Spied testing in February, the new soft-top follows a raft of new models from MINI over the last 18 months and has had a name-change from Cabrio to Convertible.
The Convertible also serves as a one-size-fits-all open-top model for MINI, as the carmaker’s Roadster variant (along with the Coupe) was retired earlier this year.
The MINI Superleggera may yet arrive in showrooms to serve as an alternative, but if customers are looking for top-down fun in a MINI - the Convertible is it.
And that top-down fun can be achieved in just 18 seconds, which is the time required to raise or lower the Convertible’s electronic soft-top roof at speeds of up to 30km/h.
Don’t want the complete ‘endless sky’ experience? MINI has you covered, as the roof can be retracted in a sun roof-style fashion by up to 40mm. The roof can also be raised or lowered using a button on the key remote.
The new model is larger; growing 98mm in length, 7mm in height and 44mm in width over its predecessor, while the wheelbase is now 28mm longer.
The extra metal adds up to more cargo-carrying capacity, with the boot now able to hold 215 litres with the roof up and 160 litres with it retracted (up 25 percent).
Inside, there’s seating for four and MINI says the new model offers more shoulder and knee room than before.
There’s also dual-zone climate control, the MINI Connected infotainment system and - if you want to be shamed into driving with the roof down - a timer that records the length of time the roof has been open since the car was built.
Power reaches the front wheels via a choice of two petrol engines and one diesel-powered unit, depending on the market.
The petrol engines are a 100kW/220Nm turbocharged three-cylinder in the Cooper, a 141kW/280Nm four-cylinder for the Cooper S (300Nm on overboost) and the diesel-powered Cooper D’s 1.5 litre 85kW/270Nm unit.
Fuel consumption is rated at 4.9 l/100km for the three-cylinder petrol, 5.6 l/100km for the four-cylinder petrol and just 3.8 l/100km for the diesel.
All engines come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic can be optioned in any model, and the Cooper S auto gets paddle shifters.
Safety features in some models include LED headlights, autonomous emergency braking, automatic high-beam, reversing camera, and new ‘hidden’ rollover protection bars that can deploy in 150 milliseconds.
The 2016 MINI Cooper Convertible is scheduled to arrive in Australia midway through next year, with pricing and specifications yet to be finalised. Stay tuned to TMR for more.