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Mini introduces the fastest and most powerful Convertible it has ever built

BMW’s Mini division recently skipped the Detroit Auto Show, but that doesn’t mean it’s not busily developing new products. The company has just announced the 2016 John Cooper Works Convertible, the fastest and most powerful ragtop it has ever built.

Based on the all-new 2016 Cooper Convertible, the John Cooper Works Convertible benefits from a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 228 horsepower — about 20 more than the outgoing model — from 5,200 to 6,000 rpm and 236 pound-feet of torque from 1,250 to 4,800 rpm. It takes 6.3 seconds to reach 60 mph from a stop when it’s ordered with the optional six-speed automatic transmission, while sticking with the standard six-speed manual unit yields a 6.4-second 0-to-60 mph time. On the track, both models max out at approximately 150 mph.

The average on-looker won’t know precisely what lurks under the JCW’s hood, but they’ll be able to tell it’s not a standard Convertible because it looks fast even when it’s not moving. It boasts a full body kit that includes a deeper front bumper with big air ducts, 17-inch alloys tucked under fender flares, and a model-specific rear bumper with a pair of round exhaust tips. Finally, Mini has added John Cooper Works emblems on the grille, on both fenders, on all four center caps, and on the trunk lid.

The latest JCW Convertible receives a power-retractable cloth soft top that opens or closes in 18 seconds at speeds of up to 18 mph. The new model gains a clever sunroof option that allows the passengers to retract the front part of the top by about 15 inches regardless of how fast the car is moving. Trunk space checks in at 5.7 cubic feet with the roof open, and 7.6 cubes with the roof closed.

Like the standard Convertible, the JCW comes with a rain warning application that emits audible and visual warnings if a storm is approaching. The rain warning app takes the stress and the unpredictability out of driving a convertible on overcast days.

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The 2016 Mini Cooper Convertible will go on sale in March with a base price of $25,950. The John Cooper Works-badged model is scheduled to arrive about a month later, and it will be priced at $35,600. Neither figure includes a mandatory $850 destination charge.