Mini (BMW)

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<td colspan="2" style="text-align: center;">Mini-logo.jpg</td> </tr> <th>Type</th> <td>Automotive Brand</td> </tr> <th>Current owner</th> <td>BMW AG</td> </tr> <th>Country of origin</th> <td>United Kingdom</td> </tr> <th>Markets</th> <td>Global</td> </tr> <th>Website</th> <td>Mini - Official website</td> </tr>
Mini

Mini (styled as MINI) is a British automotive Brand owned by the BMW Group that has produced the successor of the original Mini in Oxford, England since April 2001. Currently three body variants are available: Hatchback, Convertible, Pickup Truck and Clubman (estate).

Contents

Overview


The car, whose first generation was designed by Frank Stephenson,[1] is drawing inspiration from the original Mini, which was manufactured by the British Motor Corporation and its successors from 1959 to 2000. The name of the car's brand, MINI, is all-capitalized to distinguish it from its predecessor.[2]
A Typical Mini Dealership, this one in Moncton
The development of the first generation had been done between 1995 and 2001 by Rover Group in Gaydon, United Kingdom and BMW AG in Munich, Germany and was accompanied by continual contention between Rover and BMW. Especially the positioning of the car was contended. Rover wanted an economy car, whilst BMW supported a small sporting car and finally prevailed. In 1999 BMW assumed control over the whole project after BMW's CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder had left the company. [3] When BMW divested itself of Rover in 2000, BMW decided to keep the Mini project and to build the car, which was originally to be built at Rover's Longbridge plant, [3] the former production plant of the traditional Mini, at BMW's Oxford plant in Cowley, Oxford, United Kingdom, in what was historically the Pressed Steel Company body plant. [4]

The 2001 to 2006 Model year included four Hatchback models: the basic "Mini One", the Diesel-engined "Mini One/D", the sportier "Mini Cooper" and the supercharged "Mini Cooper S". In 2005 a Convertible roof option was added. In November 2006 BMW released a re-engineered version of the Mini which is unofficially known as the "Mk II Mini".[5] The Mk II is currently available as a hatchback and a wagon (Clubman). The convertible was still based on the MK 1 until January 2009. Now, it is based on the MK 2.

The Mini was designed and engineered to replace the long running Rover Metro and the larger Rover 200, both deemed unsuitable for the modern world automobile market. The Mini was supposed to replace low-end models of the 200 and high-end models of the 100 with a Rover 35 replacing high end 200s and low end 400s. After the divestment of MG Rover, the Mini was instead marketed as a small yet desirable city car rather than a mainstream replacement of the 100 and 200.

First generation


Mk I Mini Hatchback

First generation
Mk I Mini Cooper S
Production2001-2006 (Mk I hatchback)
2005-2008 (Mk I convertible)
Car body style3-door Hatchback
2-door Convertible
Internal combustion engine1.4L Tritec Straight-4 (One)

1.4L Toyota Toyota ND engine Diesel engine (D)
1.6L Tritec Straight-4 (Cooper)

1.6L Tritec Supercharger I4 (S)
Transmission (mechanics)Continuously variable transmission
5-speed Manual transmission
6-speed Automatic transmission and manual
Wheelbase97.1 in (2466 mm)
Length2002-03 Base: 142.8 in (3627 mm)
2004-06 Base & Convertible: 143.1 in (3635 mm)
S Hatchback & Convertible: 143.9 in (3655 mm)
Width66.5 in (1689 mm)
Height2002-03 Base: 55.9 in (1420 mm)
2002-03 S: 56.2 in (1427 mm)
2004-06 Base: 55.4 in (1407 mm)
2004-06 S: 55.8 in (1417 mm)
2004-06 Convertible: 55.5 in (1410 mm)
Kerb weight2,496 lb (1,132 kg)
Mini Cooper

In Portugal and Greece, the Mini One was powered by a 1.4 litre Straight-4 version of the Tritec engine but all other Petrol powered Minis used the 1.6 litre I4 version.[6][7] Since 2004, a soft-top Convertible option has been available across the entire range.[8]

There are numerous styling and badging differences between the models, perhaps the most obvious being that the Cooper S has a distinctive Hood scoop cut into the Hood (vehicle). The Cooper S also has twin exhausts which exit under the centre of the rear valance. The (non-S) Cooper has more Chrome plating parts than the Mini One and has a single exhaust. The Mini One D has no visible exhaust pipes at all.[8]

In some markets, such as Australia and the US, only the Mini Cooper and Cooper S are sold because the Mini One's engine was considered to deliver insufficient power to run an Air conditioner — a necessary feature in those markets. Almost fifty percent of all Minis sold in Australia and about seventy percent of those sold in the US are the top-of-the-range Cooper S model. Other models of note, sold in varying markets around the world, are the Mini Seven, Mini Parklane, Mini Check Mate, and Mini Monte Carlo.

