1949 Minor 1957 Minor 1000 1958 Minor 1959 Minor 1000 1960 850 1960 Minor Van 1960 Minor 1000 1960 Mini-Minor 850

Image credits: © MINI.

2006 MINI Concept Geneva

Mini: great days in the Monte Carlo Rally

2006 MINI Concept GenevaFrom 1964 to 1967 Mini dominated the Monte Carlo Rally, setting the foundation for its legendary reputation as a highly agile and nimble sports car. Now, commemorating the 100th birthday of Sir Alec Issigonis, the creator of Mini in the year 2006, and as a reminder of the outstanding victories scored by the Mini brand some 40 years ago, MINI Concept Geneva offers an up-to-date interpretation of the small British racer in its great days. In particular, this new concept model presents the core idea of the Mini Traveller, Mini Countryman, and Mini Clubman Estate in a highly progressive new model variant.

Powerful and elegant looks
The overall impression conveyed by MINI Concept Geneva is one of strength and muscle, wîth particular emphasis on individual details such as the car's wheel arches, its shoulder line and powerdome. MINI Concept Geneva is a clear statement – the car has stance, looks strong and powerful, but is also elegant at the same time.

Cleverness typical of MINI in this special concept
One of the fundamental ideas in developing MINI Concept Geneva was to make the entire car easy to enter and load. Accordingly, the driver's/front passenger's and rear doors all come on special mounts wîth parallelogram kinematics swivelling in one single movement to the side and to the front and thus offering maximum access to the interior. The rear side sliding windows open electrically.

Cargobox in the luggage compartment
The luggage compartment of MINI Concept Geneva features a flexible Cargobox wîth its lid extending out to the rear whenever required to assist the user in loading cargo. The transparent cover on top of the Cargobox also swivels up whenever required, acting as a partition between the passenger compartment and the lug­gage area.

Sports Útility Box as a multi-purpose storage compartment
The Sports Útility Box is a multi-functional, additional storage compartment clipped on to the opened rear side window. It features flaps on either side facilitating the process of loading and unloading the Útility Box both from outside and from the passenger compartment, and allowing the driver or passengers to pass through objects transported very practically from one side to the other.

Satellite Silver metallic paintwork and neoprene contours
MINI Concept Geneva stands out in its beautiful silver paintwork in the light, all points not directly in the beholder's line of vision being kept in a more discreet grey. Red highlights, in turn, give MINI Concept Geneva a particularly dynamic touch. Soft, resilient neoprene is featured on the black side band so characteristic of the car, extending along the side sills and wheel cutouts.

'Floating Elements' characterising the car's interior design
Rotating seats for easy access to the rear

The 'Floating Elements' concept offers a supreme impression of generosity and open space right from the start. The seats are suspended in 'hovering' arrangement on the centre tunnel, and the free-standing dashboard wîth its Center Speedo as a swivelling central instrument wîth both a digital and analogue display further supports and enhances this impression.

Four persons have adequate space in MINI Concept Geneva, wîth access to the rear facilitated by the front seats swivelling round to the side.
After being tilted down, the rear-seat backrests form a flat surface merging directly into the floor of the luggage compartment.

Leather, chrome and aluminium as the principal materials
Throughout the interior, white leather on various surfaces underines the impression of modern style and generous space, adding a strong touch of sophisticated class and stylish flair. An alumin­ium-coated glass-fibre structure, in turn, accentuates the door panels and linings inside the car, while a special carbon-fibre look highlights the foot area in combination wîth nylon texture carpeting.

Forty-six years of the Mini Traveller

This special MINI concept made is debut in September 1960 in the guise of the Austin Seven Countryman and Morris Mini Traveller. The term 'Traveller' alone made it clear from the start that this particular Mini was conceived from the beginning for an active target group of connoisseurs and individuals. Total sales between 1960 and 1982 amounted to more than 400,000 units, including the Mini Clubman launched in 1969.

