When most people think of summer, Reykjavik, Iceland isn’t the first vacations spot that comes to mind. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t jaw-droppingly beautiful and filled with sights that can’t be seen anywhere else in the world. It’s also a great place to drive an open top sports car, something that specializes in putting smiles on faces, such as the MINI John Cooper Works.
The sights change depending on where you go in Reykjavik. Much of the city is filled with brightly colored buildings and homes, scenery that can counteract the gloom of winter months, which gives it a lively, cheerful feel, perfect for an open top MINI with 228 horsepower and 235 lb-ft of torque.
Head out into the Thingvellir National Park and things go from bright and cheery to awe-inspiring. The green hills, vast open spaces, and cloud-covered mountain peaks give off a medieval feel, completely opposite of the vibrant town. However, it’s a perfect place to drop the top and enjoy some open-air motoring.
Admittedly, the MINI JCW isn’t exactly as fun as it used to be, with a very corporate BMW feel. Its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is the same one you’ll find in the BMW 228i Gran Coupe, BMW X2 xDrive28i, and, in Europe, the BMW 128i. It also uses the same eight-speed Aisin automatic as those cars, powers its front wheels, and gets to 60 mph in a reasonable 5.7 seconds. Unfortunately, a six-speed manual is no longer available in the MINI JCW Convertible.
However, that’s sort of okay in the Convertible. Rather than look for full-on driving thrills, the convertible top adds enough theater, especially through the stunning Reykjavik scenery, that you can just enjoy the drive. Though, it would be nicer if the MINI JCW Convertible came with a manual transmission, so it could properly be used on a drive like the one in these new photos from Reykjavik.