Home » A Red Bull Mini Cooper Is 6.8 Inches Taller Than A Ford Raptor And Other Neat Details About The Iconic Promo Vehicles

A Red Bull Mini Cooper Is 6.8 Inches Taller Than A Ford Raptor And Other Neat Details About The Iconic Promo Vehicles

Redbull Mini Cooper Ts
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Walking the floors of the Toronto Auto Show is enough to make you work up a thirst. I mean, we’re talking about 650,000 square feet of convention center packed to the brim with cars. If that isn’t a great event for a beverage brand, I don’t know what is. Red Bull makes its own drinks and has its own Formula 1 team, so it just makes sense that it’s at the show. However, there’s another interesting automotive aspect to the drink company that helped more than a few people get through college —the Red Bull Mini Coopers are absolutely iconic promotional vehicles.

Red Bull has a long history of taking Minis, El Camino-izing them, and plunking giant plastic cans on top of them. It started before the modern BMW-owned Mini entered production, and it seems like something that’s still going strong to the present day despite Consumer Guide reporting back in 2018 that the company originally responsible for U.S.-market Red Bull Minis, Custom CRS, went out of business years ago.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Interestingly, the Red Bull Minis are all driven by students as part of Red Bull’s Student Marketeer program. Sure, it’s not the best paying job one can have in college, but the perks seem pretty solid, from flexible hours to working Red Bull events. Hey, it sounds like it beats stocking shelves or processing returns.

Img 5543

This particular Red Bull Mini is a second-facelift F56, meaning the oldest it could possibly be is a 2022 model year car. I, for one, have never seen a Red Bull Mini this recent, so the Toronto Auto Show was an excellent opportunity to get up close and learn about this thing’s quirks.

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Red Bull Mini Cooper

The back of the cab that wraps around the roof and B-pillars is actually one molded piece attached to the chopped-up factory body to make everything pretty. Once you get up close, the seam is blatantly obvious, but this particular construction technique makes sense. If someone accidentally rips the giant decorative Red Bull can, instead of pesky metalwork to fix a damaged mount, repairers may be able to just replace one piece with fairly basic tools. Interestingly, this has been a mainstay of Red Bull Minis for generations, so it seems like a design that works.

Red Bull Mini Cooper

Speaking of that giant decorative Red Bull can, it forces the use of a rather unusual tonneau cover with two side-hinged flaps for access. Now, this isn’t particularly new in the world of Red Bull Minis, but it is a neat solution to a giant sign limiting beverage access.

Red Bull Mini Cooper

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Speaking of access, let’s talk tailgates. The current F57 Mini Convertible has internally mounted tailgate hinges, so the externally visible units on this Red Bull Mini appear to be used to make a cut-down hatch function as a tailgate. As a bonus, they’re a neat throwback to the R52 Mini Convertible, although they certainly aren’t the same parts used more than a decade on for a specialty build. On the R52, entire chrome assemblies are attached to the tailgate, while this Red Bull Mini Cooper features hinge reliefs molded into the cut-down tailgate. It’s a little extra attention to detail that goes a long way.

Red Bull Mini Cooper

It’s not every day you see chrome-plated molded mudguards, but this Red Bull Mini has them ahead of each rear wheel. Why? Well, why not? Sure, they’re a bit weird and go with absolutely nothing on the outside of the car, but this strange stylistic choice makes a mildly odd vehicle just a little bit odder, which most of us should be able to appreciate.

Red Bull Mini Cooper

Stuck directly on the dashboard is a clear-as-day placard warning drivers that the Red Bull Mini Cooper measures 2.2 meters from top to bottom, or just over 86.6 inches tall. While bridges are unlikely to be an adversary of this specialized promotional machine, many parking garages aren’t exactly designed to accommodate vehicles more than seven feet tall. For perspective, this Red Bull Mini Cooper stands 6.8 inches taller than a Ford F-150 Raptor, which makes it not so mini anymore. Another interesting thing about this sticker is that it depicts a second-generation R56 mini instead of the F56.

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Red Bull RB18

On second thought, that unusually recent Red Bull promotional Mini Cooper is the second-coolest Red Bull-branded car at the Toronto Auto Show. The RB18 is one of the most successful Formula 1 cars of all time, and that’s a factoid you can take to the bank. Still, modern Red Bull Minis seem well-executed, with solid fit-and-finish, thoughtful design, and extensive work overall. It’s easy to turn a car into a ute, but it can be hard to make the finished product look awesome.

(Photo credits: Thomas Hundal)

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Peter Andruskiewicz
Peter Andruskiewicz
1 month ago

You say that the bottom hinged added on the cut down hatch are a reference to the R52 mini, but it goes back a lot further than that… The original minis had bottom hinged trunks that both this and the R52 are harking back to.

Marteau
Marteau
1 month ago

In south of france, they use a pretty cool LR defender based 1950 renault colorale with a motorized dj booth on top, always like to see it.

Myk El
Myk El
1 month ago

There was one in my neighborhood. Parked on the street when not in use. Surprised it wasn’t vandalized.

Aaron
Aaron
1 month ago
Reply to  Myk El

Those things mean free Redbull. Few college students are willing to risk that by vandalizing the rep’s car.

Myk El
Myk El
1 month ago
Reply to  Aaron

Oh, this was decidedly not a college student heavy neighborhood. We had a LOT of vandalism. Usually tagging and cars weren’t immune, but there is some plausibility that free Red Bull for the nearby neighbors did result in the car being declared off limits.

Chronometric
Chronometric
1 month ago

Brand synergy. MINI and Red Bull are both overhyped fads that have managed to endure into middle age. I wonder if they could work Britney Spears into the act?

