Pen, ink and a scrap of serviette: That’s all engineer Alec Issigonis needed to set down his vision of the MINI on paper in the 1950s. What prompted his scribble was the scare over an impending oil crisis and an attendant price explosion. Issigonis’s solution: a frugal small car, powered by a transverse four-cylinder engine that shared its oil with the gearbox. His innovative spirit remains an inspiration to this day.
The launch of the MINI completely changed the way cars were designed.
After it won the Monte Carlo Rally, many city dwellers became avid MINI fans.
Never had cars looked as good as the three MINIs in the film The Italian Job.
Since it was first unveiled in 1959, the MINI has come a very long way, and that’s a fact to which countless stories and endless model variations can testify. Yet for the designers and engineers, the focus was always on colour and shape, reflecting the spirit of the time and creating a symbol of taste and character. We bring you an overview of the different models and milestones in the history of this iconic brand.
The MINI 1000 Stripey LE was the first of many special editions to be produced.
By now, five million MINIs – all colourful individuals – had been produced.
The iconic car retained its identiy but reinvented itself for the brand’s relaunch.
Brown leather, green paintwork: The 60th anniversary edition is a British classic.
Small car, plenty of space: that’s how it all began. What also contributes to the MINI’s legendary status is its fantastic go-kart feel – especially around town. In urban centres, eye to eye with other people sharing the same space, those sitting behind the wheel of this roadster will feel a very special energy. There’s no escaping it. So step inside the MINI, wind the windows down and turn the road into a race track.