1. MINI at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.
MINI is celebrating a great birthday – and the party goes on. The 50th anniversary of the brand clearly leaves a powerful stamp on MINI’s appearance at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.
At the MINI stand in the new Hall 11, the anniversary of the brand is the focal point in terms of both architecture and the presentation itself, MINI bridging the gap from the past into the present and from here on to the future of the brand. Visitors to the world’s No 1 car show this year will experience a journey through time beginning with the first appearance of the classic Mini back in 1959 and still far from coming to an end with the outstanding success of the current MINI model range. Because fascinating perspectives for the ongoing development of the brand still remain in the years and even decades to come.
Celebrating the world debut of the MINI Coupé Concept and the MINI Roadster Concept, MINI is presenting no less than two spectacular visions of driving pleasure in the sixth decade of the brand at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Both concepts offer a unique interpretation of the traditional values, the individual style and the innovative character of MINI, each in its own way. Both concept cars stand for concentrated driving pleasure in an extremely sporting Coupé, on the one hand, and in a Roadster both pure and elegant for extravagant open-air motoring, on the other.
Further highlights at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show being presented to the public at a car show for the first time are the anniversary MINI 50 Mayfair and MINI 50 Camden announced on the occasion of the MINI United Festival. These two likewise unique models also offer a perfect symbiosis of tradition and innovation in particularly attractive style.
The MINI 50 Mayfair and MINI 50 Camden will be built for a limited period of just one year, their exclusive status being clearly confirmed by special equipment and design features.
The broad range of new models is being rounded off by the world debut of the MINI One D, a new entry-level diesel consistently upgrading the MINI portfolio of particularly economical and efficient models.
Two unique characters, one common presentation: the Oxford Twins at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Celebrating their world debuts at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the MINI Coupé Concept and the MINI Roadster Concept are making a clear statement together as the Oxford Twins. This special characterization of the two new models obviously refers to the production plant of the current MINI in Great Britain where, at MINI Plant Oxford so full of tradition, more than 1.5 million units of the only premium model in the small car segment have been built since production started in 2001.
The MINI Coupé Concept and the MINI Roadster Concept are based on a platform specially conceived for integrated production at MINI Plant Oxford. Indeed, this again underlines the particular identity of the two concept models, each of which stands out through its innovative character and, at the same time, offers one asset in particular: the uniqueness of a genuine MINI.
MINI Coupé Concept: a vision of concentrated driving pleasure.
The MINI Coupé Concept brings together a wide range of features for a truly sporting and ambitious style of motoring. Intentionally limiting the passenger compartment to two seats and focusing on consistent lightweight construction, the very concept of this unique car specifically addresses the demands made of a particularly dynamic and active coupé. At the same time the low roofline, a precisely defined spoiler at the rear, and further aerodynamically optimized features all serve to improve both the performance and the efficiency of the car. Both in its design and in the opportunities to use a truly powerful engine, the MINI Coupé Concept sets the ideal foundation for a compact sports car in the premium segment.
This two-seater study is conceived from the start also for the most powerful engine currently available in a MINI: Featuring the 1.6-liter twin-scroll turbocharged engine carried over from the MINI ¬John Cooper Works, the concept car is able to offer supreme performance in every respect. This four-cylinder delivers maximum output of 208 hp and peak torque of 192 lb-ft increasing briefly under Overboost to an even more significant 207 lb-ft.
Exterior design: typical MINI look with individual character.
In its body design, the MINI Coupé Concept spans the entire range from the beginnings of the MINI’s history far into the future of the brand, highlighting both the unique looks of the concept and its membership in the MINI family. Through its individual and emotional design language alone, the MINI Coupé Concept also promises a particularly impressive driving experience.
This unique two-seater measures 3,714 millimeters/146.2" in length and 1,683 millimeters/66.3" in width. The height of the car is 1,356 millimeters/53.4". Through these dimensions and its athletic proportions alone, the MINI Coupé Concept at very first sight stands out as a truly compact and powerful performer for all occasions.
The unmistakable look of the front end comes straight from the four-seater MINI, well-balanced contours with large radii on the engine compartment lid, the large headlights, the homogeneous sweep of the radiator grille and the extra-wide air scoop at the bottom offering the mimicry typical of every model in the range, full of openness and sporting appeal.
The radiator grille and engine compartment lid on the MINI Coupé Concept are the same as on the MINI ¬Cooper S. The inner section of the grille -nevertheless comes with trim bars in body color clearly distinguishing the car from all other models in the MINI family. The bonnet stripes also continue into the radiator grille, providing an additional sporting touch.
Through its lower and even more streamlined windscreen, the MINI Coupé Concept shows its striking character and unique look from the very beginning also from this perspective.
The front side panels on the concept car come straight from the MINI -Convertible. Similarly, the diagonal body joint between the engine compartment lid and the surrounds of the side direction indicators reflecting the style of the MINI Cooper S and characteristic of every MINI offers a unique sign of distinction.
The well-known look of these design features forms a stylish contrast to the far lower rake of the A-pillar leading into a completely different and very innovative roofline. The glazed section of the passenger cell referred to as the greenhouse is far lower and more slender on this new model than on the regular models in the range. The MINI Coupé Concept features a low and dynamic windscreen merging softly and gently into the roof, while at the rear the roofline initially moving back above the heads of the driver and passenger in a straight line tapers out into a sturdy and muscular C-pillar.
Throughout the entire car, the roof contours show an unmistakable bridge design feature to be admired for the first time on a MINI, made up of a stable cornerstone formed by the C-pillars and the more filigree structure above the passenger cell. At the same time the side view of the MINI Coupé Concept shows a clear-cut wedge shape as if the car were constantly pushing ahead with all its muscle and power.
The rear-end design of the MINI Coupé Concept seeks to optimize the flow of air essential in terms of both driving dynamics and the efficiency of this unique two-seater. The rear spoiler with its wing profile fitted at the same level as the C-pillars makes a particularly significant contribution to the smooth flow of air at the rear of the MINI Coupé Concept and, at the same time, stands out as a genuine optical highlight. The rear window of this two-seater elegantly tapering out to the bottom of the car merges in typical coupé style into a short and low rear end with just a hint of a notchback. Again, this particular design follows the overriding objective to ensure an optimum flow of air without any turbulence or swirl possibly harming the car’s aerodynamic qualities. The spoiler right at the back of the car comes with appropriately sharp and clear-cut contours.
Impressively functional: tailgate opening up wide, lots of luggage space.
A further highlight is the special construction of the tailgate on the MINI Coupé Concept. Intentionally doing without a rear seat bench, the body of this two-seater obviously offers additional space for all kinds of luggage. Luggage capacity, therefore, is no less than 250 liters or 8.8 cu ft.
To make optimum use of this potential, the MINI Coupé Concept comes at the rear with a large and wide-opening tailgate. Pivoting above the roof spoiler, the tailgate swings high up together with the rear window, offering convenient access to the extra-large luggage compartment behind the seats of the car. The bulkhead between the passenger and the luggage compartments, in turn, comes with a lockable opening.
The color scheme and the choice of materials within the MINI Coupé Concept clearly symbolize the classic sportiness and unique character of the car. Like the instrument panel, the roof lining of this unique two-seater comes in black providing a calm ambience and helping the driver to concentrate on the actual driving experience. Black trim bars in conjunction with a carbon interior trim help to additionally enhance the purist look of the car.
MINI Roadster Concept: fresh ideas for an intense driving experience.
Presenting the MINI Roadster Concept, the brand once again sets a new trend for individual mobility. This is where a purist character, elegant design and fascinating driving qualities come together in the vision of an open two-seater meeting the demands of a modern and self-confident target group. Individual style, premium quality and exactly the right balance of driving pleasure and efficiency in our modern day and age give the MINI Roadster Concept its very special character, the design of the car clearly reflecting this focus on maximum driving pleasure with nothing but the sky above.
Spontaneous pleasure – the domain of the MINI Roadster Concept.
The MINI Roadster Concept offers ideal conditions for an emotional experience also on short trips, at the same time urging the connoisseur and aficionado to escape the usual congestion of city traffic.
With its intentional restriction to two seats and lightweight construction, the car from the start expresses its focus on uncompromising agility. Its stylish looks and high-class interior ambience, in turn, give this very special two-seater truly exclusive character. Exterior design: unique proportions, expression typical of MINI.
The body design of the MINI Roadster Concept visualizes the identity of the brand and its innovative power in a truly fascinating combination. The integrating factor throughout is the design language so typical of MINI, determining both the elements characteristic of the brand and the car’s innovative features. In its design the MINI Roadster Concept is refreshingly different, but nevertheless absolutely harmonious and perfectly balanced in its look so reminiscent of MINI. In a truly incomparable manner, therefore, the MINI design of this concept car offers an extroverted look in style and with genuine class.
This new two-seater measures 3,714 millimeters/146.2" in length and 1,683 millimeters/66.3" in width. The height of the car is 1,356 millimeters/53.4".
Again in typical MINI style, the MINI Roadster Concept comes with extra-short body overhangs front and rear emphasizing the athletic stature of the car and alluding even at a standstill to the unique handling of the MINI Roadster Concept characterized by thrilling agility and that typical feeling of go-kart motoring. The front section including the large headlights and the hexagon radiator grille is the same as on the MINI Cooper S up to the A-pillars. The entire front air dam, in turn, has been adjusted to the sporting look of the car and appears to be even wider and more striking than before. The inner area within the chrome radiator grille comes with louvers in body color, while the bonnet stripes extending all the way into the radiator grille add a sporting touch and provide clear optical differentiation on the MINI Roadster Concept.
The low, short and dynamically raked A-pillars merge gently into the roofline of the car as long as the roof is closed. The glazed area in the passenger cell is significantly lower, slimmer and even more dynamic than on the regular production models, providing a strikingly sleek silhouette for an even more sporting and performance-oriented look.
The typical roadster character of the concept car comes out clearly when both open and closed, the waistline rising up slightly towards the rear in a linear perspective also maintained with the roof open.
The pure and open character of the car is of course most obvious and appealing with the roof down. Folding down in a compact configuration, the roof leads on to a short luggage compartment lid housing the luggage compartment separated from the passenger compartment.
The passenger compartment limited to two seats is covered – whenever required on account of wind and weather – by a high-quality soft top with the smallest possible dimensions.
With the roof closed, on the other hand, the MINI Roadster stands out clearly from the MINI Convertible through its notchback contour. The soft top opens and closes manually in a process performed very quickly and with utmost ease thanks to the compact dimensions of the roof.
Innovations in typical MINI style: rear-end design, luggage compartment and safety concept.
The rear view of the car is characterized by innovative design features clearly originating from the design language so typical of MINI. The side panels, the rear apron and the luggage compartment lid flow together to form a harmoniously configured sculpture not only boasting that cascading style so typical of the brand, but also taking up elements of the front-end design re-interpreted here in a new and unique manner.
Increasing in width step-by-step from top to bottom, the rear structure of the car gives the MINI Roadster Concept a particularly powerful stance on the road also from this perspective. Beneath the short rear end of this compact car so typical of a roadster in its style, the MINI Roadster Concept offers a luggage compartment unusually large and generous for a vehicle in this segment. And since the soft top of the MINI Roadster Concept moves down directly behind the seats, luggage capacity remains exactly the same with the roof both open and closed.
Another feature of modern function quite unique in a compact roadster is the through-loading from the luggage compartment to the passenger compartment, with the bulkhead featuring a lockable opening between the two sections.
The rollbar instantaneously moving up whenever required and featured for the first time on the MINI Convertible is an important highlight of the safety concept ensured from the start in developing this unique car. The single-piece aluminum bar covering the entire width of the interior and moving up whenever required under electromechanical power within 150 milliseconds interacts with the reinforced windscreen frame as an essential element of maximum occupant safety on the passenger cell.
The outstanding character of this two-seater comes out not only in the harmonious design of the exterior so typical of the brand, but also in the interior with its high quality of finish and outstanding elegance. Exclusive style and a supreme touch of quality are also borne out by the color scheme and the choice of materials, high-class wooden trim and selected color highlights on the door linings and seat upholstery providing a highly attractive contrast to the interior as a whole finished in discreet black.
