A RETRO CLASSIC REBORN
By Jodi Nash
EDITOR’S TEST DRIVE
Ok, can I let you in on a little secret? When I was driving around in this little cutie, I must say I felt like a racing car driver. I’m not generally the, “I love cars!” type of chick. But the new Mini Cooper F55, just might convert me.
A MINI IS A CLASSIC
First released in 1959, Sir Alec Issigonis changed the world with his iconic design, which went on to become one of the best selling British cars in history.
This British icon has had a revamp, and BMW had their work cut out for them when they bought the rights in 2000. I must say, they have lived up to the reputation. The car has a racing car feel, mixed with the super cool European luxury. Combined in a stylish package, supreme comfort and modern technology, the Mini Cooper is a heady mix.
Like a custom made little black dress, the new mini customization of interior and exterior finishes is a choose your own adventure of fabrics, leather, paint and racing stripes. So many choices and colours you really can make this car your own. You can even change the rooftop, interior side panels and choose a tube lighting colour theme inside the car at night.
So much fun! Have a play online to create your own mini at www.MINI.com/configurator
SIZE DOESN’T MATTER
Even though it’s called a Mini the new design is far from mini on the inside. The 5 door fits five people and would comfortably fit a few kids, the shopping and a small dog in the back.
The overall experience felt far from a ‘small car’ on the road and the driver’s seat sat at a comfortable height to view the road. The 5 door boasts extra legroom and 278 litres of luggage storage in the boot. Back seats fold down in a 60/40 spilt if you need the convenience with a flick of a switch.
I test drove a manual which I loved. Having control of the gears made the most out the driving features. The legendary go-cart feeling that has always thrilled mini drivers worldwide has been achieved by combining a low centre of gravity, wide track width and a rigid body and suspension. The car definitely responds to your driving mood. Feeling racy? Flick into Sports Mode for a close to the road, corner hugging joy ride, or switch over to Green Mode to save fuel or zip through the city in your lunch break. The safety features are, of course the latest. With 6 airbags, a rigid passenger cell and traditional driver assistance solutions you can rest assured you and your little people or four-legged friend in the back are as safe as houses.
It’s incredible how much technology is packed into this compact car. The MINI connect interface will help you to access all the standard twenty- first century technology at your fingertips. I loved the driver excitement analyser that essentially awards experience points (XP) for sporty but safe driving by monitoring how you accelerate, shift, steer, and stop your MINI. In other words, it’s a game within your car to pat you on the back for doing a job well done while behind the wheel. The opposite is true if you drive dangerously, you’ll be awarded no points. Achieve 100 points in any of the four categories and you will move you to the next level and collect badges along the way. Fun!
UNDER THE BONNET
The five-door has three models to choose from. The Mini Cooper 1.5-litre turbo petrol, Mini Cooper D 1.5-litre turbo diesel and Mini Cooper S 2.0-litre turbo petrol.
EXTRAS YOU WILL LOVE…
– The sound system, wireless integration of your phone and hands free controls.
– The interior styling with racing car good looks, mood lighting and that comfortable cockpit driving.
– The MINIYOURS customisation of all colours, features and finishes.
– The go-cart driving mode, need I say more. It looks great, feels understated but quirky and drives like a dream
IS THIS YOUR PERFECT MATCH?
– If you love attention and good looks this car is for you.
– Love the need for speed and fantastic handling? Check… check!
– If you want a piece of automotive history sitting in your driveway, this one is a must consider.
TO BOOK YOUR TEST DRIVE