Words: Calvin Chan
Photography: Calvin Chan
Published: July 19, 2017
Ahh, the special edition, a clever method of marketing incentives. Companies slap some unique colours, badging, and exclusivity on their products to make it more desirable, more exclusive, and with a hefty mark-up. But it’s not just for automobiles. Clothing, beverages, video games, you name it. It’s a money making cash cow.
In the automotive field however, these special editions are found wide and far. OEMs like Ferrari and Bugatti love to produce these one-offs with huge profit margins, but more mainstream competitors like Subaru make limited edition models as well, like the BRZ Aozora and Crosstrek Kazan. To them, it’s a way of extending and stretching out the dire lifespan of a model, especially if they are having trouble selling them. These “special editions” entice customers to view it as something exciting, fresh, and limited.
MINI has also joined the playing field with their new Seven Edition ($2,400). Named after the original Austin Seven MINI back in 1959, this is a cosmetic upgrade that serves as a tribute to the first MINI ever created. Available on the Cooper and Cooper S models, including both 3- and 5-door variations, the Seven Edition adds a few notable features.
As a classic homage, the MINI Seven is available in four body colours: Lapisluxury Blue, Pepper White, Midnight Black, and British Racing Green. Of note, none of these paints are exclusive, and can be ordered on any MINI. The same goes for the contrasting roof and exterior mirror caps that are only available in Melting Silver.
Don’t fret, there are exclusive upgrades too like the 17-inch two-tone wheels, MINI Seven kick plates, badging on the side fenders, and hood stripes with a Malt Brown surround and a decreasing width as they run from the back to the front of the hood.
Unique features extend to the interior as well, with seats wrapped in a mix of fabric and leather with a Diamond Malt Brown finish, as well as the brown colour on the armrests, dashboard line, and a MINI Seven logo on the top of the center instrument display. Full leather options are also available in black and gray.
What else? That’s it. If you were expecting more like we were, you’d be disappointed. The MINI Seven is all about aesthetics, and does nothing to change the way it drives, except with the driver’s head held up high knowing that their car is a little more special than the other vanilla MINIs out on the road.
However we were happy to note that it wasn’t an incredibly expensive package to opt for. If you wanted the Lapisluxury blue paint separately, you’d already be coughing up $1,000. The extra $1,400 for the exclusivity isn’t a farfetched premium, but we find it hard to justify seeing as there isn’t really much to commemorate the original MINI from 1959. Other than little badges, the cosmetics do little to spice up the interior. I also had a hard time telling the Lapisluxury Blue apart from the $590 Deep Blue paint colour that is available on regular MINIs.
For such a customizable car, customers might find it difficult to get tied down by this special edition package with limited paints, interior colours, roof choices, and side mirror designs. After all, isn’t personalized tailoring what makes a MINI so attractive in the first place? What is most disappointing is that with MINI’s vast array of options, you can pretty much create a close look-alike to the MINI Seven if you so choose.
Nevertheless, we’re nitpicking on what is in essence, a fantastic five-door hatchback. The peppy 2.0-litre four-cylinder under the hood of the S model we tested was a perfect match for its small size and stature. It’s front-wheel drive only, but traction was excellent and I’m sure a good set of winter tires will make most Canadians feel confident in the snow.
It may be a MINI but there is enough room inside for four grown adults. There’s a surprising amount of headroom for rear passengers due to the flat roof, and the front seatbacks even have a carved out space so that rear occupants will have some extra wiggle room for their knees. We had no problems fitting a baby seat back there either. Trunk space was limited though, and we were just able to fit our stroller back there with two dufflebags squished in between.
Overall, the MINI Seven may not be the special edition we were wishing for, but it’s a small premium to pay for exclusive cosmetic features that may appeal to those wishing for something different. Customizability is limited, but in return you get a beautiful hatch with a playful chassis and upscale interior.
型号 Model: 2017 MINI Cooper S 5-Door Seven Edition
顏色 Paint Type: Lapisluxury Blue
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $27,490
試車售價 Price as Tested: $38,440
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,567
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,013 / 1,727 / 1,425
車重 Curb weight (kg): 1,329
引擎 Engine: 4-Cylinder 16 Valve Twin Scroll Turbo
最大馬力 Horsepower: 189 hp @ 4,700 - 6,000 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 207 lb-ft @ 1,250 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 6-speed automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, FWD
油耗 Fuel Consumption (City/Highway/Combined)- L/100 km: 9.2 / 7.0 / 8.2
油耗 Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 8.3