First drive: Mini Cooper Convertible - On the road
The improvements in economy don't come at the expense of performance, either. The Cooper reaches 62mph from a standstill in a respectable 9.8secs, while the Cooper S manages it in a lively 7.4secs. In particular, the mid-range pull of the Cooper S engine stands out.
The heavy body stiffening, to compensate for cutting the roof off, means the Convertible’s performance isn't on a par with the hatchback’s, but it's still good enough to be mighty entertaining.
The combination of a responsive chassis and nicely weighted steering makes for a car that will put a smile on your face - whether on a favourite country road or weaving through the city. There is some bodyshake that lets you know the roof is missing, but it hardly detracts from the fun. The ride is firm, though, ensuring you feel all the bumps in the road.
Deft aerodynamics and a low-slung seating position mean all but the extremely tall will be able to drop the roof and still sit in warm.
Noise isn't a significant problem - roof up or down. The engines do get a little gruff under acceleration, but not to the point of irritation.