MINI Convertible looking good at LA launch
LOS Angeles was the launch venue this week for the fourth generation Mini Convertible, a story that began with the original Mini Cooper cabrio introduced in 1993.
This new Convertible is based on the Mini hatchback although the chassis has been uprated and strengthened to counter the loss of rigidity caused by chopping off the roof.
Some of the mountain roads we tested the cars on were potholed and bumpy and the most impressive aspect of the new car was how well it dealt with the bad roads. The chassis is strong and stiff, with absolutely no signs of any loss of rigidity over the hatchback.
The chassis turns in with alacrity and none of the point and squirt ability that the MINI is noted for has been lost in the conversion to a cabrio.
The roof has been re-engineered to open or close in 18 seconds at speeds up to 30km/h and it can also slide to create a kind of sunroof if you don’t want it fully opened.
The engine line up begins with the three cylinder 102bhp Mini One and there are two diesel options, with either 116bhp or 170bhp.
Our test cars on the launch were the Cooper S, with 192bhp and it had plenty of performance with a 0 – 100km/h time of 7.1 seconds.
A six speed manual transmission is standard, with a six speed automatic available as an option. Four cylinder automatics get a sports transmission as standard.
It’s all about fun and driving and this has it in abundance.