BMW, or rather, Mini, have released the second-generation of the Cooper Convertible. For now, buyers can only specify the normally-aspirated Cooper (88 kW, 160 Nm) or boosted Cooper S (128 kW, 240-260 Nm), although a bareback-crotch rocket JCW version (155 kW) will become available later this year. The performance figures show that the power source and transmission lineup remains unchanged from the hard-top Mini range. The new car offers negligible improvements over its predecessor: Fuel consumption is down by 16% (Cooper) and 13% (Cooper S) respectively and boot space at 660 litres (seats folded flat) is 55 litres more than before, and normal boot space with the seats upright is 5 litres up on the old one. The new body also sits on the scales at 10 kg less than before and it’s 10% stiffer, too.
Externally the drop-top Mini remains virtually identical to the outgoing one, with the set of pimple-like hinges that held up the rear hatch on the old model now gone. The emergency roll-over bar is also hidden from sight, which does add to a smoother overall side profile. The retractable roof opens or closes in 15 seconds at speeds below 30 km/h. As before, Mini owners can personalise their cars with a near-infinite number of colour, cloth and trim options, which ups the price in frighteningly fast increments. There’s also a new non-metallic colour, called Interchange Yellow, that’s exclusively available on the ragtop version.
Mini Cooper Convertible – R272 500
Mini Cooper Convertible Automatic – R288 600
Mini Cooper Convertible S – R327 500
Mini Cooper Convertible S Automatic – R343 600