Friday, May 6, 2016

The Launch of the New MINI Convertible

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Your Pambansang Blogger ng Pilipinas was invited to attend the launch of the new MINI convertible,  the only premium convertible in the small car segment that offers a refreshing open-top driving experience on all four seats. held on April 5, 2016 at the MINI showroom in Bonifacio Global City.

MINI Asia and MINI Philippines says it is available in two variants: MINI Cooper Convertible S and MINI John Cooper Works Convertible. What was unveiled to us during the launch was the former in a stunning chili red color. Now, is this something fiery to drive during the scorching summer heat in the Philippines? Why not! Who cares about the heat when we could look fabulously good driving the MINI Convertible. 

Seriously, we can easily put on the car roof for the sunny or rainy days, and only partially open it during days when you just want to feel the natural blow of the wind instead of the air-conditioning. But when the breeze is cool, just like the MINI Convertible, we can fully open up the top for a more refreshing drive around everywhere, within the metro or at the provinces.

For around Php 3 million, is the MINI Convertible a luxury car you'd want to have in your garage as part of your collection for those days when you feel like flaunting affluence? Maybe, maybe not, since it's small size makes it more convenient to drive around and find parking spaces. It's lightweight makes it more friendly to fuel consumption, and its technology and safety features are worth boasting off to anyone. I will tell you more about the MINI Convertible after the test drive.

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Below is the official press release about the MINI Convertible:

For the first time, the new MINI Convertible is fitted with an automatic and electrically-powered soft top that is particularly quiet and comes with fully-integrated rollover protection. Additionally the soft top roof can be fully opened or closed in just 18 seconds. For spontaneous open-air pleasure and a quick reaction to sudden changes in the weather, the soft top can be automatically opened and closed completely during travel at speeds of up to 30 km/h. The two operations are activated by means of a toggle switch on the front roof frame. When the vehicle is stationary, the soft top can also be operated by means of a button on the remote key. An additional convertible-specific button is provided in the control box located in the door trim on the driver's side for simultaneous opening or closing of the four side windows. The soft top of the new MINI Convertible also offers a sliding roof function, which allows the front section of the top to be retracted to continuously variable levels by up to 40cm.

The new MINI Convertible embodies the most exclusive and emotionally intensive way of savouring authentic MINI driving fun, as the new generation of engines and suspension technology are matched specifically to the model. The highly torsionally stiff body structure further ensures a significant increase in both sporty flair and characteristic brand agility.

Further, the new MINI Convertible reflects noticeable progress in the areas of ride comfort, space and functionality as well as material and workmanship quality, not to mention a large selection of innovative driver assistance systems. The new MINI Convertible’s evolutionary design advancements strike a harmonious balance between elegance and sporty flair, expressing a distinctive character in both the exterior and interior that has matured markedly as compared to the predecessor model.

Suspension: optimised technology and precise set-up for typical MINI go-kart feeling.
The increase in wheelbase and track width as compared to the predecessor model, the concept of power transmission to the front wheels that is typical of the brand, the low centre of gravity and the high-quality suspension technology refined with numerous newly designed components provide the ideal basis for characteristic go-kart feeling in the new MINI Convertible. The combination of single-joint strut front axle and multilink rear axle - unique in the small car segment - and a set-up of wheel suspension, body mounting, vehicle suspension and damping that is geared in detail towards the vehicle characteristics of the open-top 4-seater guarantees not just agile handling but also optimised ride comfort. In order to increase component rigidity and reduce weight, the front axle is fitted with aluminium swivel bearings. Components made of high-strength steel are used in the front and rear axle as well as tube-shaped stabilisers. A sports suspension is optionally available which has a set-up geared towards dynamic driving.

The electromechanical power steering includes speed-related Servotronic steering support for maximum precision when cornering at speed and for comfortable manoeuvring at low speeds. The Dynamic Damper Control now comes standard on the new MINI JCW Convertible for the first time. Two program maps are available to choose from for an electronically controlled damper set-up. In this way, the MINI Driving Modes can be used to activate either a comfort-oriented response or else a direct, sporty response to bumps in the road, according to requirements.

Increased exterior dimensions.
The exterior dimensions of the new MINI Convertible have become bigger compared to its predecessor model. The new MINI Cooper Convertible is now 3,821mm long (+98mm), 1,727mm wide (+44mm) and 1,415mm tall (+1mm). Meanwhile, the new MINI Cooper S Convertible is 3,850mm longer (+121mm). The new dimensions preserve the model's typical proportions while ensuring that occupants on all four seats benefit from a noticeable increase in freedom of movement. The luggage compartment volume of the new MINI Convertible is also significantly larger than in the previous model. What is more, stowage of larger luggage items is facilitated by the Easy Load function, which allows the soft top frame to be raised when the roof is closed, and also a wide through-loading facility.

Interior: high-quality design for an exclusive driving experience.
When driving with an open top in the new MINI Convertible, all occupants can be sure of a place on the sunny side. Intense open-air pleasure is ensured by the upright windscreen and the elongated shoulder line. In addition, the interior of the new MINI Convertible features a design that is both high-end and harmonious, as well as offering premium material and workmanship quality along with significantly increased space comfort as compared to the predecessor model.
The extended adjustment range of the front seats ensures convenient entry and exit for rear passengers. Expanded seat surfaces and increased headroom also contribute to optimised space comfort in the second row. The single-seat character of the two rear seats results in optimised lateral support. Knee space has also been expanded by 40 mm.

Powerful engines with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology.
The MINI Cooper Convertible and MINI Cooper S Convertible are both powered by the latest generation three and four cylinders engines, respectively. They are also driven by MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology. All motorisations meet the EU6 exhaust emission standard.

The MINI Cooper S Convertible is powered by a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine with a peak output of 192hp and maximum torque of 280Nm from 1,250 rpm. Torque can even briefly be increased to 300Nm by means of an overboost function. As a result, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes just 7.1 seconds, while the top speed is 228 km/h. The average fuel consumption of the MINI Cooper S Convertible is 5.8 litres per 100 km, with CO2 emissions of 135 g/100km (per average EU test cycle figures).

The full range of Driver Assistance Systems.
There are numerous innovative Driver Assistance Systems available for the new MINI Convertible. Park Distance Control with sensors at the rear of the car comes as standard. The range of options developed for the new MINI generation includes the MINI Head-Up Display, the Driving Assistant system including camera-based collision and pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant, road sign detection, as well as the Parking Assistant and Rear View Camera.

In addition, the program of special equipment includes LED headlamps, LED fog lamps and the MINI Excitement Package, which comprises LED interior and ambient lighting as well as a projection of the MINI logo onto the ground from the exterior mirror on the driver's side when the car is opened.

The MINI Cooper S Convertible and MINI John Cooper Works Convertible are both retailing at the MINI Global City and MINI Roadshow Greenhills showrooms for Php 3,150,000 and Php 3,950,000, respectively. 

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