept, the long wheelbase of the car (2, 467 mm or 97.1´´), the low centre
of gravity and the wide track offering ideal conditions for a perfect combination
of both fun and driving safety. In addition, particularly the stiff bodyshell,
the kinematic configuration of the multi-arm rear axle, and the direct electrohydraulic
power steering help to give the open-air MINI a standard of agility
quite comparable to that of a sporting go-kart.

Well prepared should the worst ever come to the worst.
Benefiting from its stiff body structure and efficient restraint systems coming
as standard with driver and front passenger airbags as well as two head/thorax
side airbags integrated in the seats, the MINI Convertible Sidewalk complies
with the world's strictest crash standards and regulations. Torsional stiffness
has been optimised by numerous constructional improvements such as an
increase in panel thickness on the side-sills as well as the integration of
additional bulkhead and reinforcement plates. A particular advantage provided
by these reinforcements is that the doorsills will not buckle up and give way
in the event of a head-on collision. And additional reinforcements are provided
in the upgraded floorpan for yet a further improvement of body stiffness.
All together, these improvements help to ensure optimum occupant safety
also in a collision from the side. And in the event of a rollover the A-pillars
reinforced by a high-strength steel tube inside play a strong role in the literal
sense of the word, while at the rear the double rollbar made of high-strength
aluminium pipes with integrated headrests likewise serves to maximise
passenger safety.

Always remaining safely on course.
Four disc brakes, four-sensor ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)
and Cornering Brake Control (CBC) guarantee superior driving and tracking
stability at all times, even when applying the brakes in an extreme
situation. This high standard of active safety is then further enhanced by
optional Automatic Stability and Traction Control (ASC+T, standard in
the MINI Cooper S Convertible Sidewalk) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
also available as an option.

Truly unique: sliding roof function while driving.
Through its clever overall concept, the MINI Convertible Sidewalk combines
maximum driving pleasure, superior function and optimum use of the space
available. The roof, for example, folds back fully automatically in a particularly
fast and practical process in just 15 seconds: At the touch of a button,
the roof first opens up at the front in the form of an integrated sliding roof
before opening up completely to offer the driver and passengers that unique
experience of motoring in the open air. While the folding roof moves smoothly
into the rear compartment, the roof columns are automatically retracted and
the rear side windows move down into the body. Thanks to its intelligent Z-fold
mechanism, the soft roof opens up into a compact position behind the rear
seats with the outside of the roof facing upwards and thus dispensing with the
need for a tonneau cover.

The sliding section integrated in the soft roof may also be opened while
driving to any position up to 40 centimetres or 16 inches at a speed of up to
120 km/h or 75 mph. Again, a function quite unique in the convertible market.
Convertible in every respect: a MINI transporter within seconds.
With the roof closed, the luggage compartment offers an ample
165 litres or 5.78 cubic feet of storage space. And even with the roof open,
luggage compartment capacity is still 120 litres or 4.20 cubic feet.
A particularly practical point is that the rear lid may be folded down and
held in position by two steel cables complete with spring retractors.
This allows the driver and passengers to use the rear lid with its hinges at the
outside as a loading panel able to carry up to 80 kilos or 176 lb. And in
all, the MINI Convertible Sidewalk is able to carry a remarkable load of no less
than 400 kg or 882 lb.

Even when required to take along bulky objects in this agile performer,
the driver of a MINI Convertible Sidewalk will not run into problems that easily,
since the Easy-Load system offers additional, surprisingly generous
loading options: With the roof closed, for example, all you have to do is move
two levers in the luggage compartment to fold up the bottom section of the
soft roof and fasten it in position. Subsequently opening up the rear lid,
you obtain a particularly large and easily accessible opening to the luggage
compartment.

The rollbar made of high-strength aluminium tubes, on the other hand,
is integrated so skilfully into the overall configuration of the car that the driver
and passengers still enjoy all their through-loading options in the luggage
compartment even with the rear seats tilted down. And in conjunction with the
folding and lockable rear-seat backrests, luggage space can be increased
to a truly remarkable 605 litres or 21.18 cubic feet.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 2 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Is it really true that the cabrio won't get the remodel until 2009 model year? That makes me sad. I was hoping they'd be ready for the 2008 model year, in which case I could wait a year to get one. But two years is too long, and I just might have to get into it with the wife about getting it now.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Those wheels look like they were curbed by the sidewalk over and over again.