THE (SHORT) STORY OF MINI.
Over 50 years of fun and motoring have added up to hundreds of automotive innovations, thousands of checkered flags, millions of MINI cars on the road, legions of devoted fans and one International Car of the Century award. Here’s how it all happened.
A MINI HISTORY.
A FAMILIAR DILEMMA.
The year was 1957, and in post-World War II England the Suez Crisis had sent fuel prices soaring, leading many to start wondering if the large, gas-guzzling vehicles of the day made much sense.
A CAR BUILT FOR EVERYONE.
So Sir Leonard Lord of the Morris Company issued his top engineer, Alec Issigonis, a challenge: design and build a small, fuel-efficient car capable of carrying four adults, within economic reach of just about everyone. As fate would have it, the challenge of fitting so much function into such a small package inspired a couple of historic innovations.
REINVENTING THE WHEELS.
The two most important innovations Issigonis came up with were to create more room in the cockpit: pushing the wheels all the way out to the corners and turning the engine sideways giving the car more stability in tight turn and more passenger space on the inside. The world had never seen a car quite like it. And when the first Mini launched in 1959, the public was a bit baffled.
THE SPIRIT OF THE STREETS.
Soon enough, people began to recognize that the Mini was not merely a car. The unique combination of classic British style in a low-cost, small size, fun and nimble package came to symbolize independence and spontaneity. The very essence of the youthful 1960s culture.
A CULTURAL PHENOMENON.
One of the most remarkable elements of the Classic Mini’s popularity was how its infectious spirit transcended traditional class barriers. From hipsters and mods to milkmen, rock stars and royalty to rally racers. Everyone could have efficiency, fun and freedom, motoring in a Mini.
A THRILL RIDE.
It soon became apparent that, while intended to create more passenger room, Issigonis’s numerous layout innovations also helped make the Mini a standout performance car. Wheels at the corners meant a wide, go-kart stance and nimble handling. And the transverse engine kept weight over the front tires, helping provide great balance and grip.
BIRTH OF A RACER.
It was 1961 when the humble little people-mover fell into the hands of British racing legend John Cooper. A more powerful engine, bigger brakes and a few tuning tweaks later, the Classic Mini Cooper 997 was introduced. And a rally demon was born.
A GIANT KILLER.
Before long, the nimble little Classic Mini was outracing and outlasting the larger, more powerful, but clumsier sedans of the day. Visits to the winner’s circle became a regular event as Mini chalked up numerous international race wins – including 3 at the prestigious Monte Carlo rally from 1964 to 1967.
In addition to being exhilarating to drive, owners loved how easily their Mini became an extension of themselves. A dynamic expression of their individuality and a personality-packed sidekick that was always up for a bit of spontaneous fun.
EUROPEAN CAR OF THE CENTURY.
Fast forward to 1999. Over 5 million Classic Mini cars had found happy homes around the world leading a panel of 130 international automotive journalists to vote Mini “European Car of the Century.”
THE NEXT EVOLUTION.
In October of 1999, just a few days before the final Classic Mini rolled off the production line, the concept for a new MINI was unveiled at the Paris Auto Show. The distinctive design and personality was immediately recognizable. But it’s clear that the new model had also taken a healthy dose of automotive steroids.
MORE THAN JUST A CAR.
The general public and auto enthusiasts alike find the new MINI hard to resist. Invoking smiles and curiosity everywhere they go, new owners quickly discover just how much fun a MINI can be. Owners personalize their MINI cars to their hearts’ content and form motoring clubs all across the country.
FEISTIER THAN EVER.
Like their notorious predecessors, all new MINI models share the same great performance DNA. Updated with modern performance features and a committed passion for racing, the MINI Motorsport teams are once again taking tracks (or, in the case of the World Rally Championship and Dakar Challenge, dirt roads and deserts) by storm.
A MINI FOR EVERYONE.
Since 2002, the public’s appetite for MINI has grown along with the MINI lineup. The expanding family includes the MINI 3 Door, MINI 5 Door, MINI Countryman, MINI John Cooper Works and the latest additions, the New MINI Clubman and the New MINI Convertible.
THE NEXT 50 YEARS?
Around the world, the MINI phenomenon has been reborn. Proof that great fuel efficiency, an almost limitless range of customization, incredibly tight handling and an undeniably cheeky personality are truly timeless qualities. With beta programs like the 100% electric, zero-emissions MINI E, and new partnerships with other spirited brands, we can’t wait to find out what adventures are in store for the next 50 years. Want to come along for the ride?
