This time the Car of the Week: the Mini. Of course the classic and REAL one, the British icon. Not the one by BMW ...
Who doesn't know this little equivalent to its German contemporary, the Volkswagen Beetle?
The original is a British icon and a miniature Car, but have you ever wondered why the Mini is so small and such a proper miniature car? That's why there were requirements that the car should be contained with a box of the size 3 x 1.2 x 1.2 m - doesn't sound huge, right? Built into the subframes, the rubber cone system gave a raw and bumpy ride which was accentuated by the woven-webbing seats, but the rigidity of the rubber cones, together with the wheels being pushed out to the corners of the car, gave the Mini go kart-like handling that would become famous. The top speed of 116 km/h (72 mph) isn't that much, but as it only has a 848 cc engine that's quite an achievement.
In the 1990s the Rover group registed the mini design as a trade mark.
Now an overview of the trillions of Mini models:
* Mark I Mini: 1959 - 1967 (The first Mini rolled off the production line on 26 August 1959.)
* Austin Mini 850 Mark I 1963
* Mark II Mini 1967 - 1973 about 429,000 were produced
* Morris Mini Traveller and Austin Mini Countryman 1961–1969
* Mini Van 1960 – 1982 521,494 were built.
* Mini Moke 1964–1989 A utility vehicle for the British Army,About 50,000 were made
* Mini Pick-up 1961–1982 58,179 were built
* Morris Mini K March 1969 – August 1971 Australia only
* Mini Cooper and Cooper S: 1961–2000
* Mark III and onwards: 1969–2000
For sure there were also some limited editions, like the Mini 1100 Special, Mini Rio, Mini Mayfair, Mini Park Lane, Mini Italian Job, Mini Cooper RSP, Mini Flame, Mini Racing and the Mini Monza.
In 1995 it got the award as "Car of the Century" by the Autocar magazineor the "European Car of the Century" in a worldwide Internet poll run by the prestigious Global Automotive Elections Foundation in 1999.
In the end 5.3 million Minis were sold, making it by far the most popular British car ever made, straight before the also legendary Jaguar E-Type.
When production of the classic Mini ceased in 2000, BMW (the new owner of the brand) announced the successor to the Mini. The brand name for the new car is MINI (written in cal letters), and it is commonly called the "BMW Mini" or the "New Mini".
The new Mini is much larger than the original Mini. It is around 58 centimetres (23 in) longer, 50 centimetres (20 in) wider, 7 centimetres (2.8 in) higher, and weighs around 1,144 kg (2,522 lb) rather than 650 kg (1,433 lb). It is now classified as compact car rather than city car.
On 3 April 2007, the one millionth Mini rolled out of the Oxford Plant after six years of production, just one month longer than it took the classic Mini to reach the same total in March 1965.