The third generation of the New Mini convertible is here! Following in the footsteps of its 2004 and 2009 predecessors, the latest incarnation of the segment leading pocket-sized soft-top is back with a new look for 2016.
By pocket-sized, we are of course allowing ourselves a degree of poetic licence. The 2016 Mini convertible is in fact the biggest yet, with 98 mm extra length, 44 mm extra width and a 28 mm longer wheelbase than the outgoing model.
As with any drop-top, the pièce de résistance is the always the roof itself. The new Mini convertible features a fully electric soft-top equipped for all seasons for year-round use and optimised for the very best heat and acoustic insulation. Quieter than ever, when opened it folds neatly behind the rear seats and can be operated at speeds of up to 18 mph. A second function works as a sunroof, retracting the roof section by up to 40 cm. This can be carried out at any speed.
Sporting a refreshed exterior to match the all new drop-top roof, the Mini convertible’s takes design cues from the latest versions of the Mini 3-door Hatch, Mini 5-door Hatch and Mini Clubman. These include a chrome band along the shoulder line, larger circular headlamps with chrome rings, the hexagonal radiator grille, plus ‘side scuttle’ indicator surrounds.
At the rear, the vertical light clusters also get a touch of the chrome treatment. The performance-centred Cooper S convertible adds an additional bonnet vent, and brake ducts in the lower air inlet to the standard package.
Inside, the cabin is more spacious than ever thanks to the new convertible’s more ample proportions. This translates into extra head and legroom for rear passengers as well as extra luggage space over the outgoing model. As well as Mini’s familiar steering column-mounted instrument panel, an array of upholstery colours, interior surfaces, facia frames and lighting packages endows the new Mini convertible with no end of customisable interior layouts.
Of the three-car line-up available from launch, the standard Mini convertible receives a 136bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine whilst the sportier S variant boasts a throatier 192bhp 2.0-litre unit. Alternatively, a 1.5-litre diesel option will be offered on board the Mini Cooper D Convertible. All three powertrains are turbocharged and mated to a six-speed manual transmission as standard, although this can be upgraded to a paddle-shift steptronic sports transmission on the S Convertible for snappier shift times and a dose of launch control. Sports suspension is also available as an option on all models.
In terms of numbers, the most powerful option in the stable, the 2.0litre Cooper S, develops 207 lb/ft torque and sprints from 0-62 in 7.2 seconds. Keep your foot to the floor and the dial will max-out at a hair-ruffling 143 mph.