STYLING AND ACCESSORIES
On the exterior, a revised badging strategy features the word 'Mini' within the traditional three-dimensional chrome 'wings' badge. A neat and stylish new roof-mounted radio aerial and a revised colour range firmly identify this Mini from its predecessors.
Taking the interior luxury theme of recent Mayfair's and Coopers even further, the latest Mini and Mini Cooper benefit from many attractive new features.
A new sports style steering wheel (derived from the MGF) not only looks and feels better, but brings the safety of airbag technology to the Mini for the first time. The new steering column incorporates the latest design of column stalks with both lights and wiper switching - intermittent wipe becomes a new Mini feature.
A new leather-clad gear knob and a chromed gear lever invite swift and precise ratio changes. Chrome bezels around the instrument dials evoke memories of the classic sixties.
Another two 'firsts' for the Mini are the adoption of a foam-backed cloth headlining and a new one-piece moulded floor carpet. These both heighten the quality feel of the cabin and, importantly, contribute to much-improved acoustics.
Easing access to the rear seats are new 'break-back' front seat squabs, which can be released to fold forward, in addition to offering the normal reclining adjustment. Based on the front seat design of the new Rover 200, these new squabs taper towards the top, enhancing the perception of interior spaciousness - enthusiasts will also find them reminiscent of the original 1960's Mini Cooper optional reclining seat design, with 1990's levels of comfort.
A further detail improvement that will be welcomed by owners is a new two-speed heater fan, allowing more precise control of heating and ventilation.
Moving upmarket does not make the Mini any less practical, however. There are still handy door bins, a lidded glove box and the rear quarter bins that safely stow awkward items such as bottles or flasks. There is also a surprising amount of stowage space beneath the rear seat pan.
COMPREHENSIVE OPTION AND ACCESSORY PLAN
Mini is a car for people who spend considerable sums on 'customising'. Nowhere is this better recognised than in the new range of options and accessories now being offered with the 1997 Minis. True Mini aficionados will find this carefully chosen selection quite irresistible.
The most radical innovation is the 'Sports Pack' - made up as follows:
|13 inch ultra-sporting 6J 'Minilite Style' alloy-wheels with 175/50 R13 tyres|
|Special faired-in and body-coloured wheel arch spats to suit the wide tyres|
|Koni shock absorbers|
|Four front auxiliary lamps|
|Large bore chrome tailpipe finisher|
|Extra facia gauges for oil temperature and battery condition|
|Battery condition gauge|
|Oil temperature gauge|
The new alloy wheels are a modern interpretation of the existing sports alloy wheel but using a wider and larger wheel size in conjunction with Koni shock absorbers to enhance the road handling.
The special wheel arch spats are not simply a 'bolt-on' fitment - they involve skilled body-in-white modification and are hand-crafted. The 13 inch wheels and ultra-low profile tyres cannot be fitted without this and other work being carried out to maintain correct clearances.
The Sports Pack creates a dramatic appearance and enhances handling and grip. The extra aerodynamic drag of the wide tyres reduces top speed to around 84 mph.
Other factory options for the 1997 Minis include:
|Wood veneer door cappings to complement the veneer facia|
|Electric folding full-length canvas sunroof|
|'Engine-turned' alloy facia panel|
|'Cooper' Black leather trim|
|'Luxury' Beige leather trim|
|Special Option 'Classic' leather trim in 'retro' 1960's Mini interior trim colours: Porcelain Green, Horizon Blue, Cumulus Grey, Tartan Red,|
|Special Option 'Classic' Paint colours - again well-known favourites from the 1960s: Almond Green (as used on the Cooper 35 Special Edition), Surf Blue, Whitehall Beige, Yukon Grey|
Never have Mini buyers had such a wide array of high quality approved accessories. They can now mix and match to create their own uniquely identified Mini, following whatever theme they prefer. In total, 37 different personalising items can be specified. For example, retro enthusiasts might choose the perfect finishing touch of a 1960s-style grille to go with a 'Classic' paint and trim combination. 'Thoroughly modern' Mini buyers may choose high-tech treatment, with 'chrome' wheel arches complementing one of the special alloy wheel sets. The natural extroverts may opt for a striking decal treatment, such as the chequered roof panel. The potential is bounded only by imagination and budget, and, of course, the personalisation process can continue right through the customer's ownership of the car.
|Body colour Spats for 13" wheels|
|'Chrome' spats with chrome sill strip|
Chrome pack 1
|Retro style chrome grille|
|Front bumper over-riders|
|Front corner nudge bars|
Chrome pack 2
|Chrome wiper arms|
|Chrome door mirrors|
|Chrome tail-pipe finisher|
|Union Jack roof decal|
|Chequered roof decal|
|"Zipper" side stripe decal|
|Chequered bonnet stripes|
|Range of additional badges|
|Electric powered glass sunroof|
|Electric powered full-length canvas sunroof|
|12" Sports style - Silver, Charcoal or White|
|12" Premium style|
|12" Revolution 5 spoke|
|13" Revolution 5 spoke|
|13" Sports style|
|Leather header rail|
|Leather parcel shelf finisher|
|Leather steering wheel|
|Leather hand brake grip|
|Leather gear knob|
|Alloy door pulls|
|Alloy door releases|
|Alloy window winders|
|Wood door cappings|
|Wood door pulls|
|Wood door releases|
|Wood window winders|
|'Momo' alloy gear knob|
|Wood gear knob|
|Polished rocker cover|
Expanded standard range of paint colours
Colour choices from Rover's contemporary paint range rise from seven to eleven for 1997; the car wears the latest designer colours.
Solid: Flame Red, White Diamond, Electric Blue
Metallic: Charcoal, Platinum Silver, Kingfisher Blue, British Racing Green
Pearlescent: Nightfire Red, Tahiti Blue, Amaranth( Purple), Volcano (Orange)