The Real Mini Is Really Back

As an unabashed Anglophile, it should surprise no one that I owned a new Mini and it may not surprise anyone that it was not a great experience. Oh, the car looked great and drove great when the transmission wasn’t jumping out of gear, but reliability. No so much, It go to the point that I knew the first name of the tow truck driver who would lovingly haul my Mini Cooper Clubman away during it’s latest crisis. I could go on, but I’m guessing fellow Mini owners how know the story goes.

Mini Remastered by David Brown Automotive is the second model to be produced by the low-volume, British coachbuilder. Based on a classic Mini, it combines the iconic Sixties car’s looks with modern technology and luxury hand-finished materials.

Each car is built by hand using brand new body panels to create smooth and accurate surfaces with perfect shut lines. The exterior shape has been refined, visually softened and ‘cleaned’ by de-seaming the silhouette and welding in structural beams, with additional support struts for rigidity. Each car also undergoes a soundproofing process.

The car’s is infotainment and navigation system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a four-speaker sound system, keyless-go, USB connectivity and charging, as well as push-button start and remote central locking. The interior has sculpted seats with a hand-trimmed interior and a combination of paint, leather and fabric finishes to the dash. There’s retro Smiths dials, a Moto-Lita steering wheel, and—surprise, surprise—a cup holder.

David Brown completely rebuild each classic 1275cc engine Mini engine and power is increased by up to 50% more than the original unit. Teamed with a fully reconditioned four-speed gearbox, upgraded suspension and brakes, emphasis has been placed on reliability—not my Clubman’s bets features—and driving dynamics.

Prices are still to be announced, but you can be sure it will be expensive, even more so that whatever the highest new Mini prices are.