Fun Sized

The original Mini Cooper was designed to be practical and affordable. As a happy bonus, it was a hoot to drive. The latest Mini proves good things come in small packages and surprises can be had at every turn.
Words by Bill Lindsey | March 26, 2021 | Luxury

Spurred by a fuel crisis in 1957, Britain’s Morris Company decided to create a concept for a car that would seat four adults and be affordable for everyone. The resulting Morris Mini’s design placed all four wheels at the corners, which allowed it to handle like a go-cart. The Mini was an instant classic but because U.S. imports ceased in the late 1960s, they were a rare sight. Happily, BMW acquired the brand in 1999 and began importing an updated Mini. The John Cooper Works version is packed with go-fast features from the enormous wing to a race-tuned suspension. The car’s compact design makes it the ideal choice for congested city streets and cramped parking garages. The hatchback swallows a week’s worth of groceries, to check off the practical box, but the 300-hp engine combined with front wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission makes every grocery store run an adventure;