Five-speed manual and 125 hp in a car this small is a winning combo.
BMW did well to recapture the magic of the original Mini when it launched the modern Mini Cooper as a boutique hatchback back in 2000. However, the Mini has grown since then and sometimes there's just nothing better than the original. But what if the original Mini was reinvigorated with enough power to match the acceleration of a 2021 Cooper? Say hello to the charming Mini Remastered Oselli Edition. First revealed back in 2019, it has now officially been launched in full and we can finally set eyes on a completed example. Hand-built at David Brown Automotive, it's the petite body of an original Mini with a powertrain enhanced by tuning specialists Oselli Engineering. Either a four-seater car or a two-seater track toy with a roll cage can be ordered.
Said to be the most powerful Mini Remastered yet, this version features a 1,450 cc engine with twin SU carburetors. It produces 125 horsepower and 113 lb-ft of torque, outputs that lag behind a new base Mini Cooper's 134 hp and 162 lb-ft. However, the Mini Remastered is a comparative lightweight so will take only 7.8 seconds to get from zero to 62 mph (the new Cooper has a claimed 0-60 time of 7.7 seconds). Then again, these cars were never meant to go up against each other. The Mini Remastered Oselli Edition is a refreshingly old-school package for the keen driver who doesn't want a modern car weighed down by electronics. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard but a four-speed automatic with a slightly smaller engine is also on offer.
Conceived as a proper performance car, the Mini Remastered Oselli Edition comes with high-performance AP Racing brakes, a Bilstein sports-tuned suspension, a limited-slip differential, and a free-flow sports exhaust. The 13-inch wheels are large by original Mini standards. The two-seater has a four-point seatbelt harness that would truly befuddle Mr. Bean along with a rear roll cage. However, it's not as basic as the original as leather and Alcantara have been used in the cabin. The interior has been modernized just enough but retains the old-school dials that hark back to another era altogether.
Outside, this Mini does seemingly everything it can to make you smile. The exterior graphics are hand-painted and the main body color can be contrasted with eye-catching stripes. Old English White and Carbon Grey main colors can be matched with accents in colors like Competition Red. The '60' on the grille references the six decades since the first Mini was produced. LED lights with auxiliary spotlights are also fitted. 60 bespoke models are planned and both right- and left-hand drive models will be available at a starting price of £98,000 ($138,052). That's about three times the price of a new Mini John Cooper Works GP, the most powerful Mini ever, but it's the 'new' Oselli Edition that'll probably tug harder at the heartstrings.