Any purists of the classic Mini brand looking at the cars that make up the brand’s model range today are fully entitled to feel aggrieved.
The likes of the hiked-up, bloated Countryman and the awkwardly extended Paceman that have emerged from the brand under BMW ownership feel worlds away from the dinky runaround many associate with the original Italian Job movie.
The current three-door Mini Hatch is about as close as the brand gets to its 1960s origins, and as great as the modern Hatch is, it’s far from faithful.
As a result, anyone desperate to experience a classic Mini is forced to scour the used market and hope they don’t end up buying a rusty dud. That is all about to change though.
David Brown Automotive has launched a new project where the original classic Mini has been reengineered and modernised.
Titled ‘Mini Remastered’, the run is limited to 100 models and each one commands a starting price of around £50,000.
Whoa, for that kinda money, you could get three and a half entry-level Mini Hatchs or two John Cooper Works, which can do 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds.
But there’s a level of workmanship you don’t get with those cars. Each Mini Remastered is a hand-built in the UK and takes around 1,000 hours to produce, due to the bespoke chassis, body and interior.
Under the bonnet is a fully reconditioned 1,275cc engine and a re-engineered gearbox to ensure the car has all of the style and feel of a classic with modern dynamics.
Design of the car has been subtly updated, without interfering with the original’s DNA too much, with slight changes to the grille, taillights and interior styling. There’s a touch of modern comfort and luxury too.
Inside though, things are notably more advanced than any 1960s Mini with a seven-inch touchscreen featuring Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s also courtesy lighting in the glove box, which houses USB and aux ports. The car fires up with keyless push-button start too.
David Brown, founder of David Brown Automotive, said the project has been “a long time in the making”.
“It’s been important to remain true to Alec Issigonis’ wonderful original concept, yet bring it into the 21st century in our own way,” he commented.
“We’ve built this car to sit alongside any classic or modern collector’s garage and I can see this being a fantastic city car too. We’ve had an amazing response to the car and we believe it will appeal to men, women, the young and old.”
Initial customers will receive their Mini Remastered in the summer.
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