Has Mini built the ideal car for Florida?
CarBuzz recently attended a media event called Topless In Miami, an industry driving event featuring a slew of new convertible models and panoramic roof cars. Mini arrived with a 2019 Cooper S Convertible, which seems like the perfect vehicle for a Florida-based media event. But this wasn't just any regular Mini, this was one of Mini's many special edition models called the Florida Special Edition. Before hopping in, we didn't even know Mini built a special edition model just for Florida, but the idea does make a lot of sense.
Mini sold 5,299 convertibles in 2018 and a whopping 18% of them found a home in the Sunshine State. Only 100 examples will be built for the 2019 model year and will be finished in either a teal color called Caribbean Aqua Metallic with grey leather or a darker blue (pictured below) called Starlight Blue Metallic with a brown leather interior.
So what exactly do you get with the Florida Special Edition package, which tacks a whopping $8,200 onto the price tag of the Cooper S Convertible? The package includes power-folding mirrors, a garage door opener, keyless access, wind deflector, Union Jack soft top, heated seats, piano black trim, Mini Yours driving modes, automatic climate control, LED headlights with cornering, satellite radio, Harmon/Kardon audio, and all-season tires. These are a ton of options, but the $8,200 price tag still seems like a bit much.
The as-tested price of our Starlight Blue car was $41,450, which is significantly more than the $30,900 starting price of a base Cooper S Convertible. We tested the eight-speed automatic but a six-speed manual model is also available for $39,950. The automatic felt nice but this car is best enjoyed with the manual.
You do get more than what comes in the Florida Edition Package for your $41,000. The car also includes the JCW Appearance Package with 17-inch wheels, JCW steering wheel, and aero kit, as well as park distance control, sport seats, and Union Jack ambient lighting (pictured below). Power comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine producing 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, which produces a pleasing, rally-car-like boost noise when you place it in Sport Mode.
We enjoyed driving the Cooper Convertible in Florida because Mini has cleverly designed a roof that can be partially folded to create a large sunroof opening, without completely exposing occupants to the harsh Florida sun. Our one complaint would be the lack of ventilated seats, which feel like a necessity in a hot climate such as Florida.