The Mini Remastered
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Make way for a Mini revival. British design company David Brown Automotive has launched the Mini Remastered.
This £70,000 (NZ$125, 672) coach-built update of the original Mini is a different proposition from the £594,000 GT, inspired by the famed Aston Martin DB5, that the company has also revised.
The Mini provides the perfect enterprise for a coach builder, given that the original was, as David Brown puts it, “the ultimate in packaging”.
The company is gearing up for full production next year of 100 Minis at its new HQ in Silverstone.
While the 1275cc engine and four-speed gearbox are reconditioned originals, the chassis and body panels are new.
The latter have been “de-seamed”, to create a different look, with smooth surfaces stretching round the car’s four corners.
Three trim variants are offered, although by its nature as a coach-built car, the options are almost endless.
While the standard model offers the cleanest design inside and out, there are also Monte Carlo and Cafe Racer derivatives, shown with redundant but aesthetically pleasing leather-embossed bonnet straps, more fanciful interiors and, in the case of the Monte Carlo design, triple LED headlights aping the original.
Externally, DBA’s touch includes triple LED lights at the rear, enamel DBA badges and the DBA family grille taken from the Speedster.
Inside, there’s most stuff you’d expect from a new car: Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, USB connectivity and a Pioneer touchscreen featuring infotainment and satnav choices come as standard.
Photos / David Brown Automotive
The switches and indicator stalks are finished in knurled aluminium and the nickel buttons are pleasingly cool to the touch.
Every customer will get a “one-to-one design consultation”, where they will have an almost endless choice of colours and materials, and the power can be uprated.
The leather is British-sourced, and the air vents and luggage rails are finished in chrome.
Altogether, Mini Remastered looks like a far more tempting, more stylish and more realistic proposition to bring to market than the Speedster GT.
“It was a challenge to stay true to the original,”said Brown at the unveiling in hip Shoreditch, London.
“It’s a great piece of engineering and design. True fans might admire it from a design point of view,” said Brown..
“It has a pert little bottom with the de-seaming; it’s a Kylie Minogue bottom. Hopefully it will be driven as a fashion icon, like it was in the 60s”, he said, on a more serious note.
Certainly, in the confines of hipster Shoreditch, it looked just the part. And while true fans might bemoan the styling tweaks, you’re guaranteed a car with better mechanical quality than the original.
“The Mini was a fantastic concept, poorly put together,” said Brown.
Where plausible, and right, DBA has used new bolts and smaller parts in the reconditioning, all of which lends a certain credence to Brown’s confident assertion that his car is “the best iteration of this car”.