Mini’s JCW Convertible is not only the fastest drop-top ever sold by the BMW-owned subsidiary, but it’s also the most expensive model in the brand’s local showrooms, and is packed to the gunwales with all manner of intriguing and exciting features. Here’s a list of nine fast facts about Mini’s fast ragtop.
- Unlike the tin-topped JCW hatch, Mini won’t charge you extra if you want a six-speed automatic – it’s built into the price, making it the same price as the six-speed manual.
- The JCW Convertible has the same amount of power and torque as the JCW hatch, but carries a little more weight thanks to its folding roof. Thankfully, a beefy Brembo-supplied brake system with hefty 335mm front rotors is there to help rein it all in when you need to slow down.
- In Sport mode, manual JCW Convertibles will automatically blip the throttle when you downshift to reduce drivetrain shock and keep progress smooth. It also gives you another opportunity to enjoy the JCW’s rorty exhaust note.
- Unlike other markets, all Australian-delivered Mini JCW convertibles come standard with electronically-adjustable adaptive dampers. In Normal and Green drive modes they adopt a softer tune, but engage Sport mode and they firm up noticeably to impart a sharper chassis feel.
- Reach up above the rear view mirror and you’ll find a toggle switch for the electric roof mechanism. Pull it back and the roof retracts almost silently in just 18 seconds, as long as you’re driving at less than 30km/h.
- Want to feel some air on your scalp but don’t feel like dropping the roof all the way? An intermediate mode sees the front-most panel of the fabric roof slide rearward like a sunroof, with the rest of the roof remaining in place. A good compromise if the weather is looking sketchy, or you’re on the highway and unable to slow down to 30km/h to let the roof down fully.
- It’s surprisingly practical, with 45 litres more luggage capacity (for a total of 215 litres of roof-up storage), a 50:50 split rear seatback and a lift-up mechanism for the rearmost roof section that facilitates loading of cargo.
- The interior is bigger than before, with 36mm more rear shoulder room, 112mm more rear elbow room and 36mm more rear knee room than its predecessor – and that’s been accomplished while hiding a pop-up rollover bar behind the back seat, replacing the old model’s dorky fixed rollover hoops.
- If there’s one thing Minis are known for, it’s having the option of getting a Union Jack painted across the entire roof – a nod to the brand’s British heritage. If you thought going for the ragtop robs you of that option, think again: For an extra $1170 Mini will equip your JCW Convertible with a fabric roof with a woven-in Union Jack design, rendered in various shades of grey.