U.K.-based David Brown Automotive took the covers off of its next limited-run retro throwback early April, this time turning the classic Mini Cooper inside-out and “Remaster”-ing it to the point it could reasonably charge six figures for the car.
Yes, the company known so far for its Speedback GT – a car evocative of the style of the old Aston Martin DB5 but based on the modern, more-potent second-gen Jaguar XKR platform – has now worked its magic on the Sir Alec Issigonis-designed icon.
To create the Mini Remastered, David Brown Automotive starts with a brand-new heritage shell, then refines it by hand to give the classic Mini a cleaner look. For instance, the seam line that runs from the A-pillar down to the front wheel arch has been removed, and the rain gutters have also been smoothed over.
Add some flared wheel arches front and back; throw in some modern LED lights and custom-built aluminum grilles; and put some puddle lights on those lovely bullet-style door mirrors, and you get a look instantly recognizable as “original Mini,” but enhanced.
Open the door, and you’re welcomed by a retro-modern interior. The interior is the same size as the original, and has the steering wheel in the same position, but the seats are custom-tailored for each owner of the Remastered.
You’ll also get luxuries such as a touchscreen infotainment system with four speakers; a reverse camera; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; USB charge points; remote locking; power windows; and push-button ignition—in short, things that wouldn’t have been in the wildest dreams for owners of the Mini Cooper in the 1960s.
The Remastered also has a strengthened shell with bespoke beams and support struts for added rigidity, and extra sound proofing, so it’ll not only handle better than the original, it’ll be more comfortable, too.
Moving you down the road is the familiar old motor, only tuned to produce 50-percent more power. The 1.275-litre four-cylinder (with two valves per cylinder) now produces 78 hp and 91 lb-ft of torque.
That’ll see you get from zero to 100 km/h in 11.7 seconds, and will top out at 145 km/h. At the vehicle’s launch in London, David Brown Automotive also mentioned it can bore the engine out to 1.3 litres, to eke some 90 hp from this motor.
Power is sent to the front wheels via a four-speed manual gearbox, but the company is also looking to offer an automatic option in the near future.
Mr. David Brown, the man behind the brand, told Autofocus “just about anything can be specified for the Mini Remastered, from custom paint and trim, to options like a sunroof or panoramic roof.”
Just don’t ask for a full convertible version—Mr. Brown is not a fan of drop-tops. “There are only two days I’ve enjoyed a convertible: the day I bought it, and the day I sold it.”
All in all, it takes roughly 1,000 man-hours to put together a Remastered; and the price is, of course, reflective of that time spent. The car starts at £75,000, or about $125,400 in Canadian currency.
The Remastered is not cheap, but David Brown Automotive believes there are enough classic Mini enthusiasts that would happily hand over that sum, plus more, to make their car extra-special. The company has the capacity to build about a 100 units a year at their new facility across from the Silverstone race track.
Production of the Remastered is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2017.