As yet a further feature the cockpit of the MINI Roadster Concept comes with a multi-functional display able to provide a range of information according to the user’s individual choice. Positioned to the left of the rev counter, this display serves, for example, to show the driver exactly how much time he has spent on the road with the roof down, like with the Openometer Timer on the MINI Convertible, and is also able to provide further display functions typical of MINI.
Exclusive characters: MINI 50 Mayfair and MINI 50 Camden.
The MINI 50 Mayfair and the MINI 50 Camden presented at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show carry over the special flair of this unique MINI anniversary on to the road with lasting and sustained driving pleasure. Through their characteristic design and exclusive features, both models clearly bear out the great tradition and the visionary power of the MINI brand. Both the MINI 50 Mayfair and the MINI 50 Camden are available with a choice of two petrol engines and one diesel power unit.
In both their design and equipment, the MINI 50 Mayfair and the MINI 50 Camden clearly stand out from the current production models in the MINI range. Indeed, numerous features contributing to the cars’ unmistakable looks are available only on these very special anniversary models.
Special body paint, light-alloy rims tailored to the character of each car, special materials and surfaces within the interior, as well as a color scheme tailored to the looks of the MINI 50 Mayfair and, respectively, the MINI 50 Camden underline the exclusive status of each car in the same way as the anniversary placard on the radiator grille.
MINI 50 Mayfair: elegance with tradition.
The term “Mayfair” was already a sign of supreme comfort and extravagant looks back in 1982 on the classic Mini – and today the MINI 50 Mayfair re-interprets this unique understatement in truly modern style.
Precisely this exclusive character comes out ideally with the body paintwork in Hot Chocolate metallic so far reserved to the MINI Clubman and the MINI Convertible, combined in this case with a white roof, 17-inch white-painted 12-spoke light-alloy rims in Infinity Stream spoke design as well as three-dimensional bonnet stripes in light-brown Toffee metallic complete with a white edge at the border.
Additional headlights on the radiator grille, mirror caps in paintwork transcending from brown to black and a discreet “Mayfair” logo on the surrounds of the side direction indicators round off the exterior design of this anniversary model.
The combination of Toffee paintwork and white highlights extends into the interior of the MINI 50 Mayfair likewise quite unique and exclusive in its finish. This also applies to the seats in Lounge leather and individual piping around the edges.
A fine additional effect is provided by turquoise-green double seams on the seats and the gearshift lever knob on the manual gearbox likewise finished in Toffee.
The trim bars also coming in brown at the bottom change into a black color higher up to provide a perfect transition to the instrument panel likewise finished in black. The Color Line at the bottom of the instrument panel and the armrests on the door linings as well as the inlays in the steering wheel, finally, again come in that unique Toffee color.
MINI 50 Camden: progressive sportiness all the way.
The MINI 50 Camden stands out from the start through the dominance of its colors Silver, White and Black emphasizing the car’s technical character and sportiness. Body paint in White Silver metallic is combined in this case with a white roof.
Further features are 17-inch light-alloy rims designed exclusively for this model, sporting, three-dimensional silver-stripe trim on the side shoulders of the bonnet lid, and exterior mirror caps which, like on the MINI 50 Mayfair, boast a twin-tone stripe trim extending up from silver to pure white.
In combination with xenon headlights featured as standard on the MINI Cooper S 50 Camden, the headlight units with their black-colored lenses offer a particularly progressive and dynamic touch.
The interior of the MINI 50 Camden also offers a most contrasting color scheme combining Carbon Black with trim surfaces on the dashboard merging in its color like the exterior mirror caps from white to silver.
The trim surfaces on the door linings, in turn, come in Fluid Silver, while the sports seats in cloth/Ray leather feature leather surfaces like the lower edge of the instrument panel and the armrests on the door linings in Tech White. The black cloth sections in the middle show a discreet pattern with staggered white stripes extending from front to rear. Green and white seams then add the final touch in color and sophisticated appeal.
In-car entertainment of a new dimension: the introduction of Mission Control.
In addition to the particularly wide range of standard equipment featured on both anniversary models, the MINI 50 Camden also comes with a top-class HiFi system from car audio specialist Harman/Kardon. Yet another new feature coming together with the market launch of the MINI 50 Camden is the introduction of a new generation of in-car entertainment systems. Referred to as Mission Control, this new system evaluates a myriad of signals from the car itself, on driving conditions and the surroundings, providing the driver in typical MINI style with information and messages helpful in specific situations.
The language messages provided by the system come worldwide in English as the mother tongue of MINI, three characters clearly differing from one another through their unique voices sharing the task of communicating clearly and convincingly. To support the Coach function primarily addressing the driver, the two Assistants offer helpful information on the drivetrain and driving conditions as well as the Mini’s comfort functions.
The carefully interacting statements made by the three voices offer both entertaining and useful information for the driver and his passengers naturally to be enjoyed at all times with a twinkle in their eyes. In all, depending on the car’s level of equipment, up to 120 different driving situations, operating conditions and other events are taken into account and covered in each case by 15–40 different statements. As a result, Mission Control offers a wide range of comments adding up to more than 1,500 different messages.
What a birthday!: record turn-out at the MINI United Festival – and the party goes on.
In May some 25,000 MINI fans from all over the world celebrated the 50th birthday of the brand at the legendary Formula 1 race track in Silverstone. With its unique blend of music, lifestyle and motorsport action, the third MINI United Festival attracted visitors from more than forty countries. And together with this international MINI Community, numerous celebrities also congratulated this classic small car on its great day.
The Silverstone Festival is however by far not the end of this great anniversary party, since Mini’s presentation at the Frankfurt Motor Show is again dedicated to this great birthday of the brand. So the party will continue with world debuts revealed on the MINI stand, numerous further highlights from the brand’s model range and an exciting look back into the fascinating history of the MINI and its predecessor, the classic Mini. 1959–2009: milestones in a unique story of success.
The anniversary of the brand offers a great opportunity to look back at a story of success truly unique in the car industry the world over. Only very few car concepts have survived for such a long period or have achieved this kind of popularity, and none of them was ever interpreted in such a great number of variants as the classic Mini built for the first time in 1959. Then, with the brand being re-launched in 2001, the MINI started immediately to add further exciting chapters to this fascinating history.
It was exactly fifty years ago, on 26 August 1959, that British Motor Corporation (BMC) proudly presented two variants of a truly innovative small car: the Morris Mini-Minor and the Austin Seven. This double premiere was attributable at the time to BMC’s broad range of brands, with the two models being almost identical: both featuring extremely compact dimensions, the Morris Mini-Minor and the Austin Seven offered space for four occupants and their luggage, they were inexpensive not only to buy, but also to keep, and they offered both comfortable and agile driving qualities.
All this resulted from a revolutionary concept developed at the time by Alec Issigonis, the Deputy Technical Director of the Austin Plant in Longbridge.
The concept developed by Alec Issigonis: ideal conditions for maximum use of space and that legendary go-kart feeling.
To implement his vision of an affordable, straightforward and uncomplicated small car for the entire family and for a wide range of the population, Issigonis, a brilliant engineer, took new approaches in terms of both body design as well as the drivetrain and suspension concept. Never before had the combination of front-wheel drive and the engine fitted at the front been used as consistently to provide superior driving qualities and extra space as on the Mini. Beneath the short bonnet there was sufficient space for an 848-cc 34-hp four-cylinder, but only because Issigonis fitted the engine crosswise into the car and positioned the gearbox beneath the drive unit. This revolutionary innovation fully reflected the principle of form follows function crucial to the design of MINI to this very day.
The short overhangs front and rear as well as the wheels positioned far to the outside likewise benefited not only the space available, but also the car’s roadholding. The result was that 80 per cent of the space offered by the MINI only 3.05 meters or 120" in length was available to the passengers and their luggage.
Issigonis also focused on innovations in creating the steering system. Since the usual universal joints tended to deflect when turning the steering hard to one side or the other, the father of the MINI decided to use homokinetic joints in the car. This allowed an adequate steering angle without any deflection and at the same time significantly reduced the influence of engine power on the steering, setting the basis for the go-kart MINI feeling legendary to this very day.
From a sporting talent to a serial winner: MINI dominates the Monte Carlo Rally.
Just one-and-a-half years after the start of MINI sales, a new version entered the market destined to shape the legend of the classic Mini more than any other car: the MINI Cooper. Sports and racing car constructor John Cooper, a good friend of Alec Issigonis, had recognized the sporting potential of this new small car right from the start while the first prototypes were still under construction. So with the support of the Company’s management he developed a small series of 1,000 Mini Coopers featuring a modified power unit increased in size to 1.0 liters and developing maximum output of 55 hp.
This marked the beginning of an unusually sporting career on both the road and the race track. For the potential offered by the engine, and the concept of the car, still had a long way to go in the MINI Cooper. Issigonis and Cooper increased engine capacity to 1,071 cc, with maximum output of 70 hp, making the MINI ¬Cooper S an outstanding performer not only on the road.
The class win scored by Finnish racing driver Rauno Aaltonen in the 1963 Monte Carlo Rally was indeed the beginning of an unprecedented series of success in motorsport leading on to three overall victories in Monte Carlo in 1964, 1965, and 1967.
Small car, versatile qualities: the different versions of the classic Mini.
Parallel to the sporting success of the car, the various versions of the classic Mini soon acquired a growing community of fans. Through its practical qualities, agile driving characteristics and charming flair, the MINI became a car for all classes within society soon inspiring artists in their work, playing a leading role in cinema films, and enriching the car fleets of well-known celebrities.
It also became obvious very soon that the concept of the MINI was simply ideal for diversification in a number of other model variants, with the Mini Van and Mini Estate entering production in the very first year of the classic Mini. A year later they were followed by the Morris Mini-Traveller and Austin Seven Countryman estate models, and further versions joined the range in the years to come – extending from the MINI Pick-Up in 1961 through the particularly sophisticated Wolseley Hornet and Riley Elf adding two further BMC brands to the range in the same year all the way to the MINI Moke, a four-seater completely open on all sides introduced in 1964.
In 1967 the classic Mini received a more powerful engine increased in size to 998 cubic centimeters and with maximum output of 38 hp. Two years later the MINI Clubman joined the range as a slightly larger version with a modified front end. And some important details also changed in 1969, the front side windows featured by the classic Mini from the start being replaced on all models by wind-down windows, the door hinges at the outside being moved to the inside, and an individual MINI logo being presented on the engine compartment lid.
The range was then streamlined from 1980 to 1983 with the Clubman, the Estate and the Van being taken out of production. The only model left, therefore, was the classic Mini with its 1.0-liter engine and output of now 40 hp. Customers nevertheless remained faithful to the car over all these years, with the five-millionth classic Mini coming off the line at the Longbridge Plant in 1986. In 1990 the Mini Cooper returned to the range, being warmly welcomed by countless fans all over the world and now boasting a 1.3-liter power unit.
A new variant of the classic Mini appeared for the last time in 1991. A dedicated dealer in Germany, like some tuners before him, had cut off the roof, turning the car into an extremely attractive Convertible. But this time the result was so good in terms of quality that Rover Group now responsible for the classic Mini decided to buy the design of the car and build it themselves. Production of this special model between 1993 and 1996 amounted to approximately 1,000 units.
Production of the classic Mini ended in the year 2000, with more than 5.3 million units of the world’s most successful small car having come off the production lines in various versions.
But even after 41 years, the car had not yet reached the end of the road, with a new chapter in the history of this famous British brand starting after a break of not quite one year in 2001.
A new start in 2001 – with the MINI Cooper right from the beginning.
When BMW took over Rover Group in early 1994 new perspectives opened up for the MINI brand. In 1997 BMW presented a concept of the MINI Cooper at the Frankfurt Motor show offering an outlook at a possible new version of this unique car from Britain. Then, in 2001, the new, future-oriented rendition of the original appeared at the dealership in the guise of the MINI Cooper.
