We tested the Cooper S Convertible. While performance is not hot-hatch territory (192 horsepower), it is spritely, although we’d rather it was mated to a manual gearbox instead of the seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The chassis still has something of the original Mini about it, no doubt just by dint of the short wheelbase, which produces a quaint wriggling that suits the chirpy, cheeky nature of the design, and that upright cabin. But it is well damped by BMW suspension settings, and the steering mimics the weight and precision of a 3 Series.
The performance of the roof is worth mentioning, too: at the touch of a button above the rear-view mirror it folds back, either half way to create a big sun roof, or all the way so that it nestles behind the rear seats, although it slightly hinders your view behind. It collapses and rises while the car is on the move, and takes 18 seconds to do so.