Categorized | Wheels

Reveal the New 2010 Mini Cooper….Big on the outside, small on the inside. Did the Germans read the brief upside down?

Posted on 26 November 2009 by .

Here it is, the moment we all have been waiting for. Seven years since BMW revealed the new Mini, I can now reveal the brand spanking 2010 Mini Cooper, Oh wait! I think its the wrong car, I might be looking at the old one. Wait, NO! This definitely is the new Mini Cooper and BMW claims that every panel is different. I personally think, BMW has gone to great lengths to make sure that the new version looks exactly like the old one. Understandably so, because people love the styling.

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Mini is a successful, if aesthetically subtle, evolution of the worldwide phenomenon, supporting the notion that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Mini still looks and feels high end, drives superbly and remains attainable.

 

I think it should not always be about the big expensive tire shredding stuff. In fact, there should be a trend in Canada towards small affordable fun cars, stuff that looks good at 20 km/h in a traffic jam at Hwy 401. I mean, take the Mini as a prime example, its not the fastest car in the world and the roof folding arrangement is a little unfortunate in the convertible version, but it has 4 seats and a white roof top, and look at it, Barbie would definitely love it, I think so. Well, some cars are Rock and Roll, some are hip-hop overjoy but this is definitely a pop video. Because it starts from only $22,800 no one thinks you are a rich kid. It’s the kind of car that makes people go ‘awww’ rather than ‘ahhh’, more like a fashion accessory.

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The thing is though, if fashion accessories have to work, they have to have a real world application. A Swiss watch for example; there is no point of it being extravagant, if it cannot work 200 meters deep in sea. An SUV has to work off road even if you live in downtown Toronto. A training shoe has to work in a gym even if your nickname is Couch Potato. So its no good for the Mini to be all winky dinky and funky. If it’s going to have any street credibility, it has to shine in the trendiest parts of the trendiest postal codes of the trendiest cities in Canada and I must say, ‘this car looks sensational.’

 

The Cooper might make all the right growly noises but it is powered by a 1.6 L, 4 cylinder engine which makes only 118hp and 0-100 km/h takes pain stricken 10.4 seconds. I believe the smaller engine still feels a little gutless in a car that is heavier than its size would lead you to believe. On the other hand, the Mini is now far more comfortable, something that will make a huge difference to people who will use it for long journeys and over bumpy roads. It really is a class act now. I love the way, how dials stick out and scream the speed limit so you refrain from getting any speed tickets. Another area of improvement over the previous generation car, the new Mini feels substantially more sturdy inside and uses less brittle plastic around the dash and doors.

 

Earlier, my claim of BMW making a carbon copy of old Mini is totally wrong. There is a difference. If you knew your old Mini you would remember that the headlights were a part of one big clamshell arrangement which was very expensive for BMW to build and very costly to replace in case of a front end bump. The new lights themselves now pierce around the holes in the hood, and therefore less repair costs.

 

You have to admire the marketing genius. BMW, with its reputation for build quality and dynamic excellence fully in play, reinvents the most brilliantly packaged car in history as the worst packaged car of modern times. Yet still makes it a huge success. Terrific fun, but threatened by Barbie label.

 

Barbie or Ken? Mini does seem to suffer from a split personality disorder, but Mini’s real forte hasn’t been diluted in this slightly softer new version. Although a fraction less sprightly, the overall set up is even more accomplished, meaning you can push it even harder with relative impunity, and this is no job for Barbie. The Mini has got a bad rep in certain parts of the country where it has a girl only label and some companies use them as advertising hoardings, but in isolation the Mini is too good and too much fun to be anything other than cool.

 

Even though the new car looks virtually identical to the old one, this new version of Mini is completely different. It rides better, it handles better, its built better and its more efficient. If I am in the market for a small car and my name is Ken, Mini Cooper has still got my money. But to judge it by these criteria is to miss its point completely. This is a great little car – its outright brio and its zesty vitality are key to its charming appeal, intangibles that transform even routine trips into memorable alfresco journeys despite the limited performance thrills. The Mini Cooper is aimed at its target audience of style-conscious women and metro-sexual men with spot-on accuracy. It’s a winner.

  Author: Sohaib Zahid

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