By Marc Lachapelle
Mini rolled out its quickest and sportiest convertible yet in Geneva. In addition to the structural, safety and functional upgrades of its second-generation siblings, the new John Cooper Works Convertible gets a version of the engine that was developed for the Mini Challenge racing series.
With a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection, the 1.6-litre four delivers 211-horsepower and a 192 lb-ft torque peak spread from 1,850 to 5,600 rpm, with bursts to 206 lb-ft thanks to an overboost mode. The 39 horsepower gain over the Cooper S is enough for a 0-100 km/h sprint in 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 235 km/h.
The JCW also gets a tweaked suspension, special brakes with red aluminum callipers and lighter 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/45 run-flat tires. For other forms of entertainment and communication, the JCW is loaded with auxiliary and USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity and an interface for integrated operation of audio and telephone functions specifically designed for an iPhone.
Sharing the spotlight on the Mini in Geneva were the new Mini One Clubman and Mini One 55 kW, both entry-level models reserved for the European market. Let’s hope Mini soon equips its Canadian models with the fuel-saving and eco-friendly brake energy regeneration and start-stop systems seen on the Mini One 55 kW. It would also be great to get the 1.6-liter diesel from the European Cooper D model which boasts a Prius-like combined fuel economy rating of 4.4 L/100 km.