Mini Remastered looks like a child of the ’60s, but is totally new under the skin

When it comes to cars, they don’t make them like they used to. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be improved.

The original Mini may have been a humble economy car, but it’s been treated to a high-end reimagining by David Brown Automotive, maker of the Aston Martin-homage Speedback GT sports car. What David Brown calls the Mini Remastered still looks like a classic Mini, but nearly everything has been tweaked, massaged, and, arguably, improved.

It starts with the body. It may look like a regular Mini body, but it’s actually completely new, re-engineered to increase both structural rigidity and soundproofing. David Brown also added fender flares, central exhaust outlets, a new grille, and LED taillights and running lights. The whole thing is finished off with a paint job that takes four weeks to apply. It’s the exact opposite of the mass-production process that made the original Mini.

Like the body, the engine gets an upgrade as well. The 1.2-liter four-cylinder is based on a design used in the original Mini, but tuned and fitted with various new parts. David Brown says it produces 30 percent more power than the original, which only works out to 78 horsepower and 91 pound-feet of torque, sent to the front wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. Weighing just 1,543 pounds, the Mini Remastered does 0 to 62 mph in 11.7 seconds, and reaches a top speed of 90 mph, according to David Brown.

On the inside, the Mini Remastered features something you won’t find on a standard Mini: a 7.0-inch touchscreen display. Looking a bit out of place in the retro interior, the display includes navigation, Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. A USB/auxiliary port is housed in the glovebox. Unlike spartan original Minis, the Remastered version also features leather upholstery.

Pricing for the Mini Remastered will be announced at a later date, but David Brown plans to keep production fairly limited. In addition to the standard version, it plans to offer special editions inspired by Monte Carlo, site of the rally Minis dominated in the 1960s, and cafe racers. It will also give customers plenty of options for personalizing their cars.