Home / Auto News / News article: MINI John Cooper Works Convertible: Another Geneva Preview - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Feb 10 2009, 11:59 AM

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After debuting the 2009 MINI Convertible recently, we knew it would only be time before the John Cooper Works edition came out.. and here it is.

With a turbocharged and direct-injection 1.6-liter four-cylinder, the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible makes 208 hp from 1850 to 5600 rpm and 192 ft-lbs of torque. A brief “overboost” mode will push torque to 207 ft-lbs for even better acceleration. The result is a 0-60 mph time of 6.6 seconds. Top speed is rated at 146 mph.

Even with all that performance, fuel consumption is impressive with a city/highway rating of 26/34 mpg.

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As all MINI models tend to appeal to driving enthusiasts MINI has equipped with John Cooper Works Convertible with a Sports Button, located next to the gearshift lever. Pushing this button will immediately make for a more enjoyable ride with tighter and more responsive steering and a more sensitive gas pedal.

Also for the enthusiast-driver is a set of 17-inch wheels with 205/45/17 tires. Each wheel weighs just 22 lbs, however, the tires are heavy runflats.

Standard safety features include ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), including Hill Assist, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) and a Brake Assist. Both traction control and stability control can be shut off in stages.

The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible also gets an electronic locking differential.

As for the convertible itself, it opens or closes in just 15 seconds and can be operated at speeds up to 18 mph.

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MINI will also offer John Cooper Works accessories for the sporting convertible including an aerodynamics package, a sports suspension,  cross-drilled brakes, a strut bar and carbon fiber mirror covers. Plenty of carbon fiber interior accessories are also offered. Other interesting options are a gearshift indicator and lateral acceleration meter – perfect for those who like to track their cars.

The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible will go on sale in the U.S. starting in April 2009, at a retail price of $34,950, which includes the $650 destination charge.

MINI John Cooper Works Convertible:

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Official release after the jump:

The Object of Stormy Enthusiasm:
the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible.
A unique racing experience with 208 hp now also in the new generation of the open four-seater MINI – World debut at the International Geneva Motor Show – Extension of the wide range of  John Cooper Works accessories for the MINI and the MINI Clubman.

The new MINI Convertible simply begs the enthusiast to drive with the roof down – and now comes with particularly sporting and dynamic features all round. Just a few weeks after the world debut of the open four-seater, the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible is being presented to the public for the first time at the International Motor Show in Geneva (5–15 March 2009).

This open-air version of MINI’s top performer combines the drive technology of a racing car with the beautiful aesthetic looks of the MINI Convertible, providing a unique driving experience characterized, first, by genuine passion for motorsport and, second, by the undiluted pleasure of enjoying the wonderful sun shining in and the pure wind rushing by.

Stormy enthusiasm is evoked in the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder power unit complete with a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection. Maximum output is 208 hp all the way from 1,850–5,600 rpm, with peak torque of 192 lb-ft increasing briefly in the Overboost mode to 207 lb-ft.

The power unit is based on the engine featured in the MINI John Cooper Works CHALLENGE and raced for the first time in the 2008 MINI CHALLENGE. Accelerating zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, the outstanding performance and sporting character of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible makes this new model an exceptional contender in the MINI Convertible segment.

The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible is the third model introduced by John Cooper Works integrated under the overall roof of the MINI brand. Like the MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop and the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2008, this open-air top-flight performer represents the close connection between the two brands based on a decade-old tradition in motorsport and exerting a significant influence on the development of new models and components.

As with all other MINIs, the John Cooper Works models are built to the customer’s specifications at the MINI Plant in Oxford and sold worldwide through the MINI dealer network, representing the common values of driving pleasure, premium quality and individual style of the highest caliber, for which MINI is known.

The three outstanding performers proudly bearing the John Cooper Works label offer all the high standards of the BMW Group in terms of reliability, quality of finish and authenticity in design. And obviously these quality features also apply to the John Cooper Works performance components, which are geared perfectly to the MINI. Parallel to the launch of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible, new accessories are now being presented by John Cooper Works, available for both the MINI and the MINI Clubman. The wide range of motorsport-inspired, retrofittable options already available is being expanded to include exclusive instruments offering the driver even more detailed information on the condition of the car and/or current driving conditions. So depending on his preferences, the driver may focus in particular on coolant temperature, the relative torque developed by the engine, and/or the car’s lateral acceleration in a bend or on a winding road.

The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible will go on sale in the U.S. starting in April 2009, at a retail price of $34,950, which includes the $650 D&H).

