The Independant drives the 2007 MCS and comes away rather impressed with both the engineering and the performance of the car. Here’s an excerpt:

>Crash-test regulations, especially for pedestrian impact, are the reasons for the re-skin, minimal as it is. Every outer panel is new.

>At which point, may I lead a rousing cheer for Gert Hildebrand, the Mini’s design chief? You may have noticed that new cars are growing longer, uglier noses to cope with crash tests, ruining proportions. It doesn’t have to be so. “The engineers wanted another 100mm on the front of the Mini,” Hildebrand says, “but I told them they couldn’t have it. They would have to find another solution.”

>The engineers did exactly that and, by means of clever energy paths through the structure, have made the new Mini both regulation-compliant yet still visually Mini-like. So, why can’t other car-makers do this? Are they just too lazy? “Yes,” Hildebrand says, smiling.

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[ Road Test: Mini Cooper S ] The Independant