MINI is brand that’s entirely retro. While some brands make a car or two as a throwback to classic cars (See: the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, Alpine A110), the entire MINI brand is a throwback to the original Mini. After purchasing the rights to the Rover Group, BMW acquiring the Mini brand along with it. So the suits in Munich set out to revive the brand, with Chris Bangle as the Head of Design and Frank Stephenson as the lead designer on the new MINI.
In terms of style, there’s not question that BMW and its design team knocked it out of the park, as the revived MINI was a perfect blend of modern/retro styling. However, how does it actually compare in terms of driving dynamics? After all, the classic Mini is known for being one of the most fun cars to ever hit the road.
This new video from TFLC, we get this interesting comparison which shows off just how much has changed since the 1950s. Or the 1990s, for that matter, as the classic Mini was almost unchanged from its original design for over 40 years.
It’s an interesting video because it really shows off just how clever and unique a lot of the classic Mini’s design details were. It was a car developed out of necessity, so it’s actually quite ingenious. What’s fascinating about the new MINI, though, is that it not only kept a lot of the original car’s quirky attitude but was able to offer it at a more premium level. BMW what was thought to be impossible and that’s sell a compact car at a premium price and make it work.
You can also see just how spacious both cars are on the inside. The new one is just as impressive as the old one, in that regard. Sure, the new car is much bigger but it’s still compact for modern cars and it also has to fit far, far more equipment. It has a much bigger, much more complicated engine, ten times the safety equipment, crash zones and airbags.
So when you consider what the new MINI needed to accomplish, its interior space, performance, handling and fun-to-drive is just as impressive as the old car’s and it’s hard to understand that until you see them back-to-back. Still, the classic Mini is the more enjoyable car to actually drive.