Mini 60 Years Edition just makes me want a vintage Mini
Now that the new Mini has been around for 20 years as a subsidiary to BMW, we’re all pretty used to seeing them out on the road. And in that span of time, various non-traditional variants—like the Paceman, Countryman, Convertible, Coupe, Roadster, and Clubman—have muddied the waters when it comes to the classic city car’s true roots.
Mini is now introducing a special 60 Years Edition to honor six decades since the first 1959 Morris Mini-Minor, but juxtaposing the modern Mini with the vintage example says a lot more about how the cars are wildly different, rather than part of the same tradition.
The 60 Years Edition is available in the U.S. on Cooper and Cooper S variants of the hardtop two-door and four-door Mini, where it adds special badging on the hood, side scuttle, door sill, and throughout the interior. It also comes with unique 17-inch wheels and a host of equipment like LED headlights and fog lamps with white turn signal lenses, LED taillights with a Union-Jack signature, and interior ambient lighting. There are a handful of available colors, along with your choice of contrasting white or black roof.
But compared to the original, blissfully pure Mini city car, all of those extra bits and bobs seem extraneous and chintzy. Yes, people often personalized their classic Minis to their taste, but the soul of the car was its simplicity of form and function. The front-wheel drive layout and rubber-cone suspension was used to maximize interior space, so that taller drivers could also be comfortable and even manage to carry a suitcase or a few passengers in the back. The dashboard is uncluttered and beautiful in an industrial sort of way. The Mini was approachable and cute on its own design merit, not because of cute add-ons.
On top of all that, the original Mini’s light and nimble attitude made it an ideal platform for racing and hot-rodding. Today, the supercharged first generation (2000-06) of the modern Minis are about the only examples for which you could say the same.
The days of Mini being a true small-car brand are long gone, with Minis getting bigger with every generation. But when I see a new one next to the Mini of old, all I want is to zip around in that tiny little classic and watch as people point and smile.