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Lessons from the Mini: Before revamping or rebooting anything, please read this


The original Mini needed some improvement, but it needed to be a mini. Fiat seemed to get that with the 500. Surely it would have been possible to make a small, cheap, economical car? I have a lovely picture of a BMC Mini parked next to its bloated namesake in Reno NV. And where did the space go? I am 6'3" and used to ride around in my friends Cooper S. The back of a mini was not good for me, it was possible, but not good. The really bad parts about the mini were crash worthiness and susceptibility to damp, the distributor and plugs were on the front of the engine, out in the weather. Could it be done? Well the systems from a Smart car show the mechanicals can be done. Does every car need navigation and a TV display in the dash? No! Most of the time what I need is an engine, transmission, brakes, steering, wipers, lights and seats. For electronics I need a Bluetooth connection for my phone. ABS is mandated as are air bags, but they fit in a Smart so they aren't a problem. Same with the emissions system. Enough with the feature creep.

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