Creating this model, the MINI designers answered the question as to what the ideal small car would look like if the concepts developed by Alec Issigonis in the 1950s were combined with the technical potentials and customer wishes of the 21st century.
Through its design alone, the new MINI provided an authentic rendition of the classic Mini in its character, introducing design language boasting a unique combination of lines, joints, circles and ellipses. While significantly longer, the proportions of the car including the short overhangs front and rear remained the same, giving the MINI that unique agile handling borne out from the start by the looks of the car.
A further point was that details typical of the brand and quite unmistakable already on the classic Mini were now re-interpreted in modern style: From the modern rendition of the hexagon radiator grille and the round headlights now integrated in the bonnet, through the bonnet joints on the MINI extending upwards at the same angle as the seam on the side panels of the classic Mini, and all the way to the rear light clusters in upright position, special design features gave the car a unique touch.
With front-wheel drive, four-cylinder power units fitted crosswise at the front, exceptionally good handling, short body overhangs and space for four, the new models immediately took up elementary features of the classic Mini. And last but certainly not least, the development engineers also made sure to offer the latest standards of comfort and safety in every respect.
From the original to the original: the second generation of MINI.
The great success of the MINI obviously set the foundation for consistently continuing the concept and developing additional potentials. Further improved in an evolutionary design process and fundamentally upgraded in technical terms, the second generation of the MINI entered the market in November 2006. Following the motto “from the original to the original”, the looks of the MINI already lauded the world over were further refined through many details giving even greater emphasis to the sporting virtues of this compact and agile performer.
Almost exactly to the day one year after the introduction of the new model generation, the MINI model range was extended in autumn 2007 by an innovative vehicle concept: With its wheelbase up by 8 centimeters or 3.15", the MINI Clubman offers brand-new opportunities to enjoy the driving pleasure so typical of the brand. The latest newcomer to the range, on the other hand, is the second-generation MINI Convertible. Offering even more sporting design, active and passive safety optimized to a higher standard than ever, a wider range of functions and the latest generation of engines, the world’s only premium Convertible in the MINI segment once again raises the benchmark for driving pleasure of the highest standard.
The current range of engines is more versatile than ever before. The MINI is now available with no less than four petrol and two diesel engines, the MINI Clubman comes with three petrol engines and one diesel, and the MINI Convertible is currently available with two petrol engines.
For the first time there are also three truly unique models under the John Cooper Works brand, the top-of-the-range MINI John Cooper Works, the MINI ¬John Cooper Works Clubman, and the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible, through their 208 hp four-cylinder power unit derived from motorsport, offering a particularly intense rendition of the Mini’s high-performance character.
The John Cooper Works brand integrated within MINI and also offering accessories for the drivetrain, suspension, aerodynamics and design has in the meantime become the epitome of extreme driving pleasure based on extensive know-how in motorsport and a close connection with MINI now going back for decades.
Made in England: MINI production based on tradition and high quality standards.
The unique story of success of the MINI brand is closely connected to the production of the cars in Great Britain. On 4 April 1959 the first Austin Seven came off the production line in the Austin Longbridge Plant near Birmingham. Five weeks later, on 8 May, the first Morris Mini-Minor was built at the Oxford Plant.
The decision to build the modern MINI in Oxford was taken in spring 2000, leading to the construction of one of the most modern car production plants in the world equipped with the latest technologies and focusing specifically on the MINI. At the same time all production processes naturally follow the strict quality standards of the BMW Group.
Within just six years, more than a million MINIs were built in Oxford; that is in exactly the same time that the classic Mini also took to pass the one-million mark. And just a few weeks after the official celebrations on the 50th anniversary of the brand at the Silverstone race track, MINI Plant Oxford was able to celebrate yet another anniversary, with production of the MINI after starting out in 2001 amounting to no less than 1.5 million units. Together with the sales figures of the former model, the brand now accounts, therefore, for 6.8 million cars built in Britain and sold the world over.
2. Concentrated Driving Pleasure:
The MINI Coupé Concept.
With the MINI model range remaining more versatile than ever before, lots of room still remains for fascinating new ideas. So that the MINI Coupé Concept is the latest result of the enormous creativity the designers at MINI have to offer, following the same source of inspiration to be found in every MINI: driving pleasure of the highest standard.
The MINI Coupé Concept is therefore the ideal car to arouse enthusiasm in every respect, turning each and every journey into a unique driving experience. This two-seater being presented for the first time at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show is a particularly attractive rendition of the unparalleled potential the MINI model family has to offer. Clearly recognizable as a MINI but refreshingly different, the MINI Coupé Concept sets attractive signs for the future of the brand.
The MINI Coupé Concept brings together a wide range of features for a truly sporting and ambitious style of motoring. Limited to two seats and following a philosophy of consistent lightweight construction, the car clearly meets all the requirements made of a particularly active and dynamic coupé. Compact dimensions, perfect axle load distribution and a low centre of gravity offer ideal conditions for enhancing the agility typical of MINI to a level never seen before.
Through its design alone, the MINI Coupé Concept brings out all the thrill of individual mobility and the focus on pure driving pleasure. Powerful proportions and dynamic design language evoke a sense of desire and strong appeal, the MINI Coupé Concept offering a particularly undiluted expression of the brand through its sporting and unconventional stance on the road.
The MINI Coupé Concept: an invitation to enjoy spontaneous mobility.
With the growing model portfolio, the popularity of the MINI brand has also grown consistently in recent years. The MINI has moved beyond the restraints of urban mobility, opening up additional options and winning over new target groups. And MINI allows you to enjoy spontaneous mobility, sporting and agile handling and unmistakable style on virtually every occasion.
The current models in the range already meet the most varied demands. As individual characters in their own right, the MINI, MINI Clubman and MINI Convertible all offer a unique rendition of the driving experience so typical of the brand. And now the MINI Coupé Concept brings out driving pleasure in its most concentrated form, extreme lightweight technology making this two-seater particularly agile and unusually efficient. At the same time the low roofline, the precisely defined spoiler edge at the rear and other aerodynamic features enhance the car‘s performance to an even higher standard. So that in its design and in the use of high-performance drivetrain technology, the MINI Coupé Concept offers ideal conditions as a compact sports car in the premium segment.
This two-seater is designed to accommodate even the most powerful engine currently available in the MINI – and with the 1.6-liter twin-scroll ¬turbocharged power unit carried over from the MINI -John Cooper Works, the MINI Coupé Concept offers truly outstanding performance. Maximum output is 208 hp, peak torque 192 lb-ft increasing through the Overboost function for a short while to an even more substantial 206 lb-ft. And now the MINI Coupé Concept offers everything it takes to exceed even the supreme performance of the MINI John Cooper Works with this unique power unit.
At the same time this concept car clearly follows the BMW Group‘s EfficientDynamics development strategy. More driving pleasure, lower emissions – the MINI Coupé Concept lives out this philosophy expressed by MINI as MINIMALISM in a particularly attractive manner.
Fifty years of MINI: a vision of tomorrow marking an anniversary of today.
Fifty years after the launch of the classic Mini, the appeal of the brand is greater than ever before, with the model range exuding sheer fascination wherever you go. And now, in the anniversary year of the brand, MINI is bringing together this unique tradition and the successful model range offered today with even greater creativity and technical innovation for a truly promising future.
The MINI Coupé Concept is a further milestone in this ongoing development of the brand. The car takes up elementary strengths of the MINI and, through its modern technology and an innovative body concept, offers new standards and characteristics never seen before. The MINI Coupé Concept offers many new highlights in adding yet a further character to the existing model range.
Exterior design: the look typical of MINI but with individual character.
The body design of the MINI Coupé Concept also bridges the gap from the earliest days of the Mini‘s history all the way to the more distant future of the brand, emphasizing the unique nature of the concept as well as its full membership in the MINI family. At the same time the individual and emotional design language arouses the expectation of a particularly thrilling experience on the road.
Especially at the front end of the car a number of icons typical of the brand, as well as the design style so characteristic of MINI, all come together to create a strong family resemblance. In addition, the individual look of the MINI Coupé Concept comes out also in the side view of the car as well as in the design of the rear end.
This unique new two-seater measures 3,714 millimeters (146.2") in length and 1,683 millimeters (66.3") in width. Height is 1,356 millimeters (53.4"). Through these dimensions and its athletic proportions alone, the MINI Coupé Concept stands out from the beginning as a compact and muscular sports machine.
The typical MINI look in particularly sporting style.
The new concept car carries over the unmistakable front end look from the four-seater MINI. Smoothly balanced contours on the engine lid characterized by wide and sweeping radii, the large headlights, the homogenous shape of the radiator grille and the wide lower air intake give each model that unique look, openness and charm so typical of the brand. Through the greater rake of the windscreen on the MINI Coupé Concept, the car looks even more striking and dynamic, the low and streamlined body proving clearly that the MINI Coupé Concept is a particularly outstanding performer.
The hexagon radiator grille and the large round headlights are unmistakable design features re-interpreting the front view of the classic Mini in particularly modern style. The direction indicators are integrated in the headlights, just above the innovative three-dimensional surrounds for the positioning lights and the foglamps. The entire front air dam has been adjusted to the sporting look of the car, standing out even wider and more striking than before.
The chrome radiator grille on the MINI Coupé Concept is the same as on the MINI ¬Cooper S. The inner section in the grille is however finished with bars in body color creating a clear sign of distinction at very first sight from the other members of the MINI family. The bonnet stripes also extend into the radiator grille to provide an even more sporting and dynamic touch. With its very dynamic curvature and the stylized opening, bearing testimony to the power of the engine lurking within, the front lid likewise comes in the same look as on the particularly powerful versions of the MINI.
Individual roofline as a sign of sporting presence.
The side view of the MINI Coupé Concept also brings together features typical of the MINI family and new highlights in design to form a fascinating whole. The front side panels, for example, come straight from the MINI Convertible. The body joint forming the diagonal line characteristic of every MINI along the front lid and the surrounds on the front side indicators bearing out the style of the MINI Cooper S again provide an unmistakable sign of distinction with historic roots – here the classic Mini had a visible welding seam along the body.
The familiarity in design resulting from these features forms an attractive contrast to the far greater rake of the A-pillars leading into the brand-new, sweeping line of the roof.
Large wheels and a high waistline already give the MINI, the MINI Clubman and the MINI Convertible a particularly powerful and sporting look, with the black strip around the lower section of the body underlining this compact appearance and short body overhangs front and rear emphasizing the athletic stature of the car and bearing testimony to that typical go-kart feeling at very first sight.
All this now comes out even more convincingly in the MINI Coupé Concept, also through the unique flow of the roofline. The glazed section of the passenger cell referred to as the greenhouse, for example, is much lower and even more dynamic than on the brand‘s “regular” models.
Another feature of the MINI Coupé Concept is the strongly inclined windscreen merging gently into the roof. At the rear the roofline initially moving straight back above the heads of the driver and front passenger flows on into the sturdy C-pillar. The entire roof with all its contours thus comes in a bridge shape quite unmistakable and featured for the first time on the MINI, made up of a strong rear cornerstone formed by the C-pillar and the almost filigree structure above the passenger cell.
The C-pillar is a strong visual expression of the particularly solid and torsionally rigid body structure providing not only superior occupant safety, but also the agility typical of MINI in fast maneuvers. The C-pillar, while very powerful in design, serves at the same time to guide your perspective towards the rear end of the car, while the side view of the MINI Coupè Concept forms a very strong and convincing wedge shape created by the roofline tapering out to the rear and the waistline rising up slightly in typical MINI style.
All this gives the MINI Coupé Concept a forward-moving impression right from the start, the car clearly expressing its power and muscle even at a standstill. Through its design alone, therefore, the MINI Coupé Concept authentically visualizes sporting qualities of the highest standard.
Striking contours and smooth flow of air ensured by the roof spoiler and the rear spoiler edge.
The rear-end design of the MINI Coupé Concept consistently follows the need to optimize the flow of air in the interest of both driving dynamics and efficiency. The principle of “form follows function” so essential to MINI, the look and design of various body elements, fully reflects the characteristic features and qualities of the car. Through its design alone, therefore, the MINI Coupé Concept clearly confirms its sporting potential in a particularly credible and convincing manner.
