This is the all-new 2016 Mini Convertible, set to be unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show next week before going on sale in the UK next March.
In line with its hatchback siblings, the new Convertible looks much more mature than the outgoing model. Sleeker, too, thanks to a more steeply raked windscreen and less slabby sides.
The convertible matches the 3-Door hatchback’s dimensions, growing in every direction to 3,821mm long, 1,727mm wide and 1,415mm tall. As a result there is more interior space and a useful increase in the size of the boot which grows to 160 litres roof down and 215 litres roof up. The through loading hatch is bigger, as well.
The fabric soft top has been significantly improved, Mini claiming it’s smoother and quieter than ever before. It’s now fully electric and can be opened at speeds up to 18mph. As before, the front section rolls back 40cm at any speed. A button on the key fob drops the roof remotely and buyers can specify a roof with a Union Jack motif woven into the fabric.
Mini claims the Convertible, which uses BMW’s front-wheel-drive UKL architecture is stiffer than the model it replaces anyway, but has added extra bracing to the floor and bulkheads to reduce scuttle shake and improve handling. Doing so has added 115kg to the car’s kerbweight, blunting performance a bit.
Cooper, Cooper D and Cooper S versions will be available from launch, mirroring the hatchback range. A 1.5-litre turbo triple powers the Cooper, producing 134bhp, while a 114bhp diesel of the same configuration lives in the Cooper D. Both are available with manual and automatic gearboxes; the Cooper D manual is the most economical choice, returning 70.6mpg and emitting 100g/km of Co2.
For the time being, the Cooper S heads the range with a 190bhp, 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder motor. The 0-62mph sprint is dispatched in 7.2secs, with a top speed of 143mph. Other engines are expected to be added to the range down the line, including a 100bhp 1.2 petrol and a 148bhp Cooper SD diesel.
Inside, the Convertible shares its sibling’s more grown-up, higher quality interior. Standard kit includes air conditioning, keyless start and aux-in and USB sockets. Delve into the extensive options list and you can spec it up to the same level as a high-end 5-Series.
Prices start at £18,475 when the Mini Convertible goes on sale in March.
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By Only Motors