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Topless Mini gets brawnier with John Cooper tweaks

MINI has thrown its selection of the John Cooper Works performance-honing kit at its recently revealed Cabriolet.

For open-top, Mini has duplicated the equipment from the hatchback, starting with its 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit, which takes power to 231hp and 320nm of torque.

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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.

To harness this powerful engine the suspension, braking and cooling specification of the MINI Convertible has been suitably upgraded. The John Cooper Works Convertible runs model-specific suspension settings, with a bespoke braking system and larger intakes to increase cooling capability. The design alterations to the body not only aide aerodynamic performance, but also give the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible its own aesthetic appeal.

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 calipers, 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.

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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