Mini cars are perhaps one of the most iconic car brands to be associated with British culture. Since its creation in 1959 under the guidance of the British Motor Corporation, it has been a car that responds to the needs of its consumer. The first supermini car to emerge onto the market, it was designed by Sir Alec Issigonis who wanted to create a car that was affordable and functional for all.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘classless car’, its size was part of a bid to make a vehicle that would be fuel efficient and cost-effective for the masses. The Mini typifies Brit cool and rumour has it that Issigonis designed the glove box compartment specifically to fit the dimensions of a bottle of gin!
With the Suez Canal Crisis occupying the headlines at the time, the Mini was developed with the aim of offering a consumer-friendly solution to the fuel shortage of 1956. It was then that a super compact two-door car was manufactured as a potential solution to the crisis of affordable transport for the public. First created under the names of the Austin 850 and the Morris 850, Mini was manufactured with ease of production in mind.
Celebrity endorsements of the brand soon followed as the cult-status of the Mini began to take off with prominent stars of the day such as Steve McQueen, Peter Sellers and two of The Beatles driving Minis. Its desirability was advanced even further when it made its appearance on the big screen in The Italian Job.
The Mini began its diversification with new models such as the Traveller, the Countryman and the Moke which became popular with consumers. In 2000, internal changes occurred when BMW took over at the helm of production and manufacturing of the original Mini came to an end.
Since then the brand has received an overhaul, with a range of Mini-named models released such as the Mini One and the Mini Cooper which have revived the car for the new generation. Leasing of the Mini is more popular than ever, with drivers keen to get behind the wheel of a car that represents not only outstanding performance and groundbreaking design but a way of life.