Offering the most advanced and attractive model range ever presented by the brand, MINI is writing a new chapter of success in the Chinese automobile market in 2009.

Following the MINI and the MINI Clubman, the new MINI Convertible is now set to make its market debut in China. Indeed, this open four-seater is being shown to the Chinese public for the first time at the 13th International Automobile & Manufacturing Technology Exhibition, Auto Shanghai 2009.

With the new MINI Convertible entering the Chinese market, all MINI models now available in China come with the latest generation of MINI's four-cylinder power units. These ultra-modern engines developed with all the competence in engine technology of the BMW Group combine sporting performance with thrilling agility. And at the same time they offer outstandingly low fuel consumption together with the very latest emission management.

Driving excitement, premium quality and the unmistakable style of the brand set the foundation for MINI's ongoing success also in the Chinese market. Accounting for 3,134 units sold, an increase in sales by more than 40 per cent over the previous year, the China Mainland Region remained a particularly dynamic and fast-growing market for MINI cars also in 2008. And now the new MINI Convertible offers substantial input for continuing this story of success in 2009.

The MINI presentation at Auto Shanghai 2009 also shows the brand's future options for further expansion of the model range. Together with the MINI, the MINI Clubman and the MINI Convertible already available or entering the market in the near future, visitors to China's most significant and oldest motor show being held this year from 22 - 28 April 2009 will also be able to admire the MINI Crossover Concept and the MINI E.

Measuring more than four metres in length, with four drive wheels, four doors and four single seats, the MINI Crossover Concept offers a wide range of innovations, but is nevertheless clearly distinguishable from the start as a genuine MINI in every respect. This fascinating concept study being presented in Asia for the first time therefore offers a clear outlook at a very new kind of MINI feeling.

The MINI E which is already beginning to be tested in private everyday traffic in the context of pilot projects in the USA and soon in Germany marks MINI's entry into the world of electric drive cars and offers important insights and know-how for the production of electric vehicles in future. It is driven by a 150 kW/204 hp electric motor and offers driving excitement typical of MINI without the slightest emissions.

Even more fun in everyday traffic: the new MINI Convertible. The new MINI Convertible is based on the qualities of its predecessor and brings out the characteristic strengths of the open-air MINI even more clearly and convincingly than before. As the only premium convertible in its segment, the new MINI Convertible offers the thrill of new engines and an updated suspension for that unique driving excitement so typical of MINI. It also comes with a new rollover safety system moving up whenever required and a wide range of individual solutions giving the car its unique functions and practical benefits.

The new MINI Convertible is perfectly prepared for all the challenges of everyday traffic and literally begs the genuine enthusiast to enjoy the most thrilling moments in motoring as often as possible. To open the soft roof all the driver has to do is press a button, the roof folding back fully automatically within just 15 seconds and closing again whenever required at the same speed.

The new MINI Convertible is entering the Chinese automobile market in two model variants: The new MINI Cooper Convertible powered by a 1.6-litre 88 kW/120 hp four-cylinder is a truly sporting character in every respect. This engine comes with fully variable valve management based on the BMW Group's unique VALVETRONIC technology for an optimum torque curve, superior power and outstanding efficiency. The new MINI Cooper Convertible accelerates to 100 km/h in 11.1 seconds and reaches a top speed of 191 km/h or 118 mph. Fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is 6.9 litres/100 kilometres and the CO2 emission rating is 165 per kilometre.

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The new MINI Cooper S Convertible is even more dynamic with its 1.6-litre four-cylinder developing maximum output of 128 kW/175 hp thanks to the Twin-Scroll Turbocharger and direct fuel injection. This outstanding model accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds and reaches a top speed of 217 km/h or 135 mph. Average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is 7.9 litres/100 km, the CO2 rating is 189 grams per kilometre.

This kind of power gives both the new MINI Cooper Convertible and the new MINI Cooper S Convertible significantly better performance than their respective predecessors, in each case on much less fuel and with significantly lower emissions.

Over and above the fast-revving and powerful engines, the cars' modern suspension technology gives both models a new dimension of agile handling. The MINI Cooper S Convertible and the MINI Cooper Convertible both come as standard with DSC Dynamic Stability Control.

An even higher standard of safety is ensured, among other things, by the new rollover safety system moving up whenever required with the help of an electromechanical actuator. Normally remaining almost completely out of sight behind the rear seats, the single-piece rollbar moves up instantaneously within fractions of a second as soon as the car's safety electronics register the risk of a rollover.

