One of my favorite drives I’ve ever been on was across country in a JCW convertible – top down the entire way. It was a constant assault of everything that’s great about motoring. Open air across beautiful countryside with a car that constantly felt great in my hands and under my foot. While the convertible often gets overlooked by the hardcore enthusiasts, it’s really a rare blend of performance comfort and open element motoring. And for us at MF it represents something rare in the automotive world and special in the range. Today MINI takes the wraps of the latest JCW convertible. While there’s nothing too surprising here (imagine the F57 + the F56 JCW together and you have it) this is still a welcome addition to the MINI line-up.
Read on for the official press release and fun specifications.
Official Release: When passion for motor racing is the driving force and intense open-air pleasure the goal, the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible takes the ideal line from the word go. The second John Cooper Works model of the latest generation combines engine and suspension technology optimized for use on the race track with distinctive design and equipment features as well as the extensively refined qualities of the new MINI Convertible. This lends even greater fascination to the vehicle concept of an open-top 4-seater with outstandingly sporty performance properties that is still unique in the small car segment.
The latest version of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible offers the most exclusive way of enjoying extreme driving fun. With its spontaneous power delivery and highly emotional sound, the most powerful engine in the British brand’s portfolio with 228 bhp is strikingly impressive. The fully electrically operated textile top is particularly low-noise, open or closing in just 18 seconds at the press of a button. The stretched silhouette and the powerfully modelled surfaces of the open-top 4-seater are supplemented with design elements developed especially for the John Cooper Works model to optimize cooling air intake and aerodynamic properties. The suspension technology set-up based on well-established racing expertise along with convertible- specific bracing elements guarantees excellent agility and precisely controlled handling in dynamic driving situations. Noticeable progress is also reflected in the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible as compared to its predecessor model in terms of acceleration figures, space and the premium characteristics of the interior, where the rollover bars that extend automatically if needed are now fully integrated behind the rear seats.
The power that now ensures a truly unique racing feel when driving with the top open is drawn from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine developed on the basis of the latest engine generation with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology, with a peak output exceeding that of the predecessor model by 20 hp. There is also an increase in the lead over the new MINI Cooper S Convertible. The additional output of the top athlete bearing the John Cooper Works logo is now 39 hp. The new engine also generates a maximum torque of 236 ft.-lbs. and accelerates the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible with standard 6-speed manual transmission from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.4 seconds 2 seconds less than the predecessor model. In conjunction with the new generation of the optional 6-speed Steptronic sport automatic transmission, the same sprint takes just 6.3 seconds (minus 0.5 seconds). Elasticity has also been improved by about 10 percent. 6.1 seconds is all it takes to accelerate from 50 to 75 mph.
The thrilling performance figures and also the handling properties of the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible – which are always supremely under the driver’s control even when moving in extremely sporty style – result from a precisely configured overall package comprising not just the powerful engine but also a sports exhaust system, the sports suspension including 17-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels, a sports brake system developed in collaboration with specialist manufacturer Brembo, the John Cooper Works Aerodynamics Kit and the distinct cockpit design featuring John Cooper Works sport seats. The car’s performance properties, appearance and fascinating driving experience also give the open-top variant of the top athlete authentic characteristics that both reflect longstanding motor racing experience and the tradition-steeped association between MINI and John Cooper Works. To this day, the name of the legendary sports car designer John Cooper – who once paved the way for the classic Mini to take to the race track – stands for the intensive driving fun and successful motor racing achievements of the small British car.
The exclusive character of the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible is also reflected in its particularly extensive standard trim. In addition to the fully automatic soft top, standard features on board include full LED headlamps, MINI Driving Modes, Performance Control, and the MINI Connected system with 6.5-inch display, support for app integration, and voice activation. The options available exclusively for the John Cooper Works models include the body paint finish in the variant Rebel Green, Leather and Dinamica upholstery with red accents for the standard and exclusive John Cooper Works Sport Seats, 18-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels and John Cooper Works bonnet stripes. What is more, the optional MINI Head-Up Display in the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible features additional display content to support extremely athletic driving fun. For enhanced driving fun, increased comfort and even more pronounced individual style, there is a special range of options and John Cooper Works Tuning accessories available in addition to the optional equipment offered for the new MINI Convertible.