The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible: more sport,
more fresh air.
The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible owes its outstandingly sporting character to the power machine within the engine compartment. Like the engine, numerous other components on the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible are derived directly from motorsport – for example the extra-light, exclusive light-alloy wheels, the extremely powerful brakes, a new exhaust system and the modified six-speed manual gearbox – all developed in close connection with the new racing car entered in the MINI CHALLENGE. So it is fair to say that driving pleasure in the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible is influenced directly by significant contributions from motorsport.

Even in its basic design and configuration, the 1,598-cc four-cylinder based on the power unit featured in the MINI Cooper S Convertible boasts significant technical features carried over from racing. The cylinder block and bearing case, for example, are made of aluminum, the four valves per cylinder are driven by two overhead camshafts, roller-type drag arms are optimized for minimum friction  and hydraulic valve play compensation elements. The exhaust valves, in turn, are filled with sodium to meet the greater cooling requirements of a turbocharged power unit.

The increase in power over the engine featured in the MINI Cooper S Convertible is a result of the optimized supply and extraction of air, as well as the modified turbocharger. At the same time, all intake and exhaust components have been streamlined for optimum flow conditions, contributing to the special sound of the engine.

Know-how gained from motorsport and detailed modifications for more power and performance.
The flow of air through the pure air line leading to the turbocharger has also been increased and streamlined, with the twin-scroll turbocharger ensuring a particularly spontaneous build-up of power at all times.

The ducts of two cylinders at a time are separated from one another in the exhaust gas manifold and the turbocharger, ensuring that the turbine blades start to move in exactly the right way from low engine speeds. A turbine made of a particularly sophisticated material was developed especially for the engine of the John Cooper Works models, with maximum charge pressure increased from 0.9 to 1.3 bar.

This serves to provide maximum torque of 192 lb-ft all the way from 1,850 to 5,600 rpm. And when accelerating, torque is briefly raised to an even higher level of 207 lb-ft by increasing charge pressure between 2,000 and 5,300 rpm. This Overboost function gives the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible even more muscle and faster acceleration.

Maximum output of 208 hp comes at 6,000 rpm, the spontaneous and direct response of the engine again providing even faster acceleration: The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds and has a top speed of 146 mph.

The turbocharged four-cylinder comes with direct gasoline injection based on the common-rail principle, with injection valves positioned on the side of the cylinder head delivering fuel into the combustion chambers in an exact dose and under 120 bar pressure directly from the fuel reservoir. This ensures precisely the right supply of fuel geared to driving and load requirements under all conditions.

Fuel consumption in the US EPA test cycle is unusually low for a car with this kind of power and performance, with preliminary mpg ratings of 26/34/29, (city/highway/combined).

Transmission, suspension, and brakes: developed for the race track,       optimized for everyday traffic.
The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible comes with front-wheel drive in typical MINI style. Power is transmitted by a six-speed manual gearbox specially engineered to take up the particularly high torque of the new top-of-the-range engine.

In addition to the sophisticated suspension with McPherson spring struts at the front and the centrally guided rear axle, quite unique in the small car segment, Electrical Power Steering (EPS) is a further guarantee for safe and extremely precise handling. The electrical servo motor likewise contributes to the car’s efficiency by intervening actively only when power assistance is actually required or is desired by the driver.

EPS enables the driver to program various set-ups, with the basic set-up ensuring a good balance of steering assistance as a function of road speed. Pressing the Sports Button on the center console next to the gearshift lever in the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible, activates a significantly more dynamic set-up with higher steering forces and enhanced steering precision. At the same time, the Sports Button also changes over the gas pedal control map to a more sporting and dynamic configuration.

Featured as standard, the sports braking system guarantees short stopping distances and excels through its precise response and fine dosage. The fixed-caliper disc brakes with their aluminum calipers finished in red – with inner-venting at the front and proudly bearing the John Cooper Works logo on the calipers themselves – are extra-large for superior power.

The 17-inch light-alloy wheels in John Cooper Works Cross Spoke CHALLENGE design, exclusive to the John Cooper Works models, were inspired by motorsport with the particularly great demands made on the race track. Weighing less than 22 lb, these wheels are exceptionally light and come on high-speed 205/45 W 17 runflat tires.

Featured as standard and unique on a front-wheel-drive car:
DSC including DTC.
Over and above its sport-tuned suspension and powerful brakes, the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible also comes with demanding driving stability systems. Standard features include ABS anti-lock-brakes, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), including Hill Assist, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) and a Brake Assist.

