We have never shied away from showing our love for the current range of MINI products. They are faster, better built and offer higher levels of tech, comfort and safety than anything before them. Yet we can’t help but feel the brand (and the world) lost something special when the MINI R53 Cooper S (and the R50 Cooper) went out of production. But here’s the good news; there are 100s of thousands of those cars out there ready to be driven and enjoyed. We think it’s time for MINI to embrace those cars like they have classic BMWs and allow their owners to reimagine them. Now let’s jump start the process by telling them where to start.

MINI R53 newly manufactured Old Parts

Let’s start with newly manufactured parts that have been unavailable. The fact I can get brand new parts for my 50 year old BMW 2002 tells you what’s possible. With modern small batch production and 3D printing, MINI could make the case for producing key parts that have been long out of stock. Or even more forward thinking, open source the schematics and let owners and small businesses 3D print and batch manufacturer themselves. Parts like super chargers and other mechanical would be a great place to start. But what about high-ware items or interior trim that has long gone out of stock? Tell us (and MINI) what you’d like to see in the comments below.

mini r53

MINI r53 Upgrades Not Possible 20 Years Ago

Companies like Singer have taken this as far as it can go. But we think there’s some interesting middle-ground for MINI to play in. What if MINI started retrofitting JCW kits to older cars at dealers again? Or worked with H/K to bring some form of all screen head-unit that ran a small version of CarPlay? How about an aluminum sunroof insert to replace those that have begun to leak or rattle constantly? Or what if MINI worked with a company like Singer to re-create the R53 completely. It might be pricey but imagine the possibilities.

Those are just thought starters. Let us know what you want in the comments.


Sound off and Let Us (and MINI) Know Your Ideas

As brands embrace electrification, we believe it’s also time for them to embrace some of their older, most beloved models. For MINI there’s no question that’s the MINI R53 and it’s generation of models. Born in the most turbulent of times for the brand, they defied everything to become instant classics. Now it’s time for BMW to treat them that way.

And the good news? We believe more than a few people at BMW are beginning to think the same thing.