The new MINI Convertible is simply ideal for driving in the open air – particularly with the very sporting DNA the car now has to offer. Only a few weeks after the world debut of the open four-seater MINI, the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible is being proudly presented to the public for the first time at the 2009 International Motor Show in Geneva. This open-air version of the most dynamic MINI combines the drivetrain technology of a racing car with the fascinating aesthetic appeal of the MINI Convertible, offering a truly unique driving experience borne out, first, by true passion for motorsport and, second, by the undaunted pleasure of enjoying the sun shining in and the wind rushing by in the most intense and exhilarating manner.
The 1.6-litre four-cylinder power unit of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible with its twin-scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection ensures outright enthusiasm from the very beginning. Maximum output is 155 kW/211 hp, with peak torque of 260 Newton-metres/192 lb-ft between 1,850 and 5,600 rpm increasing briefly by way of Overboost to an even more significant 280 Newton-metres/206 lb-ft.
This outstanding power unit is based on the engine raced in the MINI John Cooper Works CHALLENGE to be admired for the first time in the 2008 MINI CHALLENGE season. With this kind of power, the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible accelerates to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds, performance of this calibre, together with outstanding sportiness, making the new model a true exception in the MINI Convertible segment.
The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible is the third model bearing the John Cooper Works logo integrated under the overall roof of the MINI brand. Like the MINI John Cooper Works and the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman both presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2008, this open-air top-flight performer represents the close connection between the two brands based on decades of experience in motorsport and generating a strong influence on the development of both new cars and components.
These very special models built together with all other MINIs individually to the customer's order at the MINI Plant in Oxford and sold through the MINI dealer network represent the typical MINI values of driving pleasure, premium quality and individual style in a particularly concentrated, high-impact rendition.
In terms of reliability, quality of finish and authenticity in design, all of these three top performers naturally offer all the high standards of the BMW Group. And these quality standards naturally also apply to the John Cooper Works performance components geared perfectly to the MINI.
Parallel to the introduction of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible, new options and accessories from John Cooper Works are also being introduced on the "regular" MINI and MINI Clubman. This extends the wide range of retrofittable options inspired directly by motorsport through the addition of exclusive special instruments offering the driver even more detailed information on the state of the car and current driving conditions. Depending on his personal preferences, for example, the driver may focus more on the coolant temperature, the relative torque of the engine, or the car's lateral acceleration.
MINI John Cooper Works Convertible: more sport, more fresh air.
The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible owes its uncompromisingly sporting character particularly to the power machine concealed within the engine bay. And just like the engine itself, many other components on the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible are derived directly from motorsport, among them the exclusive light-alloy wheels particularly light and agile, the brakes with their extremely high standard of stopping power, a new emission system, as well as the modified six-speed manual gearbox.
With all of these features being developed in direct connection with the new racing car for the MINI CHALLENGE, driving pleasure in the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible is significantly promoted also through the direct influence of motorsport and know-how carried over from racing.
From the ground up, the 1,598-cc four-cylinder power unit based on the engine in the MINI Cooper S Convertible boasts numerous technical features first seen in motorsport. The cylinder block and bearing case, for example, are made of aluminium, the four valves per cylinder are masterminded by two overhead camshafts, roller-type drag arms optimised for minimum friction, and hydraulic valve play compensation elements. The exhaust valves, in turn, are filled with sodium in order to meet the greater cooling requirements of a turbocharged engine.
The increase in power and performance over the MINI Cooper S Convertible results in particular from the optimised inflow and outflow of air as well as the modified turbocharger. And the particular sound of the engine also bears testimony to the free flow of air on both the intake and exhaust side.
Motorsport know-how and detailed modifications for extra power.
The pure air line leading into the turbocharger now offers even higher flow capacity, the twin-scroll turbocharger, through its design principle, ensuring particularly spontaneous development and build-up of power and performance.
