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MINI Milestones

 Published 8th October 2021
General Guides 

In terms of automotive history, the MINI has hit many milestones. An iconic city car long before the term was even invented, and the second most influential car in history behind the Ford Model T.

It's been seen with all the stars, won the most glamorous of motor races, and been the first car of choice for millions of young drivers.

The original MINI began life in the late 1950s as a direct response to the Suez Crisis and the subsequent petrol rationing. Not only was it a small and economical competitor to the German bubble cars that were gaining in popularity, but its radical design also allowed it to be much more practical than its size would suggest.

Turning the engine sideways, squeezing the gearbox onto the bottom of it, and attaching it directly to the front wheels was a brand-new concept when the first car hit the road in 1959. It created a lot of interior space, and effectively laid down the template for modern, front-wheel drive cars all over the world.

The result was a phenomenal success. From its release in 1959 to 2000 when production ceased, more than 5 million MINIs were produced in all shapes and sizes.

Which brings us to the current era.

By the late 1990s MINI was part of the Rover Group, and the Rover Group was in trouble. For well documented reasons, the cars Rover were producing failed to impress buyers and the end result was the group being broken up by BMW, its owners since 1994.

BMW, knowing a thing or two about cars, kept hold of the MINI brand and attached it to another cool new city car in 2001. Now, 20 years later, the BMW MINI has achieved another milestone.

The BMW MINI has already matched the sales figures produced by the original, with 5.1 million produced globally. On top of that, MINI has just delivered its one millionth car in the UK alone.

Like the original, it comes in different shapes and sizes. Like the original, it's a very cool and chic choice of car. Like the original, it's fun to drive, and even comes in ridiculously fast versions guaranteed to make you grin like a child at an ice-cream tasting.

With MINI being the first BMW brand scheduled to go all-electric in the next 10 years, it will be interesting to see what other milestones can be reached in the next 20 years. MINI will launch its last model with an internal combustion engine in 2025 and, by 2027, the share of all-electric vehicles in global MINI sales will be at least 50 percent. Could the five millionth all-electric MINI be rolling off the production line at some point?

It's impossible to tell really, but one thing we can say for sure is that leasing a MINI makes perfect sense, and there are a million reasons why in the UK alone.

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