Through its construction principle, the single-piece rollbar provides the option to integrate an unusually large through-loading between the luggage compartment and the passenger compartment. As a result, maximum loading capacity of the MINI Convertible is up by 55 to 660 litres (23.1 cubic feet).

The customer's options to personalise the new MINI Convertible have likewise been enhanced once again, new paintwork options, three different roof colours and materials, as well as a wide range of upholstery, interior surfaces and trim bars setting the foundation for the customer to personalise his or her very own, personal MINI.

Fascinating outlook: the MINI Crossover Concept. MINI is the world's only manufacturer of small cars in the premium segment to offer the customer the opportunity to enjoy a unique and unmistakable combination of driving excitement and modern lifestyle. The complete range of safety features and excellent quality of finish are further features characteristic of the brand, helping to make every MINI a most appealing car.

Proceeding from these joint qualities, both the MINI and the MINI Clubman as well as the new MINI Convertible offer their own, unique character. And now the MINI Crossover Concept opens up new potentials for a further interpretation of that typical MINI style. Presented at Auto Shanghai 2009, this concept study of a four-door MINI with a brand-new interpretation of design, all-wheel-drive and an innovative interior concept, clearly bears out not only the potential to expand the MINI model family, but also the innovative power of MINI's designers.

The innovations presented by the MINI Crossover Concept serve to add another new dimension to that characteristic MINI feeling. For the first time the body length of a MINI exceeds the conventional limit of four metres. And with four drive wheels, the MINI Crossover Concept is perfectly suited for giving the MINI an even broader range of applications, reaching new targets and target groups.

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Inside, this four-door, four-seater concept study combines enhanced versatility and innovative function in a symbiosis never seen before. Between the seats a universal, multi-functional connecting bar, the MINI Center Rail, extending down the centre console all the way from the dashboard to the rear end of the interior, provides not only unconventional storage space, but also a direct link between the front seats and the rear half of the passenger compartment.

Yet another highlight within the interior is the innovative central instrument in its three-dimensional design, the MINI Center Globe. This combined control and display unit featured worldwide for the first time in a car in its globe-like shape sets new standards for the integrated management of entertainment, communication, navigation and vehicle functions.

Striking out for zero-emission mobility: the MINI E. Yet another revolutionary highlight at Auto Shanghai 2009 ensures the driving excitement so typical of MINI also in everyday motoring: Immediately after the launch of a very special pilot project in the USA and soon in Germany, the trendsetting MINI E is now being presented to the Chinese public. Within the engine compartment the electric drive motor develops maximum output of 150 kW/204 hp, drawing its energy from a lithium-ion battery fitted at the rear of this two-seater and allowing a range of more than 240 kilometres or 150 miles.

The energy storage battery may be re-charged on every power socket, with users in the USA also having a special wallbox to quickly refresh the battery's power reserves. In the German capital of Berlin suitable infrastructure for the car with publicly accessible charge columns is currently being established.

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The MINI E combines emission-free motoring with agility typical of the brand. Acceleration to 100 km/h comes in just 8.5 seconds, top speed is limited electronically to 152 km/h or 95 mph. Use of the MINI E in everyday traffic under realistic conditions provides practical experience over a representative cross-section of all types of drivers. This clearly gives the BMW Group valuable knowledge for the process of developing production cars running entirely on electric power.

Fifty years of MINI, fifty years of driving excitement and individual style. The year 2009 offers MINI not only magnificent perspectives for the ongoing growth of the brand, but also ample reason to look back at the Company's own fascinating history: The classic Mini was "born" fifty years ago - a car which, through its innovative qualities, was destined to hit the headlines and lead the development of the automobile for decades all over the world, both on the road and in motorsport.

The idea of the Mini's creator, automotive engineer Alec Issigonis, to build an economical and comfortable small car making optimum use of the space available and boasting clear, unmistakable body design, quickly became a unique concept for success as popular and appealing today as ever before.

To this date the MINI remains a class-less automobile as conceived by its creator. And ever since the brand was re-launched in 2001, MINI has again offered the most up-to-date qualities and unique flair appealing to all kinds of target groups and enthusiasts. The MINI thrills connoisseurs everywhere through its agile handling and sporting performance combined with premium quality, safety, function, and outstanding economy.

MINI fans from all over the world will be celebrating this anniversary in the home country of the brand, the international MINI Community meeting in Great Britain from 22 - 24 May 2009. The legendary Formula 1 Race Track  in Silverstone will be the venue of the MINI United Festival 2009, the unprecedented MINI fan event marking the 50th birthday of the brand.