New MINI convertible launched
The new 2017 MINI is bigger and more expensive, but also better value, and it’s priced from $37,900 (+ORC).
THE MINI USED TO be a tiny car, but ever since BMW took over the brand the thing has grown and grown, not least in this latest third-generation variant which is now 98mm longer and 44mm wider than before. MINI says that rear passengers have 36mm more kneeroom while the luggage capacity has been increased by 45 litres to 215 litres with the roof closed.
To cope with the extra size there are more powerful engines; the base model MINI Cooper Convertible gets a 100kW/220Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine (230Nm on overboost), and the Cooper S has a four-cylinder 141kW / 280Nm unit. Both have six-speed autos, and 0-100 times are 8.7 and 7.1 seconds respectively. The additional torque is available lower in the revband than before, which will aid driveability.
Fuel consumption figures are 5.3 and 5.8L/100km. Both sets of figures represent improvements over the previous model. The Cooper S has a Driving Mode system with Sport, Mid and Green modes which adjust throttle, steering and gearshift points. In Green mode the drivetrain can be decoupled at speeds between 50 and 160km/h when the driver doesn’t touch the throttle – this is to improve fuel consumption.
To compensate for the lack of rigidity that you get with a solid roof, the Convertible models have body strengthening features. The roof can be fully lowered or raised in about 18 seconds via the toggle switch on the front roof frame at speeds of up to 30km/h or via the button on the remote control key fob when stationary. There is also a sunroof function that allows the front section of the roof to retract to any position, providing an opening of up to 40cm.
The value claim is that MINI have cut the prices of the cars, made them faster and larger, and offer more standard equipment; this includes dynamic cruise control, a6.5″ infotainment unit, and a reversing camera with sensors. The reductions are $4800 for the Cooper and $5750 for the Cooper S; prices are now $37,900 and $45,400 plus onroads. As usual with MINIs there is a long list of options, and as many as ten colours.
The blue car is the MINI Cooper, the white one is the MINI Cooper S.
MINI Convertible Australian pricing (plus onroad costs)
- MINI Cooper Convertible: $37,900
- MINI Cooper S Convertible: $45,400