2006: commemorating the 100th birthday of Alec Issigonis, the creator of Mini
Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis was born on 18 November 1906 as the son of a Greek father and a German mother in a region that now belongs to Turkey. After studying engineering in London, he later became one of the most successful automotive engineers and designers in Great Britain.

Mini and the Monte Carlo Rally
In winter 1964 a small red David wîth a white roof proudly showed its tail lights to all the powerful Goliaths, clinching Mini's first overall win in the Monte Carlo Rally. Virtually overnight the small sub-compact from Britain had become a genuine legend.

Great Days in the Monte Carlo Rally
The Monte Carlo Rally: the birth of the Mini sports car legend

Dominating the Monte Carlo Rally from 1964 to 1967, Mini set the foundation for its legendary reputation as an extremely fast and above all nimble sports car. Now, commemorating the 100th birthday of Sir Alec Issigonis, the creator of Mini, in the year 2006 and as a reminder of the outstanding victories brought home by the Mini brand some 40 years ago, MINI Concept Geneva is appearing on the scene as an up-to-date interpretation of that small British racer in its great days.

In the process the core idea of the Mini Traveller, Mini Countryman and Mini Clubman Estate is being carried forward progressively into a new model variant.

MINI Concept Geneva thus combines sporting engine power and an equally sporting ambience within the interior through its flexible and clever use of space. So apart from the Team Manager and Service Engineer, all the equipment for the toughest racing requirements fits perfectly inside the car.

Role model from the 1960s
Únusual, nimble, clever – from the very first day Mini was the ideal companion for the genuine trendsetter. Then, in the early 1960s, the particular class and style of Mini was further enhanced by sporting outdoor activities, special models allowing the enthusiast to enjoy wonderful trips to the countryside or a glorious day on the beach: the Mini Traveller, the Mini Countryman and, somewhat later, the Mini Clubman Estate, all wîth a longer wheelbase, a slightly higher roofline and practical rear doors were exactly the right companions at the time for this special feeling of life. They combined the unique chic of Mini wîth extra space, the Mini Trav­eller thus guaranteeing stylish transportation at all times and all places.

With 2006 marking the one-hundredth birthday of Sir Alec Issi­gonis, the inventor of Mini, MINI is presenting a special Concept Car at the Geneva Motor Show re-interpreting the core idea of a vehicle for the travelling enthusiast in appropriate style for the early 21st century.

Many features are familiar, but in reality everything is new
The unique overall look of the car, its design at the front and from the side, as well as numerous design features now acknowledged as genuine icons are all typical of MINI. But the innovative features boasted by the car are equally characteristic of the MINI world – for example the wide-opening doors wîth intelligent parallelogram kinematics as well as the specially developed Silver metallic paintwork and the exquisite materials used inside the car. MINI Con­cept Geneva bears tribute to its forerunner also through its elegant design, the symmetrically split double door at the rear, and the split side windows for the passengers in the second row.

In all, MINI Concept Geneva excels by combining all its functions wîth clearly defined benefits for the user and by refining its design features to the last detail. At the same time the name alone is a commitment: MINI has its roots in an urban world, which is why every issue of the MINI International Magazine is dedicated to an exciting city.

MINI Concept Geneva, therefore, is an homage to the host city and venue of the International Motor Show.

Always different, always stylish. New surfaces and materials for MINI Concept Geneva
Satellite Silver as the car's multi-layer exterior paintwork interacting in silver and grey, white and red leather wîth different surfaces and a different touch, innovative glass-fibre fabric for the inner linings on the doors and a metallic carbon look within the footwells – all this clearly shows what sporting and individual style means to MINI at the beginning of the 21st century: an exceptional ambience and clever use of space presented authentically in the guise of MINI Concept Geneva.

This also means ample space for up to four occupants travelling in generous and luxurious style to their sporting activities and in their leisure time. New ideas for making optimum use of the space available range from the Cargobox in the luggage compartment all the way to the driver's and front passenger's seats 'hovering' in suspended arrangement.

