Mini (BMW)

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Mini (styled as MINI) is a British automotive brand owned by the BMW Group that has produced the successor of the original Mini in Oxford, England since April 2001. Currently[update] three body variants are available: Hatchback, Convertible and Clubman (estate).

The car, whose first generation was designed by Frank Stephenson,[1] is drawing inspiration from the original Mini, which was manufactured by the British Motor Corporation and its successors from 1959 to 2000. The name of the car’s brand, MINI, is all-capitalized to distinguish it from its predecessor.[2]

The development of the first generation had been done between 1995 and 2001 by Rover Group in Gaydon, United Kingdom and BMW AG in Munich, Germany and was accompanied by continual contention between Rover and BMW. Especially the positioning of the car was contended. Rover wanted an economy car, whilst BMW supported a small sporting car and finally prevailed. In 1999 BMW assumed control over the whole project after BMW’s CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder had left the company. [3] When BMW divested itself of Rover in 2000, BMW decided to keep the Mini project and to build the car, which was originally to be built at Rover’s Longbridge plant, [3] the former production plant of the traditional Mini, at BMW’s Oxford plant in Cowley, Oxford, United Kingdom, in what was historically the Pressed Steel Company body plant. [4]

The 2001 to 2006 model years included four hatchback models: the basic “Mini One”, the diesel-engined “Mini One/D”, the sportier “Mini Cooper” and the supercharged “Mini Cooper S”. In 2005 a convertible roof option was added. In November 2006 BMW released a re-engineered version of the Mini which is unofficially known as the “Mk II Mini”.[5] The Mk II is currently[update] available as a hatchback and a wagon (Clubman). The convertible is still based on the Mk I.

The Mini was designed and engineered to replace the long running Rover 100 and the larger Rover 200, both deemed unsuitable for the modern world automobile market. The Mini was supposed to replace low-end models of the 200 and high-end models of the 100 with a Rover 35 replacing high end 200s and low end 400s. After the divestment of MG Rover, the Mini was instead marketed as a small yet desirable city car rather than a mainstream replacement of the 100 and 200.

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