After months of numerous spy images, the MINI Convertible is finally making its official debut and will go on sale in March 2016.

Compared to the model it replaces, the new open-top MINI is 98 mm longer, 44 mm wider and 7 mm taller, so now it has an overall length of 3821 mm, 1727 mm width and a 1415 mm height while the wheelbase is 28 mm longer than before. Unsurprisingly, the exterior design closely mirrors the three-door hatchback but instead of the metal roof it has a fully electric retractable soft top that can be optionally had with a Union Jack graphic. It needs 18 seconds to open or close and this procedure can be done at speeds of up to 30 km/h (19 mph).

Riding on the UKL platform, the new MINI Convertible is also a lot more practical as the cargo capacity has increased by a significant 25% to 215 liters when the roof is up and 160 liters when it’s folded. In addition, the loading area is now 8 mm wider and you can also fold down the rear seats in case you want to carry more voluminous cargo.

Customers will be able to purchase the open-top MINI with two new exterior paint schemes called Caribbean Aqua and Melting Silver while on the inside there’s a fresh Chester leather upholstery in Malt Brown available. Speaking of the interior, the car’s larger footprint has enabled a 36mm increase in knee room, longer seat surfaces, better headroom and more extra shoulder width while the elbow space has also been boosted.

In terms of engines, the new MINI Convertible will be offered with the usual 3-cylinder 1.5-liter turbo gasoline engine rated at 136 PS (100 kW) and 220 Nm (230 Nm with overboost) along with its diesel counterpart developing 116 PS (85 kW) and 270 Nm (300 Nm with overboost). The hotter S version will employ a larger 4-cylinder 2.0-liter turbo developing 192 PS (141 kW) and 280 Nm (300 Nm with overboost) which will be enough for a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) run in 7.2 seconds and a 230 km/h (143 mph) top speed with the six-speed manual gearbox or 7.1 seconds and 228 km/h (142 mph) maximum velocity when equipped with the optional six-speed automatic transmission.

Later on, the range will be expanded by the addition of a 101 bhp 1.2-liter gasoline unit in the entry-level One model and a 168 bhp 2.0-liter in the Cooper SD hot diesel while the range-topping John Cooper Works (JCW) will eventually join the party with a punchy 228 bhp 2.0-liter turbo.

In United Kingdom, the new MINI Convertible will start at £18,475 for the base model, followed by the Cooper D at £20,225 and the Cooper S at £22,430.

Gallery: 2016 MINI Convertible goes official [videos]