This week marks the 20th anniversary of BMW’s Mini since the first hatchbacks hit the market at the end of April 2001.The Mini family has grown with SUVs, small wagons, doors. Five doors and even a short-lived sports coupe crossover. They all have the same recognizable Mini faces – but it’s almost a very different story.
Before the new car got the green light for production, it faced a lot of competitive designs, but in the case of the Mini, the whole process was more complicated by the tense relationship between Britain̵7;s Rover Group, the original Mini manufacturer. Iconic and BMW, which bought a Rover in 1994.
It is an even more interesting story by the fact that Bernd Pischetrsider. It was recently named CEO of Daimler, but back in 1990 as BM’s CEO and the driving force behind the German company’s purchase of Rover was a cousin of Alec Issigonis, who designed the original ’59 Mini.
RELATED: BMW Will Turn MINI with Its First Electric Vehicle Brand in Early 2030
If you want an accurate account from the people out there, we recommend visiting AROnline, an amazing resource for fans of old British cans.Still here? Take a look at the rebirth of Mini in 2001.
BMC, as it was called at the time, introduced the Mini in 2016.It is a smart engineering piece with space for four people and a little luggage in 10 feet of space with a transverse front-wheel drive configuration and suspension. Compact rubber cone
But in the early 1970s, modern super mini hatchbacks like the Fiat 127 pictured above moved the game, and by the 1990s the Mini was old-school: still fun to drive. But it is hopelessly superior in almost every aspect. It was obvious that a replacement was needed. But should it be a subtly modern mini car that is the same daring, forward-thinking machine in 1959? Or should instead focus on reaching out to buyers’ preferences and familiarity with the original?
It seems that the Rover design team, which began examining the concept of the new Mini in 1993, liked the forward-looking approach. In the meantime, BMW joined a year later, better understanding the value of having something sensational, thinking about the outgoing mini, and working on its own offering at first, right behind our Rover. Everyone knows which direction wins. But this is what happened along the way.
With Minilite-style wheels squeezed into each corner and photoelectric lights, the Rover-designed Spiritual concept wanted to introduce a new, non-traditional Mini, the Spiritual rode on the Hydragas suspension and was fitted with a Rover K- engine. series that are installed under the floor and drive the rear wheels.
In fact, there are two cars: the Spiritual Mini and the larger four-door Spiritual Too. They were revealed at the 1997 Geneva Auto Show, but according to AROnline, they were dismissed from the infamous design race at the British Motor Heritage Center in 1995, where the decision of the Mini’s future will be decided. The spiritual twins were only 10-15 years ago.
Another very different Mini concept popped up a few months earlier in 1997, this idea to commemorate the 30th anniversary of winning the last Monte Carlo Rally. The third and final of the Mini Anniversary Concept Vehicle was built using a contemporary MGF body using another design that was not as successful in the 1995 Gaydon shootout, but some of the styling ideas, especially the Interior design influenced the 2001 car and its push to the public eye helped people get used to the idea that a new mini was coming, even if it wasn’t.
So if the Spiritual, the car that inspired the ACV30, and many other concepts weren’t cut off at the Gaydon Summit, how did BMW and Rover arrive at the finished design? According to AROnline, the two cars were recognized at the 1995 convention, one by Rover’s David Saddington, a functional four-seat hatchback with recognizable mini-style details, including lights and a grille. Front and powered by the front mounted K-series engine.
The second successful proposal came from BMW’s design team in Munich.The small car actually worked. But sportier is the work of Frank Stephenson, who previously worked with BMW X5 and will design cars for Ferrari and McLaren over time. Stephenson’s 2 + 2 design fits a bit more in practicality with Saddington.
After warming up the prospective folks of the new Mini with the ACV30 and Spiritual concepts, BMW finally showed them the real thing at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September 1997, or at least it made a good impression that It looks like the real thing. Obviously, the car will hit the showroom in 2001, but it’s more than three years away, so this car is a modified Fiat Punto.
2001: the beginning of something big
When the first mini left the Oxford assembly line in April 2001, all the hassle involved in getting there seemed to be worth it. Or is that something BMW has to have? Unfortunately for the Rover, whose engineers have worked so hard to get the Mini into production, little has been celebrated.
BMW’s tenure was not cheap, and it was a pleasure to unload the Rover group to the suspected Phoenix Consortium for a total price of £ 10 ($ 7) .BMW also gave the joint venture consortium $ 695 million. Although it still managed to run the company five years later, the new Mini was not part of the deal, BMW kept that for itself, which 20 years and more than 10 million cars later became. It’s a very smart move.
2006: even newer mini
Five years after the rebirth of the Mini and after a much less painful development phase, BMW has revealed a new second generation Mini. What looks like the facelift is a brand new car. The interior quality is very well done. But the under-hood hardware has been improved by ditching the 1.6-liter Chrysler engine for smoother performance developed in conjunction with BMW, while the Cooper S swapped out the supercharger for the turbocharger.
And instead of just a three-door hatch and a convertible mini, there are cars for the whole family, including a wagon, a two-seater SUV, and a two-door sports crossover called the Paceman.
2013: new Mk3 mini
Mini grows in all directions for the third rebirth. Except, that is, under the bonnet, where the non-S was reduced to three cylinders using BMW’s 1.5-liter B28, the slow-selling coupe wasn’t renewed, but the Clubman turned out to be a more useful machine and now has Option five doors for the hatch. Shame it looks terrible.
What is the future of Mini? The relentless increase in crossovers and lower sales for the Mini’s traditional sedans, especially in the United States, means that we can expect the SUV to feature much more in the future of the Mini and will. There are more electric options in addition to the Countryman PHEV and Mini SE EV hatch models.The Mini currently plans to sell only EVs by 2030.
The Mini demonstrated a shrinking Rocketman concept in 2011, although plans that would lead to production failed when negotiations with PSA, a potential partner, failed. But BMW is believed to revive the concept of the City Car as a replacement for the next generation of mini hatches. The new three-door will be built as an EV in conjunction with China’s Great Wall Motors, while the UK’s Oxford plant will produce conventional gasoline-powered models.
As for the exterior, it is possible that the 2023 mini could be taken from the fierce Mini Vision Next 100 of 2016, a partially transparent concept that has wrapped up advanced connectivity and independent technology into a transformed housing. Retro style of every other mini created since 2001.
The Countryman will grow into a much larger SUV, and will leave room below for the new electric crossover. And if we read anything about the 2020 Vision Urbanaut concept, the electric mover / minivan based on the Volkswagen Buzz ID line, there are likely many more maxi Minis to come.
Want to read more about the Mini 2001 development? Check out AROnline to hear Frank Stephenson’s memories of the Mini design process.