The original MINI quickly became an icon, with its success spreading far from what Sir Alec Issigonis imagined when he drew the first sketch of the car on a napkin. The vehicle was not only popular thanks to its efficient space handling, but also for its agility and its charm. Thus, a car that was created to apply technical design and engineering principles, ended up as one of the most important names in the automotive history books, but not necessarily thanks to that.
This means that BMW had a huge burden on its fenders when it reinvented the MINI in 2001, but the Bavarians managed to find the “huge success” button and press it, offering a mix of retro styling and involving handling, all with an important cool factor. The “new MINI” was a hit. But what about the second generation of the modern times MINI? This had to come with something really special in order to be able to impress on the same level.
BMW’s answer was to literally think outside the box and make full use of the MINI. Thus, the range received a Countryman crossover, the Coupe that generated this test drive and the yet-to-be-launched Roadster.
While all three are important to show that MINI doesn’t rest on its laurels, the Coupe is the key element here, as it manages to bring the brand into the future and keep a balance between the Countryman’s practicality and the Roadster’s coolness at the same time. MINI expects the Coupe to account for a very small percentage of the brand’s overall sales, but the image boost brought by the model is a huge one
This is the new, new MINI and we’re here to test it in the Cooper S version, which seems to be the best choice, since the inferior ones don’t manage to deliver the same thrills and the John Cooper Works can be too tight for many buyers.
So, let’s climb aboard out optional extras-loaded test drive car and get to business the fun.