Cardboard 1959 Morris Mini Minor fits in Mini Countryman (Photo by 'Practical Classics')Enlarge Photo
New vehicles are getting bigger, and no car brand illustrates this point better than Mini.
Current Mini models are still smaller than most other new cars, but they're not exactly "mini," especially compared to the original version that debuted in 1959. On top of that, Mini keeps adding larger variants, like the Countryman crossover.
The changes were dramatically illustrated by a pair of Dutch Mini enthusiasts, who built a cardboard replica of a 1959 Morris Mini Minor (one of the original Mini's full model names), and stuffed it into a 2010 Countryman. This crossover may be a bit bigger than the current three-door hatchback that's modeled more directly on the original Mini, but the fact that a replica 1959 Mini fits in any current Mini model shows the different direction the brand has taken.
The cardboard Mini just barely fit inside the Countryman, with its front end deformed a bit by the center console, according to a Facebook post by British car magazine Practical Classics. The magazine estimates the Countryman is 34 percent longer, 43 percent wider, and 16 percent taller than a 1959 Morris Mini Minor. The European-market, front-wheel drive (all-wheel drive is also available) Countryman One model also weighed 1,335 kilograms (2,943 pounds) compared to just 620 kg (1,366 lb) for an original Mini.
Still, the modern Countryman is much quicker than the featherweight 1959 Mini. Practical Classics estimates a 0-60 mph time of 11.9 seconds, and a top speed of 109 mph. That's much better than the 0-60 mph time of 27 seconds and top speed of 72 mph of the original Mini. The Countryman may be porkier and more complex than Alec Issigonis' original design, but not all change is bad.