Engine: well-established racing expertise for top output.
The current engine generation with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology reflects significant progress in the areas of power delivery, running smoothness and efficiency. This makes it the ideal basis for a power unit geared towards top performance with the characteristics inspired by motor racing that are typical of the John Cooper Works models. The 4-cylinder gasoline engine of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible, traditionally mounted transversely at the front, offers a 25 percent increase in capacity as compared to the predecessor model, as well as a 10 percent increase in output and a 23 percent increase in maximum torque.
In addition to the capacity of 2.0 liters, the MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology is another similarity with the engine of the MINI Cooper S Convertible. This comprises turbocharging integrated in the exhaust manifold, gasoline direct injection with injectors arranged centrally between the valves, fully variable valve control in the form of VALVETRONIC as patented by the BMW Group and variable camshaft control on the intake and exhaust side (double VANOS). This is combined with selective modifications which give the engine of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible an output boost of 39 hp as well as noticeably optimized pulling power. The main focus here is a newly developed turbocharger. It is made of a highly temperature-resilient material and generates increased charge-air pressure for even, sporty power delivery across a wide engine speed range. The specific pistons are precisely harmonized with this, enabling compression reduction that is adapted to the high level of charge-air pressure. This design produces performance characteristics typical of a sports car, i.e. power delivery that sets in early on and is maintained continuously right through to a high load range.
The engine of the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible reaches its maximum torque of 236 ft.-lbs. at just 1,250 rpm and puts this on stream up to the engine speed range of 4,800 rpm. At 5,200 rpm the engine supplies its peak output of 228 bhp which is then maintained at a constant level up to 6,000 rpm. Its thrust not only enables extremely spirited acceleration from standing but also highly dynamic interim sprints. The new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible completes the standard sprint from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.4 seconds (automatic: 6.3 seconds) and it takes just 6.1 seconds to accelerate from 50 to 75 mph with the standard manual transmission. The top speed of the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible is 150 mph (automatic: 149 mph).
This engine technology geared towards top performance is rounded off with a specific sports exhaust system whose benefits come into their own especially during open-top driving. With its low level of exhaust back pressure it not only promotes spontaneous power delivery in the engine but also generates the sound typical of the John Cooper Works models that underscores the engine’s performance character with a highly emotional acoustic pattern across all load ranges.
New top efficiency figures due to MINIMALISM technology.
With the increased efficiency of the new generation of engines and transmissions, intelligent lightweight construction, optimized aerodynamic properties and extensive additional MINIMALISM technology, the new edition of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible achieves new top figures in the discipline of efficiency. Adjusted for fittings, the weight of the leading open-top athlete is even below the level of the predecessor model despite the increased dimensions and larger engine. What is more, the auto start/stop function can now be used in conjunction with the Steptronic transmission. The standard MINI Driving Modes enable activation of the GREEN mode, which supports an efficiency-optimized driving style. In models fitted with the Steptronic transmission it is possible to use the coasting function, whereby the drivetrain is decoupled at speeds of between 30 and 85 mph as soon as the driver removes their foot from the accelerator pedal.
Dynamic and efficient: 6-speed manual transmission with engine speed adaptation, 6- speed Steptronic automatic transmission with shift paddles at the steering wheel. The standard 6-speed manual transmission is characterized by a low weight and short shift distances as well as optimized acoustic properties and vibration response. It harmonizes perfectly with the performance characteristics of the engine as well as offering an innovation that takes effect particularly impressively when driving the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible in sporty style. A gear sensor allows active engine speed adaptation, also known as rev matching. When changing gear, the engine speed can be automatically adapted to the rotational speed of the input shaft for the gear selected. This ensures smooth and precise clutch engagement when shifting down a gear.
The optional 6-speed Steptronic sport transmission combines a favorable efficiency and a high level of shift comfort with increased shift dynamics and extremely fast gear shifts. In manual mode it is possible to change gear using shift paddles at the steering wheel.
For precision and agility at the very highest level: sports suspension, Brembo sports brake system, convertible-specific bracing elements.
