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Have we ruined cult cars?

When driving down the motorway, it’s rare you will see an old iconic or cult car – unless you happen to pass by the local Ford Mustang appreciation society.

What you will more than likely drive by is the updated and modernised version of a classic cult car, like a Volkswagen Beetle or Mini Cooper.

Many iconic cult cars have not been rebranded, they have just simply had an update of the car design, we asked our panel of UK consumers whether they are for or against the modernisation of classic cult cars.
Sentiment analysis the modernisation of cult cars:


On the whole, sentiment was positive – as just over 62% commented positively towards to revamps.

Many of the panel felt nostalgic when thinking about cult cars, remembering them from when they were younger, bringing back good memories of their first cars. A number felt the old classic cars used to be unique, that one could tell instantly from the design or sound of the car exactly which brand and model the car is – unlike modern cars that were perceived on the whole to all be very similar, no matter the brand.

Proportion of our panel that would purchase the new mini:

Product Review of the 2014 Mini Cooper

The very first Mini Cooper hit the UK streets in 1959, fast forward to 2014 and it seems since the classic car has been brought right up to date. The comparison of the two cars shows a very clear difference, though the Mini Cooper has evolved quite slowly over time (portrayed in a great recent advert from Mini featured below – showing an interesting transition through time).

“Very definitely, very obviously a Mini”

The 2014 Mini Cooper model was described as a slick and stylish by the majority of our panel; as many felt the slow evolution of the Mini has led to the cult car still being a very unique and distinctive car on the road. Only a very low proportion of the panel felt that the Mini had been ruined by the modernisation. Most of the panel liked the new style of the car, commenting that it was still compact and a nice run around, however the car was perceived to be more for the bachelor/bachelorette lifestyle – not a family car.

67% of the panel said they would like to own a Mini, although just under half of that said they would seriously consider purchasing the latest Mini Cooper, as many felt the Mini was not a feasible car for them as it was too small for a family car.

The Classic Mini was commented on by a large number of the panel, with a many feeling nostalgia towards the old vehicle and stating that it represents what the Mini really means. A small proportion felt the Mini had lost its name when BMW took over the company, losing its British heritage and it’s very small and compact car design.

A number of the panel mentioned the Volkswagen Beetle, as both the Beetle and Mini seemed to be the most popular classic cult cars. However the modernisation of the Volkswagen Beetle was commented on more negatively than the Mini, as it was perceived by the panel overall that the iconic design has been lost. Although many felt in terms of the safety and fuel economy, there was a clearly benefit to get the modernised car.

This was a general theme throughout the panel, that modern cars on the whole have similar designs, similar features and similar prices; even those modern versions of cult classic cars do not offer a unique car to drive.

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