The rear spoiler with its wing profile at the same level as the C-pillar also makes a particularly effective contribution in guiding the air along the rear end of the MINI Coupé Concept. This large air guidance element spans the entire width of the roof, increasing aerodynamic downforce on the rear axle.
Tapering down elegantly, the rear window on this unique two-seater merges into a short and low rear end with staged contours in typical coupé design. Again, this follows the overriding objective to ensure an optimum flow of air without any turbulence harming the car‘s aerodynamics – which is also why the air spoiler on the rear panel is appropriately sharp and clear in its profile.
Beneath the air spoiler at the rear the overall look and design of the MINI Coupé Concept follows the typical philosophy of the brand. Horizontal lines running parallel to one another emphasize the wide track of the car, the body growing wider from top to bottom in cascading style highlighting the muscular stance of the car resting on its wheels in that characteristic style.
The rear light clusters in upright arrangement and surrounded by a wide chrome frame are also typical of the brand. The rear air dam on the MINI Coupé Concept, in turn, comes with a diffuser split up into two sections and ensuring a smooth, swirl-free flow of air beneath the car.
Impressively functional: wide-opening tailgate, generous luggage space.
The tailgate on the MINI Coupé Concept is yet another highlight of the car. Deliberately foregoing the rear seat bench, this unique two-seater offers lots of additional space for taking along all kinds of luggage.
Luggage capacity is 250 liters or 8.8 cu ft. To use this space most conveniently, the rear end of the MINI Coupé Concept comes with a large and wide-opening tailgate. Hinged above the roof spoiler, the entire tailgate including the rear window swings up gracefully, offering convenient access to the generous luggage space behind the rear seats of the car. And thanks to the low loading sill, accessing the luggage compartment with even heavy and bulky objects is significantly easier.
The complete design of the rear end with its large tailgate is yet another example of the functional design so typical of MINI. All options offered through the concept of the car are optimized to the highest standard through carefully thought-out solutions and a good overall balance. Indeed, this principle already to be admired on the brand’s existing models, for example through the easy-load function on the MINI Convertible, makes a significant contribution to the overall substance of the car. The result is a wide range of innovative solutions quite unique in the market, emphasizing the premium character of the MINI brand.
On the MINI Coupé Concept this philosophy is borne out by yet another distinctive feature providing extra space and practical value: The bulkhead between the passenger and the luggage compartments comes with a lockable opening. The through-loading provided in this way, quite unusual on a two-seater coupe, gives the driver and passenger direct access even while driving to travel items they are taking along in the luggage compartment. So that bags with, say, beverages, a music CD or maps are stowed away safely but always within easy reach.
Interior: sports car ambience with an exclusive range of colors and materials.
The MINI Coupé Concept combines the vision of a compact sports car with thrilling agility, on the one hand, and the individual flair and style of the MINI, on the other. Through its entire concept, the car is perfectly designed to offer concentrated driving pleasure of the highest standard. This is borne out not only through the extroverted exterior in its fascinating, sporting look, but also through the interior conceived from the start for active motoring.
Wide-opening doors give the driver and passenger convenient access to the interior, where they enjoy sports seats with strongly contoured side supports for a secure seating position even in particularly fast bends. A three-spoke leather sports steering wheel with multifunction buttons enables the driver to steer precisely into bends and control the audio or communication functions with maximum ease. All other control units, in turn, are arranged ergonomically on the dashboard, taking their frequency of use into account.
The breakdown of the cockpit, the dashboard and centre console again follows that special interior design so typical of MINI. Horizontal lines and air vents placed far to the outside emphasize the sheer width of the instrument panel and, at the same time, the generous style of the interior, the slender centre console giving the driver and passenger maximum legroom. The structure of the door linings so typical of the brand, finally, has also been re-interpreted, with the elliptic main element now completely closed in.
The MINI Coupé Concept also comes with a large rev counter directly behind the steering wheel, while the speedometer is part of the central instrument in the upper section of the dashboard. This circular instrument well known as the Center Speedo also houses the audio system as well as the optional entertainment and navigation functions.
Two Chronoswiss clocks to the right and left of the rev counter provide a close link to earlier concept cars by MINI, bridging the gap between the analogue age of the classic Mini and the digital age of the MINI. One clock is a purpose-built stopwatch for taking lap times, the second clock shows the time in classic style.
The colors and materials featured inside the MINI Coupé Concept symbolize the classic sportiness of the car. Like the dashboard, the roof lining of this unprecedented two-seater comes in black providing a calm atmosphere just right for concentrating on driving conditions and essential requirements. Black trim bars combined with a carbon interior trim strip, finally, further enhance this purist look.
Lightweight construction and modern suspension technology providing a new feeling of go-kart driving.
The MINI Coupé Concept is definitely a MINI and definitely a sports car. The particular charm of this combination results from both the drivetrain and the suspension technology already featured in the current production models, as well as the special highlights of this two-seater concept car.
Over and above their body design, the MINI, MINI Clubman and MINI Convertible already set the standard today for agility and driving pleasure in their respective segments. Powerful engines and suspension technology quite superior in the small car segment then ensure a truly unique driving experience. Front-wheel drive, powerful disc brakes on all four wheels, the front axle with MacPherson spring struts and a centrally guided rear axle with aluminum longitudinal arms and anti-roll bars set the foundation for uniquely safe and agile handling.
EPS Electronic Power Steering with speed-related power assistance, finally, ensures precise maneuvering round bends and gives the driver exact feedback at all times on road and driving conditions. At the same time on-demand management of steering assistance serves to maximize the car’s efficiency.
The MINI Coupé Concept offers ideal conditions for raising the go-kart feeling created by the car‘s drivetrain and suspension technology to an even higher standard. Its entire construction is based on a lightweight concept reducing weight particularly where it really counts for even greater agility. As an example, this two-seater comes with an aluminum roof not only optimizing the overall weight of the car, but also lowering the car’s centre of gravity for a significant reduction of body movement and optimized driving behavior.
Since lower weight also means greater efficiency, the MINI Coupé Concept again offers the option to combine even greater driving pleasure with fuel consumption and CO2 emissions reduced to a minimum as an important sign of our times.
Traditional values, modern quality, progressive concept.
Sporting success and agile handling of the highest standard are significant highlights in the history of MINI now going back five decades – and both factors have made a fundamental contribution to the ongoing popularity of this small premium car. Three overall wins in the Monte Carlo Rally and the concept of driving pleasure expressed so clearly by the car’s go-kart feeling definitely confirm the sporting potential of this small compact both back then and today. The anniversary year is therefore the ideal time to present the MINI Coupé Concept as the vision of an uncompromisingly active sports car.
Another concept car presented even before the re-launch of the MINI brand proves that this philosophy has always fuelled the creativity of the MINI‘s designers: The MINI Concept Monte Carlo presented in 1997 was a two-seater with a 160-hp mid-mounted engine. Through its design alone, this concept car already came with a wide range of features destined to be taken up again by the first MINI, short body overhangs front and rear, round headlights and the re-interpretation of the hexagon radiator grille providing an outlook at important styling elements on the production model to follow later. With its extremely powerful body and direct references to motorsport, the MINI Concept Monte Carlo also made a clear pledge to the rally history of the brand.
Now the MINI Coupé Concept, through its unique look, takes up the almost aggressive and extroverted appearance of that former concept car, at the same time providing a new link between the history, the present and the future of the brand. It takes up traditional values of the MINI brand and combines them with the most advanced technologies to offer a fascinating vision of how the MINI model family may continue.
Once again, therefore, MINI is following the needs and wishes of new target groups fully appreciative of the individual style of the brand and associating this character with clearly defined product features. The MINI Coupé Concept addresses the motorist thrilled by that unique combination of driving pleasure, lifestyle, and premium quality so typical of MINI and, at the same time, looking for sporting driving qualities of an even higher standard.
3. Refreshingly Different:
The MINI Roadster Concept.
MINI evokes new fascination and a wonderful new experience time and again. For each model in the range offers unique opportunities to enjoy supreme driving pleasure and unmistakable style.
Now the MINI Roadster Concept once again sets a new trend for individual mobility borne out by the brand. A purist vehicle concept, elegant design and fascinating, sporting driving characteristics all come together in this unique car to offer the vision of an open two-seater catering for the demands of a modern and self-confident target group.
The new concept car carries over the features typical of MINI to a new segment, the MINI designers thus bringing out yet another attractive facet in the character of the brand. So the world debut of the MINI Roadster Concept at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show will add a new perspective to the future of the MINI brand, presenting yet another great path of development.
The MINI Roadster Concept takes up features typical of the brand and re-interprets these unique strengths in a refreshingly new manner. Individual style, premium quality and a perfect match of driving pleasure and efficiency just right in this day and age determine the character of this compact two-seater. And through its design alone, the MINI Roadster Concept reflects the focus on maximum driving pleasure with nothing but the sky above.
The MINI Roadster Concept is clearly recognizable at very first sight as a MINI. At the same time, with its two seats, a tight-fitting soft roof and innovative rear-end design, the new model opens up new perspectives both in the context of the brand and in the segment of compact roadsters.
MINI Roadster Concept: making every trip a new experience.
Spontaneous pleasure is the stronghold of the MINI Roadster Concept. The car offers everything it takes to provide a truly emotional experience also on short trips – and at the same time it urges the enthusiast to escape the driving conditions encountered so often in city traffic.
Deliberately limited to two seats and optimized for weight, the concept clearly shows its uncompromising agility right from the start. Its stylish look and the high-quality interior ambience give this two-seater truly exclusive character, such innovations alone enabling the concept car to aggressively meet the future challenges of modern mobility.
The existing range with all its diversity already proves the exceptional potential of the brand in a most impressive manner. The MINI Hardtop, MINI Clubman and MINI Convertible are already well-established in the market as unique characters, embodying the driving pleasure so typical of the brand in individual style different on each model.
Ongoing enhancement of the model portfolio has already enabled MINI to reach additional target groups, with the popularity of the brand constantly increasing over the years. Now the MINI Roadster Concept provides new options to enjoy the agile handling, premium quality and individual flair of the MINI in a new, truly unique and unprecedented manner.
From the start the concept car naturally considers the possibilities to use the advanced engines available in the MINI range – engines which stand out through their dynamic power and the efficient use of fuel. The superior efficiency of the engines is indeed combined from the start with a whole range of further efficiency-oriented technologies created as part of the BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy and featured by MINI as MINIMALISM to guarantee enhanced driving pleasure on even less fuel and lower emissions.
To achieve a high standard of sporting performance, the MINI Roadster Concept might possibly be powered by the 1.6-liter twin-scroll turbocharged engine already featured in the MINI Cooper S. Boasting direct gasoline injection, this superior power unit delivers maximum output of 172 hp and peak torque of 172 lb-ft increasing briefly with the Overboost function to an even more superior 192 lb-ft.
With its spontaneous and direct response and smooth surge of power, this outstanding engine offers everything it takes to boost this open two-seater directly to the top of the compact roadster market, making it a supreme performer right from the start.
Fifty years of MINI: strong tradition, promising future.
Presentation of the MINI Roadster Concept in the anniversary year of the brand combines a retrospective view of the brand’s highly successful history with the great appeal of the current model range to offer a wonderful outlook into the future. Introduction of the classic Mini fifty years ago hailed the advent of a revolutionary vehicle concept destined for ongoing fame and popularity for decades to come. Now the current models in the MINI range interpret the traditional values of the brand in modern style, setting the standards for driving pleasure, premium quality and individual flair in the small car segment. And as a vision demonstrating the ongoing flexibility of this unique character, the MINI Roadster Concept clearly presents the exceptional potential of the brand both today and in the future.
The innovative body configuration of the MINI Roadster Concept is combined with the modern drive technology of the current MINI models as well as the features of the brand developed over years and decades. Hence, the study is the result of an ongoing development process opening up attractive options also for the years to come.
