Mini Urban Drive
We come to grips with MINI’s legendary go-kart experience
Experiencing the go-kart like handling and agility of the iconic British car
The MINI Urban Drive is an event designed to get more people behind the wheel of a MINI to experience first-hand the handling and agility that the popular British car is known for. This event was held at different venues in seven Indian cities between August and October this year. We were present at the Pune edition along with several existing and prospective MINI customers.
Apart from a fleet of cars, MINI had also brought along two professional race car drivers from Malaysia to brief the participants on safety, what was expected of them behind the wheel, and to take us through the drills that we were supposed to complete. The drills included a tight slalom course where we had to get the cars through and around several small plastic cones in the quickest time possible, highlighting the nimble nature and precise steering of the MINI. One-way
communicators in all the cars allowed the trainers to give us feedback and cues in real time or correct us if necessary.
After a session of sliding the cars through the course, it was time to take on the braking drills. Here the instructors had us going progressively faster, before asking us to slam on the brakes at a predetermined mark; they even had us do it with hands raised, away from the steering wheel, to highlight the car’s stability under hard braking.
The obstacle avoidance drill came next, where we were once again asked to slam on the brakes, but this time there were strategically placed cones in our way, with an impossibly narrow escape route. I was pleasantly surprised when the MINI Clubman that I was driving responded perfectly to my input and made it through without touching a single cone, even when hard on the brakes.
After experiencing the MINI Urban Drive, it is clear to me that this is a much better way to introduce prospective buyers to these cars than a test-drive through crowded city streets where you would hardly get out of first gear. This event allowed us to push these cars and explore their capabilities in a controlled environment, reminding us that these MINIs are such fun to drive.