Bigger, better-equipped third-generation Mini Convertible on sale in the UK in March 2016
28 October 2015

The new Mini Convertible has been revealed at the Tokyo motor show.

Set to reach UK showrooms in March 2016, the larger and more comprehensively equipped third generation of the modern-day Convertible is the latest of four models to join the current Mini line-up, following on from the three-door hatchback, five-door hatchback and recently introduced Clubman.

Read our review of the Mini Convertible here

Reflecting the changes brought to its siblings, the new Mini receives fresh new exterior styling, giving it a familiar but more mature appearance. It has a more distinctive front end with a larger, single-frame grille and altered headlamps, added structure within the front wheelarches, a more heavily raked windscreen, larger tail-lights and a wider boot.

Mirroring the dimensions of its three-door hatch sibling, the new Convertible is 98mm longer, 44mm wider and 7mm higher than its predecessor, at 3821mm, 1727mm and 1415mm respectively.

The new car receives a heavily revised power-assisted cloth hood that is claimed to open or close in 18 seconds at speeds of up to 19mph. As before, the multi-layer structure folds and stows in an exposed position above the boot. Safety enhancements include a single-piece roll bar that extends from behind the rear seats when sensors detect a possible rollover.

The adoption of parent company BMW’s new high-strength steel UKL platform structure results in a 28mm increase in wheelbase, along with track widths that are up by 42mm at the front and 34mm at the rear – all of which helps to boot cabin space.

The front seats receive added longitudinal adjustment, the width of the rear seats has increased by 34mm at shoulder height and by 112mm in the elbow area, and there's an added 36mm of rear leg room.

Luggage capacity is 215 litres with the hood up - 35 litres more than before. With the hood stowed, boot space is reduced to 160 litres. The rear seats receive standard split-folding backrests and an 8mm wider through-loading facility for easier stowage of longer items.

Mini says the new structure provides added rigidity and stiffness compared with that of the previous Convertible, in a move claimed to reduce scuttle shake and improve handling. The use of reinforcing structural elements and other stiffening measures within the floorpan and bulkheads has led to a 115kg increase in weight over the three-door hatch at 1275kg for the Cooper S.

Among the standard equipment on models bound for the UK will be a 6.5in multimedia screen, Bluetooth connectivity with a USB audio connection, rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.

In the UK the new Mini Convertible will be available with a choice of three engines: a 134bhp 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol unit in the Cooper, a 189bhp 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol in the Cooper S and a 114bhp 1.5-litre, three-cylinder diesel in the Cooper D.

Other powerplants, including a 101bhp 1.2-litre petrol triple in the One and a 168bhp 2.0-litre diesel in the Cooper SD, will be added later.

Gearbox choices include a standard six-speed manual and an optional six-speed automatic – the latter with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. An electronic differential lock along with Dynamic Stability Control and traction control are included on all models as standard.

In initial top-of-the-line Cooper S form with a manual gearbox, Mini claims its new Convertible will hit 62mph from standstill in 7.2sec and reach a top speed of 143mph, beating its predecessor by a scant 0.1sec and 3mph. Combined fuel consumption is put at 47.1mpg, endowing the Cooper S Convertible with CO2 emissions of 139g/km.

Prices for the new Mini Convertible start at £18,475 for the Cooper, rising to £20,225 for the Cooper D and £22,430 for the Cooper S. The automatic gearbox is an extra £1270.

Read more:

2014 Mini Cooper review

2014 Mini Cooper S review

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Our Verdict

Mini Convertible 2009-2015
The Cooper S version of the Convertible, pictured here, offers impressive performance

The Mini Convertible has lots of style but lacks ride comfort and refinement

Join the debate

Comments
25

14 October 2014

The best camouflage for this car is no camouflage. And the Nurburgring "testing"? Oh yes, of course, BMW needs to build awareness ahead of the launch date. I guess that we all know about the car now.

21 December 2013

BMW are rinsing the brand... Issigonis will be spinning in his grave... Etc, etc, continue until bored...

I for one think its great the 'new' MINI is a huge worldwide success and while it keeps 1000s in work here in the UK, long may that continue.

I also think now is the perfect time to expand the range even further with the addition of a genuinely mini version, like the Rocketman concept seen a couple of years ago.

With regards the original Mini, a friend has one and it's a truely hateful little thing. Rose tinted specs needed when driving it.

