Obligatory… MINI Openometer. Huh?

Michael Martineck
by Michael Martineck
obligatory mini openometer huh

BMW’s second generation MINI convertible will offer an optional ‘Openometer.’ It records the time spent by the car driving around with the top down. Kind of an interior conversation piece, I guess, providing the same service a Dada coffee table book might in your swank bachelor – or bachelorette – pad. Number of G’s pulled. [ED: Number of birds pulled?] Top speed, and time spent there-– these interest me. Though they should be password protected. Instantly purgeable. Anything but open, really. Does anyone think an openometer is useful in anyway?

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4 of 33 comments
  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Dec 04, 2008
    I would have never expected to see this amount of vitriol aimed at a cheeky little feature offered on a cheeky little car There's cheeky, and then there's stupid. The toggle switches and chronometer-speedo are cheeky. The styling is cheeky. Even the stupid Mini-logo HVAC controls are cheeky. The epitome of cheek is the flower-holder on the New Beetle. This is not cheeky. It's not even kitschy. Its fundamental uselessness approaches chindogu status. This is the kind of thing that would remind you WHY you got a convertible - i think its a damned hell ass shame to see people driving around with the top up and AC on during absolutely beautiful days - why get a convertible in the first place? This, however, is true. I'm far too tall to fit in any moderately-priced convertible, too practical to suffer the warranty abuse of a new or used European (or a PT), too parental for a Mustang and, well, under 40 for a Camry Solara. I'd give a kidney to drive a Miata, and it hurts to see people like my neighbour who drive them with the top up. I'd be cranking the floor heat and going top down as long as it wasn't actively pouring rain.
  • Alex_rashev Alex_rashev on Dec 04, 2008

    Openometer is just as useful as an MPG gauge (you can measure efficiency better using odometer and gas receipts), an oil pressure gauge (all you care about is that it's above the "Min" mark), or a tach on an automatic car (do you really care about RPM's?). In other words, OF COURSE it's not necessary. Heck, if not for speed limits, all you'd ever need to drive would be 10 or so idiot lights, just in case something goes wrong. I'd say, for a modern car, it's a more useful piece than an oil pressure gauge or a voltmeter. It actually provides you with a real statistical measurement of you using the main feature of the car (DUH). Prius drivers get an MPG gauge, so why should convertible drivers not get an openometer? The next thing would be to dispense with some gauges and instead rely on other senses (sound and touch, mostly) to convey information. The rev limit beeper on the rotor-motor cars is a great example of that - no need to even look at the tach.

  • Bubbagump Bubbagump on Dec 04, 2008

    Hmm, did BMW just jump the shark?

  • Davejay Davejay on Dec 06, 2008

    Girlfriends, my wife, my *mom* -- all have talked me out of buying a convertible using the argument "you'll almost never put the top down anyway", the kind of argument that also works for convincing someone not to buy optional four-wheel-drive. So at least this meter can provide ammunition against -- or confirmation of -- that sentiment. But is that useful? Er, no, because the convertible would have had to be purchased in the first place. Perhaps it would help convince people to not buy a convertible next time after they see how rarely they drop the top.