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Mini me
Posted: April 2011 | Publication:
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2011 Mini range

Mini Me

Mini fans now have four different models to choose from. All of them are more fashion statements than mere cars. Dieter Losskarn did some rooftop racing in two of them.

Imagine a fully booked plane,people flocking in, storing sometimes ridiculously large pieces of hand luggage into overhead compartments (usually not over their heads). Then this stunning blonde in heels is catwalking down the aisle. Forget it. She’ll never have the seat number next to you. Why is one always ending up squeezed next to a substantial person of Middle or Southeast-Asian decent, when boarding a plane? Cramped into an uncomfortable seat, you can literally see the pores of your very close, temporary neighbour opening up. As if in slow motion, releasing 1001 odours – non of them pleasant.

Available space or the feeling thereof is relative. And the interieur of the new Mini Countryman feels surprisingly roomy, especially after disembarking off  a domestic flight. Mini has just made a couple of subtle changes to their current line-up of four models. It is all small design stuff, that nevertheless creates quite a pleasant difference.

Minis are and have always been more than cars. Fashion statements, that can be driven. And in quite a spectacular manner for that matter.

Imagine the rooftop parking area of a shopping complex, cordoned off for the afternoon and with a nice track laid out. Add to this a Mini Cooper Works (red) and a Clubman S (black) and a bunch of carnuts, getting more and more into it with each lap. Creating quite an ‘Italian Job’ rush. Countryman and convertible are parked on the sidelines.

I am careful now with commenting about looks of a particular car. I once mentioned that a Mini convertible is a rather feminine vehicle. I would like to change my mind on this topic, please. Something similar happened, when I drove the new X3 for the first time and still prefered Audi’s Q5. A very good friend of mine recently bought a stunning black X3. The more she picked me up in it, the more I loved it. And when she parked right next to a Q5 a couple of days ago, I must admit I readily conceded – the X3 is in fact the better looking car. One of the reasons for Audi to go bolder in their new line-up. Next up on the cards is a Q6, created to rival the success of BMW’s amazing X6.

Back to looks. All the Minis look really great, except maybe the Countryman. In direct comparison to its siblings it looks rather odd. But only at first glance. I will soon get one for a week and only then, with a bit of gravel on Swartberg Pass thrown in, I will make my final verdict on whether it looks good or not.

See Mini’s 2011 line-up on: www.mini.co.za


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© Dieter Losskarn - words & images | travel - motoring - lifestyle