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Encyclopedia > Mini Cooper
Minis

The Mini is the name of a small car produced from 1959 to 2000, and the name of its replacement (known as New MINI) launched in 2001. ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 736 KB) Attribution - Les Chatfield. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 736 KB) Attribution - Les Chatfield. ...

Contents


Original Mini

The original Mini (1959–2000) was a revolutionary and distinctive small car designed for the British Motor Corporation (BMC) by Sir Alec Issigonis (1906–1988). It was manufactured in Birmingham, England. A small variety of cars, the most popular kind of automobile. ... The British Motor Corporation (BMC) was a car company, formed by the merger of the Austin and Morris companies in 1952. ... Sir Alec Issigonis (1906-1988) was a designer of cars, now remembered chiefly for the development of the Mini in 1959. ... The city from above Centenary Square. ...


1959 to 1970

Designed as project ADO15 (Austin Design Office), the first models were marketed with the names Austin Seven (often written as SE7EN) and Morris Mini-Minor in England. Until 1962, they appeared as the Austin 850 and Morris 850 in North America and France. The production model differed from the original prototype (affectionately named "The Orange Box") due to the addition of a front subframe, on which the engine was mounted, and by the engine being mounted with the carburettor at the back, rather than at the front, as in the prototype, due to carburettor-icing. This required an extra cog in the revolutionary gearbox, which reduced the top speed from an unprecedented 90 mph to a more manageable (for the time) 60 mph. The car suspension also featured the use of rubber cones as springs – a design adapted from Issigonis's home-built racer. The Austin Motor Company was founded in Longbridge, Birmingham by Herbert Austin, the former manager of the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Company in 1905. ... The Mini is the name of a rather petite car produced from 1959 to 2000, and the name of a newer one known as New MINI launched in 2001. ... 1962 was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... The carburetor (or carburettor, carb for short) is a device which mixes air and fuel for an internal_combustion engine. ... A gearbox is an assembly of gears allowing the rotational speed of an input shaft to be changed to a different speed. ... Suspension may refer to: suspension (chemistry) suspension bridge suspension (music) suspension (vehicle) (system of shock absorbers and supports that connect a vehicle to its wheels) suspension (civil engineering) (system that connects a structure to its foundation, for example in earthquake protection) suspension (topology) suspension (body modification) suspension bondage suspension (figure...


Issigonis' friend John Cooper, owner of the Cooper Car Company and Formula 1 Champion and rally driver in 1959 and 1960, saw the potential of the little car, and after some experimentation and testing, the two men collaborated to create a nimble, economical, and inexpensive car. The Austin Mini Cooper and Morris Mini Cooper debuted in 1962. John Cooper can refer to: John Sherman Cooper (1901 - 1991)- was a United States senator and member of the Warren Commission John Cooper (1923 - 2000) - was a co-founder of the Cooper Car Company and last surviving Formula 1 team principal from the formative years of the sport. ... Jack Brabhams 1961 Cooper-Climax, the car that began the rear-engine revolution at the Indianapolis 500 The Cooper Car Company was founded in 1947 by Charles Cooper and his son John Cooper. ... Formula One, abbreviated to F1 and also known as Grand Prix racing, is the highest class of single-seat open-wheel auto racing. ...

Prototype Mini and one of Issigonis's original concept sketches
Prototype Mini and one of Issigonis's original concept sketches
1968 Riley Elf Mk3
1968 Riley Elf Mk3
1968 Austin Mini Cooper Mk II
1968 Austin Mini Cooper Mk II
1970 Mini Clubman showing a face-lifted, square design. The original rounder design remained available.
1970 Mini Clubman showing a face-lifted, square design. The original rounder design remained available.
Cadillac Eldorado Biaritz 1959 and Mini Cooper 1996
Enlarge
Cadillac Eldorado Biaritz 1959 and Mini Cooper 1996
Mini Cabriolet special edition
Mini Cabriolet special edition