The names Cooper and Cooper S echo the names used for the sportier version of the classic Mini which in turn come from the involvement of John Cooper (car maker) and the Cooper Car Company. The Cooper heritage is further emphasised with the John Cooper Works (JCW) range of tuning options that are available with the Mini. John Cooper also created a one-off racing model of the Mini Cooper S named the Mini Cooper S Works. This car features many extras which help to improve performance, such as a racing exhaust and air filter as well as uprated suspension. The car also has one-of-a-kind 17-inch (430 mm) racing wheels.[9]

2003 Mini Cooper S and Mk III Mini.
A 2006 Mini Cooper S Checkmate.

The "Mk I" Mini One, Cooper and Cooper S used a Brazil-built Chrysler-designed Tritec engine, while the Mini One D used a Toyota-built diesel engine. In August 2006, BMW announced that engines would in future be built in the UK, making the car essentially British-built again, with final assembly at Cowley and the body pressings being made in nearby Swindon at BMW's Swindon Pressings Ltd subsidiary.

While the modern Mini uses none of the engineering of the original Mini, it also does not capture any of the spirit of the classic car. It uses a Transverse engine four-cylinder engine Front wheel drive. All four wheels are pushed to the corners of the body. The styling of the car, like that of the Volkswagen New Beetle, is a Retro design that is deliberately reminiscent of the original Mini with contrasting roof colours, optional Go-faster stripes, optional rally lights and with black trim around the wheel arches and rocker panels that mimic the wide wheel flares found on many classic Minis.[1]

The Mini One and Mini Cooper were available with a Continuously variable transmission or with a conventional Midlands five-speed Manual transmission (model year 2001-2004), later replaced with a Getrag five-speed unit for 2005 onwards. The Cooper S comes with a six-speed Getrag manual or (from the 2005 model year onwards) a fully Automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

As standard, the Mini had a Drive by wire electronic throttle, Electronic brakeforce distribution, cornering brake control and Electronic stability control (standard or optional, depending on model and region) to improve control and handling in adverse conditions.[10]

Adding a Supercharger to the 1st generation Cooper S model required that the battery be relocated into the rear of the car - leaving no room for a spare tyre. Hence this model comes with Run flat tire as standard.

Mk I Mini Convertible

Mini Cooper S convertible, top-up

At the 2004 Salon International de l'Auto, Mini introduced a Convertible model which was released in the 2005 model year and available in One, Cooper and Cooper S versions.

The convertible roof is fully automatic - an unusual feature in such a small car - and can be opened partially to act as a Sunroof whilst the car is driving at speed. The convertible model forsakes the rear hatch of the hatchback Mini - replacing it with a drop down 'tailgate' design reminiscent of the classic Mini and incorporating similarly prominent external hinges. The convertible also adds two small power windows for the rear seat passengers which are retracted automatically as the roof opens. The roof is made from a heavy cloth with many layers of insulation; the rear window is of glass and has a heater/defroster but no washer or wiper.

At the 2007 North American International Auto Show, Mini introduced the limited edition of Mini Cooper S Sidewalk Convertible. It has a top speed of 215 km/h (134 mph). 0-100 km/h only takes 7.9 seconds. It has 168 hp (125 kW) and 220 N·m (162 lb·ft) of torque.

The Works GP Mini

The last version to be made with the Tritec engine is the Mini Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit, a lightweight, race-prepped John Cooper (car maker) model. Hand-finished by Bertone in Italy, it was produced as a limited-production run of 2000 cars in 2006, originally with 444 of those ear-marked for the UK market (although ultimately 459 were sold). The GP features more bolstered front seats but has no rear seats, which along with reduced sound-deadening, deleting the rear wash-wipe, offering optional air-conditioning and making other steps to reduce the overall weight, resulted in a weight saving of around 40 kg (88 lb) over a Cooper S. Additionally, the car has enhanced braking, suspension, a smooth under-body and 218 horsepower (163 kW) from the John Cooper Works engine modification package. In place of the rear seats there is additional body stiffening and below-floor storage areas. There are many unique styling points such as the red door mirrors, a carbon fiber rear spoiler, unique body kit, bespoke (2 kg lighter) 4-spoke alloy wheels and specialized badging. Available in just one color scheme, Thunder Blue with a Pure Silver roof, each car is individually numbered and features a decal on the roof along with a plaque on the dashboard. The last of the supercharged Minis and a genuine Limited Edition model, it is expected that the Mini Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit will become a collectors' item.

