BMW's MINI is absolutely a future textbook example of how to revive and relaunch a silent brand into a loud, crowded age.
While the original 1960s Mini was much more of a phenom inside England, BMW's ambitions have always been far more global.
Spending ten years with the nightmare of Rover Cars Limited taught BMW many lessons in the 1990s about what *not* to do with a classic brand.
Divesting Rover and Land Rover helped BMW pivot to a far more logical and promising ownership of Rolls-Royce, Mini, and a few other moribund sports car brands in the early 2000s.
Planning with brilliant foresight from the beginning, the MINI success story is still rolling along. While some car mags lament the proliferation of pricey and tiny new crossover models, every review of the classic Mini Hardtop is full of glowing praise.
This car really does make you smile and chuck it around corners, just for fun. I drove one for a few weeks years ago as a ZipCar in Chicago and absolutely loved it. This was a bog-standard MINI One with an automatic, but it was still a fun plaything on the way to the airport, relatives houses, or CostCo.
The all-new 2014 MINI is very exciting for a number of reasons. First off, it maintains and enhances all the good aspects of this $20,000 hatchback.
These things include wild personalization options, playful handling dynamics, a retro-futuristic cabin design, and, of course - that Oxford style.
2014 MINI Hardtop - Feature Highlights
2014 MINI Hardtop - Mechanical Details
Where old Mini Hardtop drivers might see Mickey Mouse in the shape of the center stack of the current car, the new car brings holographic heads-up displays, connected Navigation screens, and even a dynamic LED mood light ringing the central display panel.
It looks like good fun in here.
Enjoy these mega galleries of the all-new MINI, which arrives in March 2014.
MINI has an all-new website this week as well, with lots of the classic humor that makes the brand so fun. What do I mean?
Well, this cuteness is their 404 page.
MINI is great branding for great cars.
2014 MINI Cooper - Hardtop - Exterior Gallery
2014 MINI Cooper S - Hardtop - Exterior Gallery