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Section: City Car

MINI’s Decade of Concepts & Turmoil (w/Gallery)

MotoringFile Sections: City Car, Classic Mini, Design, R50 (Coupe), R53 (Coupe) Dec 9th, 2013 4 Comments

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Given the launch of the new MINI and the recent pre-production shell that popped up on eBay, we’ve been digging into our archives a bit and thinking about how the modern MINI came about. Over the past ten years MotoringFile has written much about Mini, Rover and BMW in the 1990s but it’s such a good story it’s always worth a revisit. So with that in mind we wanted to go back and take look at the concepts from that time period that help guide us to the R50 which set the tone for all modern MINI’s to come.

The idea of a modern MINI had been floating around since the late 60’s. But the Mini’s appeal and subsequent sales success kept it in production for two decades longer than originally anticipated. However the various government backed companies that manufactured the Mini through the years were less than successful on the business side of things. In fact British Leyland, Rover, etc tried to kill the Mini more than once (first to avoid converting the engine to run on unleaded, then to avoid increasing safety requirements) but English public opinion was too negative. So when BMW bought Rover and the Mini there was quite a bit of hope for the future. continued →

World Debut: Updated MINI Rocketman Concept

MotoringFile Sections: City Car, GXX MINI City Car, Official News Jun 14th, 2012 36 Comments

MINI has dusted off and updated the most exciting concept from the past five years. The MINI Rocketman was meant to show off how far MINImalism could go and how the original MINI could be reinterpreted without an increase in size. The updates aren’t dramatic but they do offer some new interior ideas while wrapping the entire package in a better looking color scheme. All well and good but we’re more excited to see the Rocketman back in the public eye because we believe it will visually prepare us all for release of the 3rd generation in late 2013. As we’ve reported in the past, we believe the Rocketman is a very good look at the F56 and the entire 3rd generation of MINIs. The size may be different (the F56 will be the same size as the R56 and R53) but the general design language we see here will be shared with the new MINI expected to roll-out late next year.

Official Release: This summer the best athletes from some 200 countries will gather in London, England for the London 2012 Games – the biggest sporting spectacle on the planet. A total of 302 medals for the Olympic Games and 503 for the Paralympic Games will be up for grabs between July and early September, but the Games are about more than outstanding sporting achievement alone. The event plays a particularly important role as a platform for cultures to interact. And for London itself, there is the opportunity to once again put its best foot forward as host city. British premium car brand MINI will roll out the red carpet for the Olympians and Paralympians with the new edition of a spectacular small car study first presented at the International Geneva Motor Show 2011. The new design of the MINI Rocketman Concept combines innovative ideas for personal mobility in major cities with classical, unmistakably British design features inside and out. This extraordinary car will be on show in the BMW Group Pavilion, which is located close to the Olympic and Paralympic Village and will act as a showcase for the company during the Games.

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BMW i3 and i8 Spied Winter Testing

MotoringFile Sections: City Car Mar 9th, 2011 17 Comments

While the i8 is undoubtedly the sexier of the two, the i3 that is the big news here. And that’s why what you see above is so big. Our friends at Kilometer have the very first photos of the i3 in the wild testing and showing off the basic shape of the car. 100% electric, the three door hatch is tall and wide with a very high front end and beltline. You can see the entire series of photos over at Kilometer.

MINI’s Secret City Car Project

MotoringFile Sections: BMW i, City Car, Efficiency, GXX MINI City Car Jun 2nd, 2010 10 Comments

MINI has been working on the idea of a city car for quite some time. However it was only last year that things began to fall into place and allow the idea to become a reality. The key in making MINI’s city dreams a reality is BMW’s megacity program. We’ve been told that BMW model sharing will go both ways. Not only will BMW be getting a version of MINIs next generation car, but MINI will be getting it’s own version of a megacity vehicle as well. Keep in mind the Megacity program will in compass several vehicles ranging from two, three and four wheels. But at it’s core will be a small four wheeled vehicle that will have several power plant options.

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MINI’s Micro Car Plans Come into Focus

MotoringFile Sections: City Car, Efficiency, GXX MINI City Car, Rumor Mar 17th, 2009 31 Comments

The usually rather unreliable Auto Express has the latest on BMW’s Project i and how it relates to MINI’s future products. According to the weekly UK mag MINI will be debuting an ultra efficient car that will feature several different propulsion systems including a full electric system. The engines will be placed in the center or rear of the car for maximum space efficiency. Much like the mid 90’s Mini Spiritual concepts seen above and below (created by Rover and designed by Oliver Le Grice before BMW went in the direction of the current MINI concept), the new micro MINI will feature the same spirit that led the original Mini to be such a ground breaker. Here’s an excerpt with a little more detail from the Auto Express Article:

With its engine in back, petrol models will offer four seats and easy to access four door cabin. Individual chairs for driver and passenger will ensure safety is first rate, while the car’s wheel at each corner stance promises to ensure the car feels secure and stable on the road. continued →

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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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