‘MINI’ delivers majestic performance in Urban Drive

Amol Gokhale
Tuesday, 2 October 2018

This BMW-owned car brand has its place in the hearts of its followers and recently MINI India introduced MINI Urban Drive – an exclusive platform to provide MINI go-kart experience across seven cities in India.

PUNE: The Italian Job –1969 and 2003 – is a classic film on its own, but it also features something equally classic and iconic. ‘The MINIs’.

This BMW-owned car brand has its place in the hearts of its followers and recently MINI India introduced MINI Urban Drive – an exclusive platform to provide MINI go-kart experience across seven cities in India.

This weekend ‘Sakal Times’ was invited for the experience, which featured the entire fleet of MINIs in India – Mini 3-Door, Mini Cooper Convertible, the MINI Hatch, the Countryman and the Clubman.

MINI had two experienced instructors flown in from Malaysia for the experience, where the duo looked after the entire MINI Urban Drive. It started from scratch, as to how to get your perfect sitting position in the car, and safety instructions.

The first part was a small slalom course, laid out with tight corners and turns for understanding the handling capabilities of the MINI. We were given two practice runs of the course to understand the track, marked by cones before we did a flying timed lap in our Mini Cooper S.

Although the track could well be lapped in less than 20 seconds, hitting a cone would have invited a five-second time penalty, making the challenge difficult. We managed to put in a competitive lap, but we were off the pace, clearly.

The second part of the experience was to put to test the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) of the MINIs. The task was simple – start from point ‘A’ with full throttle and reach point ‘B’, marked by cones, and as soon as you reach point ‘B’, press the brake completely to bring the car to a standstill and as you start braking, let go hands off the steering wheel so that you brake hard and not the wheel.

The task looked simple than it actually was, as one with slight concern about the cones marking the box, where the car was supposed to be halted, it was easy to brake early and not stop where intended.

In all three runs, including the last one where we were asked to brake much later, “well done, that was good” came the compliment from the instructor, as we put the biggest of the MINIs, The Countryman, to the standstill within a fraction of a second, few inches away from the cones marking the box.

The MINI Urban Drive concluded its Pune leg over the weekend and will move onto its next destinations – Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Delhi in that order.

MINI has made sure that the followers of this iconic brand have something unique to experience.

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