Second generation


Mk II Mini Hatchback

Second generation
Mini Cooper (2007-present)
Production2007-present (hatchback)
2009-present (convertible)
2007-present (Clubman)
2007-present (pickup truck)
Car body style3-door Hatchback
2-door Convertible
2-door Pickup truck
5-door Estate car
Internal combustion engine1.4L Prince Straight-4 (One)

1.6L Prince Straight-4 (Cooper)
1.6L Peugeot Ford DLD engine diesel I4 (Cooper D)

1.6L Prince Turbocharger Straight-4 (Cooper S)
Transmission (mechanics)6-speed automatic and manual
WheelbaseHatchback & Convertible: 97.1 in (2466 mm)
Clubman: 100.3 in (2547.6 mm)
LengthHatchback: 145.6 in (3698 mm)

Hatchback S: 146.2 in (3713 mm)
Convertible: 143.1 in (3635 mm)
Convertible S: 143.9 in (3655 mm)
Clubman: 155 in (3937 mm)

Clubman S:155.8 in (3957 mm)
WidthHatchback: 66.3 in (1684 mm)
Convertible: 66.5 in (1689 mm)
Clubman: 66.3 in (1684 mm)
HeightHatchback: 55.4 in (1407 mm)
Convertible: 55.5 in (1410 mm)
Clubman: 56.1 in (1425 mm)
S:56.4 in (1433 mm)
Mini Cooper S (2007+)

Mini introduced a new, second generation of the car for the 2007 model year, Mk II Mini (or R56), on a re-engineered Automobile platform with many stylistic and engineering changes. The engine architecture is shared with PSA Peugeot Citroën and is intended to be more cost effective and fuel efficient. The engineering was done in the United Kingdom by BMW Group UK Engineering, in Munich, Germany at BMW Group HQ and with external third parties.

Mini III Cooper D

The so-called "Mk II Mini" (echoing the 'mark number' naming convention of the classic Mini) was introduced in November 2006 in the Cooper and Cooper S trim and the range was completed in 2007 with the Mk II Mini One. For the first time, there was a diesel-powered Cooper available from April 2007, badged as the Cooper D.

Though the Mk II has a familiar look, every panel on the new car has been changed from the old model. New safety requirements mean that the overall length has increased by 60 mm (2.4 in), the front end raised and the Turn signal have been repositioned inside the headlights. The headlights themselves are now fixed to the front quarter panels rather than being housed within the bonnet so that they are not raised up with it when the bonnet opens. The car features a restyled Grille and larger rear light clusters. The Cooper S retains the Hood scoop in order to keep an association with the outgoing model — although the relocation of the Intercooler to the front of the engine means that the scoop is now purely decorative. In addition, the Cooper S no longer has the battery located under the boot floor, instead being found in the more conventional place. The Pillar (car) are no longer encased in glass and have been shaped to improve Aerodynamics and to reduce the tendency for dirt to accumulate on the back of the car. Much criticized for the lack of rear legroom, Mini added more space for rear passengers by creating sculpted cut-outs in the rear of the front seats. An engine start button replaces the conventional ignition key and, with the optional 'convenience package', the car unlocks itself automatically when the key is brought close to the car.

The Cooper and Cooper S models offer a new rear axle and Aluminium components to reduce the car's weight and a Sports kit option comprising harder springs, Shock absorber and Anti-roll bar is offered with both variants. Another key difference is the introduction of an upgraded electric Power steering system, the sharpness of which can be increased by pressing a Sport button in front of the gear lever (both auto and manual) - which also adjusts the response of the Accelerator (car). In conjunction with automatic transmission, the Sport Button also allows the engine to rev almost to the red line before changing gear.

