A Mini adventure: all generations driven… on the ice Car News

Instead, the Rover and BMW teams created something that captured the styling and driving character of the original, but transformed it into a premium small car for the 21st century. To great effect.

The R50 Mini, as this generation is known, still largely looks like a modern car, despite this ‘new Mini’ itself being 20 years old. It has airbags, a comfortable seating position and very good refinement. But where the last generation got quite bloated and a little cartoonish in places, the R50, with its short overhangs and chunky stance, looks incredibly fat-free.

It’s great to drive too. I confess to being a fan of this generation of Mini as the owner of a slightly newer Cooper S. Compared to this and subsequent generations, the R50 Cooper is not particularly fast, but it is more fun to drive.

The car isn’t as light and inertialess as the original, but it still feels light, maneuverable and communicative. Modern Minis have never been as playful as a Fiesta ST, for example, but on ice you can still tweak the R50’s balance to your liking.

The manual gearbox is also a joy to use, with a satisfyingly short action, and the much-mocked Chrysler-based four-cylinder feels willing and has a pleasingly parpy exhaust.

2011 Mini Cooper ‘R56’

I remember vintage reviews saying how little had changed for the second generation. Looking back, it wasn’t such a bad thing. More had changed than is immediately apparent, particularly inside, but as it still uses the same platform, the R56 is remarkably similar to drive to the R50.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-27 05:01:24

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