David Brown Automotive detailed its latest Remastered build, which explores the Mini’s vast racing heritage. Created jointly with Oselli, the resto-modded city car gains 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 builds have focused on adding luxury, comfort, and convenience to one of England’s best-known cars. With decades of experience in building race cars, Oselli brings a healthy dose of performance. The transformation starts under the hood, where power comes from a twin-carbureted, 1.5-liter four-cylinder tuned to develop 125 horsepower and 113 pound-feet of torque. David Brown quotes a 7.8-second sprint to 62 mph.
Context is useful: the original Mini retired in 2000 with a fuel-injected, 1.3-liter version of this engine (called A Series) rated at 62 horsepower and 70 pound-feet of torque. Many examples built in the 1960s and the 1970s got an 848cc four rated at a measly 34 horsepower, and the modern-day Hardtop‘s entry-level engine is a 1.5-liter turbocharged triple that puts 134 horses under the driver’s right foot. Put another way, 125 is a lot of horsepower for an old Mini.
Oselli dropped 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 transmission that spins the front wheels. AP Racing four-piston front brake calipers and aluminum rear drums keep the power in check, while Bilstein struts amplify the go-kart like handling the old Mini is known for.
Subtlety isn’t 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 come standard; they’re available in either graphite or gold. Inside, David Brown added sport seats for the front passengers, an Alcantara-upholstered Sabelt steering wheel, and a Pioneer infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity. Power steering, USB ports, air conditioning (which, oddly, blows through vents that look like they’re from a Mercedes-Benz), and power-operated windows are standard.
David Brown will make only 60 numbered units of the Oselli Edition, and deliveries are scheduled to start in early 2022. It hasn’t announced pricing information yet, but don’t expect the model to carry a bargain-basement price tag. Remastered models normally carry a six-digit price tag, and nothing suggests adding power and track-ready goodies makes the car more affordable. However, keep in mind each build requires at least 1,000 hours.