Today marks the end of product for the first generation MINI coupes as the R56 MINI officially went into full scale production this morning. This means that, for every four R56’s that are assembled, a solitary R52 (Cabriolet) is now being built. Quite different from just 24 hours ago when those numbers were reversed.
With orders ended and production now ceased, we can officially say the first generation coupe era has ended. The cars will be on dealer lots for a few months yet (especially in the US where they will be the only coupes available until late January or early February) but actually trying to find what you want will start to get pretty difficult.
Over the next eight months the Oxford Plant will be building the R56 in vast numbers with the odd R52 thrown in the mix every so often. Also in the production line will be the R55 prototypes and the first R57 prototypes next summer. So look for more spy photos of each soon.
So lets raise our morning coffee, afternoon tea, or evening cocktail (depending where you are in the world right now) and give a toast to the first generation MINI. The car that rejuvenated a brand and has brought people together like perhaps no other car in history. It will be missed.
Now, bring on the R56.
Since we always have a few people ask whenever we post the above image, you can buy the magnetic badge pictured at Motoringbadges.com.