The new Mini John Cooper Works (JCW) Convertible takes the legend of the marque into a brand new domain. You’ll be smitten.
By Maxim Staff
As far as the Mini goes, it's a case study on how you can take an iconic shape and create bona fide renditions that are individually as engaging. From the Clubman and Countryman to the Cooper D, each model harks back to the origins of the exterior while showcasing the technological expertise of its car-making parent group. Now, the 2016 John Cooper Works Convertible is a shining beacon for the new model generation, a beautiful car with a racing mind.
At the heart of the new convertible is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder power unit with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology that has been developed exclusively for the John Cooper Works models. It is the most powerful MINI engine to date and puts out 231 hp at around 6,000 rpm, with a maximum torque of 320 Nm at 4,800 rpm. With the optional six-speed Steptronic sport transmission, it can go from 0 to 100 kmph in a speedy 6.5 seconds, and has a top speed of 240 kmph. Even with this power, MINI says the car can give 16.9 km per litre, with emissions at 138 gm of carbon dioxide per kilometer. If you like a spirited drive, this car is well-equipped to deliver that, while turning quite a few heads as it zips around tight corners. In fact, new high-quality suspension technology has been incorporated to supplement the engine, while the power transmission to the front wheels highlights its racing pedigree.
Of course, for driving and on-road safety, the standard Brembo sports brake system and speed-related Servotronic steering support have been bolstered with dynamic stability control, dynamic traction control and performance control, with an optional ‘dynamic damper control’. Plus, the high rigidity of the body structure with convertible-specific bracing elements come together for fun open-top driving with efficient response. The front airbags, head-thorax airbags integrated in the backrests, three-point automatic belts on all seats and rollover protection via a centralised safety electronics are standard features.
To complement the engine, the body has been treated with a distinct racing sensibility. The 17-inch light alloy wheels with ‘Track Spoke’ silver apart, the body includes aerodynamics based on well-established racing expertise. You can see the result of this exercise with a cursory glare—the car has a steed-like quality while staying true to the marque’s basic design tenets. The expressive exterior has a dynamically stretched silhouette, while sleeker surface shaping and optimised air routing allow large cooling air outlets in the front apron to be incorporated.
The distinct side sills and rear apron help showcase the unmistakable style of John Cooper Works, even as they clearly differentiate this racer from the regular MINI Convertible. Again, to emphasise the open-top ethic, a brand new fully electrically-powered textile top has been created specially for this convertible. And, in true John Cooper Works style, the roof comes with an optional Union Jack graphic. To finish off the racing feel of the exterior, the radiator grille, side scuttles and tailgate have been made more aggressive.
Inside, the convertible’s larger dimensions, bigger wheelbase and enhanced track width allow for a boosted luggage compartment capacity of 215 litres with the top closed. The four sports seats feature extended seat surface and throughout the interior, the character of a John Cooper Works sports car cockpit is evident—be it high-quality materials or modern display. The Dinamica/fabric Carbon Black seats are complemented by door sill cover strips and leather-covered steering wheel with multifunction buttons and shift paddles. The cockpit idea is enhanced by the central instrument surround, which places the functions well within the driver’s reach. The console prominently features the Driving Modes and Park Distance Control, while the optional Head-Up Display highlights the parking assistant, navigation and in-car infotainment. The MINI Connected package integrates your smartphone with the car, which allows you to access the super-helpful MINI Streetwise and MINI Connected XL Journey Mate that includes a real time traffic radar and rain warning.
This is a MINI for those who like their rides punchy and extroverted, because with the distinctive racing stripes and dramatic exhaust soundtrack, you’re definitely not going to be missed on the road.