As for engines, the Tritec engine has been replaced in the Cooper model with a 120 bhp 1.6-litre BMW/PSA Prince engine engine with BMW's Valvetronic infinitely variable valve timing, developed on and with Peugeot's core engine. It is reported in early road tests that this takes the car from 0-62 mph in a claimed 9.1 seconds (0-60 mph: 8.5 seconds)[11] and has top speed of 125 mph (201 km/h). Fuel economy of Convert/LonAoffDbSoffF on the combined cycle is nearly 8 mpg better. The more powerful 175 bhp (130 kW) Cooper S replaces the Supercharger with a new twin scroll Turbocharger in the interests of efficiency, and will feature Gasoline direct injection. Subsequently, this engine does not feature Valvetronic. This engine also has an "overboost" function which temporarily raises the torque by 15 ft·lbf (20 N·m) under hard acceleration. As a result, 0-62 mph is covered in a claimed 7.1 seconds (0-60 mph: 6.7 seconds),[11] and top speed is 140 mph (230 km/h). It achieves similar improvements in fuel economy to the Cooper, returning 40.9 miles per imperial gallon (6.91 L/100 km; 34.1 mpg-US) combined. Both cars come with six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes. The turbocharged engine is the same (although with some French engineering modifications) as the one in the Peugeot 207 GTi/RC.

From 2008, all Mini models are equipped with BMW EfficientDynamics fuel-saving technology. This includes a start-stop feature shutting off the engine when the car is stationary (this is not available in 2008 Mini Cooper in the US market). When the accelerator pedal is depressed the engine is restarted with electricity generated from Brake Energy Regeneration. The Cooper D model attains 74.0 miles per imperial gallon (3.82 L/100 km; 61.6 mpg-US) and emits 104 g of carbon dioxide per 100 kilometres. A Mini One D is a possibility in the future, possible attaining even better fuel efficiency and lower emissions of greenhouse gases than the Cooper D, which is itself quite comparable to the Toyota Prius for fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions (potentially better than the Prius at higher rpm). Efficient Dynamics is standard in all Mini models, making Mini the first automotive brand to have all models in its range as Mild hybrid as standard (Mini's parent, BMW, is still in the process of implementing Efficient Dynamics across its older models).

All models of the Mk II with optional DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) also include "Hill Assist", a feature which prevents the car from rolling backwards on an incline by holding the brakes on for 2 seconds after the driver lifts their foot from the brake pedal, allowing them time to engage the accelerator.

The interior of the Mk II echoes the style of the earlier model but is in fact a complete redesign. The Car boot of the new car has an additional 10 litres of load space. Other changes in design - both visible and otherwise - have contributed to the Mini's recently awarded 5 stars in the Euro NCAP tests. One example is the higher front Bonnet, which now complies with the European pedestrian collision regulations.

The old tradition of producing List of Mini limited editions was also continued with the new Mini, such as the Mini Monte Carlo [12]recently launched in Singapore, which is a tribute to the old Mini limited editions, a limited edition Mini to celebrate Paddy Hopkirk's return to the Monte Carlo Rally, 30 years after his original win.

The Mk II Mini is built by Mini's Production Triangle: Plant Swindon (body panels), Plant Hams Hall (engine) and finally Plant Oxford, where final assembly work is completed.[13]

Mini Clubman

Mini Clubman S

The Mini Clubman is an Estate car available in Cooper, Cooper S, and Cooper D variations. The Clubman models are identical up to the B-pillar to the hatchback models including the engines used and, although the car is longer, the suspension set-up at the back shares many of the same designs features. For example, the rear trailing arms are the same, as are the anti-roll bars. It is 9.5 in (241 mm) longer to accommodate more leg room and a larger boot. It has double doors as a boot instead of a pull-up hatch. It also features a "Club Door" on the right-hand side for passengers in the back.

The use of the name "Clubman" for the Mini estate van is a break with classic Mini tradition. It was originally the name given to the 1970s facelift of the Mini which mostly resulted in a squarer front end. The classic Mini estates were named either "Traveller" or "Countryman". However, BMW did not purchase the rights to use those names.

Mini John Cooper Works (R56)

Based on the John Cooper Works Challenge car, it is a version with higher output engine, and BMW's Dynamic Traction Control and Dynamic Stability Control.

