Mayfair Racy

To celebrate 50 years of MINI, the brand has brought back and updated some of its classics. Here we look at the Mayfair

By David Light

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Published: Sat 16 Oct 2010, 10:32 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:09 PM

If you’ve ever played the British version of Monopoly (and had the resulting squabbles, tantrums and sulks when one person, who shall remain nameless, keeps winning) then you’ll know that the most prized possession on the board is Mayfair. It’s the square just before you pass go and, with a strategically placed hotel, you can look forward to 2000 big ones coming your way whenever your fellow players unexpectedly land on it.

It is not surprising then that the real borough of Mayfair in London is one of the most exclusive areas in the English capital. Home to the rich and famous; the tweed coat, green welly wearing and bejewelled oligarchs alike, the area is resplendent with rows of huge Georgian townhouses, vast designer emporiums and some of the best restaurants around – if you happen to have a penchant for wheat, gluten and taste-free minuscule portions.

Name a car after this area and there is certain persona you wish to attach to it. One that evokes a desirable lifestyle and, when sat behind the wheel, transports you back to this classic corner of Blighty, no matter where in the world you are.

In this respect the Mayfair does exactly what it says on the tin. Capitalising on the popularity of the original 1982 incarnation of the Mayfair, this one would not look out of place parked outside The Dorchester or pootling around the narrow streets near Savile Row. Its timeless lines and groovy styling scream ‘cool Britannia,’ despite being built by BMW.

The Mayfair is available in both the Cooper and Cooper S editions. The MINI Cooper S comes with a 1.6 litre engine and combines agile handling with exemplary fuel economy and emission management. With a maximum output of 175bhp, the four-cylinder engine produces a top speed of 238 km/h. Every journey is as neat as it is fun. Put your foot down from a standing start and that engine will spin the front wheels every time. It’ll create a bit of a wriggle to struggle with that I promise you will never tire of, even if you happen to be on a dreary drive to work. Get up to speed and you’ll become possessed by a spirit that only MINI owners can attest to. It’s the feeling that, despite probably being one of the smallest things on the road, it’s your road and everyone else is in your way. You’ll constantly have your eye on the huge retro speedometer adorning the central column imitating Big Ben itself, attempting to stay under the limit, but knowing you have enough zing to overtake anything in the fast lane.

No matter how good the ride is, however, this car is all about the looks. With the body paintwork available in hot chocolate metallic combined with a white roof, 17-inch white light-alloy rims as well as three-dimensional bonnet stripes in light-brown toffee metallic work to complete the stunning edition limited model, you’re going to love every minute in the Mayfair.

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