1. MINI Cooper S's were probably the most natural handling car I've ever driven without extensive modifications to stiffen up the suspension and braces all over the car to get the body taut. That meant that go-kart handling and a short base that keeps the car planted and neutral most times when you're passionately driving through tight corners or doing handbrake turns in an empty parking lot (guilty!).
2. There was no way in hell I could bring myself to squeeze a friend behind me. Those seats were always meant for half an adults to occupy, but was still marketed as a four-seater car.
It's ridiculous how far from the original intention of the brand BMW made the MINI. Surely they found a great selling point with its chic past and almost evergreen popularity, but making it a two seater with flimsy plastics and priced top-dollar just doesn't sit right with me.
Then they realised that to really be profitable and expand their business, they needed a range of models.
Thus came the Clubman - a longer MINI to give the rear passengers enough space to sit. It also had a smaller door that swung open ala suicide door, only on the right side. In Singapore, that means right into traffic, so there's really no use for it.
Now we have the Coupe!
Looking like a standard Cooper S with it’s roof smashed flat, the Coupe started life as a prototype featured at a motor show a year ago. And after enough people expressed interest in it, they made it into a production model.
It looks weird though. Something on it just doesn’t look right. It could be that half roof thingy. Or the rear half that starts further into the middle of the car.
Needless to say they have all but done away with the rear seat bench – yet the car is no smaller than the standard model.
What is this car really? I’m stumped.