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The reborn classic might be different in many ways from the original, but it still serves its purpose.
I once dated a young woman who owned dozens of models of Minis. They seemed to be on every surface in her apartment, and she even owned multiples of some models in several different colors. Her obsession started after a trip to the UK some years before, and had only grown since. Her love was for the original Mini, but the current one would certainly do. This particular young woman might have been a bit more obsessed than most, but she was hardly alone in her appreciation for the Mini.
Like a surprising number of other really great legendary cars, the original Mini was built out of spite. High gas prices in the UK starting in the mid-Fifties had led to an increase in the number of "bubble cars", like the Peel P50 or the BMW
Isetta, on the road. The president of the British Motor Corporation at the time, one Leonard Lord, despised these sad little excuses for cars, and therefore set out to build a "proper" small car, just to show them. The resulting car, which debuted in 1959, included many revolutionary design features, and offered far more interior space than was previously believed possible in a car of its size.
Perhaps most notable was the engine and transmission. These were transverse mounted and were cast together as one unit. The transmission was incorporated into the crankcase and lubricated with engine oil. The design saved a lot of space under the hood, and Lamborghini
would later use the same idea in order to get the massive V12 into the back of the Miura. With the wheels pushed all the way out to the four corners of the car, the Mini had handling like a go-kart. This made it popular in rally racing, where it quickly became a big success. But it was also very practical, and would go on to sell in huge numbers.
It was the efficient use of space that made it what it was. This included features like sliding windows to allow for storage pockets in the doors, which according to legend were sized specifically to fit a bottle of Gordon's Gin. More than 5 million units would end up being sold before the old Mini went out of production in 2000. BMW would buy the name and bring out the new version of the Mini in 2001, and upon seeing it, the first thing one tends to notice is that it is quite a lot bigger. The Mini grew considerably for this new version, and the weight about doubled. But with that weight came quite a bit more sophistication, and the Mini became like other similarly-sized cars on the road, just with more interesting styling.
That's not really such a bad thing, though. Although the Mini might now be a lot more expensive than what people had gotten used to paying for a Mini, it is really quite a good price for a BMW. A supercharged version has been built and Mini has rolled out an ever-increasing number of different body styles, just as was done with the original car. Ok, now let's address the elephant in the room, the cuteness factor. Yes, this is a very cute car, and there is a very real chance that you will feel a bit ridiculous driving it. Perhaps not New Beetle ridiculous, but it's still a thing. But that might not be an entirely bad thing.
As we've established, women are drawn to these cars, and in at least one case, obsess over them. A man behind the wheel of such a car is one who is absolutely secure in his masculinity, and confidence like that is not going to hurt either. It really isn't a bad car either, and though the styling might have you thinking twice, the build quality and driving experience are perfectly satisfactory. As with the other cars which have and will appear on this list, the Mini won't necessarily be attractive to every single woman you meet. Those who hang out with biker gangs will probably not be impressed, but the Mini didn't end up so high up on the list for no reason.