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The Mercury Cars Guide : February 14th 2009
2— CARSguide Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, February 14, 2009 Mini’s moment in the sun Bold BMW looks set to cash in on the world’s financial woes with a racy convertible that has low fuel consumption as a selling point firstname.lastname@example.org with KEITH DIDHAM a carefree lifestyle — as the world reels from the numbing chill of recession. S Newcar sales worldwide are plum- meting but BMW’s Mini moment in the sun has arrived. It already had its second genera- tion, oh-so-cool convertible locked into production well before the eco- nomic crisis loomed and now it seems there could be a ray of sunshine for Mini among the gloom and doom. Its seemingly less than perfect timing could work in its favour with the new Cabrio likely to appeal to buyers downsizing frommoreexpen- sive or less-efficient models. An upbeat head of Mini’s market- ing communications Andreas Hof- mann says the Mini’s enviable ap- peal as a fun car and its reputation for fuel efficiency were strong selling points. ‘‘Our timing [in launching thenew Mini convertible] will work in our favour. Buyers are downsizing and that will be a bonus for us, especially OME would say it’s a brave move to launch a new car that makes an extroverted statement about success and in the US and even in Australia,’’ Hofmann said at the launch of the Mini Cabrio in Austria. ‘‘Even in this climate if a product is right, it will sell,’’ he said. Australia gets the new soft top in Cooper and more potent Cooper S guise in April. It picks up all the styling and mechanical changes in- troduced in the hatch two years ago, including the 1.6-litre petrol four cylinder motor. In the Cooper S there’s been a switch to a twin-scroll turbocharged engine instead of the old supercharged motor. Diesel, too, is under consideration. So it is largely a good news story for the new Mini: it’s greener, more frugal and the Cabriolet addresses most of the styling negatives associ- ated with the old version. That puts Mini in a good position to take the fight for sales up to rivals like the Audi A3, Peugeot 207, VW Eos, Mazda MX5 and Holdens Astra. You can also add Fiat’s 500 convertible, to be launched in Europe in May. ON THE ROAD Who said the Germans don’t have a sense of humour? Who else would launch a convertible in Austria as Europe struggles through one of its bleakest winters in living memory. While Australia struggled with heat waves, in the foothills of the Austri- an Alps the temperature were strug- gling to get to zero, snow sat a metre deep on the roadside and houses were half hidden under white blan- kets. There were plenty of puzzled looks from the Austrians pondering why these strange tourists were driving with the roof down. But Mini reckons there’s no reason why you can’t drive a Cabrio in all seasons and they are right. Certainly the provided thermal jackets, combined with the Mini’s new automatic air-conditioning sys- tem, did the job at keeping frostbite at bay. Youcertainly don’tbuya Cabrio to be practical, but this one packs plenty of appeal and some gimmicks. Mini, a brand which likes to be off- centre, has blessed the motoring world with a new term, the Always Open Timer, which was quickly dubbed the ‘‘openonameter’’. This supposedly clever little dash- board display keeps track of how many hours you have driven topless. Why? Beats me, but it’s a great conversation opener. Mini says it encourages open-air motoring. I thought that’s the very reason you buy a Cabrio in the first place. So now you can have a dashboard display to make you feel good. The neatly designed powered roof opens in 15 seconds flat. It’s not the fastest in the business but it can be done at speeds of up to 30km/h so you can impress your passengers or fellow road users with Mini’s card- folding trick on the run. SLICK: The oh-so-cool Mini Cabrio shows its paces in Austria. UNDER $10,000 The Car Mart - SPECIALISING IN CARS Toyota Celica ST 00 Holden Barina Swing 2.0lt auto, p/s, a/c, alloys, 208,000km, above average, sporty. Olympic 1.4lt manual, p/s, a/c, alloys, low kms, one owner, airbags, full history. 02 Ford Super cab f lat tray 4.0lt auto, p/s, a/c, alloys, 155,000km, towbar, suit tradesman. $9995 02 Holden VX Commodore Acclaim 3.8lt auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, 132,000km, 4x airbags, cruise, value plus. 98 Nissan SSS N15 Pulsar 2.0lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, alloys, 117,000km, excellent road test. Mark Patterson 0417 025 936 Todd Jackson 0419 514 956 Rob Sylvester 0418 124 226 (Finance) 01 Mitsubishi Lancer GLi coupe 1.5lt manual, p/s, a/c 146,000km economical, popular shape. $6995 98 Holden Vectra CD $8995 Easy on-site finance available 2.0lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, alloys, well optioned, Great value $5995 00 Daewoo Lanos SE 1.5lt manual, p/s, a/c, c/lock, ideal first car, value. $3995 99 Daihatsu Terios SXwagon 1.3lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, alloys, 134,000km, c/lock, AWD. SAVE $1000. 94 Nissan LX Bluebird 2.4lt auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, alloys, cruise. SAVE $1000. $3995 99 Holden VS III ute 3.8lt auto, p/s, a/c, canopy, towbar, 3 seater. $8995 98 Ford Transit f lat tray 1.8lt manual, p/s, 171,000km racks, large steel tray. 99 Ford $11,995 Cougar coupe 2.5lt auto, p/s, a/c, electrics alloys, leather, well optioned. $9995 $4995 $7995 www.thecarmart.com.au 98 Ford Falcon AU XR6 4.0lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, alloys, 176,000km, lovely example. Be quick. $8995 6211 0566 14 Derwent Park Rd, Derwent Park View more great deals online at www.thecarmart.com.au $6995 $8995 12569jayne
February 7th 2009
February 21st 2009