2016 Mini John Cooper Works Convertible Unveiled Photo:
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Tony O'Kane | Jan, 18 2016 | 0 Comments

Mini's drop-top follow-up to the speedy John Cooper Works hatch has finally broken cover, boasting the same mechanical package as the tin-top but in a more suntan-friendly package.

There are sacrifices made, however, thanks to the extra weight of the JCW Convertible's power-retractable fabric roof.

Kerb weight rises by 130kg (add a further 10kg for the auto) compared to the JCW hatch, and the 0-100km/h sprint is 0.3 seconds slower for the manual at 6.6 seconds, and 0.4 seconds slower for the auto convertible at 6.5 seconds.

That said, compared to the previous-generation R56 JCW Convertible, the new F56 model is 0.3 seconds quicker in manual form and a notable 0.6 seconds faster as an automatic.

Besides the extra heft of the convertible and its impact on performance, the mechanical package is mostly identical to its hatch counterpart.

It uses the same turbocharged 2.0 litre engine with 170kW between 5200-6000rpm and 320Nm of torque between 1250-4800rpm, with power going to the front wheels via a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.

Brembo brakes help wash off speed, and the JCW convertible receives a sports-tuned suspension to give it greater agility than the milder Cooper S variant.

Though Australian specifications have yet to be announced, overseas versions will come with 17-inch alloys as standard (18-inchers are the norm in Australia), plus the same racy bodykit as the hatch (minus the rooftop spoiler, naturally).

The interior is largely the same, with the similar sports seats up front (albeit with varying trim options) and a pair of seats behind.

The metal roll bars that sat behind the rear seat headrests in the R56 JCW convertible have been deleted, though the roof still sits proud of the body when retracted and the bootlid is still hinged at the bottom.

With the roof down there's just 160 litres of storage space. Raising it liberates an extra 55 litres, and a 50/50 split rear backrest allows longer items to be carried.

Like its predecessor, the 2016 JCW Convertible boasts a power-operated cloth roof, which includes a glass rear screen and electric operation.

It can be operated at speeds up to 30km/h, and will open or close in 18 seconds. The section of roof over the front seats can also be intependently retracted by up to 40cm to act as a sunroof.

Paying homage to the brand's British origins, you can even get an optional roof with a Union Jack flag motif woven into the fabric.

An Australian release has yet to be announced.

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