Typical in Design, but New in Every Inch
Únmistakable: MINI all the way

Just one look is sufficient: Like the 'regular' model, the Concept Version of the MINI is 'as small as possible and as big as necessary'.
Particularly this was the special challenge facing the MINI Design Team, wîth MINI Concept Geneva being a truly unique car all the way from its characteristic hexagon grille to the very functional split-door rear end.

MINI Concept Geneva naturally boasts numerous highlights which have made MINI design a genuine hallmark in the course of many years and decades: These include the straight shoulder and roof lines wîth the shoulder line rising up gently to the rear to give the car the exciting wedge shape of a genuine MINI further accentuated especially on this model by the extra length of the car.

The wheels positioned far to the outside, the very wide (more than 160 cm or 63.0´´) driver and front passenger doors relative to the overall length of the car, and the characteristic joints around the side direction indicators all bear out the enhanced, upgraded design language so characteristic of MINI Concept Geneva.

The diagonal joint between the side direction indicator and the side door is a genuine icon which has developed consistently over the years, originating from the welding seam on the classic MINI. The glazed window line extending all round the car and the omission of a B-pillar creates the impression of a 'free-standing' roof again characterising the Concept Car just like the door handles so typical of MINI.

Firm, sporting, masculine
Many features of MINI Concept Geneva are familiar – but in actual fact everything is different: In its overall look and appearance, the car is firm, sleek and smooth, wîth features such as the wheel arches, the shoulder line and the powerdome standing out as particularly striking details. At very first sight, MINI Concept Geneva makes a clear statement – the car has stance, looks muscular and elegant all in one. This impressive appearance is further accentuated by the headlights integrated directly in the engine compartment lid and by the hexagonal grille sculptured in one single piece to give the Concept Version a particularly alert, performance-oriented, likeable and charming appearance.

Engine compartment lid hinged at the front
This sporting look is further enhanced by the engine compartment lid hinged at the front, the wheel arches and radiator grille forming one homogeneous component without any seams or dividing lines in between. And like on a classic sports car, the engine compartment lid swivels to the front and upwards when opening, wîth only the headlights remaining in their original position.

A further benefit of this particular configuration is optimum access to the engine compartment at all times.

Sophisticated design and top-quality materials also give MINI Concept Geneva its particular qualities beneath the engine compartment lid: The wheel arches and all visible parts on the engine are finished consistently in Satellite Silver, the exterior colour of the car, the engine thus standing out almost as if it were being presented in a display cabinet.

Sporting drivetrain, sporting features
To ensure that the car accompanying the rally is always there when needed, MINI Concept Geneva comes wîth a MINI Cooper S power unit clearly characterised by the additional air intake scoop on the engine compartment lid and the dual tailpipes. Right in the middle above the air intake scoop, the engine compartment lid proudly bears a graphic reminiscent of the classic symbol of the Monte Carlo Rally.

Further ingredients ensuring that go-kart feeling so typical of MINI are the long wheelbase, the wide track and short overhangs both front and rear.

The grid in the radiator grille is finished in black acting, just like the integrated chrome-plated additional headlights, as an indispensable attribute of a genuinely sporting car. The logo on the radiator grille of MINI Concept Geneva reminds the beholder in the year 2006 that the creator of Mini, Sir Alec Issigonis, was born exactly 100 years ago.

All doors wîth parallelogram kinematics
Extra space inside naturally calls for good access from outside. Ensuring easy access and loading was one of the fundamental philosophies in developing MINI Concept Geneva. So through the driver and front passenger doors as well as the two rear doors, MINI is introducing a design configuration simply ideal for much easier and more convenient entry to and exit from the car, as well as better loading and unloading even under confined conditions: All four doors run on 'intelligent' hinges and pivots in kinematic parallelogram arrangement, the doors swivelling in one single motion wîth minimum movement to the side and maximum movement to the front. This significantly reduces the space required all around the car when opening the doors while nevertheless offering the user generous access to the interior.

Coupé-like appearance for convenient access. Long side doors, split side windows at the rear

Through their parallelogram kinematics, the long coupé doors turn the occasional disadvantage of a smaller opening angle into a significant advantage ensured by the concept of the car – especially because the side doors on this design concept are more than 160 centimetres or 63.0´´ wide. And a further important point is that the side doors, like on every MINI, come wîth frameless windows.