The ducts within the exhaust gas manifold and the turbocharger are separated from one another in each case, operating for two cylinders at a time. The rotor blades, in turn, operate smoothly and in exactly the right flow from the very beginning at low engine speeds. The turbine featured on the power unit in the MINI John Cooper Works is made of a particularly sophisticated material allowing an increase in maximum charge pressure from 0.9 to 1.3 bar.
Maximum torque of 260 Newton-metres/192 lb-ft comes all the way from 1,850–5,600 rpm. When accelerating torque is indeed briefly increased even further to 280 Newton-metres/206 lb-ft between 2,000 and 5,300 rpm, this special Overboost function giving the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible even more power and muscle.
Maximum output of 155 kW/211 hp comes at 6,000 rpm, spontaneous and direct response of the engine also being expressed by the car's outstanding acceleration, the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible reaching 100 km/h within just 6.9 seconds and continuing all the way to its top speed of 235 km/h or 146 mpg.
The turbocharged four-cylinder comes with direct fuel injection applying the common-rail principle. Injection valves positioned at the side in the cylinder head deliver fuel in an exact dose and at a pressure of 120 bar from the supply line directly to the combustion chamber, ensuring an appropriate supply of fuel geared at all times to driving conditions and requirements.
Average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is unusually low for a car with this kind of performance, the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible making do with just 7.1 litres/100 kilometres (equal to 39.8 mpg imp) and limiting its CO2 emission rating to 169 grams per kilometre.
Transmission, suspension, brakes: developed for the race track, optimised for the road.
Again typical of the brand, the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible comes with front-wheel drive. Power is transmitted to the front wheels by a six-speed manual gearbox with gearshift elements and components specially set to the particularly high torque of this new top-of-the-range engine.
Apart from the car's sophisticated suspension technology with McPherson spring struts at the front and a centrally-guided rear axle quite unique in the small car segment, EPS Electrical Power Steering also guarantees safe and extremely precise handling at all times. At the same time electrical steering power assistance makes an important contribution to greater efficiency by cutting in only when power assistance is actually required or is desired by the driver.
EPS Electrical Power Steering allows the driver to program various settings, the basic setting guaranteeing smooth and well-balanced servo support as a function of road speed. The Sports Button positioned on the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible as standard next to the centre console then enables the driver to choose a significantly more dynamic set-up with higher steering forces and enhanced steering precision whenever he wishes. And when pressing the Sports Button, the driver will automatically switch over to a gas pedal control map providing an even higher standard of sporting performance.
Likewise featured as standard, the sports brakes guarantee short stopping distances, a precise response, and smooth, fine dosage of brake power. The fixed-calliper disc brakes with their aluminium callipers finished in red – and featuring inner-venting on the front wheels as well as the John Cooper Works logo on the callipers – are extra-large in size for enhanced performance.
The exclusive 17-inch light-alloy wheels in John Cooper Works Cross Spoke CHALLENGE design are likewise carried over from motorsport with its particularly great demands in terms of suspension technology. Weighing less than 10 kg or 22 lb, these 205/45 W 17 high-speed wheels are exceptionally light and boast runflat technology in the interest of extra safety.
Featured as standard and unique in the front-wheel-drive segment: DSC including DTC.
Over and above its sport-tuned suspension and powerful brakes, the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible also features the most advanced and sophisticated driving stability systems. The features offered as standard include ABS anti-lock brakes, EBD Electronic Brake Force Distribution, CBC Cornering Brake Control and DSC Dynamic Stability Control including a Hill Start-Off function, DTC Dynamic Traction Control, and a Brake Assistant.
Serving as a sub-function of DSC, DTC enables the driver at the touch of a button to raise the response thresholds of Dynamic Stability Control, intentionally allowing controlled slip on the drive wheels. This allows the driver of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible to set off under controlled conditions on, say, a snowbound surface or loose sand with the front wheels spinning lightly in a controlled process, or to drive even closer to the limits of physics in particularly dynamic situations. Then, when reaching the physical limit, DSC will intervene as before, also in the DTC mode. And if he wishes, the driver is also able to deactivate DSC altogether.
