Size doesn’t matter and there is a car ready to prove it to you: it comes from across the Channel and has the face of a bulldog, with a temper that is anything but calm.
We are talking about the Mini, which mini is in name and in fact: already the first generation, the historic microcar designed by BMC for the market in the 60s, exceeded by only 5 cm the 3 meters in length, managing to accommodate 4 passengers and enough luggage. The design constraints require the adoption of a front mounted transverse engine and rubber suspensions, to steal as little space as possible from the passenger compartment; but these restrictions turn out to be winning solutions in competitions. The Mini in fact imposes itself both on the track and in rallies, where it repeatedly conquers the prestigious Monte Carlo. With these premises, the BMW group, having acquired the brand, develops a completely new premium car, which debuts in the new millennium and becomes the reference point for driving pleasure. The Mini “R53” immediately rides the retro style, in vogue especially in those years, and a top of the range version, the Cooper S, is also available and embodies the concept of “go-kart feeling” thanks to its small size and powerful supercharged engine. The project is valid and conquers the public, despite the change in design approach from simplicity towards sportiness: the Mini is renewed for other generations and the range is expanded with new proposals in other segments, which in driving maintain the familiarity of the original hatchback.
The technical data sheet of the Mini Cooper S “R53” speaks of performance and components above the average of the competitors: a supercharged 1.6-liter engine with 163 HP, McPherson front suspension and multi-link rear suspension, a weight of just over a ton. Nonetheless, Officine Amarcord wondered how a car that was already so well configured could be improved; with an eye to track days and the world of home-made tuning, a kit has been developed to make the Mini a real track car. First of all, an electric motor was installed on the rear axle, a KERS that gives the car four-wheel drive and considerable thrust when additional performance is required. Moreover, the lightweight Alcantara bucket seats and the elimination of the rear bench help reduce the weight of the car, while the flocked passenger compartment and the status indicator of the electrical part, expressly developed to be integrated into the original dashboard design, have a racing look and invite you to take the controls of the car. And speaking of aesthetics, what modernizes the exterior of the Mini is the marked contrast of colors between the matte gray bodywork and the glossy black accessories such as the roof and the wheels, which are part of a noir package designed to visually enrich the car.
Small but technological, cute but peppy: Officine Amarcord enters the track and rewrites the rules of fun, the Mini becomes a perfect playmate.
POWER: 126 kWPETROL + 40 kW peak electric (210 Nm Electric Torque)
BATTERIES: LiFePO 8 kWh
POWER SUPPLY: hybrid plug-in
POWERTRAIN: HYBRID PETROL + ELECTRIC
TRACTION: all-wheel drive, six-speed gearbox
BATTERY CHARGER: MENNEKES Typo 2
MAX TORQUE: 450 Nm
SPEED: 250 km/h
RANGE: 40 km electric mode