First Look: 2016 Mini Cooper / Cooper S Convertible

The third generation Mini Cooper has already has been in production for almost two years. Now, Mini has finally released official images and information of the drop top, ahead of its global debut at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.

Starting in March, the Mini Cooper convertible will be available in both the regular version and the more powerful Cooper S. The new Cooper convertible is the first drop top based on BMW’s front-wheel drive family chassis and will be exclusively powered by BMW-developed, turbocharged three and four-cylinder engines.

At first glance, the third generation Cooper drop top looks similar in design to the second generation variant, and it retains the overall profile of the hardtop with its fabric roof folded up. Like before, the roof can be partially retracted, like a sunroof, or can be completely folded behind the rear passenger seats. The convertible folding mechanism is now fully electric and can be operated at speeds up to 18 mph. Like it did in the second generation version, the tailgate flips down, and the base of the soft top can be lifted to accommodate larger items than before.

The top stack of the convertible has been redesigned to enhance the rearward visibility with the top completely folded. Pyrotechnic rollover bars replace the clunky hoops behind the rear headrests. That cleans up the side profile when the top is down.

What’s New

For 2016, the roof of the Mini Cooper convertible can be embroidered with the Union Jack (like the hardtop). The new Cooper convertible will be available in 11 colors, including a new Caribbean Aqua hue, which Mini brought back from their classic color palette. Melting Silver, a color which debuted on the new Mini Clubman, is also available.

The gimmicky Always Open Timer, which logs how many miles the car has traveled with its top down, returns as a fun factor. Also, the 2016 Mini Cooper convertible is available with diamond-stitched seats and a cool rain-warning app (which you can skip and just look up at the skies for any approaching thunderstorms).

With the roof panel deleted, the Mini Cooper convertible’s structure is strengthened at the front and rear under body, door sills, and underneath the engine. Additional insulation in the tailgate and roof helps lower noise at high speeds. With larger dimensions and added insulation, the 2016 Mini Cooper convertible gains between 127 to 174 pounds, depending on the engine and transmission combination.

The Cooper S convertible, for example, weighs close to 3,000 pounds.

Performance

The base 2016 Mini Cooper convertible is powered by a 134 horsepower, 1.5 L turbocharged, 3-cylinder engine. The more powerful Mini Cooper S convertible is powered by a 189 horsepower, 2.0 L turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine. Both engines can be backed by either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

The automatic transmission uses the navigation system to determine the ideal shift points.

Like the Mini Cooper hardtop, the convertible is available with adjustable shocks, variable drive modes, adaptive cruise control, head-up display, collision mitigation, park assist, and other active and passive safety features.

Availability

The 2016 Mini Cooper and Cooper S convertibles will be arriving on our shores in March. Pricing for the drop top duos will be announced in January, but if the previous pricing strategy is similar, then expect the convertible to carry a $5,000 premium. So, with that in mind, the base 2016 Mini Cooper convertible could start around $27,000.

A fully loaded Mini Cooper S convertible would easily approach $40,000.

However, if these two Cooper drop tops are not powerful enough, a Mini Cooper JCW (John Cooper Works) convertible will be available a couple of months later.

Additional 2016 Mini Cooper/ Cooper S Convertible Images

About The Author

I have been in love with cars since I was three years old. My obsession for cars began when my father took me out at night to name cars by just either their headlights or taillights. Since then, my love for cars has blossomed into a career as a motoring journalist and I am excited to take you guys with me on this high-speed adventure!

1 Comment on "First Look: 2016 Mini Cooper / Cooper S Convertible"

  1. You have covered it all mate, well-written review, thank you! I have always been in love with this nimble little roadster ever since it was launched. Pardon my ignorance; has it already hit the showrooms now? However, talking about roadsters, I had a tough time with the wind noise on my Ford Cabrio on high-speed cruises. But fortunately it was reined in effectively after mounting an additional BackBlade wind deflector. Phew, now once again my top-down rides on the country sides have gotten immensely enjoyable!

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