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Mini reveals Seven special

Seven first: The classic Alec Issigonis-designed four seater was presented to the public as a pair of Morris and Austin twins, but the first example to roll of production lines was the Austin Seven version.

Special-edition Mini Seven adds flourishes to three- and five-door models

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Mini logo11 May 2016

By DANIEL GARDNER

MINI has doffed its cap to the 1959 Austin Seven version of the first-generation Mini, with a special edition of its three-door hatch and 5-door models that gain a dusting of technology and some aesthetic extras.

The first Mini was more widely known as the Morris Mini Minor, but in a similar way to Toyota's 86 sportscar and mechanically identical Subaru BRZ, the original Mini was also offered wearing Austin badges and the Seven model name.

Fifty seven years on, the new Mini Seven celebrates its pioneer with a selection of extra equipment and, in Europe, will be offered across three-door hatch and 5-door models, as well as the full four-engine line-up that includes two diesels.

The special edition is still being evaluated for Australia, but if confirmed, it is likely just the pair of petrols will be offered, with the 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre diesels less likely to show up.

“Mini Australia is very excited at the prospect of a new variant for the range,” said BMW Group Australia corporate communications general manager Lenore Fletcher. “We’re always looking at new opportunities to extend our product line-up to cater for customer demands for individuality in their vehicle choices.”“Regarding the Mini Seven model, we do not have confirmation yet on whether or not it will be available locally. However, we are very interested in this model and believe that it would be a great fit with our Australian line-up. If it is approved for Australia, it would be early in 2017.”

On the outside, the Seven stands apart from standard variants and other specials with exclusive Lapisluxury Blue paint or three other more standard tones, while roof and mirror caps are coloured in Melting Silver.

The silver hue extends to the bonnet stripes that are sandwiched in Malt Brown, while Seven-branded sill finishers, indicator surrounds, side scuttles and a unique Spectre Grey 17-inch two-tone alloy wheel design completes the exterior look. Customers can upgrade to an optional 18-inch version.

Malt Brown continues through to the interior with padding on the dashboard, arm rests and diamond stitching for the tartan part-leather sports seat upholstery.

The Seven moniker is also incorporated into a fine pinstripe around the central display.

Customers wanting more kit from their Mini Seven can, like other Mini variants, upgrade to the Chili pack which, for the Seven, brings LED headlights, daytime running lights, tail-lights and fog lights. Chilis also get rain-sensing wipers and automatic dipping headlights.

Cruise control with automatic braking is accessed through the Chili's leather sports steering wheel with multi-function switches, while the Mini Driving Modes that include Mid, Sport and Green are also part of the upgrade.

All Sevens get the option of the Mini Controller infotainment system that adds an 8.8-inch central screen and a flurry of applications. Head-up display, parking assistance, rearview camera, active cruise control and autonomous braking are all available.

If Mini offers the special edition Down Under it is likely Australians will have the option of three- and five-door Sevens, with the same powertrains as offered in the current line-up.

Cooper variants have a 100kW 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine coupled to either manual or automatic transmissions, while Cooper S Sevens have a 2.0-litre four-cylinder with a more sporty 141kW and the same manual or auto options.

The 1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel that powers the Cooper D is a possibility, bringing the same 85kW/240Nm to the hatch and 5-door to the new Seven variant.

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