A limited-run, convertible Mini Cooper SE will arrive later this year, with a hefty price tag of £52,500.
The BMW Group-owned firm claims it is the first convertible to be sold with electric power, with only the Fiat 500 Cabrio EV its closest competitor, but that has only a landaulet rear.
It follows a one-off Mini electric convertible prototype built last year to, as the firm previously said, “test the waters of emission-free, open-top driving with Mini”. Tested by Autocar, the “impressive” prototype “looked and felt like a proper production car”.
Now, just eight months on, this production version is the result, albeit launched as a special edition and limited to just 150 models in the UK; 999 in Europe. Mini has not revealed if the model, arriving in April, will have a global presence.
Like the prototype, the convertible gets the same 181bhp single-motor set-up as the standard Mini Electric, pushing it to 62mph in 7.3sec. It also shares the same 32.6kWh battery, albeit with 20 fewer miles of range at 125.
The limited-run model is nearly identical to its combustion sibling, with the same dimensions (at 3863mm in length, and 1727mm wide), boot space (160 litres), and electrically powered, Union Jack-embossed cloth soft top.
It is only available in a fixed specification with two exterior colour choices: White Silver or Enigmatic Black. Special touches include 1/999 numbering and bespoke 17in alloy wheels (made from recycled aluminium). Leather sports seats, with Nappa touches, are also fitted.
The decision to launch the convertible, albeit in limited-run form, was down to the success of the standard Mini EV – released in 2020 – head of Mini Stefanie Wurst said, with one in five Minis sold in Europe equipped with an electric powertrain.
“This success has spurred us to implement the small series of the MINI Cooper SE Convertible within only a few months. I’m delighted that we can offer customers an extraordinary and exclusive open-air go-kart feeling.”
It will arrive in the same year as the next generation Mini Electric is expected to be unveiled, to be joined by a series production convertible – although this is not due until 2025 – the next car is reported to get a hefty design overhaul, with classic Mini design cues set to be dropped. This includes the clamshell bonnet that has featured since BMW relaunched the brand in 2001.