You could own ‘the fastest Mini in the world’

fastest mini in the world BBR

The world’s maddest Mini is up for sale. Yes, the BBR-tuned Mini that scared Top Gear could be yours. All 350hp of it…

We’re a bit in love with Minis at Motoring Research. Richard drove one of the very last classic Minis around London and is now determined to buy one. And we’ll be testing the new Swind electric-powered classic Mini soon, too.

fastest mini in the world BBR

Does the ‘new’ Mini deserve an equal place in our affections, and our dream Mini garage? With an engine swap, this one might just make the cut.

This Mini even gave The Stig himself a serious fright on the run up to top speed. He managed 150mph before he chickened out.

fastest mini in the world BBR

So where does all that power come from?

Brodie Britain Racing (BBR) swapped a turbocharged and intercooled engine in from new.

fastest mini in the world BBR

That joins an upgraded braking system, ‘anti torque-steer suspension’ (note the camber), Recaro bucket seats and many other upgrades.

With the car itself, it all added up to £90,000 when new…

A £90,000 Mini for £22,000

fastest mini in the world BBR

That price justifies an expletive or two, we think. Happily, you can pick it up today for the price of a well-specced new Cooper.

When the car crosses the block at H&H Classics auction on March 20 at Duxford, it’s estimated to sell for between £18,000 and £22,000.

For what might be the ultimate new-generation British hot hatchback, with just 5,500 miles on the clock, that sounds pretty good. It could be a pretty epic buy in this, the Mini’s 60th-anniversary year.

Why part-exchange is the key to the best car deals

Part exchange best car deals

Part-exchanging your old car could be the best way to get a great deal on a new or used car. That’s according to CarGurus: its ‘One Voice’ report suggests dealers are looking to keep a good stock of quality used cars.

As new car sales have taken a significant dip, there’s renewed love for the pre-owned. And around 57 percent of used car purchases last year were a part-exchange deal. The ‘One Voice’ report includes the testimonies of 400 dealers, who say that Brexit and diesel worries are the driving force behind lack of stock.

New car sales were down by 6.8 percent last year, with annual registrations falling to less than 2.4 million. That compares to a 2017 figure of more than 2.5 million, itself was down on 2016’s near-2.7 million total. 

Some dealers have said that they would prioritise buyers who have a pre-owned car to offer in part-exchange.

Part exchange best car deals

“In the past it tended to be accepted that cash buyers were in a stronger position when bargaining over a vehicle purchase,” said Chris Knapman, editor at CarGurus.

“However, with dealers reporting they are finding it increasingly challenging to secure enough high-quality stock, they are often willing to offer a better deal on a vehicle purchase where a part-exchange is present than you’d be able to get by using other routes. Our advice is to always discuss with the dealer all the options available to you when buying a vehicle to ensure that you secure yourself the best possible deal.”

There you have it. Cash may no longer be king when it comes to saving on buying a car. Get your car scrubbed up, get down a dealer and see what they can offer you…

Elon Musk predicts base Tesla Model 3 will cost £33,000 in UK

Elon MuskTesla has finally announced the long-awaited arrival of the $35,000 ‘entry-level’ Model 3 electric car. This is the model that the firm hopes further accelerate sales of its in-demand Nissan Leaf rival.

However, while some are crunching the numbers and predicting a £26,400 price by the time the car reaches the UK, Elon Musk has warned things won’t be quite so straightforward. 

The more affordable Model 3 arrives in Europe in around six months’ time, he said – but local taxes and import duties mean the price is going to rise, by at least 25 percent.

This equals a predicted entry price of £33,000, rather than £26,400.

Tesla has ace up its sleeve, though: the remarkable performance of the Model 3. Even the entry-level car will do 0-60mph in 5.6 seconds – that’s faster than many sporty hot hatchbacks (which can also cost upwards of £30,000…). It’s also considerably quicker than all direct rivals.

The 220-mile range isn’t quite as good as the £32,995 Kia e-Niro: that car has a 282-mile range. But the Model 3 is currently tested to the tougher U.S. EPA standard; by the time it’s put through Europe’s WLTP test, the gap to the e-Niro may be narrowed. 

Tesla also offers a Model 3 Standard Range Plus variant: 6 percent more money (around £1,500) buys 9 percent more range, plus a power boost and better interior spec.

The sub-£30,000 Model 3?

Tesla Model 3

There coudl be yet another card up Tesla’s sleeve, too: the Government Plug-in Car Grant. This is worth £3,500. Subtract it from Elon’s indicated price and, lo, you have a sub-£30,000 Tesla Model 3.

If the firm really can deliver that headline-grabbing price, Tesla and Elon Musk really will have done something remarkable. 

Suddenly, those early deposit-holders will be feeling very chuffed with themselves indeed… 

The five cheapest cars for young drivers to insure in 2019

cheapest cars insurance for young drivers

In revealing how much young people spend on getting on the road for their first year of driving, Admiral also spilt the beans on the cheapest used cars for new drivers to insure.

All of the top five cost less than £650 per year which, with four-figure first-year premiums still fresh in the minds of some at team Motoring Research, sounds pretty good value.

For reference, Admiral concluded that the average cost of insurance for a young driver’s first year on the road was £1,889. If you’re a lad, you’re suffering at an average cost of £2,294 and if you’re female, you’re still well into four figures at £1,660.

So without further delay, let’s reveal the secondhand cars that could hack insurance for young drivers…

Volkswagen Fox – £638

cheapest cars to insure for young drivers

At number five is the Volkswagen Fox. We’re glad that some of the other cars on this list are a bit more appealing. The Fox was, to be honest, a bit of a low point in VW’s tiny car career over the past 20 years. After the excellent Lupo and preceding the lovely Up!, the Fox is a bit lacklustre.

Still, you can’t argue with £638.20 per year to insure.

Fiat Panda – £635

cheapest cars to insure for young drivers

Now we’re getting a bit more funky. The Panda has to be one of the most lovable small cars on the road. Italian quirkiness mixed with those cute boxy looks to make for a car that appeals to anyone. You can even get one that’s geared for rougher terrain.

Just £635 a year to insure isn’t bad going either. What is a shame is how (not-so) safe they are…

Citroen C1 – £632

Citroen C1

More cute European quirkiness comes in the form of the Citroen C1. This was was the product of a three-way collaboration together with Toyota and Citroen’s sister firm, Peugeot. The Japanese firm got the all-new tiny Aygo, and Citroen and Peugeot got new small entries to their respective C1 and 107 ranges.

The C1 costs just £632 a year to insure. And if that’s still £4 too expensive for you, well, you’re in luck…

Peugeot 107 – £628

Peugeot 107

… Because curiously, the Peugeot costs £628 a year to insure, just undercutting the largely-identical Citroen. It’s likely down to small differences in parts prices, the different profile of drivers for each brand, and such like.

Notable for its absence here is the Toyota Aygo. Perhaps indicating Toyota charges a bit more for parts and a bit more for labour?

Volkswagen Up! – £618

cheapest cars to insure for young drivers

Coming full circle, we arrive at another Volkswagen – this time the superb Up! This, like the tiny Peugeot and Citroen above, was a collaborative effort, with the Mii and Citigo versions being sold by Seat and Skoda respectively. Neither feature in this top five, interestingly, but we can’t imagine they’re too much more expensive.

A brand-new Up! on PCP for well under £200 a month, combined with that low £618 to insure should both help placate young driver’s hunger for financed cars and help keep costs down.