With the Detroit debut of the 2009 MINI Cooper Convertible
, this little drop top (finally) benefits from the same comprehensive upgrades that its Cooper/Cooper S hatchback
mates received as part of their 2007 model-year revamps. At Cooper level, this cabrio packs a 118-horsepower/1.6-liter naturally aspirated engine, while the Cooper S variant comes with a 172-horse turbocharged version. Centerpiece of this sporty sunchaser is its new and improved power top, raised or lowered in just 15 seconds. The design also incorporates larger side windows and a new single-piece pop-up rollover protection bar behind the rear headrests to provide the driver with better outward sightlines. Among the MINI Convertible's roster of standards is an "Openometer" that keeps track of the time spent with the top down. The new MINI Convertible goes on sale at the end of March, with a base price of $24,550 for the Cooper version and $27,450 for the Cooper S.