The MCS Convertible 1st Drive

While we'll have our own MINI Convertible for a long term test in several weeks I wanted to give a sneak peak of the MCS convertible since they are now at dealers.

As expected motoring in the convertible MINI Cooper S is a blast. Virtually all the performance of the hard top with an incredible view as a bonus. While there is some slight steering wheel quiver over railroad tracks and rough Chicago roads it's an exceptionally solid open top car. The extra weight is somewhat apparent but nothing that really dulls the overall senses of the car.

We'll have a huge review in the next several weeks but until then here are some pics to hold you over [ one / two / three / four ]

  • Pepe Marcos

    Good luck with the testing!, hope to hear good news.

    Gabe: Keep up with the good work, this site really rocks!!

  • Deborah

    Is that the park off of Irving Park Road? Nice Pics! What's in the cup holder? iPod?

  • No… way off 🙂

  • Drew

    I know what it is. 😉

  • So do I.

  • Tsukiji

    Sunrise Park?

  • Tsukiji

    It looks like a tin of Altoids in the cup holder.

  • d.j. derek

    Today, I'm going to my Mini dealer and buying a fully loaded gold 2005 Mini Cooper and nobody is gonna stop me!!! Wish me luck, Gabe and Matt.

  • jin

    how about some close up photos of the car? i for one dont care for the scenery.

  • Great scenery pics Gabe; jin can find some close-ups in my gallery her. I would like to hear about back seat space when the roof is up …

  • It's a Curious George Altoids Tin which doubles as my Camera case 🙂

    The park is in Lake Forest Illinois and that is of course Lake Michigan.

    • jin – we've posted so many photos of the cabrio over the past six months I thought I'd do something a little different. If you want more photos I'd recommend doing a search on MotoringFile in the top right corner. You'll find a ton. search/cabrio.
  • Ian – you mean from back here? It's not as bad as you'd expect since they have decent size quarter windows. I must say that driving in a convertible with the top up make the MINI fee like a small car inside – much different than the hard top.

  • Jay

    Does that airbag sticker come off? It ruins the look of that beautiful dash.

  • MiniLifeCrisis

    Any pictures with the roof up? How are those blind spots when the roof is up?

  • Gabe, Congrats on your convertible test drive! The farthest I've gotten to ride in one has been across the parking lot. However we did put the top down and I really like the openness — with the windshield being so far away it feels like you are really out there in the open air, which is distinctly different than most modern convertibles which have raked-back windshields that seem to end right in front of your forehead (like the Mazdaspeed Miata I drove the other day).

    I'll have to see how it feels in the back seat. It's definitely a bit narrower than the hardtop and I can imagine it feeling a bit small back there with the top up.

    Also, congrats on scoring a convertible for a long-term test. I suspect you'll have a lot of fun with that. 🙂

  • Jay – yes the sticker easily comes off.

    MiniLifeCrisis – I didn't take any yesterday but there are a bunch throughout the site. I'd recommend doing a search (believe it or not that how I find things too!).

    Sean – this particular drive was just for the evening… the long terms test is a few weeks away. I'm just waiting for the press cars to be recieved and prepped basically.

    Actually I'd like to send out a big thanks to David from Knauz for letting me take this MCSc out.

    BTW this was also the car that Steve test drove in last Friday's review. The sticker was over 29k and it didn't have the sport package or xenon lights!

  • Some of us in the Hartford, CT area got to play with this DS MCS Cabrio at New Country MINI. Go to my blog to see photos or cut and paste this link:

    for just the pic of the MCS.


  • Adam

    Gotta say one of the nicest features is that sexy stiching around the seats

  • I hope our respective dealers will be holding a convertible welcoming event for us to come play with the new toys. Demonstrate how well the cabrio goes with a barbeque. 🙂 If not I might head up to MOP on my own this weekend to see for myself.

  • kelly

    Is that cool blue and are those 16″ wheels?

  • Yes and yes. It looks much different in direct sunlight… almost light purple.

  • Nick

    Picked up a British Racing Green Convertible (for my wife) last night. So far it's nothing but fun. I've never been in back of the standard Mini, but I was surprised how much room was in the back, headroom wise- and I'm 6'5″. As for legroom in the back, it all depends who's in front of you…

    It's also very surprsing how quiet it is with the top up. Our salesman commented that in “sunroof” mode, it's quieter than his MCS.

    One funny thing is that all dealers in SoCal seem to have gotten the same 4 convertibles: Dark Silver and Cobalt(?) Blue MCS' and Hot Orange and British Racing Green MC's.

  • GSKChicago

    So since the Cabrio looks so awesome and you (Gabe) have taken it for a drive and will do more… Have you or anyone else taken any of the Mini Owner's Lounge planned routes? Specifically, the CHICAGO: OLD WORLD WANDERING to Holland, Michigan? I assume they chose this destination based on the twisties, etc. Curious if it's worth it or if anyone has other suggestions on great places to take the MINI and open her up and not have to trek in 1st gear for an hour, etc. :o)

  • I'm not really familiar with MINI's Chicago to Holland drive but I took my own well worn route a few weeks ago when I spent a week up there.

    When I get my long term review convertible I plan on making the trip again if I have time 🙂

  • GSKChicago

    Oh yeah, I am sure the head turning factor went up exponentially with the drop top versus the usual looks with the standard hard top. Did the cabrio start any conversations? :o)

  • Josh

    I've seen the '05, but am still waiting to the a Cabrio in person on US streets

  • pete

    today i test drove 2 minis at universal city mini! they just got a new shipment of about 12 05's and i tested the cooper s and cooper cabrios. ive gotta say, they are a huge blast to drive! that was awweesssoommee. i just bought my wife's 05, and i think im gonna just have to buy a cooper s convertible dark silver, black stripes, black ragtop. trust me, its awesome.

  • pete

    OMG nick, thats 100% true. universal city mini has a british racing green cooper, dark silver s with white stripes, cool blue s, and a hot orange cooper. i guess they are just shipped without being ordered by the dealership. green also looks great in convertible form. =)

  • Lee Langston

    Looks like the TV Show Scrubs got a Cool Blue S convertible a little early as well based on last night's show.

  • Benjamn

    Universal MINI is asking $6000 over MSRP! Insane!

  • Steve/Boston

    One of our local dealers received the same four Cabrios (Cool Blue, Dark Silver S's and Hot Orange, BRG Coopers) and I got take a 30-minute test drive in the Cool Blue S. Drove it on the back roads and highway and with the top in all modes possible (my MA was very patient and accomodating). What a blast! Looks like this is going to replace my problem-laden New Beetle Convertible. A true go-kart!!!

  • bob

    In your opinion, was the combination of the lapis blue leather w/ the cool blue interior trim a good combination? I'm placing my order today and am struggling with interior choices. I first thought to do the space gray cloth but from the pics, blue leather looks good.