The Mini John Cooper Works Convertible has made its world premiere at the New York motor show
23 March 2016

The third-generation Mini John Cooper Works Convertible has made its debut at the New York motor show.

Read our review of the Mini John Cooper Works Convertible

The JCW Convertible went on sale in the UK on 5 March, with a starting price of £26,630, the John Cooper Works Convertible runs the same four-cylinder petrol engine as the John Cooper Works hatchback launched in 2015 – the B48 as it is codenamed by Mini parent company, BMW.

With 228bhp and 236lb ft of torque, the turbocharged 2.0-litre unit kicks out 20bhp and 44lb ft more than the turbocharged 1.6-litre engine used by its predecessor and 39bhp, and 30lb ft more than the less tuned version of the same engine fitted to the latest Cooper S Convertible.

Reflecting its larger dimensions, the new go-fast Mini tips the scales 135kg above the old second-generation John Cooper Works at 1310kg – a considerable 105kg more than the existing John Cooper Works hatchback, endowing it with a power-to-weight ratio of 174bhp per tonne.

As with its fixed-roof sibling, buyers get to choose between a standard six-speed manual and optional eight-speed automatic gearbox. They are also supported by a raft of electronic driving aids, including dynamic stability control, dynamic traction control and an electronic differential lock.

Mini claims its new top-of-the-line convertible accelerates from 0-62mph in 6.6sec in six-speed manual guise, making it 0.3sec faster than old John Cooper Works Convertible and 0.2sec faster than the Cooper S Convertible.

With the optional eight-speed automatic, the new Mini model is 0.1sec faster, bettering its predecessor’s 0-62mph time by a creditable 0.6sec and the existing Cooper S convertible by the same amount, at 6.5sec.

Top speed, meanwhile, is 150mph in manual guise and 149mph for the automatic.

As well as boasting improved performance credentials, the new John Cooper Works Convertible also provides better fuel economy; the manual returns a claimed combined cycle figure of 43.5mpg, making it 2.0mpg more economical than the old model, while the automatic betters its direct predecessor by 9.2mpg at 47.9mpg.

Mini’s latest performance model rides on standard 17in wheels shod with 205/45 profile tyres, although 18in rims are available as an option. Along with specific suspension tuning, the new car also receives a Brembo brake system.

As tradition dictates, the John Cooper Works Convertible receives a series of exterior styling upgrades to visually differentiate it from less powerful versions.

Included is a uniquely styled front bumper with enlarged air ducts, a red coloured grille embellishment, revised LED headlights, altered wheel arch cladding, red brake calipers, wider sills, a deeper rear bumper and a pair of centrally mounted chromed tail pipes.

Inside, the new John Cooper Works Convertible sports model-specific sill decoration, more supportive front seats with integrated headrests, a three-spoke multi-function steering wheel, a new gear lever, stainless steel pedals and revised instrument graphics.

Among a long list of options available for the new car is the so-called Mini Yours soft top featuring a woven Union Jack motif, as seen on the early example pictured.

The next model in the John Cooper Works family will be the John Cooper Works Clubman.

Our Verdict

Mini John Cooper Works
Mini's John Cooper Works auto is less highly strung than before but quicker than ever

Faster and more rounded than any ‘Works’ Mini before it. Still a committed prospect – to buy and to use – but rewarding to drive

Join the debate

Comments
8

15 January 2016
Autocar wrote:
Among a long list of options available for the new car is the ... soft top featuring a woven Union Jack
Do they really still offer this option, North of the border? I doubt that little angry-looking woman would allow it. A bit like Argentina, where it isn't offered at all. Can't think why!

15 January 2016
Norma Smellons wrote:
Autocar wrote:
Among a long list of options available for the new car is the ... soft top featuring a woven Union Jack
Do they really still offer this option, North of the border? I doubt that little angry-looking woman would allow it. A bit like Argentina, where it isn't offered at all. Can't think why!
Ach remember who actually won the referendum. The Nats-es have quite got their own way yet. Lots of people would be happy to have a union flag on their Mini. It's probably not a good idea to leave it unattended in Parkhead on a Saturday afternoon, though.

16 January 2016
Norma Smellons wrote:
Autocar wrote:
Among a long list of options available for the new car is the ... soft top featuring a woven Union Jack
Do they really still offer this option, North of the border? I doubt that little angry-looking woman would allow it. A bit like Argentina, where it isn't offered at all. Can't think why!
Why wouldn't they? Lots of people north of the border come from south of the border. It wouldn't be my choice, but I wouldn't have a Scottish flag on my car either. When I had a Cooper hatch, I had space invaders on my roof

15 January 2016
wow, it looks so...different!

bol

15 January 2016
A bold and brave move to take the mini brand in such a new direction.

15 January 2016
I don't really care what it looks like or how big it's got. The 'new" MINI has proved so successful (whilst being owned by BMW) I think the people involved in building them in the UK should be rightly proud. Long may it continue.

15 January 2016
I meant haven't quite got their own way yet!

28 March 2016
The Mini Cooper is the perfect example of compact performance where size truly does not matter. The smaller build helps the brand to achieve greater speeds as the lighter weight body feature allows pressure to pass through without much resistance enabling the machine to swift with ease regardless of weather conditions around it.

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