Monday, May 12, 2014

Maximal Extreme in a Minimal Size (Part 2)

According to factory data, the 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine makes 115 hp at 6000 rpm- this "little monster", accompanied by a six-speed automatic gearbox, accelerates the car to 100km/h in 10 seconds- the maximal speed is 190 km/h. Although the car was manufactured in 2004, my test showed that the above mentioned technical data, thanks to the highest quality of the details and the adoption of new technologies during the assemblage, is still valid. Now, I am starting to realize, why the Mini is such an expensive car for its class- the price for a used Mini ranges from 3.500.000 to 5.500.000 AMD in Armenia.

The car pleasantly surprises with dynamic behavior-the acceleration up to 4000 rpm is simply excellent, after which it slightly slows down.
The automatic transmission also makes a positive impression. It's slower than the mechanical one, but only slightly-the gears are shifted with minimal delays.
Now, let's get down to riding characteristics. The controllability is excellent-the steering wheel was highly informative and responsive to my commands. No matter how much sharp is a turn, the car corners perfectly, without deviating from the path. I even disabled the CBC and made a couple of crazy drifts, but, all the same, the sense of control over the car never left me. I think this effect is mainly caused by the low position of the seats and lowered center of gravity, which makes the body of the car almost touch the surface of the road. It’s true, the Mini has an outstanding controllability and “respectfully executes” all the commands of the driver; however, it requires the same approach and properties towards itself.

Interestingly, the car has almost no rival on the market. Very few automobile manufacturers produce “toy cars”, which, actually, is the Mini. At the moment, I can only recall the Fiat 500 built on the basis of the Panda. The French may also have their Mini in the future, if they succeed in reincarnating the legendary Citroen “Deux Chevaux”.