Seaside Edition marks 30 years of Mini Convertible

New Cooper S based model gets Caribbean Aqua paint and unique equipment

By Matt Bird / Wednesday, 21 December 2022 / Loading comments

It might be hard to think about the summer, the Caribbean, and convertibles in another drizzly December, but there’s an important drop-top anniversary looming. Next year marks 30 years of the Mini Convertible, you see, the soft-top original going on sale in 1993 after a motor show debut at Birmingham in 1992. The first 75 Lamm-built cars had whetted buyers’ appetites in 1991, so along came the volume production version of the world’s smallest four-seat convertible very soon after. Between 1993 and 1996, more than a thousand were made.

Clearly the demand was there for an open Mini, so when the 21st century reinvention came a convertible arrived just three years after the three-door, and has been a success ever since. It’s the latest Cooper S cabrio that’s been nominated to celebrated 30 years with this, the Seaside Edition. The spec plays to the cheery, not-taking-itself-too-seriously nature of every convertible Mini – it’s never been a sports car, so hasn’t really tried to be. Instead, it’s been about the joy of the wind in your hair on the way to, well, the seaside. And other nice places. So the paint is a lovely Caribbean Aqua (unique to the new model), there’s orange ‘Seaside’ lettering at the back, the 18-inch wheels are two-tone and there are double decorative stripes running along the side and around the back of the car. Because what would a Mini Convertible special edition be without decorative stripes? The Seaside Edition looks like an ice cream sundae on wheels, exactly how it should be. ‘30’ graphics abound inside and out, a reminder of the big birthday. Shame we can’t all be as young as the Mini Convertible in 2023…

Cooper S spec means 178hp from a 2.0-litre turbo in the Seaside Edition, enough to whisk it to 62mph in 7.2 seconds. Those who want to treat themselves to an early Christmas present can order one now, with first deliveries due in March, ready for the first flushes of Spring. It’s priced at £34,500, a chunky premium from the £29,040 for a Cooper S Classic, though only a couple of grand more than the most expensive, £32,060 Resolute. Or, to really mark the anniversary in style, it’s possible to spend half as much on an original soft-top…

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