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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The New "'Mini'" Coupé Even LOOKS Like A Douche

What happens when you microwave a diecast Mini model with a plastic roof
I already loath and detest strongly dislike the BMW 0-Series. I don't like that they want us to think it's like the original BMC Mini, a car that set the template for all small cars that followed after it was released in 1959 and gained popularity in the 1960s, which it held on to until (and even beyond) the bitter end in 1999 when Rover stopped making it (and arguably Rover went downhill from there until their own bitter end a few years ago). I don't like that they even used the Mini name and gave it a dinner-plate-sized speedo to emulate the '60s Mini's central dials in one of a few attempts to make it so blindingly retro.

I didn't like that they called the estate model the Clubman instead of the Traveller, and even though there's now a rally version, I really don't like the Mini C(o)unt(ryman) non-off-roading SUV that has absolutely no heritage whatsoever and is an unwelcome arrival to the current range as well, essentially striking me as a dolled-up BMW X1 with only 4 seats and a 2WD option. They should've called it the Maxi rather than a Mini. And on that rally version, surely using the smaller hatchback version would make it a lot more agile than using something bigger than a 5-door Golf? Are we to believe that the (on)road version has just as much mud-slinging capability as a heavily modified rally version? I don't. Not even slightly.

Clearly though, BMW have decided that, after previewing a smaller model with the excellent Rocketman Concept, they needed to compensate for the fact that they actually did something right for a change, and have now forced upon us a new Coupé version, which is meant to appeal to young men, or "dudes", as Mini seem to think we still call ourselves...

While the VW New Beetle was instantly considered a girl's car, the BMW Mini was initially very much non-gender-specific. It was the car to have, in fact. But now that the Fiat 500 has come out, and loads of estate agents have bought Minis, it's become slightly old-hat as a fashion item (its main selling point, for sure), and is also now bought primarily by women. Clearly BMW wanted to get men on their side, so they decided to make something "new hat". I think they maybe took that idea a little far though, as the Coupé's strange and unpleasant roof was actually designed like that on purpose. No, really. It's designed... to look like a baseball cap. Worn backwards. Seriously.

Apparently you, as a man, want you car to look like this guy
After wondering if the French-market version would look like it was wearing a Beret (which I decided would just look silly), it struck me that, combined with the Mini JCW bodykit and the resulting big smiley face the front of the car has, the roof makes it look like a person, and because people who still wear a baseball cap backwards in this day and age (i.e. not the 1990s) is classed as being a douchebag, the BMW 0-Series Coupé also looks like a douchebag. I don't know about you, but I want to look like a douche driving a douche about as much as I want to be seen blasting out Justin Bieber noises (she wants us to think it's "music") in that pink Nissan Micra C+C, or about as much as I want to be seen strapping explosives to a baby by armed police in a pissy mood. This level of 'trendy styling' marketing bullshit makes my blood boil...

As with the BMW X1, X3 and X6, there's a problem with hating this car. It's based on the 0-Series "Mini Cooper", and there's a JCW version with 208bhp and the usual sports tuning that entails, so it will probably drive really well, which, combined with the fancy badge on the front, means it will sell. A lot. If Hyundai had revealed a car just like this (without this one existing), they'd be laughed out the room, even though they're not exactly a walking joke anymore. BMW have an irritating habit of coming up with daft ideas for cars and then engineering them well enough to be convincing to people who don't really know what they're talking about, but want a nice car. Their only miss so far is the 5-Series GT, and I suspect that's because on the outside it's a bit like an X6 (with a 5er's face, of course), but one that doesn't appeal to the growing 'prestige SUV' crowd. What this means is that I'll inevitably see a few 0-Series Coupés around, and then I'll get all annoyed that someone's stupid enough to have bought a mutilated hatchback that looks like it should be on Jersey Shore*, then I'll start ranting in my head about it, and before long I'll be annoyed at myself for getting so uptight about a car driving past, and that'll just put a dent in my day...

1966 Broadspeed GT 1275 S (an unofficial Mini Coupé of the past)
Now hang on Mike, all this hatred over a roof? Well there is a little more to hate than that. One of the reasons fans and owners of the original Mini don't like the new one is because it doesn't live up to the real Mini's heritage as a car. I won't go on about cheap utilitarian motoring for the masses (although the 0-Series does miss this part of the Mini's appeal by miles), but this 2-seater has no place in Mini history. Even the custom-made coupé version of the original, built by British racing company Broadspeed and pictured to your right, had 4 seats, otherwise they couldn't very well call it a GT, now could they?

This new one's no smaller than the hatchback Mini on the outside, but that short and hideous roof makes the interior small enough to eliminate the back seats, so it's even less of a Mini despite still being much bigger. And what use is a pop-up spoiler on a Front-Wheel-Drive car?! In fact, what's the point of the Mini Coupé at all? It's just the Cooper/Cooper S hatchback with a shit roof and no back seats.

Rest assured, I won't be requesting a brochure.


*If you've never watched Jersey Shore before, first of all well done, but you might not fully understand the reference. I've only seen ads for it before, but I've heard people talk about it as well, and it's another one of those garbage shows where douchetacular silver-spoon-swallowing morons in their early 20s hang out on the Jersey shore and have beach parties and get spray-tanned and drink themselves stupid (if it's even possible for them to become less intelligent) so they get into relationship problems because they have no idea what love actually is and think they keep finding it. Everyone's shirtless (apart from women covering up their sillicone-filled knockers), everyone's got spiky hair, apart from those wearing a baseball cap backwards - my bet is that BMW couldn't design a spiky-haired roof very well, but they wanted to - and everyone on that show and all others like it make me think there should be a cull on people like these air-headed too-rich-for-their-own-good insults to humanity (I'm not alone in this). Their leftover fortunes would be collected up and used to get poorer people on their feet. My only hope is that people watch it in an ironic sense rather than taking it seriously - laughing at them, not with them.

1 comment:

  1. Hilarious! You're like the car version of the guy who writes for Geekologie! Keep up the good work.

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