Day Two with the MCS Convertible

I started the day out in “sunroof” mode but that soon changed to full drop-top mode once I realized it was a balmy 58F. The morning drive down Chicago's famed Lake Shore Drive was just incredible. The sun was burning off last night's fog and it created a bright hazy feel that was just surreal. And the MCS Convertible was definitely a standout cruising along in the far left lane. We had three in the car, top down and windows up and were easily able to carry on a conversation at speeds around 50 mph.

The optional Harmon Kardon sound system certainly adds to the experience as well. To my ears the HK sounded well worth the money considering it's a factory option as well as part of the Premium pack in the US. And with the added ability to play MP3 discs the only possible thing lacking is some type of iPod support – which should be coming soon.

I also found the sunroof mode for the convertible top is a surprisingly effective choice on cool days. It manages to open almost the entire roof that would be in your typical field of vision. With the windows down and the sunroof open one gets the feeling of almost being in full drop-top mode. It's been said before that this option is really more of a gimmick than anything. I can't disagree more. I'd suspect that we'll see similar designs on other convertibles in the future.

  • SuperCharged

    Although I dont personally drive a MCSC, I would have to agree that the idea of the roof still being able to go into “sunroof” mode is a brilliant idea.

  • Tom F.

    The two-step foldback roof certainly is a brilliant idea, but no one should think its new.

    Its an old british concept called the “drophead coupe” that has been around certainly since the 1930's, and maybe longer. Many different marques made a model like this including Jaguar, Hillman, Sunbeam, and MG.

    See the website link for a photo, or maybe this will work:

  • GSKChicago

    Tom F… Okay, fair enough, but based on that picture you show at the provided link… It is a manual roll back roof. I venture to say no other company has made a convertible top that is automatic via the push of a button. For that, MINI indeed should get ingenuity credit. My two cents… :o)

  • Tom F.

    GSKChicago…no worries, Mini gets full credit for bringing the concept into the 21st century.

    It does seem to be a singularly Brit invention, maybe because of the fickle climate and the limits of those pre-automatic days.

  • MassMINI

    I've got a 3 week old MCSC and am finding the sunroof mode to be excellent. I like that it's as wide as the roof itself. Only draw back I see so far is that it looks odd from the outside with the single fold of fabric resting behind the opening. From the driver's seat you don't care. The cabrio is everything I hoped it would be.

  • TJKonarski

    Well, I'm sure that when rearview mirrors were mandated it looked odd to those who weren't used to them, or at the very least, willing to embrace them stylistically. (Kudos to the engineers and designers who work very hard to blend them into our cars as best they can.)

    Picture a car with no rearview mirrors on the sides. It would have a cleaner, sleeker look that doesn't interrupt the eye. But now think of how odd it would look because we're so used to seeing them on every car manufactured.

    Personally, I like and appreciate the look of the fold in the MC Convertible top when in sunroof mode. It's a distinctive “trademark”, unique to only the MINI Cooper Convertible, and perhaps will start a trend that we may see on many other convertibles produced in the future. If so, perhaps by then we will be so used to seeing it that we wouldn't even notice it. 😉

  • Mike

    Hehe, “balmy 58F”. I remember what it was like going to school in Chicago, you guys crack me up. 😉

  • DCE

    Dan Neil, the Pulitzer prize winning automotive writer for the Los Angeles Times, yesterday printed a review of his week with an MCSC. He said that even though he really likes the MINI, he thought the Cabrio's added weight combined with the sport package's 17″ runflats really altered the character of the car. He felt that the ride was “harsh” and “shaky” particularly on rough surfaces.

    How would you compare the ride to the coupe?

  • Allan

    Gabe, if it rains, will you try the open top rain free experiment?

    What I mean, certain speeds can deflect rain water away from you…

    I would love to see this in action.

  • MadisonMini

    I've driven mine in the rain, as long as you're going over 30mph, you stay dry in the front. Can't even tell it's raining unless you hold your hand up in the air. However, backseat passengers don't fare so well, no matter how fast.

    Also sucks when you have to stop at a red light!

  • Chris

    I love my MCSC except H/K Stereo isn't loud enough!! Not worth it in my opinion.

  • MadisonMini

    Not loud enough?? Man, you need to get the wax cleaned out :)

  • ChrisLW

    Chris, check your bass / treble settings to make sure they're not set above the “default”. The H/K has a volume level limiter if these are higher.

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