Exterior design: unique proportions, style and the power of expression so typical of MINI. The body design of the MINI Roadster Concept visualizes the identity and innovative power of the brand in a truly fascinating combination. The strong family resemblance is borne out above all at the front end of the car through numerous details typical of MINI and through styling features characteristic of the brand as a whole. At the same time the individual look of this unique two-seater is just as unmistakable, created by new and different proportions as well as the innovative design of the rear end.
An integrating factor bringing all models together is the design language so typical of MINI, to be admired on both the elements characteristic of the brand and on new, innovative features. In its design, the MINI Roadster Concept is therefore refreshingly different but nevertheless comes with all the flair and style so well-known on the MINI. So in an incomparable manner this concept car expresses the ability of MINI design to bring out extroverted style with class and sophistication.
The new two-seater measures 3,714 millimeters (146.2") in length and 1,683 millimeters (66.3") in width. Height of the car is 1,356 millimeters or 53.4".
These dimensions, together with the special contours of the rear end, provide truly unique, sporting and dynamic proportions. At the same time, again reflecting the typical look of the brand, the MINI Roadster Concept comes with extra-short body overhangs front and rear accentuating the athletic stature of the car and alluding even at a standstill to the unique handling characterized by thrilling agility and lauded as that unparalleled go-kart feeling.
The front end is the same as on the MINI Convertible all the way to the A-pillars, while the windscreen is strikingly low and raked to a greater angle. Particularly with the roof opened to the back, this clearly brings out the purist openness of the car. A short luggage compartment lid forms the rear panel behind the roof folding up into compact dimensions and providing convenient access to the luggage compartment separated from the passenger compartment. With the roof closed this gives the car a notchback look clearly distinguishing the MINI Roadster Concept from the MINI Convertible. Unlike the production model, therefore, the body of the concept car follows the so-called three-box philosophy.
Familiar resemblance at the front.
The front view of the MINI Roadster Concept comes with all the characteristic features also borne out by the four-seater models in the brand. Smoothly balanced contours on the engine lid with large and equally smooth radii, large headlights, the homogeneous design of the radiator grille and a wide air intake at the bottom create that special look so typical of MINI, an expression of openness and flair.
Looking at the car from the front, however, you immediately realize a significant difference from the MINI Convertible, the windscreen both lower and raked to a greater angle giving the MINI Roadster Concept a very different look also from this perspective. The car is strikingly low and stands out clearly as a particularly sporting representative of the MINI brand.
The hexagon radiator grille and the large round headlights are unmistakable design elements re-interpreting their counterparts on the classic Mini in new, modern style. The direction indicators are integrated in the headlights, with the new three-dimensional surrounds for the positioning lights and the foglamps directly below.
While on the MINI Roadster Concept the chrome radiator grille is the same as on the MINI ¬Cooper S, the inner section of the grille comes with bars in body color at first sight distinguishing the MINI Roadster Concept from the other members of the MINI family. A further point is that the bonnet stripes continue into the radiator grille to provide an additional sporting feature.
The engine lid with its particularly striking curvature bearing reference to the power unit within, as well as the stylized opening, are again the same as on the particularly powerful and fast version of the MINI already lauded for its performance.
Powerful side view, tight-fitting soft roof.
An attractive combination of design features typical of the brand and brand-new highlights also characterizes the side view of the MINI Roadster Concept. The front side panels come directly from the MINI Convertible, just as the diagonal body joint so characteristic of every MINI between the engine lid and the side indicator surround again in the same style as on the MINI ¬Cooper S provides an unmistakable sign of distinction with historic roots. The classic Mini was characterized here by a visible welding seam on the body.
The short, low-angle A-pillars merge gently into the roofline with the roof closed, while the glazed part of the passenger cell referred to as the greenhouse is a lot smaller than on the current production models. This provides a strikingly low silhouette clearly emphasizing the superior sportiness and performance of the car.
The high waistline accentuates the powerful character of the car even more than on the current production models. In conjunction with the large wheels and the black stripe extending round the body at the bottom, this creates a particularly compact look, the muscular surfaces on the body and the powerful stance of the car on the road alluding from the start to a very intense and extremely agile driving experience.
Both open and closed, the concept car clearly stands out as a roadster, boasting an attractive waistline slightly rising up to the rear and retaining its linear from even with the roof open.
The passenger compartment limited to two seats is protected whenever required on account of wind and weather by a high-quality textile roof reduced in its dimensions to an absolute minimum. The distance between the windscreen frame at the front and the rear end of the roof behind the seats is deliberately kept to a minimum, with the soft roof merging smoothly into the body. The low seating position for the driver and front passenger nevertheless guarantees generous headroom at all times.
The soft top on the roadster opens and closes manually in a simple process taking only a few seconds thanks to the compact dimensions of the roof. The decision not to give the car a power roof not only reduces the weight of the MINI Roadster Concept even further, but also adds to the puristic flair of the car: This two-seater is an uncompromising companion for the enthusiast with an active lifestyle, ensuring maximum driving pleasure under all conditions in close interaction with the driver. Innovative rear-end look in the design language typical of MINI.
The soft roof of the MINI Roadster Concept rests low down in compact arrangement when open behind the seats, merging smoothly and harmoniously with the straight waistline rising up slightly all the way to the rear end of the MINI Roadster Concept. When closed, on the other hand, the contours of the roof from a roadster-like roofline merging into the low rear end beneath the rear window.
The rear view is characterized by innovative design features clearly originating from the design language so typical of the MINI. The side sections, rear air dam and luggage compartment lid all come together to form a smooth and harmonious sculpture not only boasting the cascading style so typical of the brand, but also taking up existing elements in a new, unique look.
Increasing step-by-step in width from top to bottom, the rear view of the MINI Roadster Concept gives the car a particularly powerful stance on the road also from this angle, the wide track symbolizing the strong grip of the wheels for supreme agility, a particularly sporting style of motoring, and safe handling at all times.
The rear light clusters surrounded by wide chrome frames in their upright arrangement are also typical of the brand. The design of the wheel arches and the horizontal flow of the rear panel at the top, on the other hand, take up the design language already to be admired at the front.
In its breakdown and configuration, the rear air dam again shows a clear resemblance to the structure of the front air intake, featuring a diffuser split up into two elements for a smooth and swirl-free flow of air beneath the car.
Impressively functional: large storage space and through-loading to the passenger compartment.
The unusually large and generous luggage compartment beneath the short rear end in typical roadster style offers lots of space for a car of this kind. By deliberately creating the car without a rear seat bench, the designers of the MINI Roadster Concept offer additional options to take along even large and bulky objects in the luggage compartment, thus optimizing on the benefits offered by a compact roadster with this concept.
With the soft roof of the MINI Roadster Concept resting directly behind the seats, luggage capacity remains the same at 250 liters or 8.8 cubic feet with the roof both open and closed. And thanks to the low sill, loading the luggage compartment even with heavy and bulky objects is very easy and convenient.
Like the soft roof reduced in size to a minimum, the extra-large luggage compartment is the result of the roadster concept implemented consistently on the car. At the same time the function-oriented design of the new model in typical MINI style provides a range of carefully conceived features setting also the regular production models from MINI clearly aside from their competitors in the market.
This principle borne out on the current production models by features such as the Easy-Load function on the MINI Convertible makes a lasting contribution to the superior substance of the car. The result is a whole range of innovative solutions quite unique in this segment and underlining the premium character of the MINI brand.
On the MINI Roadster Concept these features include through-loading from the passenger compartment to the luggage compartment quite unique on such a compact roadster, the bulkhead between the passenger compartment and the luggage compartment incorporating a lockable opening. This gives the driver and passenger the opportunity to reach their travel utensils in the luggage compartment while driving, keeping bags with, say, beverages, a music CD or maps safe but readily accessible at all times.
Consistent safety concept: stable body structure and rollbar moving up instantaneously when required.
Consistent consideration of occupant safety right from the start in developing the MINI Roadster Concept again underlines the particular quality of this concept car, the safety features provided following the safety technology already developed for the MINI Convertible.
The MINI Roadster Concept therefore comes with an exceptionally strong and stable body structure; the stiff passenger cell, high-load bearing elements and precisely defined deformation zones including crash boxes at the front serve to smoothly divert and absorb impact energy. At the same time the concept car boasts a particularly stiff floorpan as well as extremely strong A-pillars and side-sills.
Occupant safety in the event of a rollover, obviously a particular challenge in an open car, has also been given special consideration in the comprehensive safety system developed for the MINI Roadster Concept, a full-size rollbar moving up instantaneously whenever required from behind the headrests, thus following the same philosophy presented for the first time on the MINI Convertible.
This single-piece aluminum bar spanning the entire width of the interior and moving up electromechanically when required within 150 milliseconds, together with the reinforced windscreen frame, provides maximum occupant safety as part of the passenger cell. In its resting position the rollbar does not extend beyond the headrests, thus not obstructing the driver’s visibility to the rear. And designed as a single-piece element, the rollbar allows full integration of the through-loading connecting the luggage compartment and the passenger compartment.
Interior: elegant and sophisticated ambience with exclusive colors and materials.
The MINI Roadster Concept simply begs the driver and passenger to enjoy spontaneous driving pleasure with nothing but the sky above. The powerful flair of the exterior and the soft roof opening and closing quickly and conveniently with one single movement of your hand gives this concept car particular appeal and wonderful driving qualities. The MINI Roadster Concept therefore addresses in particular a young and modern target group wishing to enjoy the full pleasure of driving in the open air as part of their active lifestyle, showing their appreciation of a premium car and the individual style of the MINI brand.
The sophisticated character and quality of this two-seater is clearly expressed not only by the harmonious and typical design of the exterior, but also by the high standard of craftsmanship, high-class materials and an exclusive range of colors within the interior. Wide-opening doors offer the driver and passenger convenient access to the interior where they will enjoy sports seats with ample, high-quality padding in Lounge leather. A three-spoke leather sports steering wheel complete with multi-function buttons ensures smooth steering even in tight bends and on winding roads, as well as safe and easy operation of the car’s audio and communication functions. All other control elements are arranged ergonomically for convenient use, taking the frequency of their operation into account. The breakdown of the cockpit, the dashboard and centre console all follow the particular style of interior design so typical of MINI. Horizontal lines and air vents positioned far to the outside accentuate the sheer width of the dashboard and, at the same time, the generous look and dimensions of the interior. The slender centre console, in turn, offers the driver and passenger maximum legroom and freedom of movement, while the structure of the door panels now follows a new interpretation with the main elliptic element fully closed.
The rev counter on the MINI Roadster Concept again comes directly behind the steering wheel, with the speedometer forming part of the central instrument in the upper section of the centre console. Well-known as the Center Speedo, this striking instrument also comprises the audio system as well as the car’s entertainment and navigation functions.
The MINI Roadster Concept comes with a multi-functional display in the cockpit enabling the driver to choose the information presented. Placed to the left of the rev counter, this display serves among other things to inform the driver exactly down to the last minute how long he has been driving with the roof down, thus providing the same function as the Openometer Timer already featured on the MINI Convertible today.
This additional instrument is activated as soon as the driver starts the engine and completely opens the soft top of the car.
Apart from the Openometer function, this control instrument comes with five further indicators again typical of MINI, combining the driving pleasure of the MINI Roadster Concept with sustainability and a feature typical of the MINI Community: The Nature Guard function tells the driver how efficiently he is driving at the moment and whether the position of the gas pedal is appropriate for the speed at which the car is travelling and the gear selected. At a glance, therefore, the driver can see how to save fuel. Should the driver wish to enjoy maximum performance, on the other hand, the Highspeed Shifter gear indicator tells him when and how to use the maximum power of the engine.
Supplementing this performance program, the Gravity indicator presents the lateral forces, g-forces and the direction of acceleration acting on the driver and the car. Heart Beat, to present the next example, visualizes the speed of the engine by referring to the human heart beat as a yardstick: The more sporting the driver’s style of motoring, the faster the heart will beat. Buddy Radar, finally, is a MINI Community feature showing the driver where other MINI drivers are currently out on the road nearby the MINI Roadster Concept.