HELPING KEEP YOU SAFE AND SOUND.
The real key to driver safety? Avoiding accidents altogether. That’s why a MINI’s world-famous handling and numerous Active Safety features help you steer clear of hazards and less nimble or distracted drivers.
And in the rare chance an accident is unavoidable? That’s when a MINI’s premium quality and dependable Passive Safety features leap into action. From an incredibly strong, protective frame, to brakes that actively respond to the immediate situation and an advanced Airbag System that monitors driver and front passenger position, seatbelt use and impact severity.
SIX DUAL-STAGE AIRBAGS.
In every MINI Hardtop, 6 total front and side airbags (2 front, 2 side-impacts in each front seat, 2 ceiling mounted side curtains) come standard and ready to engage when needed. “Smart” safety sensors are the key. See, in a MINI, the airbags are constantly monitoring the driver and front passenger positions, seatbelt use and impact severity – and then determining airbag inflation rates accordingly. Also important to note is that the side-impact airbags are in the seat, rather than the typical spot, the door. That means that the airbags move with you and will open in exactly the right spot- no matter where your seat is. The real innovation, though, are our side-curtain airbags. Set in the middle of the roof area on both sides, the gas charge deploys these large “air-pillows” from the center out, helping them to inflate evenly. The side-curtain airbags also stay inflated longer than conventional airbags, helping to prevent head or neck injuries that can commonly occur in multiple-impact collisions and help safeguard against flying glass.
Thanks to its high-strength steel front end and side panels, the rigid body of all MINI cars reduces body torque, freeing the suspension to do what it does best – provide super-tight handling. A flex-free frame also reduces squeaks, rattles, vibrations and cabin noise. And the rigid body can withstand great forces, which means an increased margin of protection in the event of a crash.
ABS + ELECTRONIC BRAKEFORCE DISTRIBUTION.
With the latest generation of 4-sensor, anti-lock brakes a MINI helps you stop on a dime while remaining in complete control. MINI also comes standard with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) to automatically distribute brake force to different wheels depending on your MINI’s current load and balance.
CRASH SENSOR SYSTEM.
In the event of an accident, your MINI is prepared to play the super hero and jump into action. As soon as a crash is detected, your MINI will automatically unlock the doors and turn on its interior and hazard lights. If the airbags have been deployed, your MINI will even automatically cut off the fuel pump, reducing the risk of a dangerous fire, and – hopefully – saving the day.
DYNAMIC STABILITY CONTROL.
Having been proven to help cut down on accidents – our standard Dynamic Stability Control can be a Motorer’s best friend. First, the system uses sensors to measure the steering angle, yaw and lateral acceleration to determine the direction you want to go. Then, if your MINI starts to stray, the DSC system kicks in by applying corrective brake pressure to individual wheels and adjusting engine torque.
Stealing a MINI is extremely tough. Sure, it’s partly because even cold-blooded thieves have hearts, and are somewhat reluctant to steal people’s most personal possessions. But mainly it has to do with our sophisticated Engine Immobilizer system that makes the starter useless without the key.
In the event of a head-on collision, your MINI will take one for the team. The engine and gearbox are designed to absorb the impact and break away from their mounts, diverting them from the cockpit in a final act of selfless bravery.
DYNAMIC CRUISE CONTROL.
Full-on Motoring is an intense experience, and you may need to take occasional breaks to let your adrenaline settle down. Luckily, your best co-pilot is your MINI itself. With precise engine and braking control, the optional Dynamic cruise control (DCC) helps your MINI adapt to changes in the road, adjusting speed for curves and hills with the Curve Speed Limiter and Adapted Downhill Mode.
Taking yet another step to combat the dreaded flat tire, Runflat tires feature reinforced sidewalls and heat resistant rubber to help them keep their shape, so you can still drive up to 100km at 80km/h, even in the event of a flat.
Providing exceptionally crisp visibility at night and in bad weather, our optional LED headlamps, with integrated turn signals, feature an auto-leveling system that adjusts their angle to the road based on your MINI’s speed and load.
Each MINI is built in accordance with the best quality standards which will guarantee driving thrills for its entire lifetime. Every new MINI purchased comes with 2 years unlimited mileage.
With the exception of wear-and-tear parts, parts warranty cover for the entire car is valid for 2 years with no distance limit.
Warranty details for a new MINI purchase:
12 years warranty for body (corrosion)
3 years paintwork
2 years for the entire car
2 years for Original MINI Parts
2 years for Original MINI Accessories