A-Z of Marques No 50: Mini

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The marque: Pint-size British icon, now litre-size thanks to European reinvention by BMW

The marque: Pint-size British icon, now litre-size thanks to European reinvention by BMW

The history: The car predates the marque, as BMC launched both Austin and Morris versions of Sir Alec Issigonis's greatest brainchild in 1959. Issigonis meant the Mini to be for the masses, but sales were slow until the rich and famous adopted it. Myriad race and rally successes by Mini-Coopers helped, too. In 1969 Mark Three models became Minis with their own, very basic badge. Minis would continue to the new millennium, and eventually made some money for the then BMW-owned Rover Group. When BMW rid itself of Rover, the project to replace the Mini stalled. Some ex-Rover Mini engineers set up shop to finish the job, and the rest we know. The not-so-Mini, but still UK-built, new Mini has been a roaring success.

Defining model: Cooper S - the original 1960s one, winner of multiple Monte Carlo rallies

They say: It's a Mini adventure

We say: But we wish they wouldn't spell the new one in capitals

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