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New models - Mini - Convertible

Mini drops drop-top price

Open for business: When it launches here mid-year, Mini's Convertible Cooper and Cooper S will take the hatchback recipe of zippy chassis and cheeky looks, but add a dose of wind-in-the-hair fun.

Convertible Mini range kicks off from $37,900 BOCs in mid-2016

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Mini logo10 Feb 2016

By DANIEL GARDNER

MINI'S third-generation Convertible will go on sale in the second quarter of 2016 costing up to $3400 less than the previous version, with the two-variant line-up priced from $37,900 before on-roads for the entry level Cooper.

That price represents a $2450 reduction over the $40,350 second-gen Cooper that was phased out mid-last year, while the faster Cooper S is a chunky $3400 more affordable than its $48,800 predecessor at $45,400.

Unlike Europe which gets a third fuel-economy-focused diesel option, Australia's line-up consists of only the petrol-powered pair, starting with the 1.5-litre Cooper Convertible.

Its 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder develops 100kW and 220Nm – enough to accelerate to 100km/h from zero in 8.7 seconds and uses 5.3 litres of fuel per 100km on the combined cycle test.

Stepping up to the higher-performance Cooper S Cabriolet brings an extra cylinder, 141kW/280Nm and 0-100km/h acceleration in 7.1 seconds, while using 5.8L/100km when driven more sedately.

Both Convertibles are supplied with a six-speed automatic transmission as standard, with the Cooper S getting a sports version with paddle shifters.

Its power-operated fabric roof and electric windows take 18 seconds to open or close at speeds of up to 30km/h, and it has a sliding roof function to let sunlight in without the wind. Owners can keep an eye on their top-down-time with the Always Open Timer that logs hours spent topless.

If the standard black roof is too inconspicuous, customers can order the Mini Yours roof option, which decorates the folding top with a grey and black Union Jack design.

For the kit-hungry Australian market, Mini selected more standard equipment for the Convertible range with 16-inch alloy wheels, Visual Boost multimedia system with 6.5-inch screen and Bluetooth/USB connectivity, interior LED lighting pack, reversing camera with sensors and dual-zone climate control as standard for the Cooper.

Higher-spec Cooper S Convertibles add to the Cooper kit with an inch larger alloy wheels, part-leather upholstery, JCW steering wheel, LED fog and headlights, navigation and Mini Driving Modes, that allow the behaviour of steering, engine and transmission to be altered according to driver preference.

Luggage space has increased by 25 per cent compared with the previous version, with a 215-litre boot with roof closed or 160 litres when stowed.

A third John Cooper Works version is likely to be added to the Australian range with a 170kW/320Nm version of the 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder announced for Europe, but it will arrive later than the confirmed pair of drop-tops if chalked for the local market.

The ever-expanding Mini range is also available as three-door hatchback, larger five-door, freshly-released Clubman wagon, an ageing Paceman coupe and a jacked-up Countryman small SUV.

2016 Mini Convertible pricing*
Cooper (a)$37,900
Cooper S (a)$45,400
*Excludes on-road costs

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