Easily the best-looking of all the F56 MINI variations so far, the new Convertible breaks cover before making its show debut in Japan next week. The car is set to go on sale in March 2016, with prices starting at £18,475 for the Cooper, rising to £20,225 for the Cooper D and £22,430 for the Cooper S.
Being based on the F56, the MINI Convertible gets the same front and rear-end styling, but with additional strengthening under the skin to make up for the loss of its roof. The new hood can open or close in 18 seconds, while driving at up to 18mph. The rear roll hoops of the old model have gone, to be replaced by a single-piece roll bar that pops out if there’s a roll-over accident.
Equipment will be cutting-edge, although much will be on a very long options list. These include a 6.5in multimedia screen, Bluetooth connectivity with a USB audio connection, parking sensors and a reversing camera. As with the rest of the range, you’ll be able to buy it in a 134bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol form (Cooper) and 189bhp 2.0-litre petrol (Cooper S). For dieselheads, there’s a 114bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder Cooper D available.
It’s larger and heavier than before – in line with the rest of the F56 family –weighing in at 1275kg for the Cooper S, an increase of 115kg. In deference to the car’s longer wheelbase, there’s now 36mm more rear leg room. Luggage space is also up by 35 litres to a total of 215 litres.
Performance for the Cooper S is good, with a claimed 0-60mph time of 7.1 seconds, and a maximum speed of 143mph. CO2 emissions are 139g/km.