MINIs take to the Olympic field
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At first glance we thought the press release was telling us about a radio controlled scale model of the MINI, painted to give it a tenuous link to the Olympic Games. Turns out it is a radio controlled scale model of the MINI, but it actually has a function in London - to speedily retrieve javelins, discuses, hammers and shots. Bonkers, but brilliant.
Someone has spent a lot of time creating these mini-MINIs. They're a quarter the size of the real thing, and the exterior detailing is exquisite. The stylish mimics the regular Cooper S including the bonnet scoop, body kit, wheelarches and roof spoiler, though the 'True Blue' paintjob has been enhanced by a few Olympic decals, contrasting nicely with the white roof, mirrors and wheels. The body is made from a lightweight composite and the car as a whole weighs 25kg.
The interior of the mini-MINI has been designed to accommodate a variety of sports equipment, with access via a removable sunroof panel. Apparently it's waterproof in there, though we're not quite sure how that works with a couple of javelins sticking out of it. Payload is 8kg.
A 10hp electric motor powers the mini-MINIs through grass tyres. There's no mention of which wheels are powered, but we'd assume all four given its intended purpose. It is also equipped with heavy duty shock absorbers and ventilated disc brakes. MINI reckons the cars can last 35 minutes continued usage within 100 metres of the controller. A full recharge takes 80 minutes.
Three examples of the mini-MINI have been supplied to the organisers and they'll be remotely controlled by 'Games Makers' trained for the job. That's got to be one of the best tasks in the Games, right? While a great publicity stunt, the use of the mini-MINIs is designed to save time. Each one will cover 6,000 metres per day in four-hour shifts across nine days of the Olympics and another nine days of the Paralympics.
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