Together with the hallmark brand concept comprising front-wheel drive, a low center of gravity, short overhangs, a wide track and a rigid and weight-optimized body structure, the suspension technology has undergone extensive further development for the latest generation of the MINI so as to provide the perfect basis for a thrilling racing feel. The body of the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible features additional specific torsion struts in the front and rear area of the underbody, selective optimization in the area of the side sills and a stiffening plate underneath the engine.
The new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible is fitted as standard with a sports suspension and benefits from the well-established design principle of a single-joint spring strut axle at front and a multilink rear axle as well as optimized details geared towards the particularly high engine and driving performance figures of the leading open-top athlete. In order to reduce weight and increase component rigidity, the front axle is fitted with aluminum swivel bearings as well as axle supports and wishbones made of high-strength steel. The axle kinematics supports an agile turn-in response as well as a precise steering sensation largely free of drive torque. At the rear axle, too, a larger proportion of highly rigid steel types ensures increased stiffness combined with reduced weight. Tube-shaped anti-roll bars at the front and rear axle, an innovative axle bearing including a hydraulically damped engine mount and triple-path support bearings to decouple the dampers from the body additionally contribute to the fact that the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible retains precisely controllable handling as well as optimized ride comfort even in highly sporty situations.
Another standard feature is the particularly high-performance sports brake system developed exclusively for the John Cooper Works models. Designed in collaboration with the specialist manufacturer Brembo, the 4-piston fixed caliper disc brakes guarantee consistently high deceleration performance even when exposed to intensive stress on the race track. The brake calipers are finished in red and bear the manufacturer’s logo. What is more, the standard 17-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels have been designed in Track Spoke silver for the new generation of the top athlete. John Cooper Works light alloy wheels are optionally available in the variant Track Spoke black in 17-inch size and also in the Cup Spoke 2-tone design, size 18 inches.
DSC including Performance Control, Servotronic and MINI Driving Modes as standard, Dynamic Damper Control as an option.
The standard Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) also comprises the functions Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) – which acts as an electronic locking function for the front axle differential – and Performance Control, which supports agile turning when taking bends at speed. Self-steering tendencies that can be caused by differing torque levels on the drive wheels are also prevented by means of the so-called Torque Steer Compensation function provided by the electromechanical power steering. Its standard functions include speed-related Servotronic steering support for maximum precision when cornering at speed and for comfortable maneuvering at low speeds.
Dynamic Damper Control is optionally available for the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible. It allows selection of two set-ups for either particularly sporty or more comfort-oriented driving situations. The relevant set-up is activated via the standard MINI Driving Modes. In addition to the standard MID mode there is a choice of SPORT and GREEN mode. The MINI Driving Modes are operated by means of a rotary switch at the base of the gear or selector lever and influence not just the program map of the optional electronically controlled dampers but also the characteristic curves of the accelerator pedal and steering, the engine acoustics and also the shift characteristics of the Steptronic transmission, if the latter is fitted.
Exterior design: dynamically stretched silhouette, powerfully shaped surfaces, striking signs of athletic performance.
The new edition of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible is the outcome of a progressive evolution and reflects a distinct character. Lines and surface design in typical MINI styling guarantee an unmistakable high-quality appearance, whether the soft top is open or closed. Large circular headlamps with chrome rings, the MINI hexagonal radiator grille, the side turn indicator surrounds known as side scuttles and the black periphery around the bottom edge of the body all clearly signal the model’s kinship with the British premium brand.
The dynamically stretched silhouette, powerfully modelled surfaces, short overhangs and wide track define the car’s sporty appearance, which is further emphasized by the features for superior performance properties which are typical of the John Cooper Works models. The front section comprises strikingly large air inlets that reflect the high cooling requirements of the engine, its ancillary units and the brakes. The cooling concept of the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible also comprises additional air inlets in the outer areas of the front apron so as to ensure the ideal operating temperature is maintained in race track conditions, too. To provide cooling for the additional external radiator, an air inlet was added in the space otherwise occupied by the driver’s side fog lamp in the Cooper and Cooper S Convertibles.
