At Mini’s new UK headquarters in Farnborough is a special little car. Away from the eyes of the public, but proudly on display to those who work for Mini, is a preproduction 2016 Convertible. This car is one of the first representations of what we can expect to hit showrooms later this year, and to say anticipation is high would be an understatement! The Mini Convertible has been the best selling soft-top car in the UK for 10 years, quite the achievement when you consider the tough competition. Despite all of the rain we get here in old Blighty, we actually buy more roofless cars than almost anywhere else on Earth. We were invited to get up close and personal with the 2016 Mini Convertible.
Gleaming in the winter sun that penetrated its temporary cell, this Mini in Cooper S trim also featured a few John Cooper Works trinkets. The new car looks suitably assertive in red with contrasting black pinstripes. This generation certainly lends itself to being less feminine than its predecessor incorporating the wider stance of the new hatchback.
Something that immediately caught my eye was the roof. Whilst similar to the previous fabric top, a unique option is to have the Union Flag embroidered onto the roof. A simple idea but one, at least to my knowledge, that hasn’t been executed before on a production car. Mini’s are all about character and the innovative touch adds to this. Whilst on the subject of the roof, the mechanism that operates its function on the 2016 Mini Convertible is quiet enough to go unnoticed in a library. This is just one example of how Mini has taken onboard criticisms and listened to their customers. The fabric hood can also retract by 40cm allowing for some sunshine to enter the cabin on chillier days.
Boot space is always at a premium on convertible cars and so Mini has incorporated more of it into this design. The folding tailgate can also be used as a bench or handy flat surface just like that found on a Land Rover Discovery.
Inside, the increase in quality is exponential. Ambient lighting, chrome details, beautifully upholstered seats. Even the rollover hoops have been hidden from view and now deploy in the event of an accident. Just like the space for your shopping, the area for the two rear occupants legs has grown to facilitate maybe more than just occasional use.
This Cooper S is powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine packing 192 BHP. 0-62 MPH is done and dusted in 7.2 seconds producing plenty of forward momentum to put the wind in your hair.
The new 2016 Mini Convertible goes on sale in March. We can’t wait to try out this topless model.