Acting as a sub-function of DSC, DTC enables the driver at the touch of a button to raise the driving stability response thresholds, intentionally allowing controlled slip on the drive wheels. This enables the driver in the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible to set off in a controlled process on, say, snowbound surfaces or loose sand with the front wheels slightly spinning, or to drive more closely to the limits of physics in particularly dynamic situations. Then, when reaching the absolute limit, DSC will cut in again also in the DTC mode. If he wishes, however, the driver is able to completely deactivate the DSC function.

The DSC-off mode also activates the Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) on the drive axle. Again featured as standard, this sophisticated system supports a sporting and ambitious style of motoring, for example when accelerating out of bends and hairpins. The electronically controlled locking function prevents a drive wheel from spinning in tight bends by applying the brakes appropriately, enhancing the car’s traction without exerting a negative influence on steering behavior. Accordingly, the entire process of taking a bend is smoother, more harmonious and faster all in one.

Design: uncompromisingly open, unmistakably athletic.
The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible combines the outstanding potential of its drivetrain and suspension technology with all the unmistakable features of the new MINI Convertible, with the design of the car clearly highlighting the exceptionally sporting character of the new model.

With the rollbar being almost completely out of sight, the stretched side view of the car, its silhouette inspired by the classic roadster, comes out very clearly with the roof down. The steep windscreen, in turn, not only underlines the character of an uncompromisingly open car in its looks, but also offers the driver and front passenger the enjoyment of almost sitting in the open air whenever the roof is down.

Through its proportions, short overhangs front and rear, large wheel cut-outs, the height of the waistline and numerous design features typical of the brand, the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible clearly boasts its outstanding role as a fully-fledged member of the family.

The entire front end is the same as on the other MINI John Cooper Works siblings, with the rear subdivided by horizontal lines running parallel to one another. This creates the softly flowing stage contours so typical of the brand, emphasizing the sheer width of the car.

Opening downward, the tailgate of the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible rests on hinges fitted inside the car. The result is a smooth and homogeneous surface again enhancing the powerful and muscular look of the rear section.

Soft roof with a sliding roof function also operates while driving.
The soft roof of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible combines an unmistakable look with unique functionality. With the roof closed the car boasts those special proportions so typical of the MINI, the low roofline additionally accentuating the sporting flair of the Convertible. The high-quality, particularly wind-proof and extremely hard-wearing textile material rests firmly on the steel and aluminum roof bars, keeping any change in shape caused by the wind at high speeds to an absolute minimum.

The soft roof opens and closes completely by electrohydraulic power within 15 seconds in each case. The opening and closing mechanism is activated by a toggle switch on the front roof frame in typical MINI design. And to enable the driver and passengers to enjoy the thrill of driving in the open air spontaneously whenever they wish or to respond quickly to sudden rainfall, the roof may be opened and closed at speeds of up to 18 mph while driving. Last but not least, there is also the option to open the soft top by means of remote control via the ignition key before even setting out.

The unique sliding roof function of the soft top is activated in an all-electric process, the front section of the soft top moving back by up 16″, again by means of the switch on the front roof frame. This appropriately dosed fresh air experience is available at all times while driving at a speed of up to 75 mph.

Larger side windows and retractable rollbar for optimum
all-round visibility.
Excellent all-round visibility with the roof closed is ensured, first, by the large rear side windows and, second, by the newly engineered Active Rollover Protection Bar. Moving up whenever required, this single-piece rollbar extends along the rear seats slightly below the headrests and therefore does not in any way obscure the vision of the driver looking back.

Over and above the extremely stiff passenger cell, high-load bearing structures and precisely defined deformation zones, the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible comes as standard with frontal airbags and head/thorax airbags at the side integrated in the outer flanks of the front-seat backrests and protecting the occupant’s head, upper body and hips from injury in a side-on collision.

All four seats come with three-point inertia-reel seat belts, with belt force limiters and optimized belt latch tensioners at the front.

All restraint systems are masterminded by the car’s central safety electronics including individual sensors and are activated as a function of the type and intensity of a collision.

The safety system in the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible also comprises a rollover sensor, which immediately activates the newly developed rollbar, as well as the belt latch tensioners on the front seats and the head/thorax airbags in the event of a rollover. Together with the windscreen frame specifically reinforced for the needs of open-air motoring, the new one-piece rollbar rises whenever required electromechanically within 150 milli¬seconds — ensuring maximum occupant safety as part of the car’s passenger cell.

