Would a classic mini cut it in the snow?
It's that time of year when snow is likely to fall and everyone reaches for a Land Rover. Even the street Jeeps get a chance to shine. But what about the classic Mini? Would it fail at the first flake? Front wheel drive, no traction control and no power steering is a hinderance right?
A quick Google search of Minis in adverse conditions brings up a plethora of images showing these little cars happily enjoy snow covered terrains. Legendary rally driver Paddy Hopkirk had his fair share of snow experience in his winning Mini Cooper S 33 EJB which can be seen cornering like it's on rails through
icy conditions. Even Mini themselves used 2 cars for their 1989 advert ‘a christmas kiss’ showing 2 Austins arriving home in the snow.
It seems to us that the Mini doesn't really suffer at all in snow. The lightweight body actually makes it a breeze in such conditions and the skinny tyres do not collect or compact the snow as much as you’d think.
The engine's power is enough to pull it up hills and the rear just follows. Anyone who's driven a rear wheel drive bmw will know that at the first snowflake, these cars are rendered useless. The rear wheel drive trying to push the car along with its weight means they just bog down and get stuck. Not for the Mini it seems.
The manual gearbox give the driver a great mount of control over clutch and gearing so a high gear can be selected and for the more skillful, you can use the clutch to your advantage. The great all round view out of the windows means you get fantastic vision too.
All in all, the Mini is just as great in the snow as it is in any other conditions!