By Patrick James on 2018-03-17 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
MINI Cooper S Works
TO Mini enthusiasts, the Mini Cooper resonates with high performance, after first making an appearance in the early 1960s and going on to extensive rallying fame and winning the Monte Carlo rally in 1964.
As we all know the Mini has moved on since being reborn under BMW at the turn of the century, but the legacy lives on with the performance Cooper Works.
Tuned for performance, the 210bhp two-litre twin turbo engine delivers rapid if not class-leading performance. It can hit 60mph in just over six seconds and on to a top speed of 150mph.
Add to this uprated suspensions and high performance Brembo brakes and you have the ingredients for an engaging and fun drive.
It also offers desirability, high tech wizardry, reasonable economy considering its sportiness and high-end finish.
It also looks good, particularly this three-door convertible model, looking closer to the original Mini than its larger siblings like the bigger Countryman and that technological wizardry is no more apparent than with the rain warning system, which sends a message to your phone when rain is detected and roof is down.
The MINI Convertible turns heads with its bespoke aerodynamic kit and the accompanying Works badges to front and rear. The sportiness is emphasised by the hexagonal radiator grille with honeycomb pattern and large air inlets.
The interior is of the highest quality with dark chequered pattern, offset by stainless steel trim, doorstrips and red finish, sports seats with integrated headrests, optional John Cooper Works leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons and the Works logo prevalent throughout.
In addition the familiar central dinner-plate sized touchscreen dial dominates and houses the main functions like MINI Connected, app connectivity, parking camera, navigation and Bluetooth.
These functions are controlled from a rotary controller on the central console. The only discomfort comes from the armrest, which when in lowered position can hamper gearchange.
The equally familiar rocker switches for numerous functions are also prevalent on the dash and to the roof area from where the folding fabric roof is controlled.
This is simplicity itself. It is fully automatic and includes a heated rear window. It can be opened and closed in just 18 seconds, even while travelling at speeds of up to 19mph and doubles as a sliding roof which can be activated at any speed.
If you love wind in the hair motoring, you will love this and for extra comfort and guess what, extra cost, a wind deflector is available.
In addition to the rain warning, while driving if is rain forecast ahead the driver will be alerted on the centre console. Clever stuff.
The greatest fun is one the road. The combination of feisty turbo-charged engine, spitting twin exhausts and short throw six speed gearbox delivers an excellent drive.
It has fantastic grip and body control on corners and the uprated suspension keeping things under control, while the responsive steering reacts instantly. The only downside is some noise intrusion which is to be expected with a fabric roof and wide tyres.
Otherwise the car behaves impeccably around town and there is never a shortage of admirers.
Economy is pretty decent with 48 odd mpg claimed. Practical it's not, with tiny boot space and the rear two seats really only suitable for children.
The base price is surprisingly cheap and the car has bags of kudos. It also has a decent amount of standard kit including a comprehensive list safety kit including a full complement of airbags and fully integrated rollover protection, plus traction and stability control.
But in true BMW fashion there are host of extras available, in this case pushing the price well over £30,000.
MINI Cooper S Works 210 Convertible
Mechanical: 210bhp, 1,998cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 150mph
0-62mph: 7.2 seconds
Combined MPG: 47.9
Insurance Group: 29
C02 emissions: 138g/km
Bik rating: 27%
Choose from one or more of the options to find the car for you.
Based on your search find the dealership
nearest to you.