There can’t be any other car more iconic than the Mini, whether it’s the 1960s original classic or the current global superstar. Although manufactured by German BMW and redesigned from 2001 onwards by an American, the original British styling is still very much a part of the aesthetic fabric.
Since the rebirth of Mini in 2001, the marque has been one of the most popular and well-respected vehicle choices in both the UK and around the world. In 2015, more than 47,000 Minis were registered in the UK, an achievement which saw the brand jump into the year’s top ten best selling cars. Because the Mini look is still very closely matched to its 1960s ancestor, its styling is classic yet completely up to date, making it an extremely suitable and affordable choice for a range of age groups. Some of our most popular models include the Cooper S, Countryman and Roadster.
Mini have produced a number of concept cars since their inception (including their pre-BMW era). The latest concept to be reported on - a Mini sports car based on the Superleggera concept - could potentially be released onto the market in 2019.
The history of Mini beyond their Rover Group ownership (1986 - 2000) is a sole concentration on producing a variety of road-going vehicles. It was BMW’s hiring of designer Frank Stephenson from Ford that saw the new generation of Minis that are enjoyed today being warmly welcomed on to the market in 2001. A little over two years later saw Mini win the prestigious North American Car of the Year award. This was something which can be fully attributed to Stephenson, despite him no longer being with Mini. He departed for Ferrari to be their new Director of Ferrari-Maserati Concept Design and Development.
While current focus is on producing Minis for the road, it’s important to remember the motorsport heritage which the marque has. The Mini Cooper S won the world-famous Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967, as well as enjoying notable wins and finishing positions in a number of rallycross events and meetings throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
While Mini is an instantly recognisable vehicle no matter what its styling, it’s most famous outing will perhaps always remain as the plucky getaway cars in the 1969 film The Italian Job, where the three red, white and blue Mini Cooper S vehicles caused havoc throughout the streets, sewers and ice rinks of Turin.