The original 848cc engine from the Morris Mini-Minor was increased to 997 cc, boosting power from 34 bhp to 55 bhp (25 to 41 kW). The car featured a racing-tuned engine, double SU carburetors, and disc brakes, uncommon at the time in a small car. 1,000 of this iteration were commissioned by management, intended for, and designed to meet the homologation rules of, Group 2 rally racing. The 997 engine was replaced by a shorter stroke 998 cc unit in 1964. By the time production of the Cooper model ended in 1967, 12,274 of these popular cars had been sold to the public. A more powerful Mini Cooper, dubbed the "S", was developed in tandem and released in 1963. Featuring a 1071 cc engine and larger disc brakes, 4,030 Cooper S's were produced and sold until the model was updated in August, 1964. Cooper also produced two models specifically for circuit racing, rated at 970cc and a 1275cc, both of which were also offered to the public. The smaller engine model was not well received and only 963 were built until the model was discontinued in 1965. Over 40,000 1275 cc Cooper S models were produced before this too was discontinued in 1971. prototype mini and original Issigonis concept sketch, issued copyright free by company press office File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... prototype mini and original Issigonis concept sketch, issued copyright free by company press office File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... 1968 Riley Elf Mk3 seen at Filton Golf Club, Filton, Bristol, England. ... 1968 Riley Elf Mk3 seen at Filton Golf Club, Filton, Bristol, England. ... 1968 Austin Mini Cooper (988 cc), at a Classics Rally, Bristol, England, in October 2003. ... 1968 Austin Mini Cooper (988 cc), at a Classics Rally, Bristol, England, in October 2003. ... Mini Clubman - press release photograph issued by company copyright free File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Mini Clubman - press release photograph issued by company copyright free File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 243 KB) Summary Cadillac Eldorado Biaritz 1959 and Mini Cooper 1996. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 243 KB) Summary Cadillac Eldorado Biaritz 1959 and Mini Cooper 1996. ... Download high resolution version (1100x700, 76 KB)Mini Cabriolet. ... Download high resolution version (1100x700, 76 KB)Mini Cabriolet. ...


From 1967 to 1970, Issigonis had been designing a replacement for the Mini in the form of an experimental model called the 9X. It was shorter and more powerful than the Mini, but due to politicking inside British Leyland, which had been formed from the merger of BMC and Standard-Triumph, the car was not built. It was an intriguing "might-have-been;" the car was technologically advanced and many believe it would have been competitive up until the 1980s. The British Leyland Motor Corporation (often abbreviated to simply BL), was a Britain in 1968. ...


Updated 998cc and 1275cc models were produced after the introduction of the Mk. II body type in 1967. Production of the 998cc variant ended in 1969, with over 55,000 cars sold. The 1275cc variant soldiered on, adopting the slightly modified Mk. III body type in 1969–70, until January 1972. The Cooper company was quick to develop and sell a conversion kit for export models, which registered steady sales until 1975.


All early Minis utilized a conventional four-cylinder water-cooled engine, but departed from previous auto designs by mounting the engine transversely and placing the engine-oil-lubricated gearbox in the sump--all of this to allow for front-wheel drive, an elegant technical innovation ahead of its time. This compact engine design "pushed" the passenger space forward, creating a surprisingly roomy interior for a car with a diminutive overall footprint. Almost all small front-wheel drive cars built since the 1970s have followed this design model. To keep manual labor costs low, the Mini was assembled with quirky exterior welded seams. The early Minis also had an unusual suspension system that used rubber cones instead of conventional springs, leading to a rather raw and bumpy ride. This rigidity, and 10-inch diameter wheels at each corner, gave the Mini its famous go-kart handling. The suspension in the higher-end models was replaced by a hydrolastic system in 1964. The new suspension created a softer ride, but it also increased weight and production cost; in 19XX the original rubber suspension reappeared. The straight-4 or inline-4 is an internal combustion engine with four cylinders aligned in one row. ... Front wheel drive is the most common form of engine/transmission layout used in modern automobiles, where the engine drives the front wheels. ... Suspension may refer to: suspension (chemistry) suspension bridge suspension (music) suspension (vehicle) (system of shock absorbers and supports that connect a vehicle to its wheels) suspension (civil engineering) (system that connects a structure to its foundation, for example in earthquake protection) suspension (topology) suspension (body modification) suspension bondage suspension (figure... Hydragas is a type of automotive suspension system used in many cars produced by British Leyland and its successor companies. ...


The Mini etched its place into popular culture in the 1960s with well-publicised purchases by film and music stars. Members of the Beatles and even Queen Elizabeth II owned one. Mini Cooper earned acclaim in Monte-Carlo rally victories in 1964, 1965, and 1967. It won in 1966 as well, but was disqualified. The Mini was also arguably the star of the 1969 film The Italian Job. The Beatles were a British pop and rock group from Liverpool. ... Queen Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor), born 21 April 1926, is the Queen regnant of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and... The Italian Job is a British comedy caper film, directed by Peter Collinson and written by Troy Kennedy Martin. ...


