► The original Mini has returned…
► …this time with Apple CarPlay and keyless go
► 20th century car, 21st century upgrades
David Brown Automotive, responsible for the Speedback GT, has resurrected the original Mini for the 21st century. The Mini Remastered is now your new way to own a piece of automotive history, but with all of the mod-cons; think of it as an old thatched Tudor cottage decked out with double glazing and central heating.
The treatment isn’t just superficial either; Mini Remastered has even had a makeover underneath, too. The 1275cc engine has been completely rebuilt from the ground up and produces 78bhp and 91 lb-ft of torque, making it good for a 0-62mph time of 11.7 secs and a top speed of 90mph. Along with the reconditioned engine, the gearbox, suspension and brakes have been upgraded to improve reliability and make sure the car handles the way it should. Plus, if you dig into the options list, you'll find that the brand offers a punchier 1.3-litre engine, power steering and performance brakes.
It’s handbuilt, will be specified individually to order, and each Mini Remastered model takes around 1000 man hours to build from start to finish. Along with what’s called standard trim, there will also be two special editions available when it goes on sale: ‘Inspired by Café Racers’ and ‘Inspired by Monte Carlo’. The former is finished in cream with a chocolate brown roof, with cream seating and chocolate brown leather on the dashboard, while the latter is metallic red with white racing stripes, foglights and black wheels. David Brown describes the two special editions: “Inspired by Café Racers takes us back to what Mini was all about: driving form café to café in the middle of a big city and Inspired by Monte Carlo offers a rawer driving experience.”
The exterior has been 'cleaned' by David Brown Automotive, so certain seams around the edges have been smoothed out and bespoke strengthening beams have been welded in to the body frame. The new front grille is aluminium, and LEDs implemented into the tail-lights. You can even get puddle lights fitted to the door mirrors if you so desire.
Inside, equipment like an infotainment system with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard, as is USB charging, a starter button and remote central locking. The dashboard is hand-trimmed in leather by DBA's in-house team from British-sourced cattle and other retro touches like Smiths dials and an engraved Moto-Lita steering wheel complete the look. To top it all off, there’s even a cupholder! Now your hipster friend can plop their soya mocha frappuccino somewhere without it splling – whatever will they think of next?
The Mini Remastered was unveiled in what was arguably the original's spiritual home in Shoreditch. Speaking at the reveal event, David Sowden, MD of David Brown Automotive, called Mini Remastered "iconic, exquisitely executed, jewel-like in its details and perhaps a little unexpected.”
Prices haven’t been confirmed officially, but the fact that David Brown Automotive says that the Mini Remastered 'will be highly exclusive and built in strictly limited numbers', it’s safe to say it certainly won’t be cheap - it's thought that prices could reach around £70k if buyers really run riot with the customisation options list. It will be built at David Brown Automotive’s new HQ at Silverstone, and will take centre stage at the Top Marques show in Monaco later in April 2017.
We drove David Brown's first car, the Speedback GT - what did we think of it?