• Mar 14th 2008 at 8:56AM
  • 13
Mini is readying its R56-based replacement for the current Cooper droptop, and it will retain its cloth roof. While there's been widespread adoption of retractable hardtops, the Coop is staying soft. That's good for weight and center of gravity, so the 'vert will still handle charmingly. True to the Cooper's retro mission, Senior VP of Brand Management, Kay Segler contends that the cloth roof offers an experience more true to classic alfresco motoring. The reasoning is that traditional convertible tops open wider than hardtops, so the skyward vistas are less impeded in the Cooper, which is why they pledge to never luxe up their car with metal origami. It could also be that there's no place to put the larger roof stack of a folding hardtop.

[Source: Inside Line]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      "It could also be that there's no place to put the larger roof stack of a folding hardtop."

        • 7 Years Ago
        Painfully obvious there's no room to put a hard top.

        Either way, the MINI is my favorite car out there right now.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "which is why they pledge to never luxe up their car with metal origami."

      MINI and pledges... HA!! Before the redesign, their websites said they would NEVER use turbochargers, superchargers are the only way to go for instant throttle response. Then turbochargers got better (or someone started making smaller ones) and suddenly MINI forgets they said to never use turbos.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Id love to see a 2 door coupe with a trunk in the Mini Cooper style.
      • 7 Years Ago
      More likely R56 engineers didn't like the way the weight would trash the gains in mileage that the new engines brought. That and expense are good reasons to not go hardtop. I got 41.6 mpg today in my R56 Cooper S in mixed driving this morning, but I can still walk most cars out there.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Good to know. Still 'about to upgrade' the wife's '04 S due to her new commute (34mi versus the current 7mi). I test drove one, and didn't really wear it out, but I got into it a couple of times... far more low-end grunt than I expected, felt at least as quick as my moderately-modded '02 (which will walk just about anything this side of a non-STI WRX)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Having driven a convertible Cooper S as a dealer loaner while my '02 was getting serviced, I just have to say I hope they improve the car significantly. I know there are tradeoffs with a convertible, but as it is, the car's a dog, imho.

      First, the body roll is just unbelievable; feels incredibly loose and wobbly. I'm sure some people don't notice it, but to me it was very pronounced (this was an '06 "S" model).

      Second and far more important from a safety standpoint, the only way to drive this thing is top down. With the top up, you've got gigantic blind spots on the sides, and the hole through the gigantic roll hoops in the back seems to be dime-sized.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I 100% agree with you there. A friend of mine has an 06' S convertible and from the times I've driven it, I really didn't care for it. The point you made about the blind spots are dead on, I worry about her driving that thing to this day. Now the regular S's are nice but those convertibles are in definite need of some more follow-through thought.
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