Blog: Mini – how can the design be changed?
Dave Leggett | 29 November 2005
How would you update the Mini? Its appearance directly speaks to its iconic predecessor, but it does so in a successfully modernised way. The Mini has attracted very little criticism for its appearance as far as I know (suggesting little room for external appearance improvement) and the nature of such a design is that it doesn’t date in the way that many models do. Comparing it to Porsche models makes sense. A 911 is unmistakeably a 911, whichever generation it is from and Porsche customers like it that way.
New Mini looks like a classic and product evolution is bound to centre on extending the range (like adding the Mini Traveller) and improving the interior perhaps. Well done to the people behind the design. No wonder then BMW boss Mr BP was so keen to roll it out to journalists years ahead of launch at the Frankfurt Show in 1997. He knew he was on to a winner there, even if he also did it to show the world and BMW shareholders some fruits from owning Rover.
But not all retro-based designs make it so easily into 'new-revered-classic' territory, even after promising starts. Step forward the Chrysler PT Cruiser (now so beloved of retirees and seen as overly contrived ‘cool’) and the Volkswagen New Beetle (it was a hot but fairly brief love affair with the car-buying public – it's a Golf in a straight jacket).
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