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
1 month ago

Kid growing up down the street from me became a Red Bull rep for a while when he was in college. He was 6’7″ and became–supposedly–the only one that was given a Ford Ranger converted instead.

Last edited 1 month ago by BolognaBurrito
Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
1 month ago

“Interestingly, the Red Bull Minis are all driven by students as part of Red Bull’s Student Marketeer program.”
Was that the case some 20 years ago? (Yeah, tempus fugit, indeed.) In the early/mid 00s there was a bona fide Steyr-Daimler-Puch Haflinger (a smaller version of the Pinzgauer) being used as a Red Bull promo vehicle in Davis, California (if my BlackBerry had a camera I most certainly would’ve taken pictures) as befitting the shared Austrian origins but it didn’t seem like they used it for very long, unfortunately. It seemed like maybe it was due to parts availability being an issue but if the drivers were indeed college students it might be that they had a hard time finding college students who could drive a stick. After all, most if not all Haflingers were manual.
That Haflinger is arguably the coolest Red Bull promo vehicle though another commenter, TriangleRAD, does mention the Suzuki X-90, a strong contender.

Last edited 1 month ago by Collegiate Autodidact
Phuzz
Phuzz
1 month ago

If we include their fleet of aircraft, then the coolest Red Bull vehicle would be either the P-38 Lightning or the AH-1 Cobra IMO:
https://www.flyingbulls.at/en/fleet

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 month ago

I wonder if the reason why Mini never factory modified them is due to the chicken tax.

I hate how people are constantly complaining about big Trucks, while being completely unaware of the Footprint rule and the chicken tax. I’d happily drive a single seat car the size of a Daihatsu Midget 2 if I could get street legal snow tires for it (which is the only thing keeping me from getting a Midget II).

Honestly we should have a new category of single seat cars that are treated like motorcycles (without mandatory helmets). I’d wager they’d be safer than motorcycles.

Cerberus
Cerberus
1 month ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Yes! That’s even what I designed for myself (well, 1+1, but nearly that). With open wheels and a full length frame up to SUV bumper height along the sides (like a kayak shape in plan view with a sliding canopy instead of doors to break up the structure) and enough width between the driver and vehicle sides, I think it would be pretty damn safe if it had airbags and probably not too bad for something lacking them. Can’t afford the time and money to build it.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 month ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Most states do have a cyclecar classification for 3 wheeled vehicles with car-like seats and controls that allows them to be driven on a regular drivers license without a helmet, if you built something like a Reliant Giant pickup or Reliant TW9 Ant, those would fall under that. Unfortunately, they were both mid engine, so a central driver’s seat wouldn’t work, unless you maybe did an electric version and stuck the motor in the rear and the batteries wherever

Last edited 1 month ago by Ranwhenparked
MrLM002
MrLM002
1 month ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

My point being that a 4 wheel version should be fine legally but isn’t.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 month ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Preaching to the choir, I’ve always thought the US should have something like a kei car category, exempt new vehicles from most of FMVSS as long as they fit within very tight exterior dimension, curb weight, horsepower, and engine displacement rules and get a very high fuel economy rating.

But, right now, the only two ways are to either go with 3 wheels for the cyclecar exception, OR, make a cosmetic replica of a vintage 4 wheeler, under the low volume replica vehicle exception (theoretically, a reproduction of a ’90s Daihatsu Midget would be allowed, since it’s a reproduction of a classic vehicle, you just couldn’t manufacture more than 325 of them per year)

Last edited 1 month ago by Ranwhenparked
Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
1 month ago

Ya know what those coolers would be perfect for?

Shrimp.

S13 Sedan
S13 Sedan
1 month ago

Replace the giant Red Bull can with a giant shrimp and I’m in

S13 Sedan
S13 Sedan
1 month ago

There was a heavy equipment rental store near where I used to live that always had one or two of these, without the can and painted in a regular color up for sale. I still think they’d be neat to own but I’ve heard from a friend that apparently rust is a common issue in the bed area of these due to all the water runoff from when the ice in those coolers starts to melt.

Nicholas George
Nicholas George
1 month ago

These Red Bull Mini cars are crushed and have a certificate of destruction issued. They are not resold.

Marteau
Marteau
1 month ago

They are

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 month ago

A decommissioned Red Bull MINI is one car I’d really like to have, I’ve seem some that people have fully converted to utes with a little open bed in the back like a modern Suzuki Mighty Boy, or, Reliant Fox, if you prefer a British reference.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 month ago

Would a body fit in that can? Just curious. Hypothetically, speaking, I mean. It’s not like I have a body I need to hide or anything.

Tbird
Tbird
1 month ago

Just saw one of these on Friday evening in Pittsburgh! I think the driver had his girl out for a Valentines date (there was a make-your-own candle shop there with a ton of people in it).

Last edited 1 month ago by Tbird
Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
1 month ago

There was a retired Red Bull Mini for sale in the PNW a few years ago, which had been wrapped to look like a battery instead of a can of energy drink. You could still see the “Red Bull” writing and the bull logo through the wrap, but the can looked surprisingly good as a battery. For the life of me I cannot recall what company it was promoting, though.

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
1 month ago

If it had a bed it would be a pretty dope ‘ute. Maybe even more useful than a Raptor for actually hauling stuff.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 month ago

I like these more than I should

TriangleRAD
TriangleRAD
1 month ago

I have to say I’m a bit disappointed there was no mention of the predecessor of the Red Bull Mini, the Red Bull Suzuki X-90.

The X-90s rather off 2-seat tall-sedan body shape lent itself very well to the mounting of the Red Bull can, and required much less modification than the later Mini versions.

Yngve
Yngve
1 month ago
Reply to  TriangleRAD

You beat me to it

Last edited 1 month ago by Yngve
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