Mini unleashes the John Cooper Works Convertible [gallery] image

The British automaker owned by BMW Ag, the world’s largest luxury automaker, has officially taken the wraps off its new John Cooper Works Convertible.

We are treated here with a high-performance mod of the standard Convertible, as the aggressive JCW Convertible comes with a bespoke bumper featuring bigger air intakes and honeycomb mesh grille inserts. We also took heed to the LED headlights, sports exhaust system and exclusive 17-inch lightweight alloy wheels. The power retractable soft top will be opened or closed in 18 seconds at speeds no greater than 30 km/h. Sportiness is the line inside the cabin as well, where we can see the new Dinamica/fabric sport seats, leather-wrapped sport steering wheel, as well as bespoke JCW gear knob. The John Cooper Works Convertible also boasts a modified instrument cluster, stainless steel pedals, as well as revealing JCW door sill plates. While we’re treated to a well known to be impractical convertible version, the bigger cargo bay can still house up to 215 liters (7.6 cubic feet) of luggage.

Most importantly though, motivation comes courtesy of the spectacular turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine churning out 231 horsepower and 320 Newton meters of torque. It has been mated to a standard six-speed manual gearbox and in this combination the JCW Convertible jumps from a standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.6 seconds, on its way to the maximum speed of 242 km/h. Take the optional six-speed Steptronic transmission and the JCW Convertible sheds 0.1 seconds from the sprint time but will top out at a slower 240 km/h. In order to keep all the power in check, the engineers have equipped the JCW Convertible with a modified sports suspension, Brembo braking system and most importantly the front axle features an electronic differential. Prices in the United States for the new JCW Convertible start at $35,600 excluding destination and handling charges.