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Mini JCW convertible first official pictures

Published: 10 February 2009

The new UK-built John Cooper Works Convertible will take centre stage on the Mini stand at the Geneva motorshow in February. Priced at a hefty £23,470 and on sale at the end of March, the convertible features the same chassis and powertrain tweaks as the JCW tintop.

That’s an awful lot of money for a Mini. What do I get for my life savings?

You’re right – that kind of money can get you into some pretty amazing metal these days, as you’ll see in the latest issue of CAR. What your money does buy is some pretty decent performance figures. The breathed on 1.6-litre blown engine stumps up 208bhp at 6000rpm and a chunky 206lb ft of torque at a low 1800rpm, enough to slingshot the car to 60mph in 6.9seconds and onto a top speed of 146mph, while returning 39.5mpg and 169g/km (JCW hatch 6.5seconds, 148mph, 40.9mpg, 165g/km).

So it’s brisk - anything else?

The six-speed transmission has been beefed up, as have the disc brakes and you get an entire alphabet of electronic trickery to prevent you torque steering into the scenery – you get EBD Electronic Brake Force Distribution, CBC Cornering Brake Control, EDLC Electronic Differential Lock Control, DSC Dynamic Stability Control (with Hill Assist) and DTC Dynamic Traction Control. There’s also a Sport button, unique to the JCW cars, that brings in the turbo boost lower down the rev range, reduces steering assistance and sharpens throttle response, and a bespoke steering wheel and instrumentation. And don’t forget that body kit and a whole stack of JCW badging…

Yes, there’s no mistaking it for anything other than the JCW model, is there?

Indeed. As well as the logo on the boot, grille, brakes and door sills, your nifty new ragtop comes with bespoke 17” alloy and the JCW aero kit. It’s not subtle, and it’s pretty expensive – in these cash-strapped times we reckon it’s the ultimate test of brand loyalty…

By Ben Whitworth

Contributing editor, sartorial over-achiever, HANS device shirt collars