Unlike the many reviews we’ll be seeing over the next few days and weeks, it would seem the Times didn’t actually drive the car. However it’s a good starting point for those who may be new to the 2007 MINI (though it’s got nothing on the MotoringFile R56 section). Here’s an excerpt:

>What, you may wonder, is the point of renewing almost every inch of a car only to turn it out as a doppelganger of the model it replaces? That is what has happened to the new Mini, which should perhaps now be called the new, new Mini.
Yet there is a logic not only in the renewal of this car but in the reasons for keeping it the same. The replacement has arrived after just six years because BMW has decided to up output at its Oxford Mini factory, making this a sensible moment to renew the car as well. Forthcoming pedestrian protection rules meant the Mini’s nose needed redesigning to provide a more yielding impact area, and BMW also decided to bring forward the launch of the series to speed the arrival of the estate version — designed around this fresh Mini — in showrooms. And finally, droves of Mini owners told BMW that they didn’t want to see the styling changed.

>So though it might look similar, the latest Mini is about as changed as it’s possible for a new car to be, old and new having almost no parts in common.

[ Mini Cooper S ] The London Times