After 41 years, the original and classic-in-its-own-lifetime Mini was replaced with a brand new car. It was designed and engineered in the UK, after BMW insisted Rover went in the new-age Cooper direction, rather than the ‘Spiritual’ direction the British really wanted.
A few post-launch wobbles, but now in its second generation, and a huge global success that has re-affirmed MINI as the builder of desirable small cars. The R50 code demotes the first generation from 2001-2006, the second generation was known as the R56 – and was pretty much a BMW-engineered version of the original car – while the third generation was known as the F56.
It’s this car that brought BMW and MINI closer together, and away from its Rover heritage, being underpinned by a brand new German-engineered platform, known as UKL1. It’s this that spawned the Countryman and Clubman versions, and which are shared with the BMW 2-Series Active Touring.
Reviews, blogs and news stories
The MINI’s development story is a tale of politics, Anglo-German disagreements, and a brilliant end product.
The 2017 MINI Countryman has been revealed, and just like its predecessor, it moves very much into the Austin Maxi way of thinking by being bigger, better equipped, and more distant from the original entry-level hatchback.
The R50- and onwards-generation of MINI rather neatly dovetails AROnline in many ways. It appeared in 2001, started out with good intentions, and has grown beyond all recognition from the original idea. Well, something like that. That maybe why I now seem to have two very early MINIs in my possession right now.
Serious investigation into replacing the Mini begun in earnest in 1993, when Design Director Gordon Sked asked his design team to come up with some concept ideas for a new Mini. He was clear that they needed to think outside of the box, not to worry about carry-overs, and to try and recreate the spirit […]
Here it is then – the proof that the MINI is no longer mini… After a series of more unusual body styles cueing people up for the era of change, BMW has revealed the first images of the new MINI 5-Door Hatch ahead of its debut at the Paris Motor Show next week. The wheelbase of […]
MINI’s rather unusual Superleggera Vision Concept, which was first unveiled at the world famous Concours d’Elegance at Villa d’Este last May, will make its UK debut during Salon Privé, which is being held at Syon House in London this week. Handcrafted, with stretched aluminium panels, there’s no doubt at all that the fit and finish is exquisite, but we’re […]
Keith Adams The latest member of the MINI family has been unveiled. The 5-Door Hatch is expected to add significant volume to the MINI’s production output from its Cowley factory, while extending the appeal of the range to growing families who don’t want to go for the larger Countryman model. Prices for the entry-level Cooper […]
The year of 1997 brought the arrival of two new MINI concept cars on the scene – first the ACV30 (for Anniversary Concept Vehicle – 30 years on from the ’67 Monte win for Mini), which was fittingly announced at the Monte Carlo rally. This coupe-like model sat on an MGF chassis, making it an unusual […]
The MINI Superleggera Vision Concept has made its debut at the world-famous Concours d’Elegance at Villa d’Este – a classic car event that, during recent years, has become a popular venue for car manufacturers to unveil their latest supercars. MINI follows its parent company in choosing the high-brow Italian show to reveal its latest concept […]