Yet another review from the recent MINI R56 Prototype prevew. Here’s an excerpt:
>As soon as you pull on the distinctive door handles and the frameless window jumps down half an inch, you get on overwhelming sense of just what BMW has done with the second-generation Mini.
>The whole car exudes a sense of polish and precision that the original just didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have. True, the first car ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” mostly developed by the old Rover Group in the UK ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬” had immense character and endearing eccentricities, but it was also riddled with quirks and outright faults.
Settle in behind the wheel, and although the interior of this pre-production car is disguised, improvements are clear. The driving position remains straight-ahead excellent, and thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s noticeably more room in the footwells.
>The seat is a massive advance: wide enough, sensibly bolstered and fitted with slickly smooth adjustment. The door trims on our car seem showroom-ready, are very well made and fitted with stylish aluminium trim.
>The new dashboard uses the same design theme as before. The central speedo is even bigger and houses (rather small) fingertip controls for the radio and trip computer. The new climate control panel is also small and uses distinctive rocker switches for fan speed and temperature control.
>To fire up the car, you push the large, circular key into a slot in the dashboard and press a button.
>All the controls, indicators, rocker switches, handbrake and the control weightings are immediate step forward over those in the old car.
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