This small passenger car, which everybody must be familiar with, was created by Alec Issigonis, a British constructor of Greek origin who was knighted by the British queen herself. The car was designed by Leonard Lord, head of the British Motor Corporation.
The first Mini: instant people’s sweetheart
Alec Issigonis created the special construction of this car by moving everything to the front of the vehicle: the engine, transmission and front-wheel drive.
The first car was introduced to the market in 1959 and it instantly became one of the most popular European cars. The luxury Mini was very popular among the ladies, naturally because of its “cute” design and small size. Hence, it comes as no surprise that in the 1980’s, 70% of Mini cars were parked outside the houses of ladies or young misses.
The Mini became a real hit. By 2000, more than 5,300,000 cars had been manufactured.
New owner, new design
In 2001, Mini was taken over by the BMW automobile corporation, bringing with it a new generation of cars created under the leadership of Frank Stephenson. This leading automobile designer is known for his car designs for Fiat, Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and McLaren, in addition to Mini. In 2008, he was named one of the most influential contemporary automobile designers.
2007 saw the launch of the second generation of Minis, with changes not only in technical terms but above all in terms design. For instance, the rounding of the headlights and the extension of the whole car by 20 cm.
Luxury Mini at the races
The racing version developed in the brain of John Cooper. In 1961, the first Mini Cooper appeared and 3 years later the sportier Mini Cooper S version was born. The sporty Mini Cooper became a car that brought racers a number of victories. However, most fans will remember the third place in the famous Monte Carlo Rally of 1963. The Mini driver back then was Rauno Aaltonen. In the same race in 1966, the first 3 positions were taken by racers Makinen (1st), Aaltonen (2nd) and Hopkirk (3rd), all driving Minis.
There are several Mini models on the market today. These include the 5-door, 3-door or the popular Mini Cabrio and Mini Clubman. Very popular is nowadays Mini Countryman whose 170 kW/321 engine is the most powerful one which Mini hava ever had. The car is also recognizable because of its robust look.