Engine is rated 208 bhp (155 kW) and Convert/ft.lbf, achieved by reducing compression ratio to 10.0:1, and increasing boost from the Cooper S' 0.9 bar to 1.3 bar.[14]

The Mini Cooper body model is called John Cooper Works Hatchback, while the Mini Clubman body model is called John Cooper Works Clubman. Both cars achieve the same EPA fuel economy ratings as their Cooper S counterparts.[15]

The models were unveiled in 2008 Geneva Auto Show, as 2009 vehicles.[16]

2009 Mini Cooper S convertible

MK II Mini Cooper Convertible

The Mk II Mini Cooper Convertible was unveiled in 2009 Detroit Auto Show.[17] It features an Openometer which specifies precisely, down to the last minute, how long the driver and passengers have enjoyed their car with the roof down. The engine range is same as the Mk II Cooper and Clubman (excluding John Cooper Works models).

The vehicle went on sale on 03-28-2009.[18]

Mini E

Main article: Mini E

BMW announced the production of a Mini powered by an electric motor [19]. The BMW Group will be the world's first manufacturer of premium cars to deploy a fleet of more than 500 all-electric vehicles for private use [20].

BMW’s CEO, Norbert Reithofer, announced that Dr. Friedrich Eichiner will head a new department, codenamed Project i, which will focus on designing minicars with advanced technology. Dr. Friedrich Eichiner unveiled the Mini e on the rooftop of the Beverly Wilshire the day before the start of the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show

Eichiner hinted that there is a possibility that a fourth brand could be formed, but nothing only if an advanced technology didn’t fit in a Rolls-Royce, BMW or Mini.[21]

Mini will unveil an all-electric version of its two-door Cooper hatch at 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show[22], and planned to deliver an initial batch of 500 examples to customers in California towards the end of the year. BMW is using its Mini brand to test the waters with its electric powertrain technology but the vehicle was also developed in order to meet new California regulations that require carmakers to offer zero emission vehicles [23].

Power comes from an Asynchronous motor Electric motor that is mounted in the former engine bay and is rated at 204 PS (201 hp/150 kW) and 220 N·m (162 lb·ft) of torque. Drive is sent to the front wheels. BMW has gone with a Lithium-ion battery pack with an overall capacity of a 35kWh. Top speed is electronically limited to 95 mph (153 km/h). The car’s range is 150 miles (240 km) on a single charge under optimal conditions. Estimates of normal driving conditions put ranges at 109 miles (175 km) city and 96 miles (154 km) highway[24].

The Mini factory located in Oxford, England, supply Vehicle glider (cars without powertrains) to a team located in Munich, Germany, which then adds the electric running gear [25].

9,500 people signed up to lease the Mini E, which will cost about $850/month [26][27].

Conversion

Nevada’s Hybrid Technologies has started production of its electric-powered BMW Mini Cooper all-lithium model. The new electric Mini uses Hybrid Tech’s own proprietary advanced lithium management and battery-balancing systemTop speed is only around 80 mph (130 km/h) but driving at a slower speed preserves battery-life and means owners will be able to travel up to 120 miles (190 km) on a single charge [28].

Competitors

  • Nissan Nuvu
  • Pininfarina B0
  • Renault
  • Smart EV
  • Subaru R1e
  • Think City

Prototype and concept cars

Mini Traveller concept car at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show
Mini Traveller rear view

Rover (car) first showed the Mini as the ACV30 concept car in 1997.[3] This looked very different from the production Mini. It had circular headlamps, huge wheel flares and a much more rounded appearance overall compared to the production design.

Before the first sales of the new Mini, prototype versions were shown at the 2000 Paris Auto Show. These were essentially identical to the version that was finally sold except that the colours used ('Candy Blue' and 'Flamenco Orange') have never been used in production cars.

BMW demonstrated a hydrogen-powered internal combustion technology in some of their concept cars in 2000 and 2001, and Mini showcased a hydrogen powered concept car in 2001 at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The car differs from Hybrid vehicle-motor hydrogen concepts, such as the Honda FCX in that it uses a cylinder-based Internal combustion engine.

An all-electric Mini is in use at the British Embassy in Mexico that uses around 200 kg (441 lb) of Lithium Ion batteries. Three electric Minis were also made for use in some subway scenes in the 2003 movie The Italian Job (2003 film) to satisfy the subway authorities concerns over possible Carbon monoxide poisoning. PML Flightlink developed a prototype series-hybrid conversion, called "Mini QED", replacing the drivetrain with an 160 bhp (120 kW) electric motor in each wheel and an efficient onboard gasoline generator.[29]

With higher powered engines, the standard front wheel drive Mini tends to produce a high level of wheel spin - a Four wheel drive would be a natural solution to that problem. Getrag demonstrated a four wheel drive version of the Mini in 2004.

