The Convertible MINI has a slightly different remit from the hatchback - being all about style - but the fact that it invokes the Cooper name across all variants hints at the potential for driving thrills. The base 136hp MINI Cooper Convertible will accelerate from 0-62mph in 8.8 seconds and hit 129mph. There's also a pokier 192hp Cooper S petrol version and a flagship 231hp John Cooper Works derivative. High performance though, hardly seems relevant in a four seat soft-top: what is important is the operation of the newly-designed roof. At speeds of up to 18mph, this fabric top can be lowered or raised in 18 seconds, so when the British weather does what it does, you'll not be left out in the rain for too long. If you just want to open the small portion over the front seats, it can slide back 40cm, automatically, at any speed.
In the current range we're looking at here, nothing's fundamentally changed engine-wise, though MINI says that minor changes have been made in recent years to its TwinPower Turbo Technology across the board, improving engine electronics, oil supply, intake air ducting, the cooling set-up and the exhaust system. Perhaps most significant though is the news that the brand has at last got around to fitting in a proper dual-clutch auto gearbox for those wanting a self-shifter, this now a 7-speed unit.