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Mini gives Cabriolet the JCW treatment

Got the green: In addition to the host of special performance parts and tuning treats, both hatchback and Cabriolet Mini JCW variants can be ordered in a unique Rebel Green paint colour.

170kW John Cooper Works pack combined with soft-top Mini Cabriolet


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15 Jan 2016

MINI has thrown its selection of John Cooper Works performance-honing kit at its recently revealed Cabriolet, bringing the same 170kW engine and sharpened chassis recipe found in hard-top JCW that arrived last year.

The JCW Cabriolet is yet to be confirmed for Australian launch, but BMW Group Australia corporate communications general manager Lenore Fletcher told GoAuto the company would introduce the model if it were made available.

“Yes of course we would like to see it here,” she said. “Is it finalised? No it is not finalised.”

The standard Mini Cabriolet is due to arrive in Australia during the second quarter of this year but Ms Fletcher said, if the JCW version was to make it Down Under, it would not be at the same time as it Cooper and Cooper S siblings.

“It will be later in the year, were it to arrive.”

For the wind-in-the-hair JCW, Mini has duplicated the equipment from the hatchback, starting with its 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit, which takes power up from the 141kW/280Nm of the Cooper S to 170kW and 320Nm.

With its extra power, the hottest convertible can accelerate to 100km/h in 6.6 seconds when fitted with the standard six-speed manual gearbox, or 6.5s with the optional six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission.

It cannot keep up with the lighter hatchback JCW, which gets to the 100km/h milestone in 6.1s or 6.3s with a manual gearbox, but it is 10 per cent more powerful that the previous Mini Convertible JCW, beating the superseded manual by 0.3 seconds and the auto by an even wider 0.6s.

Despite having more power than any Mini before it, the new JCW Cabriolet is also one of the most efficient to date, using 6.5 litres of petrol per 100km on the combined cycle, or 5.9L/100km when equipped with the automatic shifter.

The JCW lets everyone know that it is producing more power than its siblings with a louder sports exhaust system, which Mini says is even easier to enjoy with the roof down.

While the convertible shares all of the hatchback's JCW suspension modifications such as aluminium swivel bearings, axle supports, hollow anti-roll bars and uprated springs rates, it also gets additional torsion struts to compensate for the missing roof, which can reduce chassis stiffness.

Standard Cooper S dampers are uprated for the JCW but an optional Dynamic Damper Control is also available, which alters the ride stiffness when switching between Sport and Green modes. The switchable driving options also sharpen engine and automatic transmission operation.

Front brakes are uprated to Brembo four-piston callipers, housed by unique 17-inch Track Spoke design wheels, but these can be upgraded to black versions or a larger 18-inch Cup Spoke rim set.

A JCW aerodynamic bodykit completes the look of the hottest convertible Mini with larger air inlets, pumped-up bumpers, rear diffuser, hexagonal grille with honeycomb mesh and matching badges, while LED headlights are standard.

The JCW treatments continue on the inside with more branding throughout and unique John Cooper Works sports seats that pin occupants in place.

As the flagship of the Mini range, JCW versions are already generously equipped, but Ms Fletcher said, as is customary when finalising local model specification, BMW Australia always tries to offer a more premium product than in other parts of the world.

“We are known for trying to always put a bit more in than might be the case in other countries, but whether or not we have to, or we need to, or we can is another thing,” she said.

In European trim, the freshly announced Mini JCW is, quite literally headlined by its folding fabric roof, which takes 18 seconds to open or close, is “particularly low noise,” according to Mini, and can be opened at speeds of up to 30km/h.

For those wanting to acknowledge the Mini's motherland, the fabric roof can be optioned in a special Union Jack fabric roof with the United Kingdom's flag embossed in grey and black.

The standard fitment Always Open Timer records how much time has been spent with the roof open, and displays the driver's 'score' on the on-board trip computer in the central display.

Extra Cabriolet features include optional dual-zone air-conditioning, heated windscreen and seats, rain-sensing wipers and light-sensitive headlights, Comfort Access, heated exterior mirrors and a self-dimming rearview mirror.

Standard entertainment equipment includes Radio Mini Boost with AUX, USB and Bluetooth connectivity and permanent Sim card for Mini TeleServices, although Australian functionality has not been finalised.

In-car entertainment can be upgraded with a Harman Kardon sound system, Mini Connected and Professional navigation, which brings a larger 8.8-inch screen with Mini Touch Controller.

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