The popularity of the original Mini spawned many models that targeted different markets:

  • 1961 and 1969: The Wolseley Hornet (reviving a sports car name from the 1930s), also known as the Riley Elf. Intended to be a luxurious small car with a more substantial boot (trunk) and a slightly different front.
  • 1961 and 1969 (UK only): the Morris Mini Traveller and the Austin Mini Countryman. Standard two-door station-wagons with double "barn-door" style rear doors. The luxury models had wood inserts in the rear body. (This "half-timbered" styling is something uniquely and, according to some, bizarrely British.)
  • The Mini Van and Pick-up. Commercial panel van and truck derivatives. Built on the estate-car chassis but without side-windows and with a flat-bed, respectively.
  • The Austin and Morris Mini Moke. A bizarre all utility vehicle, this Jeep look-alike was first designed for the British Army, but without a good ground clearance or four wheel drive, it proved unworthy for military use.

Sales were strong across most of the model lines in the 1960s, but the car never made money for its makers. It had to be sold at less than its production cost to compete with rivals. It is also rumored that due to an accounting error, the car was always incorrectly priced and each sale made a loss for the company. Wolseley can mean: Wolseley plc, A British company formerly known for car manufacture, now active in other areas Wolseley, Saskatchewan, Canada Wolseley, a provincial electoral district in Manitoba, Canada Wolseley, South Africa, a town in the Western Cape Province of South Africa This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid... 1965 Riley 1. ... Bill Bryson (born December 8, 1951) is a best-selling American author of humorous books on travel, as well as books on the English language and on scientific subjects. ... Mini Mokes packed up for export. ... Bold textJEEPS RULE!!!!!! ...


1970 to 2000

In the early 1970s, under the ownership of British Leyland, the Mini was given a face-lift. The restyled version was called the Mini Clubman, and sported a modern, more square look. A new model, dubbed the 1275 GT, was slated as the replacement for the old Mini Cooper S. The Clubman Estate took over where the Countryman and Traveller left off. British Leyland continued to produce the classic 1960s designs, however. This was a smart move, as the new models were nearly universally panned, and faded away quickly.


In 1971, the Mini Cooper design was licensed in Italy by Innocenti and in Spain by Authi (Automoviles de Turismo Hispano-Ingleses), which began to produce the Innocenti Mini Cooper 1300 and the Authi Mini Cooper 1300, respectively. The Italian machinery works named Innocenti was originally established by Ferdinando Innocenti in 1920. ...


In the late 1970s, Innocenti introduced the Innocenti 90 and 120, Bertone-designed hatchbacks based on the Mini platform. Bertone also created a Mini Cooper equivalent, christened the Innocenti de Tomaso, that sported a 1275 turbocharged engine. Bertone is an Italian car styling and coachbuilding house, which also manufactures cars. ... De Tomaso is an Italian car-manufacturing company. ...


Reports of the Mini's imminent demise surfaced again in 1980 with the unsuccessful launch of the Austin Mini-Metro (badging showed the word 'Mini' in all lowercase). In 1981 in New Zealand, the Mini starred in a "road trip" movie directed by Geoff Murphy called Goodbye Pork Pie. By this time, however, the Mini was beginning to fall out of favor in many export markets. South African, Australian, and New Zealand production all stopped around this time. In New Zealand, assembly lines switched to the newly popular Honda City. 1989 MG Metro Turbo The Rover Metro was a hatchback automobile of supermini size, originally launched in 1980 as the Austin Mini Metro (miniMETRO to give the official badging), intended to replace the Mini. ... Geoff Murphy directed some significant New Zealand movies in the late 20th century. ... Goodbye Pork Pie is a 1981 film directed by Geoff Murphy and written by Ian Mune, with assistance from Geoff Murphy. ... The Honda City was originally a three-door supermini-sized automobile hatchback manufactured by the Japanese Honda company, and was launched in 1981. ...


Through the 1980s, the British market enjoyed numerous "special editions" of the Mini, which shifted the car from a mass-market item into a fashionable icon. It was this image that perhaps helped the Mini become such an asset for BMW, which later bought the remnants of BMC as the Rover Group. It was even more popular in Japan, where it was seen as a retro-cool icon, and inspired many imitators at major Japanese automakers. BMW AG (an abbreviation for Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, or in English, Bavarian Motor Works), is a German company and manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. ... 1936 Rover 10 1962 Rover 80 Rover 2000 1995 Rover 200 Rover (the MG Rover Group) is a manufacturer of automobiles in the United Kingdom, based at the famous Longbridge plant in Birmingham. ...


