In breathless excitement, BMW waxes lyrical about its new Oxford-built baby, priced at £13,750 for the basic model (the original was about £700 or £10,000 in today’s money).

Among its claims:

It is 98mm longer, 44mm wider and 7mm taller than its predecessor; has the option of LED headlamps; comes in five extra new colours and roof rails are available for for the first time.

The rear bench seat back can be split 60:40 with boot volume increased by 30 per cent. Speed, revs and fuel level are displayed on vertically arranged circular dials. And when Park Distance Control is activated, the remaining distance to obstacles is shown by means of a ring of light which is illuminated in green, yellow or red

There are three new engines to choose from with the Cooper having a three-cylinder petrol engine, the Cooper S a four-cylinder petrol engine and the Cooper D a three-cylinder diesel engine giving 80.7mpg.

A six-speed manual transmission comes as standard; as do light alloy wheels, electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, air-conditioning, door sill cover strips with a model-specific inscription, front fog lamps, on-board computer, radio including aux-in, USB interface and Bluetooth.