The interior: variable in use, sporting and elegant in design.
The interior of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible combines the sporting and straightforward elegance typical of the car’s ambience with a standard of functionality quite unique in this segment. A three-spoke sports steering wheel in leather forms the interface between the driver and his sports machine, the anthracite-colored roof lining and the interior surfaces in glossy Piano Black enable the driver to focus calmly and consistently on driving conditions in exactly the right atmosphere. Yet a further feature in the cockpit of the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible, finally, is the speedometer extending all the way 160 mph.

Designed as a single-piece element, the rollover protection bar further serves to integrate a large loading facility between the luggage and the passenger compartment, giving the new MINI Convertible additional variability.
Clearly, this gives the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible even greater variability, with the rear-seat backrest split down in the middle folding forward as required either in a 50:50 split or completely from one side to another, offering no less than 23.3 cubic feet of storage space with the roof closed.

Furthermore, the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible comes with an Easy-Load system. In this case the tailgate swivels down and may be used as a shelf carrying a weight of up to 176 lb. As an additional feature the rear roof frame swivels up by approximately 35°, creating a truly generous opening leading into the luggage compartment.

The influence of the wind rushing by with the roof open may also be adjusted individually to the driver’s and passengers’ requirements. Available as an option, the wind deflector significantly reduces air turbulence within the interior, fitting into position behind the rear seats and folding up easily and conveniently.

Customization all the way: high-tech audio and navigation systems,         complete integration of the Apple iPhone.
Over and above the features mentioned, MINI offers an almost unlimited range of customization options for the high-performance Convertible. This means all exterior colors, interior design features, seat upholstery options, interior colors and trim variants, as well as the comfort features and other items of special equipment available on the other models.

The MINI John Cooper Works Convertible is likewise available with the full range of high-tech entertainment and navigation systems offered by MINI, with the controls for the audio system – featuring a CD player as standard – and the 6½-inch TFT color display of the optional navigation system housed within the circular instrument in the middle.

Using the AUX port also featured as standard, the user may for example play music recorded on an MP3 player on the car’s audio system. Another special feature is the interface for full integration of an Apple iPod, while a mobile phone preparation kit and, respectively, integrated hands-free operation complete with a Bluetooth interface and USB port available as an option ensure optimum and safe communication on the road. And last but not least, there is also a special Apple iPhone interface for integrating the audio and telephone functions.

Performance premium-style: John Cooper Works accessories.
Motoring comfort, practical value and the sporting flair of the car may be enhanced to an even higher level with the wide range of MINI John Cooper Works accessories. The highlights in the range include an Aerodynamics Package and the Sports Suspension with springs painted red and cross-drilled brake discs. Further features are a dome bar extending across the engine compartment, mirror caps in carbon, and side scuttles around the side direction indicators with a special, sporting grid structure.

Trim bars, the handbrake lever and the sports gearshift lever in carbon also serve to give the interior an even more sporting ambience. And last but not least, the Gearshift Indicator also offered as a John Cooper Works accessory helps to enhance the driving experience to an even higher level.

New on the MINI and MINI Clubman: additional John Cooper Works instruments.
The John Cooper Works performance components give even greater emphasis to the sporting character of every MINI highlighted also through the car’s looks. The new, additional John Cooper Works instruments, now available on both the MINI and MINI Clubman are a particularly attractive addition to the range.

This option allows full integration of up to two circular instruments in the immediate vicinity of the rev counter, with the additional instruments finished in the style of a sports car cockpit coming in special MINI design and blending perfectly with the interior of the car. With their anthracite-colored faces, they add further appeal to the sporting character of the cockpit.

Here the discerning customer has the choice of three different analogue instruments, up to two of which may be integrated to the right and left of the rev counter, directly in the driver’s field of vision. The coolant temperature gauge, for example, gives the driver clear information on the engine’s current running conditions, enabling him to monitor the process of warming up the engine and gauge his style of motoring precisely to current conditions.

The relative torque indicator permanently informs the driver on the engine’s load condition, showing current torque on the crankshaft relative to the maximum torque available. Proceeding from this information, the driver will find it much easier to choose the ideal gear for dynamic acceleration at all times.

On the MINI Cooper S, the MINI John Cooper Works, the MINI Cooper S Clubman and the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman the driver is additionally informed on the current operation of the Overboost function.

All MINIs may also be fitted with a lateral acceleration indicator providing information on centrifugal forces in a bend and on winding roads.

The additional John Cooper Works instruments are an ideal opportunity to further highlight the sporting character of the MINI and the MINI Clubman, raising driving pleasure to an even higher level. In their design and quality, the additional instruments meet all the high standards of the BMW Group. They are sold and fitted by MINI dealers within the MINI network worldwide.