By on March 27, 2020

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]


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15 Comments on “Coming to the U.S. Next Month: 2021 Mini Sidewalk Edition...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    They’ll sell both of them.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I was told by Mini reps in my area that everything was delayed 2-3 months (I was talking with them about the EV)

  • avatar

    The major advantage of the Mini is its diminutive size. In areas like NYC or SF, there might be a case to be made for it. In both of those areas, however, I would prefer a steel roof auto. In the rest of the country, the ability to park in 1/2 of a regular space is not a particular advantage. The cost is way too high for what it offers.

  • avatar

    Now that is an impressive number of horses for such a tiny car. How are you supposed to survive in that thing especially with compromised body structure? Are you supposed to drive that fast in city car? How about cops? Question, questions.

  • avatar

    This version is named after where you will be travelling when it breaks down… or where you’ll be driving if you’re the star in a spy adventure movie.

  • avatar

    The Miata MX-5 with a folding roof (RF) is a much better choice unless you absolutely need the back seats. Mini reliability is famously poor with all sort of self inflicted injuries waiting to happen to the owner (like undersized wiring). This vs the Mazda MX-5 – which is one of the most reliable cars you can buy. Easy decision for me!

  • avatar

    I wonder which names they turned down before they got to Sidewalk?

  • avatar

    $40K for this?!? Must be a COVID-19 influenced fever dream! :-)

  • avatar

    Anyone considering this car please contact me first. I’ve got a car in the barn that has some sort of “GT-350” stickers on the side, my uncle left it to me, but I just went out there and it fired up!

    I’ve got some new livestock coming and I need to clean up that barn. So I’m ready to deal!

  • avatar

    Overt fluff piece to arouse distaste and revulsion.

    Get serious.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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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