Mini UK is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Mini convertible, first introduced in 1993 in the last years of the classic Rover Mini, with the launch of a special edition 25th anniversary BMW Mini Convertible.
In 1993, the Rover Mini Cabriolet was almost double the price of the standard Rover Mini. It was built on a strengthened bodyshell, and available in two colours, Caribbean Blue with a Grey hood and Nightfire Red with matching hood. It was the same mechanical specification as the Cooper 1.3i of the time but featured a more luxurious interior and new 12in Revolution wheels and chrome sill kick strips.
The idea had been trialled in 1991 by the German company Lamm Autohaus, which built 75 Mini Lamm Cabriolets, all of which sold immediately. But even then it wasn't a new idea, with several soft-top Minis created in the 1960s – one of the best-known was the Crayford Mini, the first of which was sold 55 years ago, in 1963.
The 1993 Mini Cabriolet, though, was the first factory-built convertible. Its modern equivalent, the BMW Mini Convertible, was launched in 2004. More than 89,000 have since been sold, making it the UK's best-selling soft-top.
Of those, 43% have been Coopers, with the most popular colour choice having been Pepper White. 86% of Mini Convertibles sold have been fitted with a manual gearbox.
Now, there will be a limited run of 300 of the special 25th Anniversary Edition of the Mini Convertible (above). They will feature anniversary tread plates and plaque, and a unique combination of Lounge leather upholstery in Satellite Grey with a Starlight Blue metallic exterior.
The 25th Anniversary Edition is built to Cooper S Convertible specification, which means white mirror caps, white bonnet stripes, Union Jack woven fabric roof and 18in Vanity Spoke allow wheels in two-tone as standard. It comes in Chili Pack spec, with the Navigation Plus package and Harman Kardon hifi as standard, as well as an interior commemorative plaque for the cockpit fascia.