The 1.6-litter powerplant in the Mini Cooper S Cabrio sure doesn't impress with its displacement. What it does impress though is the amount of modern technology used on it and its efficiency. Unlike the Mark I BMW Mini, this one doesn't use a supercharger but a small twin-scroll turbocharger to pump out no less than 175 horsepower and 240 Nm (173 lb ft) of torque available on a gigantic rev band (from 1600 rpm to 5000 rpm).
Built in a join-venture between BMW and the PSA Group, the small four-cylinder also uses a direct injection system and fully variable valve timing, features which deliver more grunt, less fuel consumption and less emissions. All in one small package.
The newly-developed six-speed manual transmission is well cogged and has all (including the reverse) gears synchronized to provide quite a crisp and precise gear change. Also on the plus side, the soft top is fully automatized in standard meaning you only have to use a button for it to open or close in just 21 seconds. Those seconds do transform in about 24 if the engine is switched off though, for reasons we didn't exactly get.
On the whole, the Mini Cooper S Cabrio is one technologically capable car. Especially for a vehicle its size, there's not much more techy bits you could have in other models.Continue reading