Some die-hard Mini Cooper fans will have struggled to accept the design changes made to the iconic brand to bring it into the 21st Century. If you look closely though, the latest model still shares many of the original’s values which gave it cult status.
Mini’s Iconic Design
The 1959 design was unique at the time and many other manufacturers have tried to replicate its success. It was arguably in the 1969 film The Italian Job that the British design classic was immortalised.
It seems that Mini’s popularity has stood the test of time. According to a survey of over 2,000 film fans conducted by Uniroyal tyres, the Mini featured in both the 1969 original and 2003 remake took the number one spot of iconic cars used in the movies.
When the designers decided to take another step away from the iconic design, no doubt some fans of the original recoiled in shock, but change is often a good thing and sometimes it should be embraced.
The people at What Car certainly seem to think so. In 2012, it awarded the Mini Coupe four stars.
What Car states that the “mini Coupe has bags of style and is fun to drive”.
Those who remain unconvinced may be persuaded by the affordability of the Coupe, as What Car suggests that “unlike all other Minis, it’s more affordable than its major competitors”.
Clearly the fact that it has two seats means it won’t work for everyone, but if you’re looking for a compact, powerful, two-seater which still has room to carry luggage it is well worth considering.
Space, the Final Frontier
What Car gave the Coupe three stars for ‘space and practicality’ and is keen to reassure motorists that it has “lots of storage” despite being a two-seater.
The look of the Coupe
Erin Baker, head of motoring at Telegraph Media Group, said that the two-seater Coupe is the brand’s “most successful design yet, showing that BMW has no fear in where it takes the marque”.
Certainly, if you like to get noticed, the Coupe will do the job.
Power and Handling
While Alec Issigonis’s 1959 Mini may have been a design classic, even the most ardent fans of the original will concede that it struggles to compete in the power stakes with any small car available today.
Not so, the Mini Coupe. Writing in the Telegraph, Mrs Baker describes the turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine as a “fabulous unit”. Petrol engines start at the 121 bhp Cooper and go up to the 181bhp Cooper S. Anyone wanting real bite can go for the 208bhp John Cooper Works (JCW).
What Car gives the Coupe four stars for ‘ride and handling’ and states that “on standard suspension the Coupe handles sharply.
“The JCW has firmer suspension settings, which makes it even sharper in the bends”. The handling is so good; the car guide website describes the ride as “a real hoot”.
Erin Baker agrees, stating that “gear changes are a delight” thanks to the short-shifting lever. Clearly enjoying the ride, she said that “you find yourself throwing the compact chassis into corners just for the sake of it”.
Even at entry level, the Mini Coupe offers drivers air-con, alloy wheels, leather steering wheel, parking sensors, air-con and DAB digital radio.
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