What is it?
This is the all-new Mini Cooper S Convertible. The Mini Convertible is one of those cars you either cherish or attempt to forget exists at all. But whatever your opinion there is no denying it has been a huge success.
The new Mini Convertible is initially available in Cooper and Cooper S guises (One arrives later in the year), and it’s the 173bhp Mini Cooper S Convertible we test here.
What’s it like?
It’s not particularly stylish on the outside, but step inside and you discover a quality feel to the Mini Convertible you don’t find in any similarly priced open-top.
Removing the cloth roof requires nothing more than a press of a button mounted up on the windscreen header rail, at which it folds back and stows in a mere 15sec. It can also be operated on the go at speeds up to 30mph.
As with the old model, the new Mini Convertible continues to boast a clever boot lid that can either fold down, tail-gate style, or hinge upwards in a more conventional manner. Not that you’ll be loading much into it. Most owners will simply fold down the rear seats on a permanent basis, doubling capacity.
The rollover hoops of the old model are now concealed, only popping up when sensors detect an impending accident. This improves rearward vision when the roof is down. With it up, however, you continue to struggle with poor rear three-quarter vision.
The extra weight of the chassis elements required to keep rigidity in check adds 30kg over the comparable hatchback models, but performance remains impressive, the turbocharged 1.6-litre Mini Cooper S Convertible hitting 62mph in 7.4sec and reaching a top speed of 138mph.
Brake energy regeneration and automatic stop/start are standard, boosting average fuel consumption by a staggering 10.1mpg over the old supercharged 1.6-litre model to 44.1mpg, while CO2 emissions have dropped by 46g/km to 153g/km.