User-choosers love Minis, so we’re told, and now Mini has delivered a model that qualifies for the lowest 10% benefit-in-kind tax bracket.
Called Minimalist, the car shares the new 1.6-litre engine that superseded the 1.4-litre in the Mini range in March and, as in the One version, it produces 98bhp and a 116mph top speed.
But with the BMW Group’s Efficient-Dynamics gadgetry, the Minimalist ekes more miles from every gallon and with 55.4mpg, it is 3.1mpg better than the One on the combined cycle.
Features that include automatic stop/start and brake energy regeneration also slash tailpipe emissions from 127g/km to 119g/km to rank for road tax exemption and reduce BIK liability from 15% to 10%.
“Competitors offer low-emission petrol rivals and Minimalist has been added to the range to make it the cleanest petrol car in its class,” said product manager Lee Connelly.
He said a P11D price of £12,950 meant the car carried a premium of only £330 over the One version.
“While this is our new eco petrol model, it is a niche car tailored for people keen on a low entry price point and maximum tax liability benefits,” said Connelly.
“Output will be limited to less than 300 units for the next 12 months until we can gauge how the market responds.”
As part of its aerodynamic efficiency aids, the Minimalist has steel wheels fitted with flush plastic trim covers. Alloys are not available.
That apart, only a pepper white finish to the grille and mirrors and green dotted side decals distinguish the car from the One at the kerbside.
On the move, there’s no difference between the cars, with easy performance from a refined motor boasting higher power and torque for a relaxed demeanour at any speed and a smooth gearshift.
Offering a BIK cut from 15% to 10% by sacrificing alloy wheels and the choice of a handful of options sounds good to us. Sales volume will confirm whether drivers feel the same.