Germanic Mini gets a mid-life nip-and-tuck!
JUST A MONTH BEFORE I WAS tasked with the objective of driving the newest Mini, I had the pleasant opportunity of once again re-acquainting myself with a 1960s’ example of the Alec Issigonis original. I liked the thought and execution of that tiny tot which went on to revolutionise small cars via its impeccable packaging template. As much a style icon as well as a marvel of manners (hairily civilised if I could term it that way), so many however relegated cramped driving positions and low floors and such in a daily driver to the back of their minds and the Mini became, and still remains, an icon of a cult that refuses to fade away.
Seeing the Mini under BMW evolve, so far away from the Issigonis genius yet so well within his original ambit in a larger proportion, I had mixed feelings about it for a long time. Also the advent into other body style extensions – Countryman, Clubman,Coupe, 5-door, etc, I was concerned that BMW’s product planners were taking a lot of liberties with the basic Issigonis blueprint until I drove the Coupe JCW in the UK about three years ago and then had a Cooper D for a few months to experience in India. It changed my mind to a great extent even though I could only envisage it as a boutique offering in a market place like India given its heft (or lack of it) and price positioning against other German offerings including from parent BMW!
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