The jockeying shimmy of the back-row headrests in the rear-view mirror; the gentle, independent roll-and-sway of the A-pillars and front bulkhead; an outwardly emanating shudder of the body structure around the rear suspension turrets: these are the ways in which lesser drop-tops than the Mini Convertible betray their torsional weakness, even in 2016.
Many of the signs are harder to spot now than they were in small cabrios 25 years ago, granted, but they’re there if you care to look. And we can only assume that most of their owners simply don’t care to look.
But if Mini owners care, they’ll have a tough job detecting the signs. Despite its relatively firm suspension rates, this car doesn’t suffer from any torsional flex or scuttle shake to speak of at normal road speeds, and although tougher surfaces and faster prevailing pace can bring out a soft, recurrent fidget from the body structure, it’s barely felt and never heard.
On the 17in alloy wheels and 205-section non-runflat tyres of our test subject, the Mini’s ride was quiet, supple and well damped while remaining better isolated from bigger intrusions than you might expect – either of a Mini or any small convertible, frankly.
The car’s handling is also well judged: sufficiently agile, flat and keen to present a dynamic selling point to drivers out to enjoy every corner, but not drastically hyper-sensitive to steering inputs or so pointy as to put high-speed stability at risk.