A fashion accessory for the enthusiasts. We had Mini Convertible in India before – a car driven by a paltry 1.6-litre unit producing 122bhp and performance no better than any of the C-Segment sedans. It didn’t matter much considering the purpose; for those looking to be in spotlight, it was a no-brainer. The new one seems to be as good in those aspects, but with the 190bhp engine it promises to be a lot more.
The Coopers, based on the new UKL platform, are much larger than the predecessors and to a large extent dishonest to their name. To think of it, not being ‘mini’ it isn’t such a bad thing, as they offer more practicality. The convertible mirrors the three-door hardtop Mini in terms of dimensions, which is 98mm longer, 44mm wider and 7mm taller than the previous car. Also, the wheelbase is longer by 28mm at 2,429mm.
The design, though a continuation of the previous cars, is more serious and aggressive. The front of the car looks busy with too many differently shaped elements; the grille is extra-large with curved ends, there is a rectangular air dam in the bumper and the headlamps have an oval shape. The flared wheel arches give it some substance and the stance is of a car that means business. Overall it isn’t something I will call beautiful – striking yes, but not pretty.
The side and rear profile are more flowing. It looks like a classic from these angles, especially with part of the roof visible tucked behind the second row, when folded. The rear design is simplistic, which is great; I specially love the centrally positioned twin exhaust.
Like always, the Mini Convertible has a canvas top. The mechanicals are new, the roof opens and shuts in 18 seconds at up to the speed of 30kmph. The Mini design with the steeply racked windshield helps, it automatically deflects wind and the cabin, even when the roof is down, is calm.