The colors and materials within the MINI Roadster Concept clearly symbolize the exclusive style of the car and a strong focus on quality. Wooden interior trim and carefully selected color highlights on the door linings and seat upholstery, for example, provide specific contrasts to the interior kept discreetly in black. At the same time the sporting elegance of the interior is additionally accentuated by the piping on the leather seats and the Chrome Line finish.
New standard of go-kart feeling thanks to the optimization of weight and modern suspension technology.
With its current model range, MINI already sets the standard for driving pleasure going far beyond the small car segment. And now, in its purist form, the MINI offers all the character of an agile performer with supreme handling in bends and on winding roads. The MINI Clubman and MINI Convertible, in turn, combine the unique handling so typical of the brand with their own distinctive features and qualities.
Powerful engines and suspension technology far superior in the small car segment ensure a unique driving experience under all conditions, front-wheel drive, powerful disc brakes on all four wheels, the front axle with Macpherson spring struts and a central arm rear axle with aluminum longitudinal arms and anti-roll bars providing the foundation for unparalleled safety and agility on the road.
EPS Electronic Power Steering with speed-related power assistance enables the driver to steer precisely through bends, providing consistent feedback on road surface and driving conditions. At the same time on-demand variation of power assistance helps to make the car even more efficient. Equipped with this kind of modern drivetrain and suspension technology, the MINI Roadster concept would be perfectly suited to provide a new and very appealing rendition of that go-kart feeling so typical of the brand. Doing without a fixed roof and introducing appropriate body reinforcements instead, the shift in weight on the car enhances its agility to an even higher standard. This, in turn, noticeably reduces body movements and optimizes the car’s steering behavior in bends.
Traditional values, modern quality, future-oriented concept.
Practical qualities, sporting talent and a high standard of all-round economy have helped to ensure the popularity of the brand over no less than five decades. Representing the epitome of modern lifestyle, this small car has indeed become an outstanding success the world over.
Through all these years and decades MINI has re-invented itself time and again, always remaining faithful to its underlying philosophy. The anniversary year is therefore the ideal time to present the MINI Roadster Concept as yet another look into the future of the brand. This, therefore, is the vision of a sporting two-seater combining sophisticated design and exclusive features with spontaneous driving pleasure under the open sky and the uncomplicated enjoyment of premium motoring.
The traditional values of the brand also help to give the MINI Roadster Concept its unmistakable character, modern drivetrain technology providing further opportunities to combine an even higher level of performance with efficiency optimized to a new standard. At the same time the innovative concept of the car caters for the challenges of the future, offering a clear focus on both driving pleasure and all-round quality. So where less is more, the MINI Roadster Concept is a supreme rendition of purist design, offering style and enthusiasm of the highest standard.
4. Exclusive Characters:
MINI 50 Mayfair and MINI 50 Camden.
MINI is celebrating a great birthday and the fans of the brand are now able to enjoy the ongoing driving pleasure MINI offers on the road in the MINI 50 Mayfair and the MINI 50 Camden. For through their characteristic design and exclusive features alone, these two models live out both the great tradition and visionary power of the MINI brand.
Both the MINI 50 Mayfair and the MINI 50 Camden are available with two petrol engines and one diesel. Being launched into the market in September 2009, production of the MINI 50 Mayfair and the MINI 50 Camden is starting exactly fifty years after the official presentation of the classic Mini and is limited to just one year.
The modern drivetrain and suspension technology featured by the MINI also gives these two anniversary models truly fascinating agility in combination with exemplary fuel economy and emission management. Particularly the 172 hp four-cylinder with its twin-scroll turbocharger and direct gasoline injection powering the MINI Cooper S 50 Mayfair and the MINI Cooper S 50 Camden offers truly outstanding performance on the road. And all this comes with combined cycle fuel consumption to26 city/34 hwy mpg with the 6-speed manual transmission and a CO2 rating of just 149 grams per kilometer.
Featuring fully variable valve control and offering engine output of 88 kW/120 hp, the power unit of the MINI Cooper 50 Mayfair and the MINI Cooper 50 Camden likewise has everything it takes for truly sporting performance. An average fuel consumption of just 28 city/37 hwy, in turn, as well as a CO2 rating of 129 grams per kilometer, set new standards in terms of efficient motoring pleasure.
The MINI anniversary: looking back and looking forward.
For the first time since its market launch in 2006, the latest generation of the MINI offers the opportunity in the car‘s anniversary year to enjoy supreme driving pleasure in particularly exclusive style. Hence, the MINI 50 Mayfair and the MINI 50 Camden follow the principle already applied by the classic Mini to accentuate individual highlights in the character of this highly successful performer from Great Britain. The anniversary of the brand therefore offers an ideal opportunity to look back at the fascinating tradition of the car and to look forward at the unique future and outlook of the MINI.
Both of these perspectives are expressed by the names of the new models. As in the past, the two anniversary models are named after boroughs of London also very popular and well-known far away from the British capital. Mayfair is lauded the world over for its exclusivity growing so significantly over the years and decades, while Camden is the home of a trendy and culturally versatile urban lifestyle.
Setting their respective standards, both models represent those values so typical of MINI that have grown over five decades as well as the car‘s potential for ongoing development
Characteristic design, exclusive features.
Both in their design and their features the MINI 50 Mayfair and the MINI 50 Camden stand out clearly from the current, “regular” production models. Numerous features helping to make these two cars truly unmistakable are indeed reserved to these individual anniversary models, making each version truly unique in its own right. Special body paintwork, light-alloy rims tailored to the car, special materials and surfaces within the interior as well as a range of colors tailored specifically to the MINI 50 Mayfair and, respectively, the MINI 50 Camden underline the exclusivity of these special models available only for a limited period.
The jubilee placard proudly surrounded by chrome trim on the radiator grille provides clear testimony to the tradition of the brand now going back fifty years, bearing the number “50” in typical MINI design and boasting the colors of the Union Jack – red, white, and blue.
In addition to the wide range of regular features already provided on the respective engine variant, each MINI 50 Mayfair and each MINI 50 Camden comes not only with sophisticated paintwork, seat upholstery and trim, but also with a wide range of other comfort features. Apart from air conditioning, seats adjustable for height and with electric heating, the Lights Package as well as the on-board computer, these features include the Storage Package, additional storage options, a 12 V power socket in the luggage compartment and angle adjustment on the rear-seat backrests.
MINI 50 Mayfair: noblesse oblige – dedicated to extravagant style.
Back in 1982 the classic Mini already came as a special Mayfair model combining supreme comfort and an extravagant look. Today the new MINI 50 Mayfair interprets this style of sophisticated understatement in a new, modern way. High-quality materials, stylish details and a color scheme offering classic elements throughout determine both the outer and the inner looks of this very special car.
For the first time and only on this anniversary model the body of a MINI Hatch is finished in the special Hot Chocolate metallic paintwork color so far ¬available exclusively on the MINI Clubman and the MINI Convertible, combined with a white roof. On request the body is also available in Pepper White or Midnight Black paintwork as an alternative to this highly attractive brown color.
The MINI 50 Mayfair comes on 17-inch, white-painted 12-spoke light-alloy wheels in Infinity Stream Spoke Design exclusive to this particular model. In their design, the wheels follow the classic multi-spoke look, with the spokes themselves being slightly concave to give the car a truly powerful appearance. The white paintwork on the wheels, finally, interacts with the white contrasting color of the roof.
Yet another new feature is the engine compartment lid with almost three-dimensional stripes in light-brown Toffee metallic and white pinstripes at the edges. Additional headlights on the radiator grille, mirror caps with paintwork changing from brown to black on the way up, and a discreet “Mayfair” logo on the direction indicators at the side round off the exterior design of this anniversary model.
The combination of Toffee paintwork with white highlights is also to be admired within the interior of the MINI 50 Mayfair again absolutely exclusive in its character. The seats demonstrate their unique style through their finish in Lounge leather complete with piping round the edges, Toffee color, and additional white piping.
A further highly attractive effect is provided by double-cap seams on the seats finished in the same, modern and technically appealing turquoise-green color as the frame around the “Mayfair” logo to be admired not only next to the direction indicators at the side, but also on discreet seat trim adorning the inner surfaces of the front-seat backrests.
The gearshift lever knob on the manual gearbox likewise comes with -turquoise-green double-cap seams providing a visual link to the seats. As yet a further highlight, the Carbon Black interior color is combined with special trim on the dashboard finished in brownish black to reflect the color of the mirror caps. The trim bar finished in Toffee at the bottom becomes black as it moves further up, providing a perfect transition to the dashboard likewise finished in black.
The Color Line at the bottom of the instrument panel and the armrests on the door linings as well as the gearshift lever knob are likewise finished in Toffee, while the trim panels on the doors are in Piano Black.
All this is further embellished by a Toffee Brown inlay in the lower half of the steering wheel rim, floor mats with white piping, the Chrome Package also available on other MINI models, as well as door entry trim proudly bearing the “MINI 50” model designation and the “Mayfair” logo.
MINI 50 Camden: dynamic and progressive all in one.
With its dominating colors Silver, White and Black, the MINI 50 Camden even at very first sight highlights its technical clarity and sporting character. Body paint in White Silver metallic is combined with a white roof, and the MINI 50 Camden is also available in Midnight Black metallic or Horizon Blue metallic.
The 17-inch light-alloy rims likewise exclusive to this model stand out in particular through the contrast between their silver inner surfaces and the matt, polished contour lines around the rim hump and on the outer edges of the spokes, thus characterizing the futuristic impression of this likewise very special model.
With its lines extending towards the A-pillars, the sporting, almost three-dimensional silver stripe trim on the side shoulders of the engine compartment lid accentuate the sporting and dynamic character of the MINI 50 Camden.
Like on the MINI 50 Mayfair, the mirror caps come in twin-tone stripes extending upwards on the MINI 50 Camden merging from silver into pure white. In combination with the xenon headlights featured as standard on the MINI Cooper S 50 Camden, the headlights themselves boast black-tinted lenses as a particularly progressive highlight forming a clear contrast to the rest of the exterior in its brighter color.
The side indicator frames house the Union Jack in black-and-white, and the “Camden” model designation forming the logo of this special anniversary model also to be admired, together with the designation “MINI 50”, on the door entry trim. The interior of the MINI 50 Camden comes in an equally contrasting color scheme combining the Carbon Black interior color with special trim on the instrument panel interchanging from white to silver, like the caps on the exterior mirrors.
The trim panels on the doors, in turn, come in Fluid Silver, while the sports seats in cloth/Ray leather boast leather surfaces, just like the bottom edge of the instrument panel and the armrests in the door linings, finished in Tech White.
The black centre strips on the doors, in turn, come in a discreet pattern with interrupted white stripes, while the seat panels on the inner half of the backrests bear the “Camden” logo.
Twin-tone double-cap seams – black on the outside, turquoise-green on the inside – visually combine the leather and cloth surfaces on the seats. Green and white seams also provide additional color highlights on the black gaiters around the handbrake and gearshift levers, and on the gearshift lever knob.
The rim on the leather steering wheel is highlighted additionally by a white seam, while turquoise-green color highlights as well as design lines on the mirror caps and the trim surfaces to be admired on both the MINI 50 Mayfair and the MINI 50 Camden come as a common feature shared by both anniversary models.
Highly exclusive but featured as standard: HiFi system and Mission Control.
In addition to the particularly wide range of standard features on the two anniversary models, the MINI 50 Camden also features a top-end audio system. This new HiFi system from car audio specialist Harman/Kardon sets standards for enjoying music in a MINI. The high-performance digital amplifier, for example, just like the loudspeaker units, is perfectly tailored to the MINI.
An optional feature is a USB port for connecting external audio sources and a special interface for an Apple iPod. And last but not least, the customer also has the choice of an interface for integrated control of the car’s audio and telephone functions on the latest Smartphones such as the Apple iPhone.
The market launch of the new MINI 50 Camden also marks the debut of a new generation of in-car entertainment systems. Referred to as “Mission Control”, this entertainment system processes and evaluates a wide range of signals on the vehicle itself, on driving conditions, and the surroundings, providing the driver with relevant information and instructions in that unique style so typical of MINI.
