BMW has denied that its latest Mini, the 64 ton fully-armed Cooper Tank unveiled yesterday, “pushes the whole heritage brand concept a bit too far”.
'Yes, it's a massive deadly weapon,' said spokesman Stefan Richter, 'but it has all the retro styling cues consumers have come to love from your iconic British small car. The missile guidance system is housed in a funky chrome central console, the carbon-fibre gun barrel has a pair of reinforced fluffy dice hanging off it, and if you peer through the blast-proof mesh, look! There's a pair of cheeky round headlamps winking at you!'
The tank target market is rumoured to be Porsche Cayenne drivers who need a little more "NATO deployment capability", and who don't object to a Union Flag on the roof.
'Our brand development philosophy is summed up in one question,' declared Herr Richter. 'Can you still imagine Michael Caine driving one? With the proto-tank, the answer was "no". So we jammed the stereo to play"Self Preservation Society" on all channels, stuck some gold in the boot, and installed 400w loudspeakers that scream "we're only going to blow your bloody doors off" just before firing a mortar round. After that, the monster was good to go. Va va Boom, as the French would say'.
The Cooper Tank was built from scratch, after attempts to adapt the existing Clubman Countryman platform ended in failure. 'The Clubman chassis was simply too big' declared Herr Richter. 'But it's not about size. Underneath the Kevlar coating our Tank is still the same old loveable scamp that Alex Issigonis designed all those years ago. But no-one's going to try to cut this mother up on a mini roundabout.'