MINI's new cosmopolitan athlete takes up the elements of a two-door coupé also in many other respects, at the same time offering particular practical value through easy access and loading.

Further highlights are the two split side windows at the rear merging directly when closed wîth the side windows at the front and the front section moving electrically beneath the rear section when opened. This prin­ciple of split windows at the rear incidentally comes straight from the classic Mini Traveller and has been re-interpreted on the MINI Concept Geneva.

Longer wheelbase for extra space inside
MINI Concept Geneva quite simply offers more space for the team accompanying the rally wîth all their equipment, fully prepared for any eventuality. The long wheelbase, for example, guarantees particularly ample space on the rear seats of the car. An important contribution to the excellent driving characteristics so typical of MINI, on the other hand, is the particular position of the wheels 'right at each corner' of the car.

Deliberately maintaining this important feature so typical of the brand, MINI Concept Geneva – like all other MINIs – boasts an extra-short and compact body overhang at the rear. And last but certainly not least, the two wide-opening rear doors hinged at the side make loading and unloading very easy and convenient.

The Cargobox – the 'butler' within the luggage compartment
Behind these doors MINI Concept Geneva takes up items loaded into the car on two different levels. This is made possible by the Cargobox, a very helpful 'butler' for handling both small bags and big cases. Just one feature is that the floor can be pulled out to the rear, enabling the team to simply put down their toolbox on the floor panel and slide it smoothly into the car.

A further feature is that the floor of the Cargobox may be swivelled up, serving as a partition between the passenger compartment and the luggage area. The entire Cargobox can then be moved easily and smoothly to the rear and up into the opening in the rear doors, for example to accommodate exchange parts and other materials.

Fully retractable, frameless windows in both rear doors serve, finally, to provide extra fresh air and again allow convenient access to the luggage compartment without requiring the driver to open the doors.

The Sports Útility Box: Take along anything you want
Whether it is tools or spare parts – you always need the right equipment in your car to be a real member of the team. And that's easy wîth MINI Concept Geneva: Just fit the Sports Útility Box into the opened rear side window and you're ready to go, fully prepared for the challenges on the next leg of your trip.

The Sports Útility Box is an additional, multi-functional, storage compartment made of specially moulded plastic. In its length and height, it fits perfectly into the rear side window, where it is fastened in position. To do this, all you do is open the vertically split window (the front section moves back electrically) and hang the Útility Box wîth its lower section into the window opening. Flaps on either side of the Sports Útility Box allow the user to load and unload the Box both from outside and from the passenger compartment, wîth the additional and very practical option to pass through all kinds of odds and ends. The lower section of the Box extends all the way back on the car to the C-pillar.

MINI Concept Geneva provides for simultaneous use of several Sports Útility Boxes used flexibly and individually depending on the user's requirements. The Boxes may be fitted either on one side of the car or – as is the case here – on both sides to provide extra storage space.

Roof structure wîth integrated spare wheel
MINI Concept Geneva uses the roof structure to consistently gain extra storage space inside the car. A recess in the rear section of the roof serves to house the spare wheel. This special structure ensures optimum streamlining of the spare wheel in the car's direction of travel, wîth the grab bar above the rear doors shaped as a spoiler for aerodynamic reasons.

Pulling the grab handle, the user can pull this part of the roof to the rear and fold it down, gaining convenient access to the wheel on two bracket handles fastened to the bolting points for the rim inserts.

Free-standing round search headlights are positioned directly above the A-pillars on the roof left and right.

Multi-functional wheel rims in twin-colour look
The wheels of MINI Concept Geneva also boast a wide range of interesting features: Being multi-functional, they give the driver the opportunity to personalise the design and expression of his car without having to change the entire set of wheels in a long and laborious process. The Concept Car presented at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show comes wîth wheels in a discreet grey colour reminiscent of high-quality, sophisticated castings. The wheels incorporate ten white spoke elements taking up the design language of the current MINI Cooper S rims. The final touch is provided by the cover on the wheel hub complete wîth the MINI logo and a red accentuation colour rounding off the design of the wheels on MINI Concept Geneva.

