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Mini Cooper convertible
Mini Cooper convertible
The redesigned Mini Cooper convertible makes its North American debut at the Detroit Auto Show. If you can't tell much of a difference, there's a good reason, said the chief designer for BMW's Mini division Gert Hildebrand.

"We serve the brand," he said of Mini's design team. "We are not there to follow our own dreams. We have to develop a historical product within a certain range."

Beyond mechanical improvements already available on the hard-top Mini Cooper, the convertible gets new pop-up rollover protection system replacing the always-in-place roll bars that protrude from behind the back seats in the current Cooper convertible.

Another new feature is the "Openometer" which measures how long you've spent driving with the top down.

NEXT: Toyota Prius

Last updated January 13 2009: 3:59 PM ET
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