Mini has revealed its most potent Convertible to date. The JCW – short for John Cooper Works – has little competition in terms of hot hatch soft tops, so its nearest rivals the Audi TT Roadster and Mazda MX-5.
The JCW gets a number of styling changes to differentiate it from what was previously the most extreme Mini Convertible, the Cooper S. Extra cooling vents sit in the front bumper in lieu of lesser models’ fog lights, while a red strip and JCW badging round out the changes at the front.
Further badging can be found at the back and along the sides – which also gain new 17-inch alloy wheels. The Rebel Green paint finish – undoubtedly inspired by British Racing Green – shown in these images is exclusive to the JCW, while the racing stripes are an optional extra.
The fabric roof opens and closes electrically in 18 seconds and at speeds of up to 20mph. Further customisation allows buyers to specify the roof with a Union flag graphic. The Convertible’s boot volume is unchanged at 215 litres with the roof up and 160 when folded.
Inside, the optional contrasting red trim on the lower half of the dash adds a classic British sporty feel to the cabin, while standard upgrades over the standard Convertible include unique trim for the sports seats, red stitching on the steering wheel and door trim, steel pedals, and John Cooper Works door sill protectors.
Mini John Cooper Works Convertible specs
The chassis changes over to the Cooper S are subtle, but should help lift the JCW above the rest of the range. Buyers will appreciate the powerful brakes supplied by Brembo that deliver ferocious stopping power, the unique suspension tuning with optional adaptive dampers and speed sensitive power steering. It’s fairly hefty for a hot hatch though – the extra weight penalty of that roof results in a kerb weight of 1,310kg.
In terms of standard kit, the JCW gets LED lighting front and rear, parking sensors, air conditioning and USB/AUX connectivity for mobile devices and media players. Like all Minis, plenty of customisation options are available too, such as a head-up display, a rearview camera and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Mini John Cooper Works Convertible engine
The 2.0-litre turbocharged engine under the bonnet is a tuned version of the unit found in the Cooper S. In this application, it pumps out 231hp – 39 more than Cooper S Convertible. Power is transmitted to the front wheels via either a six-speed manual or six-speed paddle shift automatic gearbox.
Thanks to the boost in power, performance has significantly improved. The 0-62mph time drops from 7.3 seconds to 6.6 for manual gearbox cars, while the automatic covers the same benchmark 0.1 seconds quicker. Top speed is quoted as 150mph for the manual and 149mph for the auto. Official fuel economy figures claim 43.4mpg for manual cars, with the auto managing 47.8mpg.
Mini John Cooper Works Convertible price and release date
The MINI Convertible John Cooper Works will hit UK showrooms on 5 March 2016, priced from £26,630.