Purist looks wîth a unique 'chameleon' effect: surface trim in the MINI Concept Geneva
MINI Concept Geneva takes a new approach not only in its technical and functional highlights, but also through the design of its trim surfaces specially created by the MINI Design Team: In all, the exclusive combination of white and silver surfaces emanates a touch of modern elegance, wîth red contrasts adding the thrill of an active and sporting lifestyle. So nothing appears overdone or let alone obtrusive, since the emphasis remains on those specific qualities so typical of MINI.

This intentionally minimalist understatement and neutral style is enhanced, first, by the exceptional quality and innovative character of the materials used and, second, by the exterior colour changing wîth the perspective of the beholder and reflecting the surrounding area around the car. As a result, MINI Concept Geneva is almost like a chameleon, acting as both an element and the highlight of the colourful world typically surrounding every MINI.

Satellite Silver paintwork colour
The paintwork of the MINI Concept Study offers an entirely new rendition of aesthetic looks, an exciting duality of non-metallic and metallic paint: Satellite Silver comes wîth a brilliant silver look in the light, while all points not di­rectly illuminated from the perspective of the beholder come out in a refined and sophisticated greyish tone. MINI achieves this special effect by way of the Silver Metallic paintwork applied in two layers, the colours of each layer varying slightly from one another.

Racing Red und White – the accentuation colours
Úsing appropriate contrasting colours, MINI Concept Geneva underlines its individual, sporting performance and thus takes up an additional design feature again typical of MINI: The wide range of equipment options allowing each customer to personalise his or her car.

At the same time the two accentuation colours Racing Red and White are a clear and honest tribute to the colour scheme of the MINI Cooper Works Rally Cars back in the 1960s: With only a few exceptions, Tartan Red was the body colour on all rally versions of the Mini.

On MINI Concept Geneva the covers on the Sports Útility Boxes on either side form an attractive contrast in Racing Red. A further feature is the stylised Monte logo also presented on the engine compartment lid as an attractive eye-catcher.

The diagonal joint between the side direction indicator and the side door is an icon which has grown over the years, originating from the welding seam on the classic Mini. This particular design element is made of polished aluminium wîth red inserts. The roof insert upfront of the spare wheel recess as well as the central co­vers on the multi-functional rims are also finished in Racing Red.

As consistent as the Mini Rally Cars were in their use of aggres­sive red paint, the roof always came in white. And indeed, this special touch was also boasted on the particularly sporting Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S production models and remains a design feature typical of MINI to this very day – together wîth the white mirror caps. Precisely this is why the entire roof on MINI Concept Geneva, together wîth the spare wheel recess and mirror caps, is finished in white.

Black neoprene contourline
Normally surfers and sailors wear neoprene suits to protect them­selves from cold temperatuares. MINI Concept Geneva, in turn, uses neoprene to main­­tain the special touch and feeling of its sur­faces also on the exterior.

Through its special qualities and properties, neoprene offers several exciting effects all in one: The first point is that the sophisticated, silken-matt surface contrasts beautifully wîth the high-gloss Satellite Silver of the car's body, wîth similar, distinctive contrasts between the hard surface of the doors and wheel arches, on the one hand, and the soft structure of the neoprene con­tour, on the other: The neo­prene returns after being pressed in or touched to its original shape, at the same time offering a unique feeling never experienced before in the world of motoring. So choosing this material clearly dedicated to active outdoor sports, the designers creating MINI Concept Geneva are again able to accentuate the car's sporting appeal.

Aluminium adding a touch of lightness and sophisticated style
Glossy and matt aluminium accentuates the exterior look of MINI Concept Geneva, conveying a very special message in the process. This applies particularly to all sections and components of the body taking over design features from the classic Mini Traveller. As an example, the C-pillars in strik­ing aluminium look at the rear bear testimony to the car's great heritage. The frame around the radiator grille, the light surrounds at the front as well as the exhaust tailpipes are also finished in aluminium, emanating a touch of high perform­ance combined wîth sheer luxury.

