Few cars need an introduction and the Mini is one of them. Introduced in 1959, the brand and car was revived in 2001 by BMW as a sub-brand and its popularity across the world has remained top of the charts.
The third generation car now joins the regular hatchback version in India and even though the convertible will not be a big seller, it promises to make the Mini brand more desirable and fashionable than ever.
The new car is built on a bigger platform and dimensionally it is longer by 98mm and also has a bigger wheelbase by 28mm. That makes it look much more luxurious than before as well as my celebrity-like. From the face, it is huge on style. It circular lamps and huge chrome grille give it an upmarket look. That along with the nicely painted ‘V’ mark on the bonnet give it a racy look. The short dimensions give it a muscular and purposeful look as well.
With the roof down, heads will turn everywhere you take it. But Mini have added extra bracing to compensate for the loss of rigidity due to the convertible roof. All this extra bracing means an extra 100kgs of weight. New on this car is a fully-electric hood that comes with an optional Union Jack embossed on the roof to give it more style.
Step inside and you will be wowed with the amount of attention to detail. The circular theme and retro-dials look are nothing short of awesome. The toggle switch for the engine start/stop looks straight from a fighter plane cockpit. The convertible is decent in terms of room as well. The boot for instance is 215-litres with the roof up and even with the roof down it’s a decent 160-litres. The hood takes a total of 18-second to be put up or down, electrically of course.
The seats are great in terms of comfort and offer plenty of support for the lower back as well. The rear though short on space are useable for young adults for shorter journeys in the city.
Engine, performance and gearbox
This car will put a smile on your face each time you take it out for a spin. And the reason for that are aplenty. It offers a 2-litre petrol turbo motor with 189bhp of power. This Cooper S version is the only one on sale in India at the moment.
Power is transmitted via a six-speed automatic gearbox. Gearshifts are crisp and the car also comes with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.
The dynamic chassis and crisp steering wheel means that this car is willing to change directions faster than a house fly. The performance from the engine is blistering too. Mini claims a 0-100kph of 7.1 seconds.
A lovely soundtrack also accompanies this car. It sounds incredibly addictive with its crackle and boom every time you hit the accelerator pedal hard. You can also enhance the exhausts note by simply a touch of a button on the dashboard by putting it into sports mode.
Ride and handling
The Mini has always been a drivers delight and the go-kart like feel is present on the latest car as well. The ride is on the firmer side, which means that some bumps will filter into the cabin. But what that also means is that the steering is as crisp as crisp can be and body roll is non-existent. In fact, this car is a very good car for keen drivers.
Safety and equipment
You get driver and passenger airbags along with side airbags as well. Parking sensors and ABS are part of the standard kit as well. Traction control as well as auto headlamps are part of the kit and you also get 15-inch wheels on this car along with all round discs to enhance safety and comfort on this car.
If you are lucky enough to have this kind of cash(Rs 34.9 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi) with you then go for the Mini convertible. It promises to deliver on huge driver fun, while also managing to be glamouress. This is top down motoring at its best.