Ever since BMW took over MINI, the small British automaker has always been about heritage and has stuck to its roots more faithfully than nearly any other brand on the market. Their compact size, quirky styling, funky ergonomics and go-kart handling are all qualities still present in modern MINIs. Now, there’s going to be a new, special edition MINI that honors the past even further — the MINI Seven.
This new MINI Seven is created in honor of the original Austin Seven, which debuted in 1959 and eventually became known as the original Mini. This new MINI Seven will honor its predecessor with subtle touches and design cues that harken back to the days of the original. The Seven will be available in both 2-Door and 4-Door variants as well as both Cooper and Cooper S trims and will be available this summer.
While the MINI Seven doesn’t look all that different from its standard counterparts, there are some subtle tweaks and touches to be found that really make it stand out. The MINI Seven will use the MINI Yours color, Lapisluxury Blue, an intense non-metallic blue paint that comes from the MINI Yours customization program. Other optional colors are Pepper White, Midnight Black metallic and British Racing Green metallic. Regardless of color option, though, the MINI Seven will come with mirror housings, bonnet stripes and its roof finished in Melting Silver. The Bonnet Stripes will also feature a new Malt Brown color, a color that will make its way throughout the Seven, trimming the outsides of them. Overall, the contrast Melting Silver bits and the Malt Brown trim give the MINI Seven a classic cool look.
On the inside, an optional fabric/leather upholstery in Diamond Malt Brown, which features black leather on the seats and back rests, while the side bolsters and lower side sections are finished in a plaid fabric with Malt Brown touches and stitching. There are other upholstery options, such as Cross Punch Carbon Black and Lounge Satellite Grey, but it’s the Malt Brown fabric/leather combo that looks best and most in keeping with the overall design. The dash trim and arm rests surrounding the cabin will also be finished in Malt Brown, while Piano Black trim finish the cabin off, although the latter can be replaced with Dark Cottonwood, Fibre Alloy or Off-White trim.
In terms of powertrain, the usual engines remain. The standard MINI Seven Cooper will get the familiar buzzy little 1.5 liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, which creates 134 hp, and the Cooper S model will still get the 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 189 hp. Both engines will be available with a choice of six-speed gearboxes, one manual and one automatic with paddle shifters. Performance should remain exactly the same for the Seven and the standard MINI Cooper and Cooper S.
The go-kart handling that MINI is known for remains, as the MINI Seven is equipped with the same single-joint spring strut axle at the front and a multilink setup in the rear. Dynamic Damper Control is optional, which provides electronically-controlled dampers that can be controlled via the MINI Driving Modes. The MINI Seven will come with such standard equipment as DSC (Dynamic Stability Control), DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) and EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control) which allows the driver to electronically lock the front differential. Cooper S models also get Performance Control, a system which use the front diff to counter understeer.
Aside from those changes, the MINI Seven isn’t any different from a standard MINI Cooper. However, the subtly “Seven” changes, like the cool Melting Silver paint work on the body, the Malt Brown touches on the interior, the plaid seats, and the cool “Seven” livery on the front fenders make the MINI Seven feel like something special. I’ll take a 2-Door MINI Seven Cooper S in Lapisluxury Blue with the fabric/leather seats and six-speed manual please.