Mini is adulatory a aloft milestone. It apparent the aboriginal Cooper Hardtop 20 years ago at the 2000 copy of the Paris auto show. Added than alone a new car, this retro-styled auto laid the foundations for the absolute brand.
Its predecessors sometimes wore Mini emblems, but they were consistently awash by assorted companies including Austin, Morris, Rover, and, through a licensing deal, Innocenti. The name didn’t clearly denote a standalone carmaker until the auto was presented to the accessible in the French basal two decades ago. The accommodation to accomplish Mini a cast came from admiral at the top of BMW, which purchased England-based MG-Rover in 1994.
Developing a Mini for the 21st aeon was a Herculean task. Releasing an change of the aboriginal car, which fabricated its admission in 1959, was absolutely out of the question; it had outlived its cessation date by decades, and was a deposit in automotive terms. The new archetypal had to be advised on a bare slate. And yet, the development aggregation absitively it still bare to attending like a Mini, and it additionally had to drive like one. After experimenting with several concepts, like the affected ACV30 (pictured below) apparent in 1997, designers acclimatized on a basal set of guidelines.
According to Mini, the activity abrupt declared the 21st-century archetypal bare to accept abbreviate overhangs, annular headlights, a hexagonal grille, and allowance for four passengers. It additionally had to be front-wheel drive, a blueprint that fabricated the aboriginal car a packaging masterpiece (and, admittedly, a bit of a daydream to assignment on), but stylists absitively to accord it a bear in the name of practicality. Finally, artefact planners absitively to advance the Mini upmarket, abroad from its roots as a value-friendly another to balloon cars, and bury it durably into exceptional territory.
Gallery: Peas in a pod: hasty cars that are accompanying (Autocar)
Called R50 internally, the auto was initially offered in two variants called One and Cooper, respectively. Mini broadcast the ambit in almanac time. Archetypal year 2002 brought the hotter Cooper S (R53), a turbodiesel agent abutting the European agency in 2003, and a convertible (R52) was alien in 2004. Sales in the United States started for the 2002 archetypal year, and active enthusiasts gave it a balmy reception. It was able-bodied account the wait.
BMW never planned to accumulate Mini anchored to a distinct model. It alien the second-generation Cooper in 2006, and new variants accustomed in accelerated succession. By 2010, there was a Mini to clothing about everyone’s needs. If you capital a wagon, Mini continued the approved Hardtop out to accomplish the Clubman (adding three absurd doors in the process). If you capital a wagon for space, not seats, you could adjustment a Clubvan. Motorists who capital to sit college could accept the Countryman, those gluttonous article a little beautiful could baddest its two-door Paceman sibling, and Mini alike entered the sports car articulation with a brace of two-seaters called Coupe and Roadster, respectively. The auto and the four-seater convertible remained available, too.
In hindsight, the cast continued itself too attenuate because abounding of the aloft nameplates retired after a successor. Mini canned the Clubvan, the Paceman, the Coupe, and the Roadster, but it broadcast its ambit with a four-door change of the Hardtop based on the third-generation archetypal appear in 2013. In a way, the Mini ancestors is added assorted in 2020 than it’s anytime been; it includes the electric SE, the 301-horsepower John Cooper Works GP, and several versions in between. None would abide if the R50 hadn’t adapted Mini into a car company.
2021 will accompany two heritage-imbued limited-edition models called Paddy Hopkirk (shown above) and Coral Red, respectively. Looking ahead, counterfeit letters advance the aggregation is additionally developing a brace of crossovers in a bid to bigger adjust its portfolio with demands of buyers in key markets like the United States and China. Mini won’t cede the Hardtop as it pivots appear high-riding models, however. We apprehend to see the fourth-generation archetypal in the advancing years with a abate all-embracing brand than its predecessor, a roomier interior, and added tech.
BMW-designed Mini Cooper celebrates its 20th altogether originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 3 Oct 2020 10:00:00 EDT. Please see our agreement for use of feeds.
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