Exactly as it happened with the Mini Cooper S Cabrio we tested last year, we were once again a bit reluctant to befriend the ginormous speedometer mounted right on the top of the center console. We know, we know, the original Mini also had a center-mounted speedometer, but as far as we can remember it was much, much less optimistic in size. It's like the new Mini's interior designers were expecting half-blind passengers to driver their cars.
Despite being exaggerated in sheer size, the driving speed is rather hard to follow from the driver's seat. Thankfully, the LED display for the onboard computer can be programmed to show the current speed digitally. Oh, and the display is neatly tucked right behind the steering wheel, inside the rev-counter. In other words, the instrument arrangement in the Mini we drove is actually one of the most ergonomic ones we've encountered, at least from a sporty driver's point of view.
Just like in a regular, non-special edition Mini, the interior design for pretty much everything - from the seats to the dashboard instruments or the center console knobs - is retro-influenced and could probably make a time traveller from the sixties right at home.
As far as the "Mayfair 50" package present on our test car, it's probably one of the best examples of "beauty is in the details", especially when it comes to the interior. For example, there's brown leather trim with green stitches on the seats, while the striped brown-on-black motif from the exterior rear view mirrors also finds a home on some portions of the dashboard. All this, along with the old-school switches on the center console and the chrome accents around the dials and the ventilation outlets contribute to a highly special retro atmosphere in the interior.
The overall space is as crowded as you might expect though, and the 2+2 configuration of the seats could only bring benefits to smaller people. Otherwise, two normal-statured males cannot co-exist for too long on the rear seats. The trunk, albeit with a better opening than the Cabrio model, is even smaller in volume, with 160 liters (5.7 cubic feet) instead of 170 liters (6 cu ft) for the Convertible. Continue reading