Mission Control underlines the status of the MINI as a genuine personality in the world of motoring and intensifies the driver‘s feeling and impression of interacting directly with the car, the signals coming from the car itself being used to generate new, situation-based dialogues time and again.
These dialogues are based, among other things, on information regarding safety and comfort settings, requesting the driver and passengers, say, to buckle up their seat belts and use the air conditioning, and incorporate current information on driving conditions such as the current status of the vehicle, with the focus on temperatures or the level of fuel in the tank criteria such as outside.
The heart of Mission Control is the electronic control unit fitted behind the glove compartment and interacting with the car’s data network. This serves to collect all information relevant to the system and generate appropriate voice messages. Depending on the car’s level of equipment, up to 120 different driving ¬conditions, traffic situations and other events are covered in this way, providing a range of 15-40 different messages.
This wide range of messages guarantees an ongoing, highly efficient dialogue between the MINI and its driver also in driving situations recurring daily, Mission Control therefore being able to offer more than 1,500 different messages.
Messages are provided the world over in English as the mother tongue of MINI. In this process three characters clearly differ from one another through their voices share the task of communicating with the driver. To support the Coach as the main speaker mainly addressing the driver himself, two Assistants offer helpful information on driving and traffic conditions as well as the comfort functions of the MINI.
The carefully matched and interacting messages provided by these three characters give the driver and his passengers both lively entertainment and useful information they may sometimes take with a twinkle in their eye. Depending on the time of day, for example, Mission Control will welcome the driver and his passengers with various messages. Should you set off with the handbrake pulled or a door not properly closed, on the other hand, Mission Control will again provide an appropriate warning, just as it will tell the driver not to rev up too fast while the engine is still warming up. Mission Control also comments on the driver’s sporting style of motoring in bends. At high speeds, finally, Mission Control will tell the driver and passengers to close the windows in the interest of better aerodynamics. And should the driver and passengers have opened the sliding roof, they will be instructed to switch off the air conditioning in order to save energy.
In addition to the entertainment aspect, the system offers a functional aspect supporting the driver over and above existing functions in properly interpreting all kinds of information and using data for appropriate action.
Given these qualities, Mission Control is the first step into a brand-new world of interactive in-car entertainment, offering a driving experience never seen before.
MINI 50 Mayfair and MINI 50 Camden: ambassadors for the character of the brand.
Fifty years of MINI – this great anniversary offers the opportunity, looking back and into the future, to highlight some significant highlights of the brand and its character.
The origin of the brand in Great Britain and the style of MINI both timeless and unmistakable are just as significant in this context as the sophisticated, future-oriented technology and sporting potential of this small premium car. Both the MINI 50 Mayfair and the MINI 50 Camden highlight precisely these qualities through their design and equipment concepts precisely tailored in a specific direction.
The harmonious configuration of the two anniversary models also provides ample room for customization. Following the usual MINI standard, each MINI 50 Mayfair and each MINI 50 Camden is built exactly to the customer‘s order. Additional options for personal comfort are provided, for example, by the MINI navigation system, automatic air conditioning, the Vision Package made up of a heated windscreen, a rain sensor, the interior mirrors with an automatic anti-dazzle function and automatic headlight control, as well as Comfort Access. Further options are foglamps, Park Distance Control, and a glass sliding/vent roof.
A six-speed automatic transmission, together with shift paddles on the steering wheel, is available as an alternative to the six-speed manual gearbox featured as standard. The standard Sport Button varying the control maps of the gas pedal and the steering as well as, where fitted, the shift times of the automatic transmission, ensures further enhancement of driving pleasure in both the MINI 50 Mayfair and the MINI 50 Camden.
Fifty Years of MINI.
Economical small cars have a great future.
Precisely this was the premise applied from the start in developing the classic Mini, and precisely this premise applies just as much today as it did 50 years ago. Compact exterior dimensions and lots of space within the passenger compartment were essential back then, as was superior comfort, sporting driving characteristics and fuel-efficient engines as further features of the new small car from British Motor Corporation (BMC).
As a result of the Suez Crisis in 1956 with a dramatic shortage in the supply of oil, constructor Alec Issigonis was given the task to meet all these demands. Today, in turn, the quest for efficiency has become a common value shared by consumers the world over – and again a compact car from Great Britain offers the most convincing answer to this challenge.
However, neither the outstanding success of the classic Mini nor the unique position and popularity of the current MINI can be explained through economic qualities alone. For in both cases there are also emotional factors resulting from the car’s characteristic flair and thrilling qualities in terms of handling. “Small car, great driving pleasure” is therefore the formula making this particularly economical rendition of mobility as attractive today as it was in the past.
Fifty years ago, to be precise on 26 August 1959, British Motor Corporation (BMC) proudly revealed the result of its development process, presenting no less than two new models to the public: the Morris Mini-Minor and the Austin Seven.
This double premiere of two almost identical four-seaters was a tribute back then to the broad range of different brands under the roof of BMC, but was also of symbolic value: The brilliant ideas applied by Alec Issigonis in developing this family-oriented two-seater were quite sufficient for more than one single model, and therefore were carried over most appropriately to other versions. As a result, the Mini Van and Mini Estate appeared in the market in the very first year of the classic Mini, with further models joining the range in the years to come – from the MINI Pick-Up in 1961 through the particularly sophisticated Wolseley Hornet and Riley Elf supplementing the range by the addition of two BMC brands in the same year, and all the way to the MINI Moke four-seater open all-round and presented in 1964. The principle applied no less than fifty years ago has been re-affirmed time and again ever since the brand was re-launched through the introduction of the MINI in 2001: a superior concept offers a wide range of diversity. The MINI, as well as the MINI Clubman and the MINI Convertible, therefore boast their own specific strengths and offer unique character, while in their core remaining one thing in particular: a real MINI. Clear vision, right concept: setting the basis for the classic Mini.
Only very few vehicle concepts have survived for such a long period and achieved such immense success – and none of them has ever seen the same diversity as the Mini. This outstanding success is also due to the fact that the MINI right from the start successfully met the requirements of its time but also offered further qualities. Measuring 3.05 meters or 120" in length and selling initially at a price of GBP 496, the MINI was just perfect for confined parking spaces and small budgets. But through its agile driving characteristics and the charming flair of its proportions, it also appealed to discerning motorists with a penchant not only for the economic use of space and economic considerations as a whole, but also on sporting performance and individual style.
To provide maximum space for the occupants within a small footprint, the classic Mini even moved the technical features and components of the car together. While the engine fitted at the front and front-wheel drive already offered the ideal concept for this purpose, even this was not sufficient in the eyes of Alec Issigonis. Rather, there was space beneath the short bonnet for a four-cylinder power unit, but only because Issigonis fitted the engine crosswise and positioned the gearbox beneath the drive unit. Clearly, this was a very innovative rendition of “form follows function”, the principle still crucial to MINI design today.
The principle of front-wheel drive with the engine fitted crosswise at the front – now the standard solution for compact cars – had admittedly already been applied by several manufactures, but had never been used as consistently to promote driving behavior and the economic use of space as in the Mini.
The position of the 10-inch wheels right at the outmost corners of the car likewise helped to optimize driving characteristics and the space available. Wheelbase was 2.03 meters or 79.9", overall length 3.05 meters or 120.0". At the same time the MINI was 1.41 meters (55.5") wide and 1.35 meters (53.1") high.
The most important point was that 80 per cent of the car’s footprint on the road was available to the passengers and their luggage. Four seats and luggage capacity of 195 liters or 6.8 cubic feet were more than most observers would believe when looking at this compact car.
A new approach was also taken in the transmission of power. Since the universal joints used at the time tended to deflect under hard movements of the steering, Issigonis decided to instead use homokinetic joints for the first time in a car. These joints were made up of a ball bearing surrounded by three cages, two of which were connected to the input and output drive shafts.
This construction allowed sufficiently large steering angles without deflection, significantly reducing the influence of the power unit on the car’s steering and at the same time setting the basis for the Mini’s go-kart feeling legendary to this day.
Small engine, great potential.
A four-cylinder power unit with the crankshaft running in three bearings, overhead valves and the camshaft fitted at the bottom served as the source of power on the classic Mini tailored specifically to the features and character of this innovative small car. Displacing 848 cc, the engine delivered 34 hp at 5,500 rpm, an engine speed equal back then to the revs on a thoroughbred sports car.
A very special model destined to shape the legend of the classic Mini more than any other car made its appearance just one-and-a-half years after the initial start of sales: the MINI Cooper. Sports car constructor John Cooper, already a close friend of Alec Issigonis, had recognized the sporting potential of the new small car right from the start while the prototypes were still under development. And now, with the go-ahead of management, he developed a small series of 1,000 MINI Coopers featuring a 1.0-liter power unit with maximum output of 55 hp.
Sporting highlights: three wins in the Monte Carlo Rally.
The response to this car entering the market in September 1961 was absolutely euphoric, with only one further wish: even more power. So Issigonis and Cooper enlarged the engine to 1,170 cubic centimeters, increasing maximum output to 70 hp. Clearly, this made the MINI ¬Cooper S an outstanding performer not only on the road, a class victory scored by Finnish racing driver Rauno Aaltonen in the 1963 Monte Carlo Rally marking the beginning of an unprecedented series of success in motorsport leading on to three overall wins in Monte Carlo in 1964, 1965, and 1967.
These victories scored in the Monte Carlo Rally are just as much part of the brand’s history as the successful production models proudly bearing the name Cooper. So right from the start when re-introducing the brand in 2001, the MINI Cooper – now with 85 kW/115 hp – played a leading role in the line-up. And re-introduction of the MINI Cooper S with its 120 kW/163 hp did not take long, either.
MINI at its best: John Cooper Works and the MINI CHALLENGE.
Today the John Cooper Works brand operating under the roof of MINI is the epitome of extreme driving pleasure based on extensive know-how in motorsport and cooperation going back several decades. Apart from accessories on the drivetrain, suspension, aerodynamics and design, John Cooper Works now also features as the brand logo on three truly outstanding models in the MINI range: the MINI John Cooper Works, the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman, and the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible.
MINI has also made a strong name for itself on the race track, the MINI CHALLENGE held for the first time in 2004 having become one of the most successful and popular Clubsport Series in the world. This year the Series will be held in four countries (Spain, Australia, New Zealand, and Germany), and is therefore more international than ever before.
Accounting for a line-up of 39 cars registered for racing, the German 2009 MINI CHALLENGE comes with a record turn-out, just as the number of races is also greater than ever before, with no less than 16 races on 8 weekends. As usual, these races will be held on the occasion of the most outstanding motorsport events in Germany and neighboring countries.
The MINI CHALLENGE owes its exceptional appeal to a truly innovative concept: motorsport meets lifestyle, a blend very popular among both drivers and fans. The starter grid also contributes to the special atmosphere of the races, not only experienced drivers and young talents in motorsport, but also celebrities in show business and other sports taking the wheel.
The classic Mini proved its sporting talent not only in rallies, but also in road races, becoming the most outstanding racing car of the 1960s thanks to its long list of sporting achievements.
A further point is that many famous racing drivers started out their spectacular careers in a Mini. Austrian driver Nikolaus Andreas Lauda entered his first hill climb at the wheel of a classic Mini in April 1968 near the town of Linz and finishing second in his very first attempt. Just two weeks later he again proved his talent by bringing home the first win in his career destined to eventually take him to three world titles in Formula 1. And like Niki Lauda, Formula 1 champions Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, Jochen Rindt, and James Hunt all gained their first racing experience in a classic Mini.
Extreme diversity right from the start in the classic Mini: from the Mini Clubman to the MINI Convertible.
Moving back to the production models, the “basic” version soon also received extra power for enhanced performance: In 1967 the classic Mini received a more powerful engine displacing 998 cubic centimeters and offering 38 hp. Two years later the MINI Clubman joined the family as a slightly larger model with a modified front end versus the classic Mini. This sister model was indeed approximately 11 cm or 4.35" longer than the original, while the Estate version replacing the Morris Mini-Traveller and the Austin Seven Countryman measured exactly 3.4 meters or 133.9" in length, with width, height and wheelbase remaining unchanged.
