It may seem like I’ve been totally ignoring the new MINI Cabriolet that is due out this summer. I figured you were getting all you needed over at motoringfile. Well, it turns out that Gabe has actually seen a Cabrio live and in person:

While waiting for a friend who works for MINI in Oxford to come and pick us up for a quick run to a country pub – something quite unexpected showed up. In fact it was the car just ahead of him. The Cooper Cabrio was being driven by an employee doing a long term test. It had over 1000 miles on it and was missing some of it’s interior bits (for the final engineering process most likely) but otherwise in final production trim. The person doing the testing was simply on his way home probably to put it in his garage for the night.

Click for StoryClick for pictures

And, there is this bit from Business Week via Yahoo! News:

When BMW dealers start selling the new Mini convertible in Europe and the U.S. this summer, the cars will be delivered to customers with the top down and a seal that is broken when the roof is raised for the first time. Buyers will be asked to sign a mock contract committing them to keeping the roof down as long as they can — to stay true to the Mini convertible’s open-minded spirit. “It will spark contests to see how long owners can go before breaking the seal,” says Jack Pitney, vice-president of Mini USA.

In typical MINI fashion, a seal on the top? Now I’m even wanting to check one out!

And finally, SoCal’s own Rob Carver has contributed this story to Very good read, as his bits usually are.