Last October, Mini unveiled the latest generation of its Convertible. The little runabout combined the fun-to-drive character that these cars are known for with the thrill of open-top motoring. It was a dream come true for anyone appreciative of the vehicle's go-kart handling, yet craved for that wind-in-your-hair feeling.
Apparently, Mini was only warming up. Proof of this is the newest model to join the Mini stable. It’s a convertible with the letters JCW attached to its name. We’re of course referring to the Mini John Cooper Works Convertible. Just like the "regular" convertible, this one promises open-air motoring with some extra horsepower and then some.
That little bit of added vigor comes in the form of a more potent version of the 2.0-liter TwinPower turbocharged four-cylinder motor that puts out 231hp and 320Nm. The most powerful mill developed exclusively for JCW is some 39hp stronger than the Cooper S, and 20hp more than its immediate predecessor. Mated to a six-speed manual transmission, this engine propels the car from zero to 100kph in just 6.6 seconds (6.5 ticks with the six-speed Steptronic gearbox).
Apart from its quick performance, the JCW Convertible is also some serious eye candy. Large air ducts adorn the front apron, along with equally massive side sills and rear diffuser. The look is further enhanced by LED headlights and tailamps, side scuttles, and signature badging. The variant is likewise distinguished by an available Rebel Green paint finish that’s reserved specifically for the John Cooper Works model.
The real treat of this car, however, is the fabric roof that can easily be opened and closed in a mere 18 seconds, at up to speeds of 30kph. The electric mechanism makes it a cinch to go from closed-roof to topless. There is even a sliding-roof function. And just as with classic cars, the Union Jack design can be specified.
Of course, all the comfort, convenience and connectivity features and options are there for the taking as well. There is an exclusive John Cooper Works leather-wrapped steering wheel, JCW sports seats with Dinamica/fabric upholstery, and a JCW gearshift lever, among others. One can practically tailor-fit the car to his liking.
Sure, the Mini John Cooper Works Convertible may be a bit late, vis-à-vis its more sedate sibling. But honestly, the saying "better late than never" is quite apt here. Especially since this is one car that looks to be loads of fun--with the top down or up.