A new Mini Cooper named the RSP (Rover Special Products) was briefly relaunched in 1990-1991, with slighter lower performance than the 1960s Cooper. It proved so popular that the new Cooper-marked Mini went into full production in late 1991. From 1992, Coopers were fitted with a fuel-injected version of the 1275cc engine, and in 1997 the multi-point injected engine was introduced, along with a front mounted radiator and various safety improvements.


In 1994 under Bernd Pischetsrieder, a nephew of Issigonis, BMW took control of the Rover Group, which included the Mini, fitting an airbag to comply with European legislation. By 2000, Rover was still suffering massive losses, and BMW decided to dispose of most of the company: MG and Rover went to Phoenix, a new British consortium; Land Rover went to Ford. BMW kept the Mini brand name and now sells a completely new Mini, technically unrelated to the old car. Bernd Pischetsrieder is an automobile engineer and manager and currently serves as chairman of Volkswagen AG. He was born on 15 February 1948, in Munich, Germany and studied Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Munich from 1968 to 1972. ... MGs logo MG is a British marque that traditionally has produced sports cars from 1924 to 2005. ... Phoenix Venture Holdings (PVH), also known as the Phoenix Consortium, is a British company formed by four businessmen, John Towers, Peter Beale, Nick Stephenson and John Edwards, in March 2000 during BMWs break-up of the Rover Group. ... Land Rover was the name of one of the first British civilian all-terrain utility vehicles, first produced by Rover in 1947. ... The Ford Motor Company (often referred to simply as Ford; sometimes nicknamed FoMoCo), NYSE: F is an automobile maker founded by Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan (where the company is currently headquartered), and incorporated on June 16, 1903. ...


Production of the original Mini outlasted its major competitors, the VW Beetle, the Citroën 2CV, and the Metro, at least in Europe. The final Mini rolled off the assembly line in October 2000. A total of 5.3 million cars had been manufactured. The Volkswagen Beetle or Bug is a small family car, the best known car of Volkswagen, of Germany, and almost certainly the world. ... 1960 2CV. Notice suicide doors The 2CV (deux chevaux - French, literally two horses, from the tax horsepower rating) was a popular French car made by Citroën. ...


Unproduced prototypes

A number of prototypes were produced for vehicles based on the Mini, which never saw production, but which were displayed at the British Car Heritage museum at Gaydon. These included the Twini, a re-engineered 4x4 Moke with two engines - one at the front, and another at the back, the Austin Ant, a second attempt to produce a 4-wheel drive vehicle, this time using a 4x4 gearbox, which was cancelled when BMC acquired Land Rover, and a two-seater convertible MG edition of the Mini, cancelled due to it being percieved as competition for the MG midget.


New MINI

2004 MINI Cooper S, electric blue/white
2004 MINI Cooper S, electric blue/white
2004 MINI Cooper S, indi blue/white
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2004 MINI Cooper S, indi blue/white
2004 MINI Cooper S, indi blue/white
Enlarge
2004 MINI Cooper S, indi blue/white
MINI gathering, Canberra, Australia, July 2005
MINI gathering, Canberra, Australia, July 2005

Launched in 2001, the new MINI (note capitals, sometimes unofficially called BMW MINI) is built in Cowley in Oxford, United Kingdom. Historically this was the Morris car plant. The new MINI has a Brazilian-built Tritec engine. Like the original, this is a transverse four-cylinder unit, driving the front wheels. The styling of the car, like that of the new VW Beetle, is deliberately reminiscent of the original. The car has been criticized for its poor space-efficiency compared with the original, but it's faithfulness to the original's razor sharp handling characteristics has seen the MINI quickly become a sales success in Europe and (from 2002) in the US. It comes in 4 models: the MINI One, MINI One D (with a Toyota-built diesel engine), MINI Cooper, and MINI Cooper S. In some markets, such as Australia and the US, only the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S are sold. Almost fifty percent of all MINIs sold in Australia are Cooper S models, the highest proportion of S sales in any country. The car is featured in the 2003 remake of The Italian Job. New for 2005 production are the MINI Cooper (and S) convertibles, as well as a redesigned front and rear fascia for the hardtop models. Photo of 2004 MINI Cooper S taken on February 28, 2004 by User:Minesweeper and released into the public domain. ... Photo of 2004 MINI Cooper S taken on February 28, 2004 by User:Minesweeper and released into the public domain. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (2592x1944, 1500 KB) Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (2592x1944, 1500 KB) Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (2592x1944, 1375 KB) Summary 2004 MINI Cooper S, indi blue with white roof Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (2592x1944, 1375 KB) Summary 2004 MINI Cooper S, indi blue with white roof Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (2592x1944, 1371 KB) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (2592x1944, 1371 KB) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... BMW AG (an abbreviation for Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, or in English, Bavarian Motor Works), is a German company and manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. ... Cowley in Oxfordshire is a residential and industrial area within the city of Oxford, originating with the former villages of Cowley, Temple Cowley and Cowley St John. ... Oxford is a city and local government district in Oxfordshire, England, with a population of 134,248 (2001 census). ... In 1997, Chrysler Corporation and Rover Group (later BMW) formed Tritec, a joint venture to design a new small straight-4 engine for small cars. ... The term, transverse means side-to-side as opposed to longitudinal which means front-to-back. In automotive engineering, the term, transverse refers to an engine in which the crankshaft is oriented side-to-side relative to the wheels of the vehicle. ... The Volkswagen Beetle or Bug is a small family car, the best known car of Volkswagen, of Germany, and almost certainly the world. ... Wikiquote has a collection of quotations by or about: United States Wikinews has news related to this article: United States United States government CIA World Factbook Entry for United States House. ... Toyota redirects here. ... The Italian Job is a British comedy caper film, directed by Peter Collinson and written by Troy Kennedy Martin. ...


