BMW has confirmed that it will build a convertible version of its popular Mini and it is expected in South Africa in about a year’s time.

BMW has confirmed that it will build a convertible version of its popular Mini and it is expected in South Africa in about a year’s time.

reported that BMW chief executive said at the company’s annual meeting this week that the new four-seat model would probably be on the market by the middle of next year.

"I can confirm we're expanding the Mini product program to include a four-seater cabriolet as we want to capture new customers in the open-top, small-car market," Panke said.

reported recently that the convertible version will be badged the Mini Open and feature a canvas top with a heated rear window made of glass and a bottom-hinged tailgate.

An entry-level version is expected to be powered by the 1,6-litre engine in the mini One. There will also be a 1,6-litre, 85-kW Cooper version and a range-topping 1,6-litre 119-kW Cooper S Open.

BMW is already building about 160 000 Minis a year and plans to increase production by about 10 per cent in the next few years.

The United States has become one of the biggest Mini markets, with sales topping 24 000 last year.

BMW said in the United States 70 per cent of all Mini Cooper S models are pre-sold, which mean customers order their own instead of picking from dealer inventory, and 96 per cent of all Minis are sold within 30 days of arriving at dealers.

Original article from Car