At the same time the MINI Cooper was taken out of the range, being replaced by the 59-hp 1.3-liter top model in the Clubman series proudly bearing the model designation Mini 1275 GT.
A number of other details also changed in 1969, the front sliding windows featured by the classic Mini ever since its introduction now being replaced on all models by wind-down windows, the door hinges at the outside being moved to the inside, and a special MINI logo appearing on the bonnet.
Starting the mid-70s numerous special versions of the classic Mini focusing on different highlights – from sporting to trendy, from distinguished to youthful and fresh – entered the market to make the range even larger. The first special model was the conspicuously progressive Mini Limited Edition 1000 in 1976, further variants taking up the trend to specific personalization time and again, with well-known boroughs of London and street names often serving to give these models their particular designation – Piccadilly, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, or Park Lane.
In 1982 the Mini Mayfair conquered the streets for the first time as a particularly exclusive and well-equipped top model. And after the re-launch of the brand in 2001, a special version of this small car also gained great attention once again. As a further highlight, MINI today offers unique opportunities for customizing the car, with the brand enabling customers to live out their personal style in creating their very own car with a wider range of features and more details than any other manufacturer of small cars has to offer. The unusually large number of paintwork colors, interior colors, seat upholstery and trim variants sets the foundation for individual model configurations tailored to the specific owner.
Ongoing success of the classic Mini and the comeback of the Mini Cooper.
The model range was subsequently streamlined from 1980–1983, with the Clubman, Estate and Van being dropped from production. The only car left over was the classic Mini with its 1.0-liter power unit now developing 40 hp. Customers nevertheless remained absolutely faithful to the car, with the ¬five-millionth classic Mini coming off the line at the Longbridge Plant in 1986.
The return of the MINI Cooper to the model range in 1990 was welcomed enthusiastically by countless fans the world over, with the car now boasting a 1.3-liter power unit. Production of the 1.0-liter engine for the Mini, in turn, ended in 1992 due to growing demands in emission control, with all models from now on featuring the 1,275-cc engine.
A new variant of the classic Mini entered the market for the last time in 1991 – and it was the only model to come not from England, but rather from Germany: An enthusiastic dealer in the German town of Baden had cut off the roof of the classic Mini – as some tuners before him – turning the car into an extremely attractive Convertible. But unlike former attempts, the result was so good this time in terms of quality that Rover Group now responsible for the classic Mini decided to purchase the design and production rights, building some 1,000 units of this model in series production from 1993 to 1996.
Production of the classic Mini finally ended once and for all in the year 2000. Over the years more than 5.3 million units of this small car immensely successful the world over had left the plants in a number of versions. But even after 41 years the story did not come to an end, with a new chapter in the history of the world-famous English brand opening up after a bit less than one year in 2001.
A new start in 2001 – including the MINI Cooper right from the beginning.
Taking over Rover Group in early 1994, BMW was now able to offer the MINI brand new perspectives. A concept version of the MINI Cooper was therefore presented at the 1997 Frankfurt Motor Show, offering an outlook at a new edition of this unique small car. The MINI Cooper production model then made its first official appearance in November 2000 at the Berlin Motor Show, the future-oriented new rendition of the original appearing at the dealership only one year later in the guise of the MINI Cooper.
Creating this new model, the MINI designers showed what the ideal small car would look like when combining the convictions of Alec Issigonis from the 1950s with the technical potentials and customer wishes of the 21st century.
The MINI Project Team originally led by Frank Stephenson and later with MINI Chief Designer Gert Volker Hildebrand at the top, made absolutely sure to carry over not just design details, but above all the fundamental idea of the classic Mini into the new age of motoring. The MINI was likewise to be unique, offering ample space for four together with their luggage, an economical drive concept, and driving characteristics not featured so far by any other model in this segment. At the same time the development engineers gave full consideration to the latest demands in terms of comfort and safety standards.
The design of the car therefore clearly reflects the similar characters of the classic Mini and the MINI in truly authentic style based on design language characterized by the interplay of lines and joints, circles and ellipses.
Significantly longer than ever before, the MINI nevertheless retains the same proportions with short overhangs front and rear to make the car extremely agile and offer a strong message to the beholder at very first sight.
Features typical of the brand already unmistakable on the classic Mini were re-interpreted in creating the new model. The modern version of the hexagon radiator grille and the round headlights are now no longer surrounded by the car’s wings, but rather integrated in the bonnet, and characterize the typical face of the MINI. The side indicator surrounds are likewise a design icon, serving on the MINI to distinguish between the individual model variants. At the same time they direct your eyes towards the engine compartment joint on the MINI running down at an angle like the metal joint on the side panels of the classic Mini. The upright rear light clusters, in turn, also serve as a clear sign of distinction boasting a classy chrome frame on the MINI.
Featuring front-wheel drive, four-cylinder power units fitted crosswise at the front, short body overhangs and space for four, the new models come with elementary features carried over from the classic Mini. And while the exterior dimensions of the car are greater, reflecting modern demands in terms of interior space, the overall design of the MINI with its proportions so typical of the brand and unmistakable design elements at the front, side and rear, show a clear connection between the MINI and its classic predecessors.
At the same time the MINI is the first premium model in the small car segment – a status also reflected by unique safety features in this class as well as uncompromising quality built to the high standards of the BMW Group.
Right from the start the MINI set a new benchmark also through its thrillingly agile handling, moving up to the highest level of driving pleasure right away.
From the original to the original: the second generation of the MINI.
The overwhelming success of the MINI exceeded even the boldest forecasts. Indeed, this also provided the momentum for consistently continuing the concept and developing additional potentials. Upgraded in design in an evolutionary process but fundamentally renewed in technical terms, the second generation of the MINI entered the market in 2006. Following the motto of “from the original to the original”, the looks of the MINI already immensely popular the world over were further refined in numerous details, giving even greater emphasis to the sporting virtues of this compact performer. So that now the looks are clearly confirmed by the driving experience and the dynamic performance offered by MINI on the road.
New, even more powerful and at the same time much more efficient engines interact with the optimized suspension to re-define the driving pleasure so typical of MINI. The MINI ¬Cooper S with its 172 hp power unit and the MINI ¬Cooper Delivering 118 hp available from the start immediately won over enthusiasts everywhere through their even higher standard of performance on significantly lower fuel consumption and emissions.
Modern diversity: the MINI Clubman and the new MINI Convertible.
Almost exactly to the day a year after the introduction of the new model generation, the MINI range was expanded in autumn 2007 by yet another innovative concept: With its wheelbase extended by 8 centimeters or 3.15", the MINI Clubman offers brand-new opportunities to enjoy the driving pleasure so typical of the brand. Through its diversity alone, it interprets traditional Shooting Brake concepts highlighted by the flowing and stretched roofline and the steep rear end as strong tokens to sporting performance and superior function.
Versus the MINI, the MINI Clubman is 24 centimeters or 9.45" longer, with its longer wheelbase serving exclusively to provide extra legroom at the rear.
Featuring an additional door on the right-hand side, the Clubdoor opening against the direction of travel, the MINI Clubman offers the rear-seat passengers comfortable access to the seats at the rear. The two-piece rear door, on the other hand, re-interprets an authentic feature carried over from the car’s classic predecessors, the Morris Mini-Traveller and the Austin Mini Countryman of the 1960s.
The latest member of the model range is the second-generation MINI Convertible. Now even more sporting in design, with optimized active and passive safety, an even wider range of functions and the latest generation of power units, the only premium Convertible in the MINI segment once again raises the benchmark for supreme driving pleasure.
The new MINI Convertible stands out in particular though its everyday driving qualities, simply begging the driver and passengers to enjoy every mile with the roof down. Indeed, the soft roof opens and closes completely through electrohydraulic control at the touch of a button within 15 seconds, even at speeds of up to 30 km/h or close to 20 mph. Improved all-round visibility with the roof closed results, first, from the slightly larger rear side windows and, second, from the newly conceived rollbar moving up instantaneously whenever required.
At the same time the single-piece rollbar provides space for a large through-loading between the luggage and passenger compartments, giving the new MINI Convertible an even higher standard of diversity.
The current range of engines is greater than ever before: The MINI now comes with a choice of four petrol and two diesel engines, the MINI Clubman with three petrol units and one diesel, and the MINI Convertible with two petrol engines.
For the first time there are also three unique models under the John Cooper Works brand, the MINI John Cooper Works, the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman, and the MINI John Cooper Works Convertible top performers offering a particularly intense experience of MINI motoring with their 208 hp four-cylinder power unit derived straight from motorsport.
The current MINI combines the character so typical of the brand and its unmistakable design with an even higher standard of driving pleasure, consistently enhanced safety and outstanding quality of finish. The MINI Cooper comes with the highest rating of five stars in the Euro-NCAP crash test, with its excellent occupant safety based on an even sturdier body, the use as standard of six airbags, three-point inertia-reel seat belts on all seats, ISOFIX child seat fastenings at the rear and central safety electronics for the appropriate management and activation of the car’s restraint systems.
Another outstanding feature of the MINI is the car’s exceptional reliability already confirmed on several occasions by top positions in the breakdown statistics of ADAC, Germany’s and Europe’s largest motoring club.
The supreme standard of product quality, equally outstanding handling characteristics and the flair typical of the brand all interact with one another to set the foundation for the great appeal of the MINI as the guarantee for ongoing global success and remarkable stability in terms of lasting value. So in its class, the current MINI is not only the epitome of driving pleasure and individual style, but also a very good investment.
Made in England: MINI production based on tradition and high quality standards.
The outstanding success of the MINI brand is closely connected to the production of the cars in Great Britain. On 4 April 1959 the first Austin Seven came off the production line at the Austin Plant in Longbridge near Birmingham. Five weeks later, on 8 May, the first Morris Mini-Minor left the plant in Oxford.
Production at both plants then continued for ten years, with Oxford, where cars have been built since 1913, building exactly 602,817 units during this period.
The decision to build the modern MINI in Oxford was taken in spring 2000, after the BMW Group had already invested approximately GBP 280 million in the then Rover Plant in 1996/1997 to extensively modernize the Bodyshop and the Final Assembly, and build an ultra-modern Paintshop.
Now another investment of approximately GBP 230 million was made to once again modernize and re-structure the Plant. As a result, the Oxford Plant is one of the most modern car production facilities in the world equipped with the latest technology and focusing specifically on production of the MINI. All production processes naturally follow the strict quality standards of the BMW Group.
In the assembly process the MINI now comes off the same line as the MINI Clubman and the MINI Convertible, workers assembling up to 2,000 components on each model in accordance with the customer’s specific order and the level of equipment chosen. Ever since the start of production of the new MINI in autumn 2006, the Oxford (Bodyshop, Paintshop, Assembly), Swindon (Pressings) and Hams Hall (Engine Production) Plants have all been interacting as the MINI Production Triangle.
Like the classic Mini, the MINI has exceeded all expectations right from the start, with no less than a million units being built in Oxford in just six years – precisely the same period of six years the classic Mini also required to pass the million-unit mark.
Just a few weeks after the official celebrations on the 50th birthday of the brand at the Silverstone race track, the MINI Plant in Oxford was able to announce another milestone, celebrating production of 1.5 million MINIs in Oxford since 2001. Combined with the sales figures of the former model, the brand as a whole now accounts, therefore, for no less than 6.8 million units built in Great Britain and sold the world over.
MINI in the US
MINI is an independent brand of the BMW Group. In the United States, MINI USA operates as a business unit of BMW of North America, LLC which has been present in the United States since 1975. Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car centers, 335 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 142 BMW motorcycle retailers, 86 MINI passenger car dealers, and 30 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at:
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Journalist note: Information about the BMW Group and its products is available to journalists on-line at the BMW Group PressClub at the following address: www.press.bmwgroup.com/us.html. Broadcast quality video footage is available via The NewsMarket at www.thenewsmarket.com.