23 December 2013
Beastie_Boy wrote:

BMW are rinsing the brand... Issigonis will be spinning in his grave... Etc, etc, continue until bored...

I for one think its great the 'new' MINI is a huge worldwide success and while it keeps 1000s in work here in the UK, long may that continue.

I also think now is the perfect time to expand the range even further with the addition of a genuinely mini version, like the Rocketman concept seen a couple of years ago.

With regards the original Mini, a friend has one and it's a truely hateful little thing. Rose tinted specs needed when driving it.

Comment of the week.....(not that the moaners will ever stop whining, about how the current Mini is "too big", "too expensive", "ugly", "an insult to the original Mini", "has Issigonis in a permanent spinning state in his grave" etc etc etc, mind).

14 October 2014

The camouflage on the car is a bit strange, it's fairly obvious what the car is going to look like so the camouflage is a bit pointless and the fact it's only covering certain parts is a bit weird, I wonder what they are trying to hide that isn't already known

21 December 2013

A convertible with four doors? Haven't seen one of them in a while... wasn't Mercedes Ocean Drive concept the last four door drop top?

14 October 2014

I think the camouflage on the rear lights in some of the pics actually shows that smaller light units would do the car a few favours as far as looks go....

21 December 2013

I talk of cost not size.

I find it utterly strange that not one car journalist worth their salt have ever realised that BMW have been marketing this new car as the "new 2014 Mini hatch" when it is in fact the new "Mini Cooper".

It has been self evident with the last three launches (coupe, roadster, paceman) that BMW has no intention of ever releasing an affordable version of this car since it would clearly undermine their strategy of pushing the Mini in to the "premium" sector of the car market to rival the Audi A1, as well as to mirror their own marque.

"Mini" was and still is ( in some ways) a great car. It's just a shame that now all the name really stands for is the badge and marketing opportunities.

21 December 2013
AudiTyg wrote:

It has been self evident with the last three launches (coupe, roadster, paceman) that BMW has no intention of ever releasing an affordable version of this car since it would clearly undermine their strategy of pushing the Mini in to the "premium" sector of the car market to rival the Audi A1, as well as to mirror their own marque.

As far as I'm concerned BMW have always marketed the MINI as a 'premium' model, ever since the first generation in 2001, and it was its success which encouraged manufacturers such as Audi to release models to get a slice of what is probably a fairly lucrative market. I don't particularly like the larger versions such as the Countryman, and I'm not sure about the five door versions and larger Clubman that are on the way, but, rightly or wrongly, BMW are just responding to calls from people complaining the hatch is too small for their family needs.

22 December 2013
catnip][quote=AudiTyg wrote:

As far as I'm concerned BMW have always marketed the MINI as a 'premium' model, s.

Whether, in this instance it also means "over-expensive", is best left to others to argue about.

13 May 2014

I'm intrigued by the flood of strong pro and anti views expressed both here and elsewhere about the new F56 Mini. We ordered a Cooper on the strength of very positive "first drive" reviews and took delivery in early April. A month in, we are delighted with it. It is a great drive, feels very well put together and, dare I say, like a "mini" BMW. I would respectfully suggest that the car should be driven and judged on its own merits, ignoring the baggage of the name and BMC original. Looks are, of course, subjective but I think the larger grille and tail lights successfully disguise the increase in dimensions necessitated by safety and accommodation requirements. I should say that I have no particular allegiance to either MINI or BMW... our other car is a Boxster.

(Incidentally, the convertible pictured is, I think, a Cooper S.)

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    9 December 2016
    Audi Sport drops a sub-4.0sec-to-60mph bomb into Porsche Cayman territory
  • First Drive
    9 December 2016
    Plug-in-hybrid 3 Series shows the benefit of BMW's experience with the i3 and i8. Sophisticated, swift and broadly talented to drive – and sweet-handing, too
  • Car review
    9 December 2016
    Italian brand emerges as a true luxury power with a large SUV
  • 2016 Porsche Panamera Turbo
    First Drive
    8 December 2016
    A smaller engine doesn't prevent the new Porsche Panamera Turbo being a ridiculously quick and capable sporting GT. We've driven it in the UK
  • 2016 Vauxhall Adam 1.0i Turbo Unlimited
    First Drive
    8 December 2016
    The 1.0-litre turbo engine and Unlimited trim combine to make this the best Adam in the line-up