After successfully doing the Italian Job, the Mini Cooper made its way into desi hearts and thus began the Indian Job. And there’s no doubting the efficacy of this harmonious introduction of a compact, easy-to-control car that brings with it a mysterious love and endearment. It’s perfectly suited for Indian roads with luxury infused at all the right corners. The Mini Cooper S Convertible has added another dash of excitement to the Cooper Craze that’s yet to fully grip India.
Convertibles are still a rare sight, even in our metros, thanks to the weather conditions. Yet, if you have the zeal to go for a convertible, you would have to settle for higher-end coupes and that may not be the most practical thing to do. The Mini Cooper S Convertible offers this bridge between both worlds, giving you the convertible experience in a modestly luxurious ecosystem, which is fun to drive.
It is extremely stylishly designed and ups the level of coolness when the top drops. Dropping the roof happens stylishly as well. It happens in two stages — it first drops just enough to simulate a sunroof, and then takes it all the way to the back. The fabric roof drops with ultra-quiet precision and takes just 18 seconds to come back up. You can open and close the top at speeds of up to 30 kmph.
The signature round Mini headlamps give it a cute but sporty look. The union jack tail lights and the rear bumper have received a fresh new look and at the centre are the twin exhaust. The detailing on the design and the throwback lines to previous models is done with expertise. The darker fabric top looks great against the contrasting body paint, which gleams under the sun. Since it is a 2-door car, the drop-down action feels natural, thanks to the absence (or need) of a C-pillar.
The interior feels nice and premium. The chrome dials and Union Jack motifs dominate the driver’s interface. A heads-up display proves to be extremely useful, especially when you cannot take your eyes off the road in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The unique circular infotainment display is quite a sight to behold. You can pick your music preferences here and also switch between driving modes. The infotainment system is intimately connected to Mini’s Connected smartphone app so you needn’t be in your car to get a few things going. There's nothing like stepping into a pre-cooled car.
The size of the car accommodates two adults and a little kid at the back to fit comfortably. The boot opens downward, which may surprise many, but it does have a fair amount of space. If you drop the rear seats, you get 215 litres of boot space. There’s a lot to enjoy in the car, with dual-zone automatic climate control, Connected Navigation Plus, and impressive Harman Kardon audio.
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The Mini Cooper S Convertible is a great car to drive and that’s the most essential attribute you seek when dealing with city traffic. It comes with a 2-litre, 4-cylinder engine that is turbocharged and has a 7-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. It produces 189hp with 280Nm of torque and can go from 0 to 100 kmph in an impressive 6.2 seconds. Driving the convertible feels like you’re in a go-karting circuit, as you easily manoeuvre your way through traffic, especially those sluggish rickshaws and cabs. The car is incredibly low and that adds to this feeling. The handling of the S Convertible is impressive.
The driving modes are extremely convenient to use and help you explore the full potential of the car. The default mode is called ‘MID’. Then you have the more economical ‘GREEN’ mode and our favourite, the ‘SPORT’ mode, which improves the steering response dramatically and also gives you enough acceleration to reach the aforementioned 6.2-second mark. Quick shifts and sharp turning make the S Convertible one of the more preferred open-top cars in India. That and the space-saving parking it has to offer. One would desire the presence of paddle-shifters on the steering wheel itself, so as to fully recreate the sport drive, but that’s going to take Mini a few more renditions to be included, if ever.
The convertible aspect of this adorable city car will leave you wondering how cumbersome large sedans with drop-tops can be. The idea of a compact, aggressive car that intuitively drives you around seems like a natural fit. For many, it blows away the claustrophobic tightness of space the hard-top variants could present.
It’s a fantastic second car to have parked in your garage for quicker errands, short off-city trips, or even for a dreamy ride in the after-hours where you can drop the top and take in the visual and aural flavours of the city. Priced around the `40 lakh rupees mark, it is all about great value.
In closing, one looks at the S Convertible as a happy car. It looks happy from the outside, invokes joy when you step inside and let the roof drop, and definitely uplifts your mood with the way it handles itself around stressful traffic situations. Maybe it is your 4-tired secret to happiness.
Engine: 1998cc, turbocharged petrol
Transmission: 7-speed Automatic
Power: 189bhp @ / 280 Nm @ 1250 rpm
Top speed: 230kmph
0 to 100kmph: 6.2 seconds
Price: Rs39.44 Lakh
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