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A car model that has been produced almost unchanged for over 40 years is evidence of an outstanding initial idea. Few models in the history of the automobile show comparable staying power. The Mini from England, produced from 1959 to 2000, is a remarkable example.


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In August 1959, the British Motor Company (BMC) created a curious premiere: the Morris Mini Minor and Austin Seven models were presented and were almost identical, with the only differences being the radiator grille, the hubcaps and the colours.

This double première was the result of the diversity of the brands of the British automobile group, which was created in the early 1950s through the merger of the Austin Motor Company and the Morris Motor Company. This diversity was intended to appeal to different target groups in order to find the right vehicle for them.

In 2001, BMW presented what had become of this legacy. The changes to the classic model hurt some purists, but new regulations for occupant protection and increased comfort and safety demands from customers required deviations from the tiny dimensions of the original.

Mini is focussing on electrification. Studies for a fully electric crossover (Aceman) and a convertible have already been presented. The last model with a combustion engine will be introduced by 2025, and the full electrification of all models is to be completed by 2030. Mini boss Bernd Körber and his team are working on refreshing the model range, which started in 2023 with the new generation of the base model, accompanied by a fully electric small car.

Editor’s tip:

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