The last R56 MINI has driven off the production line at Cowley. No less than 1,041,412 of the outgoing MINI have been produced at the high-tech facility, which has built more than 2.4 million MINIs since 2001. 14% of all cars built in the UK last year were MINIs, accounting for 14% of all UK vehicle exports in 2012.
When launched in 2006, the MINI saw the introduction of turbochargers for the fastest versions and a new British-made four-cylinder engine, co-developed with PSA and assembled at Hams Hall in Birmingham – thus increasing local content compared with the previous R50. With the later introduction of MINIMALISM technologies, customers also benefited from improved fuel economy and performance in equal measure.
This model also furthered MINI’s programme of customisation and personalisation, which had kicked off with the R50 in 2001. The New MINI is set for launch in the UK in Spring 2014, but production had already started in Cowley. The F56 MINI features significant improvements in technology, engine efficiency and power delivery, quality and personalisation.