The DSC-off mode also activates an electronically controlled limited-slip function on the rear axle differential. This system – Electronic Differential Lock Control – likewise featured as standard, supports a particularly sporting and ambitious style of motoring, for example when accelerating out of a bend or hairpin. Thanks to the electronically controlled limited-slip function, a spinning drive wheel is slowed down appropriately by application of the brakes in a tight bend, improving the car's forward traction and pulling power without exerting a negative influence on the car's steering behaviour. As a result, the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible takes bends even more smoothly, harmoniously and, at the same time, faster than before.
Design: uncompromisingly open, unmistakably athletic.
The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible combines the outstanding potential of its drivetrain and suspension technology with the unique features and fortes of the MINI Convertible. Indeed, the exceptionally sporting character of the new model is borne out in particular by the car's new design, the stretched side view boasting a silhouette inspired by the classical roadster thanks to the rollbar remaining almost completely out of sight when the roof is open. The steep windscreen, in turn, emphasises the character of an uncompromisingly open car not only in its looks, but also gives the driver and front passenger an even greater experience of open-air motoring when driving with the roof down.
The car's proportions, short overhangs front and rear, large wheel cutouts, the height of the waistline and numerous design features typical of the brand show clearly that the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible is most definitely a fully-fledged member of the MINI family. The entire front view is the same as on the MINI John Cooper Works. The rear end, in turn, is subdivided by horizontal lines flowing parallel to one another, creating the smoothly tapered multi-level contours so typical of the brand and further accentuated by the sheer width of the car.
The tailgate of the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible opening to the bottom features hinges hidden away snugly on the inside, creating a homogeneous surface again enhancing the muscular look of the rear end.
Soft roof complete with a sliding roof function – also operating while driving.
The soft roof of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible likewise combines an unmistakable look with unique function. With the roof closed the car boasts those typical proportions so characteristic of the MINI, the low roofline additionally emphasising the sporting flair of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible.
The high-quality, particularly wind-proof and extremely hard-wearing textile material rests firmly on the roof bars made of steel and aluminium, limiting deformation otherwise caused by the wind at high speeds to an absolute minimum.
The soft roof opens and closes completely by way of electrohydraulic operation within 15 seconds in each case. The opening and closing mechanism is activated by a toggle switch on the front roof frame in typical MINI design.
To offer the driver and passengers the pleasure of motoring in the open air very quickly and spontaneously, and to react immediately to sudden rainfall, the roof may be opened and closed while driving at a speed of up to 30 km/h. And as a further function the soft top may be opened even before setting out by means of remote control integrated in the smooth-edged ignition key fitting into the lock smoothly on either side.
The unique sliding roof function on the soft top is activated by all-electric control, the front section of the roof moving back by up to 40 centimetres or almost 16 inches, again with the help of the switch on the front roof frame. This highly enjoyable sensation of driving with fresh air adjustable to virtually any position is available up to a speed of 120 km/h or 75 mpg.
Larger side windows and retractable rollbar for optimised all-round visibility.
Excellent all-round visibility with the roof closed results, first, from the large side windows at the rear and, second, from the newly engineered retractable rollbar. The single-piece rollbar moving up when required rests slightly below the headrests on the rear seats and therefore does not in any way obstruct the visibility of the driver looking back.
Over and above the extremely stiff passenger cell, load bearing structures of the highest calibre, as well as precisely defined deformation zones, frontal airbags and head/thorax airbags integrated in the outside of the front seat backrests and protecting the occupant in a side-on collision both on head and thorax level as well as around the hips all come as standard on the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible.
Three-point inertia-reel seat belts are featured on all four seats, with additional belt force limiters and optimised belt latch tensioners at the front.
All restraint systems are masterminded by central safety electronics including sophisticated sensors operating the various units individually as a function of the type and intensity of a collision.
