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Car reviews - Mini - Hatch - Cooper

The Car

1 Jul 2002

BMW has done a good job capturing the essence of Mini style, with its floating roof, wheel at each corner stance and slatted grille. But the new Cooper is much bigger than the original, measuring 3626mm long, 1688mm wide and 1413mm high, while the vital dimensions of the original were 3056mm, 1350mm and 1411mm. The measurements of the new car actually fall quite readily into line with light car contenders like the Toyota Echo and Holden Barina. Not every aspect of new Mini style appeals to us - the face appears to be a bit sour, rather than happy as it is intended to be, and there's some less than appealing wheel designs among the myriad alloy offerings.

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Did you know?

The original Mini has its genesis in the 1956 fuel crisis in the UK, prompted by the British Army's seizure of the Suez Canal. Car sales plunged and, with petrol rationing in force, buyers turned in droves to crude bubble cars. The British Motor Corporation (BMC) turned to designer Alec Issigonis to come up with a solution. Issigonis had worked for BMC but by this time was with Alvis

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