The 25th anniversary of the convertible Mini

Mini Convertible anniversary 1Just 300 anniversary edition Mini convertibles will be built to celebrate 25 years since the first ever convertible Mini (then run by Rover) but what’s so special about this anniversary edition, Mini have after all been building Mini convertibles ever since that first car rolled off the production line. Well on the surface not much has changed over the standard car. All 300 cars will be painted Starlight Blue with contrasting white bonnet stripes. The list of standard items is basically the standard Minis ‘chilli’ pack, which comes with a full Harman Kardon sound system, and a top spec sat nav. The roof of the Mini convertible anniversary car does come with the Union Jack printed into the canvas but this is also available on the standard car.

Mini Convertible anniversary 3So what is the difference between this and the standard car, pretty much nothing the only difference I could find was the Mini Convertible comes with some nice grey leather seats that aren’t available on the other cars. It’s just another excuse for Mini to sell you a more expensive car, and this car is nearly £10,000 more expensive than the standard Mini Convertible, which I think you’ll agree is absolutely ridiculous for a car that is not unique in any noticeable way. This limited edition car is just another badge special, a car BMW have stuck a badge on that means they can charge more and more money for. It is absolutely ridiculous.

Mini Convertible anniversary 2This is a dangerous trend that is growing exponentially as the years go on. Companies are conning customers into spending more for a limited edition car that is in fact available already straight off the production line. I know this will fall on deaf ears and all 300 Mini anniversary convertibles will walk out of the showroom in seconds but do not support this. Soon enough we will all have a badge on our cars that says limited edition and yet all the cars will look sound and drive exactly the same.

What do you think of Mini’s latest badge special car the Anniversary Convertible, let us know in the comments.
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BMW reveal the new i8 roadster and refreshed coupe

BMW i8 1Rumours have been swirling for years about the convertible i8, those rumours intensified when spy shots of early prototypes were spotted winter testing. But now finally BMW have unveiled the convertible BMW i8. The i8 has always been a fantastic looking car and the new i8 roadster is possibly even better looking. The i8 roadster also heralds a mid cycle refresh for the original coupe from 2014.

BMW i8 2The worlds best selling hybrid sports car not only gains a visual update but is also on the receiving end of a technological upgrade, the electric motor gets a power increase of 12bhp bringing electrical power up to 143bhp. This is thanks to upgrades in battery technology, which means that the i8’s electrical range has also increased to 34 miles (33 For the roadster). That added horsepower means when combined with the 1.5 litre 3-cylinder petrol motor the i8 now has 374bhp and 320Nm of torque, powering the hybrid sports car to a top speed of 155MPH. That added boost in power also results in a quicker 0-62 time of just 4.4 seconds for the coupe and 4.6 for the roadster.

BMW i8 5A lightweight design was key in making sure the roadster version of the i8 was just as capable as its coupe brother. The i8 roadster comes with a whole host of carbon fibre upgrades to ensure the i8 roadster maintains its lightweight design ideals. The doors, windscreen frame, side skirts and sections of the body are all carbon fibre, this means that the i8 roadster has minimal weight gain of just 60KG more than the coupe, with a weight of 1595KG.

BMW i8 6The new i8s also receive a number of safety upgrades including cruise control with a braking function, and a driving assistant known as surround view, a system which comprises of a collision and pedestrian warning with a city braking function, park distance control, high beam assist and speed limit info with a no passing information display. The i8 also features new Laser headlights which BMW say are non-dazzling with a range of 600 metres, double that of BMW’s LED headlights featured on other models.

BMW i8 4Another new addition to the BMW i8 is an acoustic pedestrian warning system, this system projects a sound similar to that of a turbine up to 18MPH to make sure pedestrians hear the i8 coming when road or wind noise wouldn’t be sufficient. The system is an interesting addition and one that could be necessary in the future of silent electric cars and should be one that other manufactures consider implementing in their own vehicles to avoid the silent killer electric car headlines.

BMW i8 3The i8s mid cycle refresh and the introduction of the long awaited roadster have certainly gathered headlines for BMW, but I feel that the visual refresh could have been much more exaggerated, to bring the i8 up to date. Whilst the i8 doesn’t look old in any sense of the word, it is starting to look current. The introduction of new modern supercars such as the McLaren 720S and Ferrari 812 Superfast have resulted in the i8 looking modern rather than ahead of the curve like it was back in 2014. A much more aggressive restyling could have resulted in the i8 being coveted rather than being just another hybrid sports car.

The new i8 and i8 roadster will be available in January 2018 for a price tag of £112,730 for the coupe and £124,730 for the roadster

BMW Z5 spotted at the Nurburgring

 

bmw-z5-2

Whilst the BMW was quietly killed off last year, there is hope at last for those of fans of the BMW convertible, the BMW Z5, the supposed successor to the Z4 has been spotted testing at the Nurburgring. The two door convertible is unlikely to be unveiled till the later part of 2017 at the earliest, but already its possible to gleam some details about the new car.

bmw-z5-3

Rumours suggest that the Z5 will come with an optional 4 wheel drive system and hybrid propulsion system similar in a way to that of the new Honda NSX. The front face of the Z5 features the same kidney style grills people have come to love about BMWs along with the stretched bonnet harking back to early sports cars. The Z5 is likely to go on sale in early 2018. Whilst final looks of the car are unlikely to have been set as of yet, it is unlikely the rear lights seen in the images are final due to them being seen on many BMW test cars of varying degrees of completion.

bmw-z5

The new Supra is also to be based on a similar platform to the Z5 after BMW and Toyota announced a partnership between the two companys to build a new sports car. The Z5 is to be a convertible with the new Supra being a coupe.

Images courtesy of Autocar

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The Range Rover Evoque Convertible, Much Better Than I Thought

I’ll be honest when I heard Range Rover were going to build a convertible version of their Evoque, I thought that’s a stupid idea no ones going to take a convertible off road. Then I thought about it for a bit, no ones going to take an Evoque off road either convertible or hard top. Once I had gotten over this problem I managed to see that the Evoque is actually quite a good idea.

RR Evoque Convertible

When the Evoque launched, it had a special Victoria Beckham option, this is exactly the market the Evoque is aimed at, not the off road nutters that Land Rovers are usually aimed at, the most off road an Evoque will ever go is driving off a muddy polo field. The Evoque is for the WAGS of this world and the rich young Chelsea socialites. This is why a convertible version is perfect, it allows them to be just that little more showy offy, that’s why they like the Bentley Continental so much it just has a presence to it that oozes money.

RR Evoque Convertible 2

The new Evoque convertible will only be available in the higher specs of the Evoque range, the Dynamic and the Dynamic HSE trim levels, powered by the 178bhp TD4 diesel engine or the slightly more powerful 237bhp turbocharged Si4 petrol engine. As with all convertibles the Evoque is heavier than its hard top counterpart with an extra 270KG of bracing added in. the Evoque goes on sale next spring starting at £47,500.