It was a long road to an official premiere but the open-top MINI is finally here and unsurprisingly it looks pretty much the same as the three-door hatchback, with the obvious exception of the roof. It now employs an electrically retractable fabric top which can be operated at speeds of up to 30 kmph and needs 18 seconds to fully open or close.
98 mm longer, 44 wider and 7 mm taller than before, the new MINI Convertible has a 28 mm stretched wheelbase which has greatly improved interior cabin comfort while the size of the trunk has jumped by around 25% to 160 liters when the roof is folded down and to 215 liters when it’s in position.
For the first time, MINI is offering Caribbean Aqua and Melting Silver exterior paint schemes as well as Union Jack graphics for the roof to add a bit more style to the little convertible. The interior has been essentially carried over from the hatchback, but adds several buttons to control the roof.
As for the engines, there aren’t any surprises as clients will have to choose between a 136 bhp & 220 Nm 3-cylinder 1.5-liter turbo gasoline unit, a more economical 116 bhp & 270 Nm 3-cylinder 1.5-liter turbodiesel and a stronger 192 bhp & 280 Nm 4-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine in the S version. With the latter, the new MINI Convertible runs the 0-100 kmph sprint in 7.1 seconds with the 6-speed auto and in 7.2 seconds with the standard 6-speed manual.
Later during the car’s lifecycle, there’s going to be a weaker 101 bhp 1.2-liter in the MINI One serving as the entry-level, a beefier 168 bhp 2.0-liter diesel in the Cooper SD and the flagship 228 bhp 2.0-liter turbo in the MINI JCW.
Sales of the new MINI Convertible will kick off in Europe next March and it should reach our country either by the end of 2016 or early 2017.