MINI Cooper S Convertible - 2016 gaycarboys (2)

Forget expensive Italian and German sports cars, says Brent Davison, because Mini’s latest Convertible makes standing-out in the crowd a relatively inexpensive exercise that doesn’t diminish the fun factor.

HIS NAME WAS WRITTEN proudly in that kind of brash, bold script a young man might use.

“Cooper S” it said in a manner designed to capture the attention in the same way the topless look captured the imagination and I knew he was the one I wanted to drive. Drive crazy, that is.

It was love, it was lust, it was the need to have a good old down and dirty fling, it was the vibe….. Hang on, it’s all starting to get a bit “The Castle” here when I was really chasing a bit of Mills and Boon.

Never mind, because whichever way you choose to look at, this was auto eroticism in a whole new way and no matter how you look at Mini’s latest Convertible, it always comes up with the same few descriptive words: Fun, Mischievous and Cheeky.

The launch of this third-generation Mini Convertible shows that cheeky has gotten better, the fun factor has been ramped-up and the mischief quota is just as high as it always was.

Not surprisingly, it has become a weeny bit more civilised and easy to use but it still has a bit of a larrikin streak engineered in and that means never going unnoticed in the little jigger.

Or not-so-little jigger because the jigger has gotten bigger, a little noticeable on the outside, a lot more noticeable on the inside. In real life it is 98mm longer and 44mm wider than the outgoing car with most of the growth pushed inside with a wider, longer cabin giving 36mm more knee room for back seat passengers. Still modest, but better.

MINI Cooper S Convertible - 2016 gaycarboys (1)The big improvement? Luggage capacity, which is up by 45 litres to 215 litres with the roof raised. Still not vast though and two small suitcases and two laptop bags was enough to hit “slam it hard and hope for the best” levels.

Carrying capacity can be increased by folding one or both of the standard 50/50 split-fold rear seat backrests though which neatly sidesteps the issue of backseat passengers complaining about being cramped so it isn’t all doom and gloom, is it?

By the way, in case you thought I was suggesting Mini was now a much bigger car then take heart in the fact it is still a sub-4.0-metre car (3821mm long) which, with its 1727mm width, is still small enough to park in a broom cupboard.

Every open-topped car needs to become a closed one at some stage or another and Mini Convertible is no different. Yet it is very different to many of its market rivals.

For starters, it is a folding cloth-top, not a folding metal roof and it stows mostly above the waistline of the car rather than folding completely into the boot. And instead of offering-up a low, sleek roofline that makes for difficult and undignified entry and exit, Mini’s roof makes life easy getting in, getting out and while you are in there.

So generous is the headroom you could probably wear a top hat while the roof was raise (although I’m not MINI Cooper S Convertible - 2016 gaycarboys (3)