Friday, September 4, 2009

Britain's love affair with the Mini continues with two new models

When the Mini was introduced in 1959, early sales were so disappointing that production might even have been halted. Somehow it caught on, though, and the car that was originally designed as a utility vehicle for the working classes became the runabout of choice for the smart set and an indelible symbol of the Swinging Sixties.

Further down in the article ...

Who had a Mini? Who did not, more like. Peter Sellers had one, as did Princess Margaret, and the Beatles had one each (customised, of course). Jack Profumo used to drive around in a bright red one — unusual for a government minister — and Christine Keeler claimed that she had sex with him in it, which was even more unusual.

When a Mini won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, its status as a motoring legend was assured and by the time the car appeared in The Italian Job, it had become a global superstar.

Now, 50 years later, our affair with the Mini is still going strong — although, as with any longstanding relationship, it is politic not to draw attention to the various changes that have taken place over the years, such as the new owner and the new design.

But love is blind, especially if it means the best news for the British motor industry in years and the creation of up to 1,000 jobs at Mini’s Cowley plant, where 3,700 workers are employed building three versions of the car. The two new models, one of them a coupĂ©, will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 15.

Reade the full article at

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

BMW Mini Coupe Concept Press Release

Press Release:
MINI Coupe Concept to star at Frankfurt Show
The first classic Mini was presented to the public on 26 August 1959. Exactly fifty years on and nearly a decade into the life of new MINI, images of the stunning new MINI Coupe Concept are today released. Capturing the essence of MINI’s sporting appeal, the global press and public will see the MINI Coupe Concept in the metal for the first time when it is unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show from 17-27 September 2009.
The MINI Coupe Concept is designed to be the most dynamic and agile MINI ever built. Strictly a two-seater, the low roof line, compact dimensions, perfect axle load distribution and lightweight construction are all trademarks of a genuine sports car.
A number of design icons feature on the MINI Coupe Concept. Large round headlights inclusive of black internal reflectors, a hexagonal radiator grille and low front spoiler mark the newcomer out as a true MINI. Unique exterior design cues include a bespoke rear spoiler, bonnet stripes extending to include the radiator grille and an entirely revised front air dam.
The muscular stance of the car is a result of carefully calculated exterior dimensions. The MINI Coupe Concept is 1,356 mm high and the steep rake of the A-pillars is accentuated by the high waistline common to every MINI. Sat on attractive 18” triple-tone finish light alloy wheels, the concept is 3,714mm in length and 1,683mm wide.
For the first time on a MINI, the weight-saving aluminium roof is an unbroken bridge shape and flows smoothly from A to C-pillars. The steep front rake stops above the heads of driver and front passenger and descends gently to the rear of the car, emphasising the wedge shape of the car and its sporty poise. The low rear end of the car ensures optimum air flow across the vehicle when in motion and in combination with the roof spoiler, minimises any aerodynamic interruption.
Inside, sports seats with strongly contoured side supports feature, as does a three-spoke leather sports steering wheel with multi-function controls. 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 new MINI. One acts as a stop watch and the other a standard timepiece.
A luggage capacity of 250 litres is offered and can be accessed at the rear by a tailgate which is hinged above the roof spoiler, meaning easy access to goods stowed in the rear. The bulkhead between the passenger and luggage compartments comes with a lockable opening, giving passengers access to the rear section at any time.
The MINI Coupe Concept is engineered to receive the most powerful engine in the current MINI line-up. The highly-acclaimed 211hp, 1.6-litre twin scroll turbocharged power unit found in current John Cooper Works models offers CO2 emissions of just 165g/km and fuel efficiency of 40.9mpg (combined).
MINI’s revered handling dynamics will be a highlight of the MINI Coupe Concept. Front wheel drive, powerful disc brakes on all four wheels, the front axle with McPherson spring struts and a centrally guided rear axle with aluminium longitudinal arms and anti-roll bars guarantee a safe, yet grin-inducing drive every time.