March 16, 2016: BMW India has finally launched their first Mini product of the year, the Mini Cooper Convertible at Rs 34.90 lakh (ex-showroom). The updated version embraces quite a number of changes with the most important being the revised electrically operated roof-top. The soft-top is now smoother to operate at up to speed of 30kmph and the retraction time is shortened to 18 seconds, as compared to the previous version. Moreover, there is inclusion of roll-over protection system that is deployed as soon as it senses a possible roll-over. In terms of specs, 2016 Mini Cooper Convertible will get 1.5-litre diesel and 1.5-litre petrol units that are capable of generating respective power outputs of 116bhp and 134bhp, mated to 6-speed manual or auto gearbox.
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|Variants||Fuel Type||Mileage||Transmission||Engine Description||Power|
|S||Petrol||11.3 kmpl||14.59 kmpl||Automatic||1998cc
||192bhp @ 5000-6000rpm|
When the Mini was conceptualised, they were meant to be small on the outside with decent room on the inside. They were supposed to be easy to drive and cheap to maintain. They were frugal as well. It was everything you needed from an everyday commuter. Today, the Mini stands at the exact opposite end of the spectrum. You’re going to buy a Mini to grab those eyeballs and to put it bluntly, show off.
Is it still the Mini we’ve always adored? We find out.
1.The 2 litre engine with two turbos spews out 192 horses. Makes the car a true pocket-rocket!
2.The precise feedback from the steering keeps you in control all the time. It’s huge fun on hilly sections and corners too.
3.The suspension is tuned on the stiffer side. This makes its go kart like handling an enthusiast’s delight.
1.While the stiff suspension is fun on winding roads, it isn’t comfortable on city roads that are full of and speed breakers.
2.The rear seat space continues to be small and unusable. Best left to kids or luggage.
3.With an on road sticker price of close to INR 50 lakh, there are bigger and more comfortable options in the market.
1.The fabric roof folds down in 18 seconds at the flick of a switch. Can be done on the move too, at speeds up to 30km/h.
2. Even with the big sticker price, it still is the cheapest convertible you can buy.
“The Mini is a modern canvas with old school design elements.“
The Mini term was coined for a very straight forward reason. They were, well, small. It just isn’t the case with any of the Minis anymore. The Mini continues to retain the same design cues, but for one who’s observed the Mini evolve over the years has seen it grow. Not only in terms of size, but a transformation from a functional car to an expensive toy.
The front gets the same characteristic round headlamps and a hexagonal grill finished in chrome. In terms of overall design, the lines are more curvy than they have ever been before. The headlamps are updated with LED DRLs. As the version we drove was the S, it gets the badging in red. The other elements on the front include a Mini Badge and an air scoop.
Move to the side, and the center of attraction is the lack of a roof. The fabric roof folds away in 18 seconds flat. Neat black cladding skirts the entire length on the side. The rear view mirror gets some optional checkered detailing to bring out the karter in you.
At the back, the dual chrome tip exhaust immediately catch your attention. The tail lamps have a roundish design to go along with the retro theme and get thick chrome surrounds. A neat strip of glossy black flanks the number plate and gets the Mini logo.
The Mini Cooper’s exteriors is basically a modern canvas with old school design cues. It is hard to execute, but we have to admit, Mini has pulled it off.
“A retro design that’s functional. Something that you rarely come across.“
The same design philosophy of modern meets retro continues on the inside. Almost all elements on the interior run a circular theme. While rounded designs may seem boring, the choice of a black and red interior livens the cabin.
Step into the driver's seat and you find a snug fit. The cushioning, side bolstering & lateral support is the best we’ve seen till date. The only drawback, they are not electrically adjustable. Manual seat adjust in a car that costs INR 50 lakh is just not done!
The steering wheel is a chunky unit with neat red-stitch detailing. The ergonomics was evident from the second I placed my hand on this wheel. The optional paddle shifters and the steering mounted buttons are perfectly accessible.
The dials have an eclipse design with the large speedo taking center stage. The rev counter peeps out from the side. All other details are displayed on the Multi Information Display on the bottom half of the speedo.
The center console houses one of the biggest circular elements in the cabin, other than the steering wheel. It nestles the rectangular multimedia system along with complementing control buttons below it.
Move further down and an array of airplane cockpit theme flip switches get individual slots. All of the elements on the center console get chrome bezels that gleefully bounce off sunlight when the roof is pulled down.
The whole dashboard is separated by two red L shape elements with certain elements on the dash get a carbon fiber like pattern.
On either ends are circular air vents while the ones adorning the center console are rectangular. Each get an old school knob to control airflow.
Between the driver & passenger seat is a touchpad system to control the multimedia system, quite similar to the systems on Mini’s parent company, BMW.
The rear is the biggest let down. Even with increased knee-room when compared to the previous edition, the rear is simply not accommodating. This renders the car a 2 seater in our books.
The boot too has seen an improvement and now stands at 215 liters.
The interior carries a retro charm but is functional. Something that you rarely see go hand in hand.
“Really powerful go-kart. Plaster’s a smile across your face.”
The Mini Cooper S Convertible comes with a 2.0 litre, twin turbocharged petrol motor. This is mated to a 6 speed steptronic gearbox. The engine spews out 192 horsepower and 280 Nm of toque. That is a lot of power for a car of this size.
There are three driving modes on this car. Green, Mid & Sport. Each of these modes doing justice to their names.
When in the driving seat, everything works in perfect tandem with each other. The instant throttle response, the quick shifts from the gearbox and the precise steering feedback make this car really fun to drive. The car takes on corners really well with its stiff suspension.
We had huge fun thanks to this setup, but when we hit cobbled stretches of road, we wanted something more soft and comfortable. However, it is very rarely that you can have the best of both worlds.
We drove on a test section with a slalom and brake stretch. The brakes bring the car to a halt from 120-0 in 40 meters.
This car is your perfect companion to open roads, sunny days and beautiful scenery. Not only because it fits right in but gives you the liberty of having wind in your hair. Something that you cannot really put a price on. .
The Mini Cooper Convertible in on offer in the S trim only. The car features a set of 16” alloy wheels as standard. It has a 6.5” infotainment screen on the centre console with a climate control.
Other Bells and whistles include leather seats, ambient lighting and every other imaginable feature for a car in the price segment.
Mini allows you to customize your Mini with optional add ons such as John Cooper works Floor Mats & Door Sills, Black & Grey Checkered detailing on the side scuttle, rear view mirror and outside mirror caps.
“Ticks all the boxes on the safety checklist.“
“Ticks all the boxes on the safety checklist.“
The Mini comes loaded with a host of safety features. You get Automatic Stability & Traction control. Other onboard safety systems include Anti lock brakes & brake force distribution.
The car also comes loaded with touches like the direction adapting headlamps and active roll bar system that spring into action in case of a roll over. A must have feature in convertibles due to the lack of a solid roof.
There are 6 airbags on the Mini Convertible. They include the driver + front passenger airbag along with two head & side airbags.
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