At the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2005, Mini revealed a retro version of the classic "Mini Traveller" Station wagon. Based on a stretched wheelbase with two side-hinged rear doors and separate rear seats replacing the split bench seat of the standard Mini. At the Tokyo Auto Show, the same basic concept reappeared with some fanciful additions - a circular roof section could be removed to form a picnic table with four folding chairs. The rear side windows were replaced with fold-down storage containers containing cutlery, cups and plates. In North American International Auto Show, a further version was presented without the table and chairs - but with a radically restyled interior.

Additional Mini models, including a four-door version, a two-seat roadster and a dune buggy have been shown as computer-graphic mock-ups at various times.

Mini Crossover Concept was set to appear at the 2008 Paris Motor Show.[30]

Beer can exhaust

The team of designers working on the 2001 Mini had finished the full-sized clay mock-up of the Mini in plenty of time for a presentation for the board of directors. Chief designer Frank Stephenson realised that the model did not have an exhaust pipe. His short-term solution was to pick up an empty beer can, punch a hole in it, strip off the paint and push it into the clay at the back of the car, which took just a few minutes. The overall design for the mock-up was so good that the board members told him not to change a thing, resulting in the distinctive exhaust tip seen in production cars.[1]

Mini Financial Services

In 2002 Mini Financial Services was started as the captive finance company for Mini with the purpose of offering financial solutions to Mini buyers. Their products include traditional financing, leasing and the Mini Platinum Visa Card. Unlike traditional banks, Mini Financial Services offers customers the complete Mini brand experience including the only credit card that lets you configure a custom Mini.
Mini drag racer sponsored by Mini Financial Services and appeared on Pinks All Out

Internal designations

All Mini models have R-series model numbers assigned to them. These are a legacy of the Mini's original development within Rover Group. The following designations are known:[31]

  • R50: "Mk I" Mini One and Cooper (2001-2006)
  • R52: "Mk I" Mini Convertible (2005-2008)
  • R53: "Mk I" Mini Cooper S (2001-2006)
  • R55: "Mk II" Mini Clubman, S and D (2008-present)
  • R56: "Mk II" Mini One, Cooper, S and D (2007-present)
  • R57: "Mk II" Mini Convertible (2009-present)
  • R60: Future Four-wheel drive Mini, to be built in Graz, Austria by Magna Steyr.

Criticism

Alex Moulton (designer of the suspension system for the classic Mini), spoke about the new Mini in an interview with MiniWorld magazine: "It's enormous - the original Mini was the best packaged car of all time - this is an example of how not to do it. It's huge on the outside and weighs the same as an Austin Maxi. The crash protection has been taken too far. I mean, what do you want, an armoured car? It is an irrelevance insofar as it has no part in the Mini story."[32]

Critics[who?] of the new Mini also cite the fact that it is 60 cm (two feet) longer, 30 cm (one foot) wider and almost twice the weight of the classic car - yet it has less rear leg room and less luggage space. Much of this is to do with modern crash protection requirements and the desire to incorporate features such as air conditioning, a supercharged engine, modern emissions controls and a higher level of front-seat comfort than the classic Mini was capable of.

First generation Convertible owners frequently criticise the poor rear visibility in the convertible. With the roof up the wide areas of cloth down the sides of the car block visibility to the rear quarters and the lack of washer/wiper on the small rear window - combined with the tendency of all flat-backed cars to accumulate dirt on the rear - effectively eliminates all rear visibility. Even with the roof down, the large roll-protection bars above the back seats and the bunched up cloth of the folded roof tends to block a significant fraction of rearward visibility. In an attempt to counter this problem when reversing the car, the Mini convertible comes with rear-mounted proximity sensors as standard equipment (these are an optional extra on the hatchback Mini). In designing the second generation car, Mini responded to these issues by using pop up roll-bars, and larger rear window.

Marketing

Mini paid for this Weekly World News story as a part of an advertising campaign in 2003

During the production of first generation Mini, as a joke and undoubtedly as a part of Mini's Viral marketing approach, purchasers of the Mini convertible were asked to sign a "contract" promising that they would drive the car with the roof open at least 90% of the time. Mini also set up a telephone hotline (in the USA: 1-888-DO NOT CLOSE) which one may call to report convertible owners who are driving with the roof up inappropriately. The automated system offers such helpful advice as how to administer a Wedgie to the offender.

Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Mini's advertising agency, produced a movie called Counterfeit Mini Coopers as part of the ad campaign.[33]

To celebrate Mini Clubman's introduction to Chinese market, Beijing Mini offered a Mini Rickshaw, which uses the rear half of Mini Clubman.[34]

Awards and popularity

Mini owners were invited to bring their cars to the world premiere of The Italian Job (2003 film)

Featured notably in The Italian Job (2003 film), the Mini Cooper/Cooper S won the North American Car of the Year award for 2003.[35]

The second largest market is now the USA. In 2008, three different Minis (a Clubman, the hatchback, and an Mk I convertible) were offered in the pricing game 1 Wrong Price on The Price Is Right after the show removed the Barker-era "Big Three automobile manufacturers Only" rule.

In 2008 the green version of the Mini, the Mini Cooper D, was nominated for WhatGreenCar.com Car of the Year Awards. The judges highly commended the Cooper D for its EfficientDynamics stop-start and regenerative braking technology and were hugely impressed by the driving experience offered by the car. It reached the shortlist for the Green Car Awards, but eventually lost out to the Ford Focus ECOnetic.

Racing

A new racing version of the Mini based on the R56 Cooper S, called the Mini John Cooper Works CHALLENGE, has been built, and will be raced in the 2008 Mini Challenge.[36]

See also

  • Mini
  • Little British Car

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Paterick C. Paternie. Mini. ISBN 0-7603-1157-9. 
  2. "BMW Operations and Production: Can you tell me more about the Mini?". BMW. http://www.bmweducation.co.uk/coFacts/view.asp?docID=17&topicID=3. Retrieved on 2006-05-01. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Anglo-German Success". The Unofficial Austin-Rover Web Resource. http://www.austin-rover.co.uk/r50storyf.htm. Retrieved on 2007-01-29. 
  4. Gillian Bardsley, Stephen King (2006). Making Cars at Cowley. Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-3902-2. 
  5. "Introducing the 2007 Mini Cooper S". MC2 Magazine (Barry Brazier) (5). November 2006. 
  6. Mini Owners Workshop Manual July 2001 to 2005 (Y to 05 reg) Petrol. ISBN 1 84425 273 6. 
  7. Mini Cooper Service Manual: Mini Cooper, Mini Cooper S, 2002, 2003, 2004. ISBN 0-8376-1068-0. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Gateway to official Mini websites worldwide
  9. Gary Anderson; Don Racine. Motoring: Getting the Maximum from Your New Mini. ISBN 0-9765780-0-X. 
  10. Tim Mundy. You & Your New Mini: Buying, Enjoying, Maintaining, Modifying. ISBN 1-84425-028-8. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Mini Cooper Specs". JB car pages. http://www.jbcarpages.com/mini/cooper/2007/specs/. Retrieved on 2008-03-21. 
  12. Limited Edition Mini Monte Carlo
  13. "Mini Production Triangle and Oxford Plant Tour", Paultan.org, October 16, 2006
  14. First Drive: 2009 Mini John Cooper Works
  15. Mini fuel economy comparison
  16. 2009 Mini John Cooper Works: 2008 Geneva Auto Show
  17. Detroit 2009: MINI Cooper Convertible chills out
  18. [http://wot.motortrend.com/6369523/auto-news/2009-mini-convertible-photos-and-specs-released/index.html 2009 Mini Convertible Photos and Specs Released]
  19. [1]
  20. [2]
  21. http://www.carlist.com/blog/?p=1107
  22. LA Preview: Officially, official: the Mini E!
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  24. Mini USA spec sheet (PDF)
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  29. Hybrid electric cars, electric cars UK, electric vehicle conversions, hybrid motor vehicles
  30. Paris Preview: 2010 Mini Crossover Concept
  31. "Mini Product Numbering System Explained". MotoringFile. http://motoringfile.com/2006/10/03/mini-product-numbering-system-explained/. Retrieved on 2007-01-29. 
  32. "Alex Moulton". MiniWorld. http://www.mgfcar.de/hydragas/moulton.htm. Retrieved on April 24. 
  33. Video: Counter Counterfeit Mini Coopers
  34. Mini Clubman Rickshaws running around Beijing
  35. Graham Robson. New Mini. ISBN 1-85960-874-4. 
  36. More Information

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