Floating Elements
MINI all the day and for every purpose. 'Floating Elements' characterising the car's interior design.

Querying the conventional and offering unconventional answers – proceeding from a high level of technology and emotion, MINI Concept Geneva reflects precisely these expectations. And this also applies to the interior design of the MINI Concept Car, offering an entirely new feeling of space wîth clever solutions for new ideas you can experience together wîth MINI time and again.

The car's concept of colours and materials consistently continues the exterior message within the interior, focusing on sporting function, practical use of space and genuine value. Clearly, this makes MINI the small and fresh luxury experience for the whole day giving each and every day that special something.

Despite numerous innovations in terms of functions, materials and design features, many highlights of the 'regular' MINI's interior design are also to be found in the Concept Car, from the evolutionary enhancement of the large central instrument through the paddle switches so typical of MINI all the way to the far larger door panels on the driver's and front passenger's doors in their characteristic, ellip­tic shape: The joy of detail remains clearly in focus, wîth new features borne out time and again.

'Hovering' seats for the driver and front passenger. Free-standing suspension and integrated belt system.

Opening the driver's and front passenger's doors, the enthusiast en­joying MINI Concept Geneva will immediately experience a truly generous and open impression: The seats for both the driver and front passenger appear to hover in space, being mounted directly on the front centre console by means of special load-bearing extensions. This not only offers additional footroom for the passengers at the rear, but also provides particular benefits in terms of open space along the floor of the car.

This impression is further enhanced by the slender construction of the seats basically reduced to two buckets similar to an open shell. To make access to the car as easy and convenient as possible also for the passengers at the rear, the front seats come wîth an unprecedented, truly unique Easy-Entry System, the seats moving forward wîth the help of an electric motor and at the same time rotating inwards.

Turning away (but not folding down) the backrest on the driver's and front passen­ger's seats, this provides much more room and freedom in entering the rear. Then, once the passengers have taken their seats at the back, the front seats automatically return to their original position.

As a further feature the driver's and front passenger's seats come wîth a fully integrated seat belt system, consistently keeping the belts exactly where they are needed and avoiding any obstruction when entering the rear.

Room for comfort and convenient loading also at the rear
The long wheelbase of the car gives two passengers at the rear adequate space in every respect or, alternatively, provides more than ample loading room for lots of equipment. The rear-seat backrests fold down individually to form a flat surface flush wîth the floor of the luggage compartment. This facilitates the process of loading the car from all sides, either through the rear doors or the driver/front passenger doors, wîth the further advantage of being able to conveniently move around and place bags and luggage in position.

The extra-large and flat loading area also provides ample space for large and bulky objects, the centre armrest between the two seats being fully integrated in the flat surface and offering additional storage space.

Opening up extra-wide, the two rear doors provide convenient access to almost the complete cross-section of the interior, wîth the loading sill kept particularly low, again in the interest of extra convenience. And even wîth the two rear-seat backrests in vertical arrangement, the passengers enjoy loading capacity most acceptable for a car of this size.

The cupholders: keeping your drinks in easy reach and at a pleasant temperature
Two things which would certainly not be accepted by a 'classic Mini team' are luke-warm Coke as a 'refreshment' and luke-warm tea on the winter roads in the mountains around Monte Carlo – which is precisely why MINI Concept Geneva offers the right solution also for ideal 'on-board service': The chrome surrounds on the side air vents fold down to form cupholders at exactly the right point in the car: First, this keeps drinks within very convenient reach at all times. Second, this keeps your Coke cool on a hot day wîth fresh air from the air conditioning flowing straight to the cupholders. And on cold winter days the warm air coming out of the nozzles serves not only to de-mist the side windows, but also to keep your tea at a pleasantly warm temperature.

