The first thing I noticed about this Mini is its adorable cream, black, and silver color scheme, which I love. The second thing I noticed is that this Mini Camden Edition talks to you! Start the car and a male/female trio starts chatting through some unseen speaker. It all starts as soon as you insert the flat round key and push the start button. Usually the woman chirps in first with some sort of comment like "All systems go!" and an admonition to fasten your seatbelt. All of them have British accents. Here's a sampling of other conversations I got to listen to. They can be switched off, but I was curious to see how large of a conversational vocabulary is built into the car; quite large, it seems:
Male voice: "Now hold on, I'll let you know when I'm warmed up and ready to go full tilt."
"This is engine. I want to make an announcement. I am warmed up and really, really ready for action!"
There was light rain, which the car clearly could detect, because the woman said: "Be careful, everyone! It's raining out!"
Male voice: "OK, here comes the rain."
She replies: "I'm always ready for some weather."
He chimes in: "Seatbelt checked. Happiness is driving a Mini. Letttt's Mini!"
Other commentary: "We have ignition. The rest comes naturally to a Mini."
"After the rain comes sunshine. Only this time, the prince or princess rides a Mini!"
"Let's clear a view, shall we?" (after I get in the car and the windows are fogged up)
"This is the Mini in motion," he says. "I'm in love." He continues: "Never underestimate a Mini. I told you."
This morning, the woman noticed that it was cold: "It's not exactly icy outside, but it sure is chilly," she said. He added, "I'll be sure and let you know when I'm warmed up." Then he says when I accelerate a bit, "Oh, my, take it easy! I'm only partially warmed up yet. I'll let you know as soon as I'm good to go." Shortly thereafter, he confirms, "I'm warmed up now."
When I arrive at the office and hit the start button to turn off the car, the woman says, "Bye, take care."
You, too, hon.
Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor