There have been specialty vehicle shops creating convertible Minis since the 1960s. Heinz had Crayford Convertibles make 57 Mini droptops as part of a competition in 1966. But Mini didn’t produce a factory-backed convertible until 1993, when parent company Rover sent cars to one of its German dealers that had already been producing its own soft tops for two years. BMW wouldn’t buy Rover until 1994. That hasn’t stopped the Munich firm from celebrating the 30th anniversary of the first official Mini ‘drophead’ with this, the 2023 Mini Convertible Seaside Edition. If you like your special editions to scream about their special-edition-ness, this one’s for you — it’s awash in graphics.
Outside, the front bumper gets the special multihued blue graphic featuring a stylized number 30 created for this model. That graphic appears again on the side vent along with the word “Seaside” in orange. A twin coach line runs from that vent to the rear. The word Seaside appears again next to the passenger’s side brake light, and yet again on the door sills with the twin pinstripe. The center caps? They say Mini. But they get the 30 graphic, and a newly available 18-inch wheel design meant to be “reminiscent of pulsating waves in the water.” Even the key gets the special edition treatment as half of the fob is a deep blue, reworked into a thalassic-themed bit of sculpture that has the word Seaside hidden behind it.
Inside the Carbon Black leather interior, Seaside shows up in orange on the sport steering wheel. The 30 graphic’s been embossed into the instrument panel, accompanying the words “30 years of convertible” on the passenger’s side. And a badge with the graphic adorns the floor mats,
The 2023 Mini Convertible Seaside Edition will be available from February of next year on the Cooper and Cooper S, and can be optioned in Nanuq White or Caribbean Aqua.