Cooper for the cafe run

Joondalup Weekender - - Driveway - Grant Edwards

FIND­ING the next hip cafe to ful­fil smashed avo­cado hunger pangs has be­come eas­ier for Mini buy­ers.

The fash­ion-con­scious, brand-savvy crew can tap into the lat­est tech­nol­ogy to call Mini’s concierge ser­vice to get restau­rant rec­om­men­da­tions and di­rec­tions. In the event of an ac­ci­dent, the tech will call emer­gency ser­vices via func­tion­al­ity adopted from its BMW brethren.

The swag of tech up­dates to the Mini three-door, five­door and con­vert­ible range come with price in­creases of $200 to $1900. A man­ual Mini three-door will now cost $29,900 be­fore on-roads, with au­to­matic trans­mis­sion adding $2500.

Cus­tom op­tions in­clude in­di­vid­u­alised door­sills and puddle lights that project a name, sig­na­ture or logo on to the ground in the dark. Own­ers can go fur­ther be­spoke with a cus­tomised dash cover or side ‘scut­tles’ send­ing a per­sonal mes­sage.

The de­signs are sent to Ger­many to be cre­ated and when fit­ted will cost between $80 for pro­jec­tion light­ing and $460 for door­sills.

The brand aims for in­creased street pres­ence, with Cooper S and John Cooper Works de­riv­a­tives gain­ing LED lights and Union Jack-de­sign tail­lights, also avail­able in the Ac­tive pack on base mod­els for $2500.

This midlife up­date aims to de­liver more of what the Mini-set looks for: a state­ment ride that’s not from the more es­tab­lished pre­mium brands.

There are five new colours on the pal­ette, ex­tra two-tone al­loy wheel choices and, no sur­prise, con­trast­ing colour roof and strip­ing op­tions. En­gines get lighter in­ter­nals but out­puts are un­changed.

The Cooper gear­boxes are six-speed man­ual or seven-speed dual-clutch auto (the lat­ter up­graded from a six-speed) and the Cooper S gets a seven-speed ‘sports tuned’ auto.

Per­for­mance matches the trade­mark sporty looks. The go-kart han­dling, en­gag­ing and de­light­ful, main­tains the fun fac­tor.

High­way travel is rel­a­tively quiet and smooth but coarse bi­tu­men turns up the vol­ume on road noise.

Buy­ers have to part with $2500 for an Ac­tive pack to get the lat­est safety kit, with for­ward col­li­sion warn­ing, adap­tive cruise con­trol and city emer­gency brak­ing. In a base model tested with ex­tras, the price rock­eted to $47,000-plus Ouch.

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