12 July 2018

South Africa: New Mini - Flying a Fresher Flag

analysis

It may be a far cry from the tiny, and ungainly, yet indisputably innovative original, but the Mini of the 21st Century has youthful aspiration, user-friendly technology and refreshing individuality on its side.

Not many brands focus on image and lifestyle with such fervour as Mini. Indeed, one wonders what the creator of the groundbreaking original, Sir Alec Issigonis, would have said about the cars now bearing the Mini badge.

It's easy to forget that the Issigonis Mini pioneered the mass-production use of front-wheel drive. It was a key element of a pragmatic design that gave new meaning to the concept of clever packaging.

It allowed four adults and luggage to fit into a car considered small at the time. By today's standards, that first Mini is downright tiny.

The original Mini measured just 3.05m long and 1.41m wide. Compare that to the current three-door Mini Hatch, which is 3.89m long and 1.73m wide.

The wheelbase has grown from 2.04m to 2.5m, and while the first Mini tipped the scales at just 587kg, the current car weighs 1,252kg.

But even if today's Mini is more maxi than mini, it's still compact. And in an automotive world filled to the brim...

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