Sunday, May 8, 2016

The New MINI (F56) Convertible

It's been two long years since the new MINI took the world like a tsunami walk and even though this is an entirely new model designed from scratch, its enlarged dimensions no longer made it called the MINI, perhaps the funny word Wumbo would have sound better because its sizing is a MINI no more. Because the F56 MINI has been around for two years (and no video game in sight to feature it just like the BMW i8), another variant has been added and this time, it's an open-top version.

2017 Mini Convertible

The new convertible version features all the similar bits and bobs from the new MINI, only this time with a soft-top roof that makes you think you're somewhat special on a hot summer. With the roof opened, this four-seater compact makes it the ideal barkada trip car that can take you from one point of interest after another, as long as you don't make it to places with very heavy traffic because you'd better close the roof and the windows until you smell crud in your lungs.

Under the hood, the open-top version offers the same engine choices as the hardtop model. In the high-end Cooper S model, it comes with the 2.0L petrol engine producing 192PS of power and 300Nm of torque. The One, meanwhile, comes with a 1.2L petrol, the normal Cooper comes with the 1.5L petrol, D with the 1.5L diesel engine, and the SD with the 2.0L turbodiesel engine. Of course, like all good convertibles in the world, it's slightly heavier than the hardtop equivalent, meaning the handling isn't what you call...ahem...MINIMALISM.

2017 Mini JCW Convertible

Even the high-performance John Cooper Works model couldn't cut it. Sure, it's got a turbocharged 2.0L petrol engine generating 231PS of power and 320Nm of torque as well as race-derived dynamics, but because this is heavier than the JCW hardtop, there is a slight difference between how it behaves on the road and how it feels on the track. If you didn't bother about how either the normal Mini Convertible or the Mini JCW Convertible behaves in both sides, it's still a stylish go-getter that you can use it on the road. Think a husky bodyguard who ended up having an ambition to become a beauty queen at a beauty pageant. That sounds awkward, though, and in partial terms of awkwardness, having the roof closed is the main idea of awkwardness because that roof kinda spoils its flavor of the month.

Should you drive this one with the roof open while on a moving traffic, the new Mini Convertible is not so bad to have one because you get the urban lifestyle you expect on a four-seater convertible of that size. However, if things get a little soggy or dirty, you'd better off with a public transport rather than driving with the roof closed. Wouldn't recommend it though.

Price? The all-new Mini Convertible starts at 21,900 Euros for the One, up to 35,350 Euros for the JCW Cabrio with the Steptronic gearbox on, so it's slightly costly to own than the hardtop.

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