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Mini 'slahla' not just a pretty face

By unknown | Apr 22, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mabuyane Kekana

Mabuyane Kekana

Spotting two large billboards advertising a Mini convertible in a township really boggled my mind.

Firstly, it means someone at Mini South Africa has made peace with the fact that township residents are no longer poor people who drive old skorokoros.

Secondly, that someone has realised where his bread is buttered and has put his feelings aside to do business. No matter how you look at it, the fact remains that young black people have come to love the Mini brand and are buying into it.

This must be the reason why I spotted two large billboards advertising the new Mini convertible in Mamelodi, Pretoria.

The new Mini has been here for a while now, but the convertible only joined it last week.

The new Mini convertible was launched in KwaZulu-Natal where the Cooper and the Cooper S were put to the test. Driving with our roofs down, we experienced some freeway and inland driving. The Mini is a car that involves emotions, more so if it's a convertible.

A friend bought one recently and is proud to drive with the roof down.

As the brand is renowned for not radically redesigning their cars, this is the case with the new convertible.

Going back to the launch, the new Cooper S performed to the standards of the Mini S.

I was a bit disappointed with the normal Cooper convertible. My launch co-driver, however, highlighted that the Cooper hard- top did better.

I will not attempt to talk space when writing about the Mini unless it's a Clubman. Most of us know Mini and space are two different things. Of course, this is not a car for the family but one for free-spirited individuals celebrating their individuality.

Front-wheel drive, go-kart feeling typical of the brand with refined suspension technology tailored specifically to the Mini convertible. The new convertible is not just a pretty face. It is well equipped with the latest safety features such as electromechanical power steering, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, cornering brake control as well as dynamic stability control, including start-off assistant featured as standard and the dynamic traction control.

Under the bonnet of the Cooper convertible lies a 1,6-litre petrol engine that has power output of 88kW and torque of 160Nm.

Powering the Cooper S convertible is a four-cylinder 1,6-litre petrol engine with twin-scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection.

This engine produces 128kW of power, while torque stands at 240Nm. The Mini will be celebrating 50 years next month.


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