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Top Gear Philippines


We live in an era where timeless classics are given a second shot at life, infused with some modern technology  to make them easier to live with. We’ve seen this classic revival done to early Mustangs, Broncos, air-cooled 911s, and FJ40 Land Cruisers. Now, we can add the classic Mini to the list.

Teased last week by David Brown Automotive under the “Project 2” codename, the boutique British carmaker has finally pulled the wraps off its second model range, the Mini Remastered. So what is it exactly? Think of it as a classic Mini reborn in the 21st century, hand-built with the care and precision one would expect from the makers of the £495,000 (P31 million) retro Speedback GT.

Each car is constructed with brand-new body panels which are meticulously finished for a smoother surface and consistent shut lines. Under the skin, it gets additional structural beams and support struts to improve the vehicle’s rigidity, upgraded suspension for better handling, and new brakes with optional rear discs for better stopping power.

Kudos to David Brown for not messing with the iconic styling of the classic Mini. Instead, the designers opted to clean up the exterior by removing unnecessary seams to give it a familiar yet cleaner and more refined look. Up front, it features an aluminum grille with a pattern reminiscent of the Speedback’s. This is flanked by round headlights and small circular LED turn signals. Moving on to the sides, the gutter that runs down the front and rear-most pillars have been eliminated. Bullet side mirrors, meanwhile, add to its ‘60s appeal.

At the rear, it receives vertically stacked circular taillights, a design element taken from its big V8 coupe sibling. Step inside and you will be greeted by probably one of the most refined interiors to grace anything that resembles the original Mini. Its full-grain leather upholstery gives it a premium touch, while its three-spoke Moto-Lita steering wheel and traditionally-styled LED-illuminated Smith’s gauges complement the vehicle’s retro look. Tech features like push-button start, remote central locking, and its 7in touchscreen infotainment interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto remind you that you’re in 2017.

Under that short hood is a reconditioned and tuned 1,275cc inline-four gasoline engine which produces 78hp and 123Nm, mated to a four-speed manual transmission. For those who want a little more go, David Brown Automotive offers an optional 1,300cc mill that produces 98hp.

Aside from the standard variant, it will also be offered in two uniquely spec’d limited production trims: the Café Racer and the Monte Carlo. Being a low volume hand-built car, expect it to carry a high price tag.

The Mini Remastered will be unveiled to the public in late April at the annual Top Marques Monaco show.

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Andrew Guerrero
Writer
Andrew has a passion for cars, both old and new. He prefers a good ol' manual transmission and feels sad when a new car model isn't released with one.
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