Cooper Convertible
Tuesday, 24 January 2012 00:00

Having a ‘talked about’ MINI isn’t always because it’s had power upgrades. Laura Rose caused a stir with her Cooper Convertible by first changing the colour

Words: Sarah Harrington-James | Pics: Matt Woods

MarAprFStart

It’s not uncommon these days to see MINIs wrapped or resprayed in a whole host of non-standard colours – and yes, pink included. In fact at last year’s London to Brighton Mini Run there were even a couple of pink MINIs in the same show and shine category. Love it or hate it, it’s an ever-popular traditionally girly hue that really suits the MINI’s curvy bodywork. But you might be surprised to hear that Laura Rose’s custom shade of pale pink for her Cooper Convertible got its fair share of admiring glances and comments from both sexes when it made its debut at Mini in the Park.

 
The X Factor
Thursday, 24 November 2011 00:00

AC Schnitzer has developed its own 260bhp take on the Cooper S JCW and call it the Eagle. Is it flying high in our opinion?

Words and Pics: Ian Kuah

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In the world of test flying, prototype aircraft carry the designation ‘X’ for ‘experimental.’ Therefore the plane that Captain Chuck Yeager used to break the sound barrier in 1947 was the Bell X-1.

AC Schnitzer did not give its latest low flying machine the ‘X’ designation, and instead call it the ‘Eagle’. But as a technology platform for future engine and suspension modifications, it is totally experimental. This highly modded car is not for sale, and AC Schnitzer told me it is worth 62,000 Euros, making it one of the most valuable MINIs ever built. Painted grey, black and red, the AC Schnitzer Eagle even has its own logo which appears on the bodywork and interior.

 
The Peak of Perfection
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 00:00

The new coupe takes the MINI family to five strong. Is it one sibling too many? A drive in the Austrian mountains should determine whether or not it deserves to wear that now famous winged bonnet badge

Words: Phil Weeden | Pics: MINI GB

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Desirability comes in all shapes and sizes. And MINI certainly hopes it comes in the form of its latest derivative, the hotly anticipated Coupe. First unveiled at Frankfurt 2009 as a concept, and officially on sale from this October, the Coupe is built at Plant Oxford alongside the hatchback, convertible and Clubman; early next year the Roadster will also join the ranks. Until then, the Coupe is the sporting flagship of the line up. For the past year, we’ve been distracted by the Countryman – a brand extension that for many went too far; despite those reservations the sales success of the crossover model speak for themselves, contributing to a 25 per cent year-on-year increase in MINI’s global sales.

With the Countryman now well established, the time was ripe for MINI to return to its heartland of launching something truly sporting; something with innate appeal, dripping from every pore; and something that truly epitomises the ‘go-kart’ handling characteristics that defines any car carrying the MINI badge.

 
Hotter Hatch
Tuesday, 30 August 2011 13:19

The forthcoming MINI Coupe is the hottest MINI yet. We drive the pre-production version and come away impressed

Words and pics: Ian Kuah

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MINI under BMW stewardship has been an object lesson in brand management at the highest level and it follows that the name won’t be attached to any model which isn’t absolutely right for both current market trends and the brand’s carefully cultivated image.

Just when some onlookers thought MINI had lost the plot and gone all soft on us with the Countryman, along comes the MINI Coupe to shovel a generous helping of spice back into the brand.

 
Automatic Weapon
Thursday, 24 March 2011 17:00

When Pete Neasham found a low-mileage Cooper S auto, he was tempted to keep it original, so what went wrong? We find out how it was transformed into a serious performance car

Words and pics: Rob Hawkins

May-JuneFeatureCar1My wife and I went out for a very quick dash around Richmond and the Yorkshire Dales and the first thing I said was that for such a car the brakes were absolutely rubbish, the handling or tyres were awful and the cornering seemed to be jumpy or skittish,” comments Pete Neasham on the first time he properly drove his Cooper S.

Pete expected more, although his expectations were high as he was one of the first in the UK to own an Audi TT 3.2 V6 with an automatic gearbox, the lightning-quick DSG. Before Pete bought his Cooper S, he had owned a string of family cars, including a VW Passat diesel and Toyota Avensis, but yearned for something that put the fun back into motoring.

 
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