A man by the name of David Brown seems to like remastering old, classic British cars. Awhile back, he did it with a Jaguar XKR and made it look like an Aston Martin DB5. Now, though, Brown has a new remastered British classic in this classic MINI. While BMW-helmed MINI is still a great brand, one that belts out charming and dynamic small, premium cars for an affordable price, they’ve sort of lost that smallness that made the originals so much fun. So Brown set out to rectify this and develop something truly special.
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It’s called the MINI Remastered and it’s based on the original MINI, not like his previous XKR, where it was actually based on a modern car. The original car is incredibly small and incredibly spartan, something Brown wanted to keep the spirit of while upgrading it to feel a bit more modern.
On the outside, he de-seamed the body panels, giving it a sleeker, smoother look. After seeing it his way, it looks significantly better than the original. Brown also fitted a wider wheel track and little fender flares to accommodate the wider wheels. It looks sportier and more aggressive, giving the little MINI a more bulldog-like stance. It even gains an aluminum grille and LED taillights. There’s also been some structural upgrades, improving rigidity, so its physical changes are just superficial.
Inside the MINI Remastered, you’ll find a retro-looking cockpit that’s surprisingly modern. The seats are covered in supple leather, the steering wheel is made of metal and wood like the car gods intended and even the dash is covered in metal and leather. There’s also beautifully knurled aluminum knobs and switches throughout the cabin. However, it also gets push-button ignition, a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and even an aluminum cupholder. So it’s a nice mix of old-school and new-school an nothing looks odd or out of place. There’s even a bespoke knurled aluminum keyfob for the keyless entry. Schmanzy.
The four-cylinder engine has been upgraded but still remains tiny, at just 1.3 liters. In standard spec, the little four-pot makes 78 hp and 91 lb-ft of torque, giving it a top speed of 90 mph. Oh, and it can get from 0-60 mph in 11.7 seconds. It is a classic MINI after all, it’s about buzzy fun rather than straight-line speed. However, if you want a little more oomph, go for one of the special edition options. One of them, the “Inspired by Cafe Racers” doesn’t add any power, only cosmetic upgrades. However, the “Inspired by Monte Carlo” gets you 98 hp, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and sportier cabin.
All of this is incredibly cool but it isn’t cheap. The MINI Remastered starts at around £75,000 (about $93,000) and that’s a lot of money for a car with 78 hp. However, it’s flipping cool and it’s hard to put a price tag on that. Also, this is the sort of car rich people buy as a third, fourth and twentieth car, something to mess around it on the weekends. For that, it’s just awesome and tastefully done, worth every penny for the people that can afford it. If I were a rich man, this is the sort of thing I’d buy. But I’m also an idiot, so maybe that’s not the best advice.