We’ve previously spotted the 2016 MINI Convertible JCW in winter testing, but now the sun is out and the roof has taken a tumble. The revealing shots show the 228bhp hatch in clear view driving down a German street, and we know it will join the hardtop as the most powerful production MINI ever produced.
We’ve already driven the John Cooper Works hatch in the UK, and it’s on sale now. But we don’t expect to see this droptop version in production form until the start of 2016, after the November release of the standard MINI cabrio. It will use the same storming 228bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, putting power to the front wheels through a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox.
Thanks to a meaty 320Nm of torque, that unit propels the JCW hatch from 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds with the manual gearbox, or 6.1 with the Steptronic auto. It also claims 42.2mpg combined with the manual, but an impressive 49.5mpg in auto guise. We can expect the droptop to be fractionally slower, but not by much.
From these images we can see the cabrio gets the same muscular styling tweaks as the JCW hatch, with a revised front-end featuring enlarged triple air intakes, pumped-up side sills and a racier rear bumper design. Twin tailpipes combine with 17 or 18-inch lightweight alloy wheels, hiding larger Brembo brakes, to complete the look.
The changes combine with the familiar electric canvas hood, that will fold back onto the rear boot panel like on the previous car. Inside will be new bucket seats, stainless steel pedals and sportier detailing, and space is likely to grow thanks to the size increase.
To cope with the extra power under the bonnet, the JCW cabrio will share the same chassis tweaks to make it sharper than before, with firmer suspension (adaptive dampers are optional), a quicker electromechanical steering system and four-piston Brembo brakes.
The MINI JCW hatch is on sale now priced from £24,380 and the cabrio will likely command around a £1,500 premium. It’s set to take on hot droptop rivals like the Citroen DS3 Racing cabrio.
Now take a look a our top 10 best hatchbacks on sale…