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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

๏ Criticism ๏

Dr. Alex Moulton, designer of the suspension system for the original classic Mini, is reported to have said of the new MINI, in an interview with MiniWorld magazine, "It’s enormous — the original Mini was the best packaged car of all time — this is an example of how not to do it… it’s huge on the outside and weighs the same as an Austin Maxi. The crash protection has been taken too far. I mean, what do you want, an armoured car? It is an irrelevance in so far as it has no part in the Mini story."

Many classic Mini enthusiasts are sharply critical of the new MINI (some call it the BINI as a contraction of BMW MINI), citing the fact that it is two feet longer, a foot wider and almost twice the weight of the classic car — yet it has less rear leg room and less luggage space. Undoubtedly much of this is to do with modern crash protection requirements and the desire to incorporate features such as air conditioning, a supercharged engine with modern emissions controls and a higher level of front-seat comfort than the classic Mini was capable of. This opinion is far from universal and other classic Mini enthusiasts have embraced the modern MINI as a natural evolution of the original concept with many of them owning both kinds of car.

Some MINI convertible owners criticise the poor rear visibility in the convertible. With the roof up the wide areas of cloth down the sides of the car block visibility to the rear quarters and the lack of washer/wiper on the small rear window — combined with the tendency of all flat-backed cars to accumulate dirt on the rear — effectively eliminates all rear visibility. Even with the roof down, the large roll-protection bars above the back seats and the bunched up cloth of the folded roof tends to block a significant fraction of rearward visibility. In an attempt to counter this problem when reversing the car, the MINI convertible comes with rear-mounted proximity sensors as standard equipment (these are available as an option on the hardtop MINI).

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