Well, here's one car we'll all be able to cover in Detroit come January. BMW has officially announced that the second-generation MINI Cabrio will make its debut at the North American International Auto Show. No need to wait to place orders; you can do that now. The Cooper ragtop is priced at $24,550 while the Cooper S convertible costs $3,000 more. Customer delivery kicks off on March 28.
So, what's new? Well, for one, the new Cabrio looks like the current-gen Cooper. Likewise, it shares the hardtop cars' 1.6L engines -- 118 hp NA for the Cooper, and 172 hp turbo for the Cooper S. The Euro-market cars get BMW Efficient Dynamics features including brake regeneration and stop/start. The U.S.? Not so much. Out back, the fold-down tailgate's hinges are now internal, giving the car's tush a smoother look. The fixed roll hoops of the current car have been replaced by a pop-up system behind the back seat. This makes for a good-looking, clean top-down profile and should improve rearward visibility for the driver. Speaking of the top, it can be operated at speeds up to 20 mph or so, and it fully disappears in just 15 seconds. The sliding sunroof feature can be utilized at even higher speeds -- up to 60 mph or so. Stability control is standard equipment.
Inside, the current MINI instrument panel is employed, and drivers with a hankering for extraneous gimmickery can order up the "Openometer", a secondary gauge that mounts next to the tach. It monitors how much time you clock with the top down. Yeah, yeah -- useless. You know people are gonna eat it up. Follow the jump for a video and MINI's full PR (now updated with the U.S. version).