CHEEKY JUST GOT BETTER with the launch of Mini’s third-generation Mini Convertible which is a little bigger on the outside, a lot bigger inside and with a new range of turbocharged petrol engines offering greater performance and improved efficiency.
Cheeky just got cheaper, too, with prices for the Cooper and high-performance Cooper S pair significantly improved, the Cooper some $4800 cheaper than the car it replaces and the Cooper S down by an astonishing $5750.
In fact, this latest Mini drop-top also shows that it can go beyond the old 'something for nothing' claim by offering higher equipment levels for the reduced price.
Take the Cooper model for example. It hits the road with a nifty and thrifty 1.5 litre, three-cylinder engine coupled to a standard six-speed automatic gearbox.
Then it spoils owners with a reversing camera, dual-zone, climate-control air-conditioning, dynamic cruise control, Bluetooth for mobile phone and music pairing, multifunction steering wheel and park distance control warning buzzers.
Talk about having your cake and eating it too!
Cooper S gets a 2.0 litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine and six-speed automatic (but with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles to up the fun factor) and includes everything the Cooper gets but adds a funky leather-wrapped steering wheel, powerful LED headlights and fog lights, sporty front bucket seats with combination cloth and leather trim, satellite navigation, a head-up display and adjustable driving modes that let drivers set for ‘Green’, ‘Mild’ or ‘Sport’ performance settings.
The convertible roof’s operation? A piece of cake with a high quality, fully-electric unit complete with integrated sunroof function.
It offers a quieter, more refined operation and can be opened or closed (in 18 seconds) using either an interior switch or a button on the remote control unit. Even better, it can be operated at speeds of up to 30km/h which means no more waiting at traffic lights.
Mini Convertible’s extra size – 98mm in overall length and 44mm in width – has mostly been parlayed to the interior so rear passengers in particular benefit from 36mm more knee room while the luggage capacity is up by 45 litres to 215 litres with the roof closed (160 litres with it open) and carrying capacity can be increased courtesy of the standard 50/50 split-fold rear seat backs.
A full complement of safety equipment for both cars includes a rear-view camera, dynamic stability control, anti-lock brakes, a fully-integrated rollover protection system, four airbags, automatic rain-sensing windscreen wipers and auto-on headlights.
Cabriolet Cooper S
When it comes to the under bonnet numbers both variants are impressive. The 1.5 litre engine delivers 100 kilowatts of power and 220 Newton metres of torque, enough to take it from 0-100km/h in 8.7 seconds and achieve a 5.3 litres/100km average fuel consumption figure.
The 2.0 litre engine in the sportier Cooper S develops 141 kilowatts and 280 Newton metres for a 0-100km/h time of 7.1 seconds and combined 5.8 litres/100 km fuel consumption numbers.
There is even a servicing incentive with a clever maintenance program covered by a single, advance payment with Mini Service Inclusive which offers two packages, Mini Service Inclusive Basic with scheduled servicing cover and Mini Service Inclusive Plus covering scheduled servicing and selected maintenance items.
Pricing? Mini Cooper Convertible comes in at $37,900 and Cooper S Convertible at $45,400. Prices do not include dealer charges, stamp duty, statutory charges and on-road costs.
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