The hexagonal radiator grille at the center of the front section has a characteristic honeycomb pattern and a cross member at the bottom edge finished in red. The John Cooper Works logo also appears here, as well as on the luggage compartment lid. The standard LED headlamps are surrounded by a daytime driving light ring that also uses LED technology, the lower section of which is white and acts as the turn indicator. Precisely shaped air ducting elements in the lower section of the front apron help optimize the car’s aerodynamic properties, as do the side sills in model-specific design and the rear apron with flaps and a diffuser element. Other exclusive features of the exterior include the side turn indicator surrounds known as side scuttles, which bear a red accentuation line and a John Cooper Works logo applied against a black background, and also the tailpipes of the sports exhaust system integrated centrally in the rear apron which can be identified by their particularly large cross-section. Paint finishes for the body include the variant Rebel Green, which is exclusively available for the new MINI John Cooper Works models. As an option at no extra cost, exterior mirror caps are available in white, black or – also exclusively for the MINI John Cooper Works models – Chili Red. The John Cooper Works bonnet stripes are likewise an option that is reserved solely for the top athletes of the latest generation.
Fully automatic soft top: for the first time with fully electric drive and optionally available as a MINI Yours top with integrated Union Jack graphic.
Like its predecessor, the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible also features a fully automatic textile stop. This comprises a heated glass rear window, a particularly high-quality liner and further optimized acoustic insulation. For the first time, soft top operation is purely electric, rather than using a dual electric and hydraulic system, and therefore particularly low-noise. The fully automatic soft top can be activated spontaneously at the press of a button. It can be opened and closed in 18 seconds, even during travel at speeds of up to 18 mph. The sliding roof function is available at any speed, allowing the front section of the top to be retracted to continuously variable levels by up to 16 mph.
As an alternative to the standard version of the soft top in black, a MINI Yours soft top is available for the first time that comprises an integrated woven graphic as a unique customization option. In reference to the brand’s home country of Britain, the textile surface features a black and grey Union Jack motif in a high-end herringbone pattern. Another option is a newly developed wind deflector which is particularly simple to use and offers reduced weight.
Premium ambience and sports car flair on the inside.
Due to the increased dimensions as compared to the predecessor model, the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible offers tangibly optimized space on the four seats. What is more, the interior is distinguished by a design that is both high-end and harmonious as well as premium materials and workmanship. At both front and rear there are cup holders and storage spaces for drinks and travel utensils. Bottles of up to 1.5 liters fit in the door pockets. The matured character of the open-top 4-seater is also reflected in precise design details. For example, the belt feeds for the front and rear seats are designed in the same style, with the holders at the rear also acting as a cover for the rollover protection, now invisibly integrated.
The additional functions and the new display and operating concept are combined with specific design features in the style of John Cooper Works, thereby enhancing the intense performance experience this car offers. The standard trim includes the new John Cooper Works sports seats with integrated headrests and upholstery in Dinamica/fabric and the color Carbon Black. The new seats are also optionally available in a Dinamica/Carbon Black leather version with red applications. The single- seat character of the rear seats also ensures optimized lateral hold during dynamic cornering. Other standard fittings on board include the newly designed John Cooper Works leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons and the John Cooper Works door sill cover strips, the John Cooper Works gear or selector lever, stainless steel pedals including driver footrest and cockpit displays with dark dials. Interior trim with Black Checkered dash surface, and red design accentuations not just on the seat surfaces but also on the steering wheel rim, the gear or selector lever and the central instrument surround all contribute to underscoring the car’s sporty and exclusive flair.
The extended adjustment range of the front seats ensures convenient entry and exit for rear passengers. Expanded seat surfaces and increased headroom also contribute to optimized space comfort in the second row. Interior width and knee space at the rear are also noticeably more generous. The tailgate of the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible opens downwards and can take a weight of up to 176 lbs. when used as a surface on which to place luggage items. When the soft top is closed, the luggage compartment opening can be expanded by means of the Easy Load function, which comes as standard. Two locking handles enable the soft top frame to be swung up. The load compartment volume is 5.6 cubic feet with the soft top open and 7.6 cubic feet when it is closed. A 50:50 folding split backrest and a through-loading facility are provided as standard.
Complete range of safety fittings, fully integrated rollover protection.
