Is this new-old Mini the best Mini ever?

Mini Remastered by David Brown Automotive could be the answer to our mini-mini dreams

Remember the 2011 Mini Rocketman concept? It was BMW flirting with the idea of building a Mini-branded city car, comparable in size to the Issigonis-designed original. But whether it was the financial case or crash-regulations that killed it, it’s gone awfully quiet since then.

Not to worry, because for all those that think a true Mini should actually be mini, a small British coach building firm – David Brown Automotive (he of the £600k, Jag XK-based Speedback GT, of which they’ve sold 12 to date) – has engineered a solution.

It’s called the Mini Remastered and is, in essence, an original Mini retro-fitted with refurbished and improved mechanicals, a subtly modified exterior and an interior upgraded to cope with the demands of the wealthy modern city type.

Built, or should that be re-built, by hand in DB’s (as he shall henceforth be known) brand new, 18,000 sq ft Silverstone factory (the Speedbacks were built in Coventry until now), it features all new de-seamed panels for a smoother look, addition structural beams to improve stiffness and extra sound proofing, so you might actually have a chance of hearing calls over the hands-free. The grille is aluminium, the rear lights LED and there are even Mustang-style puddle lights on the underside of the wing mirrors. Snazzy. All in, the whole thing weighs around 30kg heavier than the donor car.

Ah, did I say hands-free, in a Mini? Oh yes. DB has thoroughly pimped the interior with a built-in infotainment screen, a push button start, a four-speaker stereo system, USB sockets and remote central locking. Sculpted seats are leather-wrapped, natch, and a cup-holder has been added to the centre console. Whether any of this is actually a good thing we’ll leave you to decide.

There’s no arguing that 50 per cent more power (for around 75bhp) from the fully-rebuilt 1.3-litre engine is excellent news, as is the reconditioned four-speed gearbox, plus upgraded suspension and brakes.

Each customer is invited to choose the colour of their contrasting roof, their interior hue and wheel design. Though, if you can’t be bothered, two launch editions – ‘Inspired by Cafe Racers’ and ‘Inspired by Monte Carlo’, this latter option featuring a 92bhp engine – will be offered. Each of these special editions will get a run of just 25 units a piece, but DB is hoping on selling between 50 to 100 of the Minis overall each year.

The price? Around £75k for the ‘standard’ Mini, upwards of course, from there. Yeah, it’s quite a bit for a new-old Mini, but then it’s a rather cool new-old Mini.

So what do we think? Answers below.

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2 Comments

  1. Having now owned both classic and new, david browns new mini not a good idea. The roads the mini was built for no longer exists in the same way as in the 60s the new roads freeways etc call for a heavier and faster car I know some early minis are faster then the new but that doesn’t change a big truck from blowing you off the road the new mini is of its time the old minis time has passed the exception,is the joy it gives their owner of the classic , but few are driven every day ,and every day at least one disappeared in ball of rust

  2. Sorry but i dont agree with you,saying that he mini years have passed away.In a big country like England i understand,that it is risky to drive in today s heavy traffic.In smaller countries like Malta,the
    story is totally different,although we are getting heavier traffic increasing day by day.Being blessed by the good weather e actually have most if not the majority of the year.Myself i own 5 classic minis,two under restoration and the other 3 ,which are a cooper s l964 which i use for static shows or mini runs. An spi rover mini,which i mostly use as a daily car and static shows, as well i have a mini Mayfair soon ready for the road,of which i enjoy so much.If you ever come to Malta you could see thousands of classic cars,in perfect condition because they are very well looked after and the weather is warmer.the only problem we have here are some bad roads,which luckily they are being looked after.Regards Pablo

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