2016 Mini JCW Convertible revealed: to the beach, at 150mph

Published: 19 January 2016

First official pictures of JCW Convertible
John Cooper Works is fastest Mini available
See it at the 2016 New York motor show in March

The Mini John Cooper Works is a rocket-powered rollerskate, adding a dollop of extra power (and extra grilles) to the already speedy Cooper S.

Now Mini’s chopped the JCW’s roof off, creating a suitably over-the-top range-topper for the newly introduced Mk3 Convertible family.  

Read CAR’s review of the Mini John Cooper Works hatchback here.

What’s special about the Mini JCW Convertible?

The most powerful engine in the Mini family, a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot punching out an Audi S1-rivalling 228bhp. That’s an increase of around 38bhp over a next-rung-down Mini Cooper S Convertible, courtesy of new pistons, cooling gubbins, software tweaks and a few more pounds of boost.

Like the JCW hatch, the front end’s peppered with extra grilles and intakes, even losing the foglights to cram more air into an additional cooling packs for the more powerful engine (On one side only; the offside grille is a blanked-off dummy).

There’s also a set of JCW-specific 17in alloys with big Brembo brakes and the option of special ‘Rebel Green’ paint.

What’s the story with the roof?

It’s an electrically powered fabric affair, like the regular Mk3 Mini Convertible. You can raise or lower it while you’re driving, at up to 18mph, and the whole process takes around 18 seconds. Oh, and you can have a Union Jack emblem embroidered on it if you really must.

Mini JCW Convertible 2016

How fast is the new convertible John Cooper Works?

The extra weight necessary for strengthening the roofless shell’s structure has added 0.3sec to the 0-62mph times, but that still works out at a swift 6.6sec with the standard manual gearbox – or 6.5sec with the optional torque-converter auto.

Top speed for the manual model is 150mph. In a Mini Convertible! Opt for the manual and you’ll lose a crucial 1mph from v-max.

How much?

It’ll be £26,630 with a manual gearbox, or £28,205 with the auto (the JCW hatch starts from £23,050). Well, you never expected it to be cheap, did you?

The Mini John Cooper Works Convertible make its debut at the New York motor show in March 2016 and will go on sale in the UK from April.

Read more about the rest of the new Mk3 Mini Convertible models here.

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer