Coming to the U.S. Next Month: 2021 Mini Sidewalk Edition

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Mini says it will ship its Sidewalk Edition convertible to the United States next month. Apparently, no one told BMW Group that the country is currently navigating a situation that might not encourage the sale of open-air automobiles. Still, it’s an interesting little car that holds some measure of appeal to those seeking the laid-back California lifestyle — and are willing to spend $38,400 (plus $850 for destination) to embrace it.

The cabriolet is essentially a Cooper S, packing the same 189-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo that model uses to scramble to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds. Yet it costs the same as the performance-focused John Cooper Works with a collapsible roof. For the Sidewalk Edition, that money has been reallocated from the powertrain in order to gussy up the car with some funky new duds.

Mini says the drop top “combines iconic with contemporary to create aesthetically compelling contrasts.” That entirely dependent upon its limited color palette (Deep Laguna Metallic and Mini Yours Enigmatic Black Metallic) and some geometric patterns incorporated into the hood stripes and retracting roof.

While some of that spills over into the interior, rest is down to the Sidewalk Edition badging and some custom door entry strips (which can be added to other models). A lot of the patterning uses reflective elements to make the designs that much more eye catching, though it hardly seems worth the money. Unless, of course, you’re completely enamored with its looks.

Standard equipment includes LED headlights and fog lamps, 17-inch two-tone wheels, head-up display, keyless entry, power-folding side mirrors, Harman/Kardon premium audio, and heated front seats. So it’s fairly well equipped. But if you want to ditch the six-speed manual for a seven-speed DTC, you’ll be tacking on another $1,500. Including the delivery fee, that would take the Sidewalk Edition over $40,000.

Considering the base Mini convertible boasts an MSRP ten grand lower than the Sidewalk Edition and can be tailored extensively, we don’t see much reason to stray unless you’re absolutely set on getting the Cooper S. Yet even that comes with a lot of the same equipment, plus heaps of customization the second you opt into the Signature trim — and it still ends up a few grand cheaper. Mini’s right about it being a great little car in which to enjoy sunny days; it totally is. But that’s true whether or not it has fancy hood stripes.

[Images: BMW Group]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Readallover Readallover on Mar 29, 2020

    We need to start a contest: Between Mini and Fiat, who can come up with the most `special editions` of the same basic car that anyone who wanted one has already purchased.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Mar 29, 2020

    Historically in the U.S. market, big cars were nice cars and small cars were cheap cars and not very good. When Mini 'relaunched' in the U.S. market (2001?) it gave me hope that they would serve as an example to the bigger makers that small cars don't have to be cheap pieces of junk (because Mini was asking and getting pretty good money for their cars). That hope is now pretty much gone.

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