Another highly expected event at the Detroit Auto Show was the official unveiling of the next generation model of the four seater Mini Convertible.

I didn’t get a lot of chances to spend some time one-on-one with the Mini Cabrio, but I will tell you my first impression. The Mini Cooper Convertible is virtually identical to the regular Mini Cooper  version, but when you get closer, you will notice the retractable soft top along with a new pop-up rollbar which increases the visibility-limiting static bars existing in the previous generation.

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The softop opens in exactly 15 seconds, even when the car is in motion, but up to 20mph, compared to the he new 2009 BMW Z4 with the hardtop which opens in 20 seconds.The interior is identical to the Mini E we dove in L.A a couple months ago, of course, minus the gauges that are missing the battery charging status.

The base Mini Cooper Convertible receives a four-cylinder 1.6 liter engine producing 118 hp. The sport version, Mini Cooper S, comes out stronger with a twin-scroll turbochargers 1.6 liter four-cylinder engine outputting 172 hp.

MINI Cooper Convertible and the S model are equipped with the six-speed manual gearbox featured as standard with optional six-speed automatic transmission.

If you’re worried about storage space, you can breath now, the Mini Cooper Convertible has an expanded luggage compartment opening, rear seat backrests that can be folded down and locked into position, and a pivoting, two-position shelf for packages. Golf clubs? No problem! Ski equipment? Bring it on!

And here are some final stats:

MINI Cooper S Convertible:
Four-cylinder gasoline engine with Twin-Scroll turbocharger and
direct fuel injection.
Capacity: 1,598 cc, max output: 172 hp at 5,500 rpm.
Max torque: 177 lb-ft from 1,600–5,000 rpm
(192 lb-ft with Overboost).
Acceleration 0–60mph: 7.0 sec Manual, 7.2 Automatic, Top speed: 138 mph Manual, 135 mph Automatic. * MINI Cooper Convertible:
Four-cylinder gasoline engine with VALVETRONIC technology.
Capacity: 1,598 cc, max output: 118 hp at 6,000 rpm.
Max torque: 114 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm.
Acceleration (0–60 mph): 8.9 sec Manual, 10.2 Automatic, Top speed: 124 mph Manual, 119 mph Automatic.

At $24,550 for the base model and $27,450 for the Cooper S Convertible, the two models are fairly affordable and easier to market towards the younger MINI fans, like this was a problem before. .

Delivery of the first MINI Convertibles will begin on March 28, 2009.