The Mini Cooper is not a critical car. In fact, it’s rather determinedly lighthearted, what with a puppy-dog styling, candy-dish colors, and impertinent marketing. And given convertibles in ubiquitous are inherently unserious, given their priorities of breeze in a hair and suntanning, a intersection of Mini and automobile is guaranteed to be rather silly.
It’s been that approach given a new-generation Mini combined a automobile various for 2005. The follow adult to that automobile introduced a Always Open Timer (a.k.a. Openometer)—essentially an odometer that tallies top-down time—and a underline earnings to lane that all-important metric. This generation’s new excitement is an accessible softtop that sports a hulk Union Jack graphic. Oh, and a Mini Connected app includes a new function: It can send an warning of an coming sleet shower, so a motorist can lift a top. If a automobile has been parked with a roof down, a warning comes to a driver’s smartphone (if a automobile was parked with a tip up, no warning is sent); if a automobile is being driven with a tip down, a warning appears on a core screen.
Speaking of putting a tip up, that routine takes 18 seconds and can be achieved during speeds adult to 18 mph. (Both numbers also request to obscure it.) The choreography is wholly programmed and can even be instituted around a symbol on a remote. As in prior Mini convertibles, a front apportionment retracts like a sunroof if we don’t feel like going entirely alfresco. Lowered, a tip smoke-stack cuts into back visibility, nonetheless in parking maneuvers, a backup camera—a $500 must-have—does compensate.
A Less-Mini Mini
Outside of a automobile top, a new Mini automobile parallels all a changes that have come to a third-generation Mini Hardtop and a redesigned Clubman: It’s extremely larger, it facilities new three- and four-cylinder turbocharged engines, and it boasts lots some-more tech features, including adaptive journey control with forward-collision warning, walking detection, and involuntary braking.
The now-familiar powertrains include of a 134-hp 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo for a bottom Cooper, while a S packs a 189-hp 2.0-liter turbo four. The John Cooper Works indication (which is being launched roughly simultaneously) gets a turbo 4 in 228-hp strength. All offer a choice of a six-speed involuntary or, commendably, a six-speed stick.
Our expostulate was singular to a Cooper S, nonetheless we sampled both transmissions. As in a Hardtop, a S feels sincerely quick—Mini estimates zero-to-60-mph times of 6.7 seconds for a involuntary with a primer 0.1 second behind—although booting a stifle during reduce speeds brings a yank of torque steer. The involuntary is not usually incompletely quicker, it’s also some-more economical, during 25 mpg in a city and 34 on a highway contra 23/33 mpg for a manual. The involuntary is flattering skilful during selecting ratios though a hang is still a preference, quite given a Mini’s accessible purchase and easy change action. DIY changeable also saves a cube of change, as a involuntary is $1250 sans change paddles or $1500 with (S only).
Mini records that a automobile receives constructional fresh in a rocker panels and a stiffening image underneath a engine, as good as torsional bolster struts. Nonetheless, we rescued some cover shiver as we rolled down a meant streets of downtown Los Angeles. Our exam automobile was versed with a discretionary Dynamic Damper Control, that authorised us to switch a dampers between Normal and Sport modes. Although Mini has warranted a repute for a oppressive ride, in Normal mode a automobile indeed is not bad in that regard. Once out of a city and into a Hollywood hills and a canyons above Malibu, however, we unequivocally elite a Sport mode’s firmer physique control, that helps this larger, heavier Mini improved live adult to a brand’s guarantee of sharp-witted cornering.
While a faraway-seeming windshield can make looking out of a Mini Hardtop seem like peering by goggles, in a convertible—with a roof down, during least—it’s a plus, as it emphasizes a knowledge of carrying zero though sky above. Our richly versed exam cars effectively outcast a ostentation of previous-generation Mini interiors. (The $1750 Chesterfield leather is quite nice; Malt Brown is a convertible-only color.) The new, more-conventional sign blueprint facilities a speedometer in front of a driver, though there’s also an accessible head-up arrangement that projects info onto a cosmetic shade atop a dash. The front seats, that exaggerate a larger operation of composition than before, are excellent for drivers of scarcely all sizes, though a convertible’s four-seat nomination is still flattering fanciful notwithstanding an additional 1.6 inches of back legroom and 0.5-inch some-more shoulder room. When a front chair is practiced for an average-size adult, a seatback roughly touches a rear-seat cushion. There’s changed small space to crowd one’s sneakers between a front seatback and a rear-seat cushion, and back-seat riders lay shaft upright, that isn’t accurately a thought of fun. The back dais does make a excellent place to toss your stuff, however, supposing we don’t wish to use a now-larger trunk, that also comes with a customary pass-through.
With the passing of a two-seat Roadster—which along with a kin Coupe indication valid too absurd even for Mini—the automobile will mount as a solitary charity for sun-seeking Mini buyers. This model’s frivolity, however, does not extend to a price. The customary tariffs of $26,800 for a Cooper and $30,450 for a S are reasonable, though as is standard with a third-generation Mini, choice prices supplement adult quickly. The dual Cooper S convertibles we gathering rang in during a hair underneath $40,000—not all that frivolous, really.