The new MINI has achieved cult status worldwide with many owners being approached by complete strangers who wish to take a closer look at their MINI, or to recall their own classic Mini tales. As with the classic Mini, the new MINI has a strong club and enthusiast following. Such community support keeps the brand highly valued and shows BMW's decision to relaunch the MINI brand as being a successful and clever strategy.


At the Geneva Motorshow 2004, BMW/MINI introduced a cabriolet (convertible) model to be released in mid-2004. The car is available in 'One', 'Cooper' and 'Cooper S' versions worldwide (although the 'One' convertible, like its hardtop sibling, is not sold in the US). BMW have received a significant backlog of orders in the short period since its announcement. Jet dEau in Geneva Geneva (French: Genève) is the second-most populous city in Switzerland, situated where Lake Geneva (known in French as Lac Léman) flows into the Rhône River. ... Original meaning A cabriolet was a light, two-wheeled horse-drawn carriage with a folding calash top, seating two persons behind the drivers box. ... Saab 900 Convertible Convertible can also refer to a convertible (security) A convertible is an automobile with a folding or retracting roof. ...


The MINI Cooper/Cooper S won the North American Car of the Year award for 2003. The North American Car of the Year is an automobile award voted annually in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. ... 2003 (MMIII) is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Next-generation New MINI

BMW will introduce a new MINI for for the 2007 model year, on a reengineered platform. This architecture is shared with PSA Peugeot Citroën and will be more flexible. Additional MINI models, including a roadster and sport wagon, are likely. The Tritec engine will be replaced by a new BMW unit with an optional turbo rather than supercharging. An automobile platform is a shared set of components common to a number of different automobiles. ... The PSA Peugeot Citroën Group (in French, PSA Groupe) is a vehicle company that owns the marques Peugeot and Citroën. ... Turbocharger Cut-away A turbocharger is a device used in internal-combustion engines to increase the power output of the engine by increasing the mass of oxygen and fuel entering the engine. ...


AutoWeek reports that a long-wheelbase version (reminiscent of the original Mini Estate) will also be produced. This may include a 5-door rear-hinged version similar to the Saturn ION Quadcoupe and Mazda RX-8. 2003 ION2 at Spring Hill headquarters The Saturn ION is a compact car sold by General Motors Saturn marque. ... The Mazda RX-8 is a car manufactured by Mazda Motor Corporation which first appeared in North America at the North American International Auto Show in 2001. ...


Mini sales in the United States

Between 1960 and 1967, a small number of BMC Minis were imported to the US. Sales were discontinued when federal emissions regulations were imposed; BMC felt that it would be too expensive to make the Mini's engine compliant. Despite this, a small band of enthusiasts keep the legacy of the original car alive in the US. Ironically, similar legislation was later introduced in Europe, and the A-series engine, with minor modifications, proved perfectly capable of complying with it.


The new MINI is US emissions compliant and is sold in the United States with great success.


External links

Source


  Results from FactBites:
 
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The new MINI goes on sale later this year, to be followed in early 2007 by the European debut of the new MINI One, powered by a 95 hp 1.4-liter engine.
The typical MINI characteristics of short body overhangs front and rear, the famous wheel-at-each-corner stance and the high shoulder line rising towards the rear have all been retained, as well as the hexagonal radiator grille and the large, round headlights.
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