The safety system featured in the John Cooper Works Convertible also includes a rollover sensor activating the newly developed rollbar as well as the belt tensioners on the front seats and the head/thorax airbags in good time in the event of a rollover. Together with the windscreen frame designed and engineered specifically for the requirements of a convertible, the new, single-piece rollbar moving up electromechanically within 150 milliseconds whenever required helps to ensure maximum occupant safety within the passenger cell.
The interior: variable in configuration, sporting and elegant in style.
Within the interior of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible the sporting but straightforward elegance of the car's ambience comes together with a standard of all-round functionality quite unique in this class. A three-spoke sports steering wheel finished in leather forms the interface between the driver and his high-performance convertible, the roof lining finished in anthracite and interior surfaces in glossy Piano Black create an atmosphere of calmness and tranquillity, allowing the driver to concentrate on the essential at all times. Yet another feature in the cockpit of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible is the speedometer extending all the way to 260 km/h or 160 mpg.
At the rear the new rollbar, through its design and configuration, likewise enhances the everyday driving qualities of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible. Made of one single unit, the aluminium rollbar extends behind the rear seats across the entire width of the interior and allows space for a large through-loading between the luggage compartment and the passenger compartment, giving the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible additional variability and flexibility in use.
Split down the middle, the rear-seat backrest may be folded down either half the way across or in full, depending on the user's requirements. With the roof closed, this provides up to 660 litres or 23.1 cubic feet of loading capacity.
As a further highlight the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible comes with an Easy-Load system, the tailgate pivoting down for use as a storage and loading panel able to hold a weight of up to 80 kg or 176 lb. This, together with the rear roof frame swivelling up by approximately 35°, provides a particularly large and generous opening into the luggage compartment.
With the roof open the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible offers a capacity in the luggage compartment of 125 litres or almost 4.4 cubic feet. With the roof closed the luggage compartment cover resting on two guide rails and holding the roof when open may be moved up in a smooth and convenient manoeuvre, increasing capacity in the luggage compartment to 170 litres or nearly 6.0 cubic feet.
The degree and force of the wind rushing by with the roof open may also be adjusted entirely to the occupants' individual wishes, the optionally available wind deflector significantly reducing air swirl within the interior. All the user has to do is fit the wind deflector into position behind the front seats and move it up in one simple process.
Full customisation in every respect: top-end audio and navigation systems, complete integration of the Apple iPhone.
It almost goes without saying that MINI offers the discerning purchaser a wide range of customisation in configuring the open-air version of this outstanding performer: The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible is available with the full range of paintwork options, interior features, seat upholstery, interior colours and trim variants as well as the same wide choice of comfort features as on the other models. And the sophisticated, top-end entertainment and navigation systems offered by MINI are naturally also available in the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible, the audio controls including the CD player featured as standard and the 6 ½" TFT colour display in the optional navigation system all housed within the large circular instrument in the middle.
Using the AUX port likewise featured as standard, the driver and passengers are able to play back music recorded, say, on an MP3 player through the audio system. A special interface serving to fully integrate an Apple iPod is available as special equipment, and an optional mobile phone preparation kit or, respectively, integrated hands-free telephone operation complete with a Bluetooth interface and a USB port serve to provide optimum and reliable communication on the road at all times. Even an interface for integrated operation of audio and telephone functions is available specifically for the user's Apple iPhone.
Performance on premium level: John Cooper Works accessories.
The wide range of MINI and John Cooper Works accessories serves to raise motoring comfort, practical driving qualities and sporting performance to an even higher level of perfection. The highlights in the John Cooper Works range of accessories include the Aerodynamics Package and Sport Suspension with springs finished in red and cross-drilled brake discs. Further features are a dome reinforcement bar for the engine compartment, mirror caps in carbon, as well as side scuttles on the side direction indicators in particularly sporting grid design.
Matching all these exterior features, special trim bars as well as the handbrake and sports gearshift levers in carbon provide an even more sporting look offering extra flair within the interior. And the Gearshift Indicator also highlighted in the John Cooper Works range of accessories, to mention yet another example, makes a further contribution to the intense driving experience offered by the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible.