David Brown Automotive has detailed its latest Remastered version, which explores the Mini’s vast racing heritage. The urban redesign, co-created with Oselli, gets a more powerful engine, a long list of updates that racers in the 1960s could only dream of, and a handful of styling tweaks that set it apart from an unmodified Mini.
Most of David Brown’s constructions are aimed at adding luxury, comfort and convenience to one of England’s best-known automobiles. With decades of experience building race cars, Oselli brings a healthy dose of performance. The transformation begins under the hood, where power comes from a 1.5-liter four-cylinder twin-carburettor tuned to develop 125 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque. David Brown quotes a sprint from 7.8 seconds to 100 km / h.
Context is useful: The original Mini retired in 2000 with a fuel-injected, 1.3-liter version of this engine (called A Series) with 62 horsepower and 70 pound-feet of torque. Many units built in the 1960s and 1970s got an 848cc four with a meager 34 horsepower, and the modern Hardtop’s entry-level engine is a 1.5-liter triple turbocharger that puts 134 horses under the driver’s right foot. In other words, 125 is a lot of horsepower for an old Mini.
Oselli left the 1.5-liter engine on top of (and not next to; it’s one of the Mini’s quirks) a redesigned five-speed manual gearbox that spins the front wheels. AP Racing four-piston front calipers with aluminum drums at the rear keep power in check, while Bilstein struts enhance the go-kart-like handling that the old Mini is known for.
Subtlety is not part of the Oselli’s vocabulary. Its free-flowing exhaust system makes it louder than a standard Mini, and it turns heads with black exterior accents, racing stripes, LED headlights and a mesh grille with integrated driving lights. 13-inch alloy wheels are standard; they are available in graphite or gold. Inside, David Brown added sports seats for the front passengers, an Alcantara-covered Sabelt steering wheel and a Pioneer infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity. Power steering, USB ports, air conditioning (which strangely blows through vents that look like they came from a Mercedes-Benz) and power windows come as standard.
David Brown will make only 60 numbered copies of the Oselli edition and deliveries are scheduled for early 2022. It has not yet announced pricing information, but does not expect the model to have a bargain price tag. Remastered models normally come with a six-figure price tag, and nothing to suggest that adding power and track-ready goodies makes the car more affordable. However, keep in mind that each build requires a minimum of 1000 hours.