Wheels and Deals

The original Mini, first introduced in 1959, is the best-ever British car, according to a survey of Autocar readers.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 18th May 2014, 7:00 am
Iceni Magna.
Iceni Magna.

The poll also named Norfolk-based Lotus as the most popular British manufacturer, with seven of its models making the 100 best British cars list.

Following the Mini at the top of the list was the McLaren F1, with the Jaguar E-type third and the Range Rover fourth.

Jaguar and Ford both had six cars in the top 100, including the Jaguar D-type and the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth, while Aston Martin had five, including the DB5 — a favourite with 007 James Bond.

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Original Mini. The original Mini has been voted the best British car of all time. See PA Feature MOTORING Motoring News. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature MOTORING Motoring News.

Created by Sir Alec Issigonis, the Mini achieved worldwide fame, being dubbed the first “classless car”. The marque was successfully revived in a larger and more-powerful version by BMW in 2003.

Autocar brand editor Chas Hallett said: “It comes as little surprise that the original Mini has topped the list of all-time British greats.

“It’s such an iconic vehicle and represents a lot more than the British car industry; the Mini is associated with Great Britain around the world and, in many ways, it was ahead of its time.”

He went on: “Everyone loved and still loves an original Mini. It ensured a fabulous drive every time, with a wheel literally at each corner and a low centre of gravity, plus it was cheap to own and run.

Undated Handout Photo of 2014 Mercedes SL. Mercedes scored highly in a satisfaction survey. See PA Feature MOTORING Motoring News. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature MOTORING Motoring News.

“Many a former owner will undoubtedly be wishing they had held on to theirs, as good examples are now worth tens of thousands of pounds.”

This was the Autocar top 10:

1. Original Mini

2. McLaren F1

3. Jaguar E-type

4. Range Rover

5. Yamaha Motiv.E

6. McLaren P1

7. Jaguar XJ220

8. Aston Martin DB5

9. TVR Griffith

10. Ford Escort Mexico

New British firm Trident has unveiled three new supercars promising an incredible combination of performance and economy.

The Iceni GT comes in coupe form, as well as the Iceni Magna fastback and the Iceni Venturer estate, all of which are powered by a vast 6.6-litre V8 diesel engine delivering 395bhp and 700lb.ft of torque. Trident says this is enough to power the Iceni from 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds and to a top speed of over 190mph. The engine can also be upgraded still further to a maximum of 660bhp and 1050lb.ft of torque.

Even more remarkably Trident claim that the Iceni GT can travel up to 2,000 miles on a single tank of fuel, and that the strength of the diesel engine means it can run on conventional fuel as well as used cooking oil, virgin rapeseed, linseed, palm, soya bean oil, kerosene and paraffin. With a claimed combined fuel consumption of around 70mpg, it would mean the Iceni needs a 127-litre fuel tank to travel the distance.

Daniel Monaghan, co-founder of Trident said, “We have worked extremely hard to reach this point and the whole Trident team is thrilled to be bringing the world’s most fuel-efficient diesel sports cars to market.” The Trident team claims the impressive efficiency is down to ‘torque-multiplication technology’, using the torque of the engine to provide easy acceleration.

All models of the Iceni come with features such as huge 400mm brakes, a six-speed automatic transmission, air conditioning and electric seats, while the option packs include a track pack with maximum power and a lux pack with a fitted luggage set and a high specification audio system.

The Iceni GT starts at £96,000, with features like the track pack costing £30,000 and carbon ceramic brakes at £15,000.

Mercedes and Vauxhall shared the top spot for owner satisfaction based on a number of key criteria in a new survey.

Ranked on build quality, fuel economy, performance, comfort, practicality and servicing costs, the two companies shared an overall rating of 4.44 out of a maximum of 5 points.

The survey by Parts Gateway had Peugeot in second spot, just pipping Volkswagen and Volvo in third and fourth places, with Audi in fifth. Remaining places went to Ford in sixth, Jaguar in seventh and Nissan and BMW sharing eighth place to round out the top 10.

Surprisingly, BMW had the lowest average rating for build quality, yet it is also the brand that other motorists most aspire to own. Second in the desirability stakes goes to Jaguar, followed by Audi in third, then Mercedes and VW.

Drivers also said they put reliability top of their list of priorities when buying a car, with comfort, style, fuel economy and practicality following descending order.