The passive safety of the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible is also enhanced by the extremely stable passenger cell, highly resilient bracket structures and deformation zones in optimum design. These are part of the integrated MINI safety concept, as are the standard front airbags, side head-thorax airbags integrated in the backrests, 3-point automatic belts on all seats including belt tensioners at the front and ISOFIX child seat mountings at the rear and for the front passenger seat. A tire pressure display for each individual wheel is also included as standard. A partially active bonnet is one of the features which contributes to optimized pedestrian protection.
In addition, the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible is fitted with a rollover protection system whose actuators are interconnected with the car’s safety electronics. As soon as the risk of a rollover is detected, the two high-strength aluminum bars retract within 0.15 seconds by means of a pyrotechnical trigger function.
Performance in view: sports instruments, Head-Up Display with additional display content.
The racing feel in the cockpit of the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible can be further enhanced with the optional sports instruments. The three displays designed in classic circular form provide information that is especially relevant when an ambitiously sporty style of driving is adopted. The sports instruments consist of displays for the oil and boost pressure as well as a chronometer with stopwatch function.
The likewise optional MINI Head-Up Display which extends out of the dashboard behind the steering wheel offers an increased range of functions in the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible. In addition to information on speed limits current navigation directions and Check Control messages, feedback from the driver assistance systems and lists of telephone contacts and entertainment programs, it is also possible to display the currently selected gear and a multicolored engine speed scale. The engine speed display is supplemented with a shift point signal so as to enable particularly dynamic acceleration maneuvers, depending on the driving mode selected. (Speed limit display requires separate option Active Driving Assistant.)
Maneuvering is made even easier with optional rear Park Distance Control (PDC) with sensors at the rear of the vehicle. The system is also optionally available with additional sensors in the front apron. A rear view camera and Parking Assistant can also be selected. The optional Driving Assistant system including camera-based active cruise control, collision and pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant and road sign detection are likewise available for the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible.
High-end options for increased open-air pleasure, comfort and individual style.
Due to its unique vehicle concept and exclusive fittings, the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible already provides an impressive overall package for extreme driving fun and intense open-air pleasure in its standard trim. With the characteristic MINI diversity offered by the range of standard and optional equipment and accessories, the top athlete additionally offers extensive options for customization geared precisely towards the driver’s own personal style. The new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, which includes a convertible mode. Both when using the sliding roof function and when driving with the top completely open, the impact of the airstream is taken into account when regulating the air conditioning. The likewise standard Always Open Timer inspires drivers to take every opportunity to drive with the top open. The refined version of the system keeps track of the time spent driving with the top open down to the last minute and now displays this information on the on-board computer in the central instrument complete with graphics to match the situation on the road.
In addition, the program of optional equipment includes seat heating for driver and front passenger, Comfort Access, electrically heated and folding exterior mirrors and both interior and driver exterior mirrors with automatic dimming function. The standard MINI Excitement Package includes LED interior and ambient lighting as well as a projection of the MINI logo onto the ground from the exterior mirror on the driver’s side when the car is opened.
Intelligent connectivity: MINI Connected App including rain warning function.
The standard MINI Connected infotainment system features a 6.5-inch high-resolution screen, while the optional Technology Package expands this to an 8.8-inch display with even higher resolution, split-screen capability, and satellite navigation. Both MINI Connected systems offer extensive integration of smartphones in the car, allowing the use of internet-based services in the areas of infotainment, communication and driving experience by means of apps. Operation is intuitive and reflects hallmark brand style, using the MINI Controller in the center console and the color display in the central instrument.
The current version of the MINI Connected App comprises new functions to increase comfort and driving fun. The online search function makes it easier to find addresses. The applications Sports Instruments and Force Meter can be used to show information on the central instrument display such as the current level of engine power and torque in use as well as longitudinal and transverse acceleration. The function Streetwise provides the driver with tips for an optimum route even before the journey gets underway.
The optional Technology Package with 8.8-inch screen and navigation also enables use of the new Journey Mate app. This helps the driver plan journeys as well as providing appropriate individualized information in route to the destination. It also allows for users to input destinations on their smartphone and have these load automatically to the in-car navigation system. The Journey Mate also features a real-time traffic radar function with highly precise and up-to-date traffic information over the phone’s internet connection. Another new feature that was developed especially for the new MINI generation is the rain warning function. In the event of potential precipitation as determined based on current weather data, the driver is sent a message via smartphone suggesting that they should close the soft top.