Rotating Center Speedo complete wîth digital display and classic sports instruments
The large central instrument on the dashboard of the MINI has a special status among the design icons of those fresh little cars from Britain – indeed, it is an absolute cult object. Full of self-confidence and right in the middle of things, therefore, the rotating Center Speedo in MINI Concept Geneva presents displays on both sides. The digital side incorporates the Cruise Mate complete wîth the info display for the navigation system and a tuner easily conceivable in future as the central control instrument for numerous functions inside the car.

Turned 180° around its vertical axis, the Center Speedo presents the classic displays on its other side virtually indispensable in a sporting car of this calibre: the coolant and engine oil temperature gauges as well as engine oil pressure. To turn the Center Speedo, all you do is activate a control unit on the transmission tunnel. The fire extinguisher is fitted right in front, lying down in the footwell.

Over and above the usual features of a multi-function §teering wheel, the §teering wheel used in MINI Concept Geneva adds an additional function: A third spoke in the §teering wheel in the six o'clock position serves to take up a stopwatch or a Tripmaster wîth an analogue display clipped into position.

Only the best inside. Leather, chrome, aluminium – the principal materials
Inside the car, white leather enhances the flair of modern style and the ample space available, creating a sophisticated ambience at the same time. Indeed, the colour white quite generally accentuates the clear lines of MINI Concept Geneva, wîth red serving as a particular highlight colour, like on the exterior.

Top-quality leather is used on different surfaces: Grained cowhide accentuates the headrests as well as the inner lining on the side and rear doors.
Through its clear surface structure, this special leather conveys a feeling of lasting, sporting quality and contrasts convincingly wîth the soft leather featured on the seat backrests and the §teering wheel. And last but not least, the roof lining comes in extra-soft alcantara providing a feeling of smooth silk.

Particularly soft and 'velvety' leather featured on the dashboard almost hovering in position and on the armrests on the side doors is highly attractive in terms of both its looks and surface touch.

Red inserts in the seat bottoms and backrests, red armrests, red inserts in the floor and red rings on the cupholders provide a powerful highlight clearly contrasting wîth the interior colour white. Above the passengers' heads, in turn, silver trim features form a regular pattern on the perforated, red alcantara of the roof lining.

The soft and natural surfaces in pure white are supplemented by cool-lòòking, metallic surface trim. One example is the aluminium-coated glass-fibre structure on the oval lining within the doors, carbon-fibre mats in the same look accentuating the footwells.

Numerous further features within the interior are made of solid aluminium, such as the load-bearing arms holding the driver's and front passenger's seats in position.

Driving tomorrow: the key serving as a multi-functional man/MINI interface
The 'island' element on the centre console between the front seats forms what you might call the backbone of MINI Concept Geneva, holding the driver's and front passenger's seats in position and providing an exceptional highlight through its elements in white porcelain look.

This is also where all the car's 'nerves' come together, MINI Concept Geneva possibly featuring a start/stop key unit as an integrated clock fitting smoothly and comfortably into the driver's hand as a multifunctional interface between the user and the car. Then all you would have to do is place this key on to a receiving unit in the front part of the centre console, using the combination provided in this way as a push button.

This little 'genius' might then serve to mastermind numerous functions within the car ranging from the engine start/stop function through various car settings (seats, air conditioning, audio system) all the way to the function for operating the MP3 player. So obviously, the MINI Design Team has great ideas.

Source - BMW AG
The British Motor Corporation came into existence in 1952 by the merging of two manufacturers, Nuffield Motors and Austin. Nuffield was known for its Morris line of vehicles, while Austin had its 'Seven' model line. The transition for the two manufacturers was difficult and had been forced out of necessity. After World War II, many vehicle manufacturers could not stay in business due to destroyed factories, recovering economies, strained resources, and lack of funds. Combining the two companies was a means to stay in business.

A fuel shortage was occurring. German engineers quickly adapted and began producing fuel-efficient vehicles. Examples include the Volkswagen Beetle. Leonard Lord, Chairman of BMC and former head of Austin, commissioned Sir Alec Issigonis to design a vehicle to compete with the German-made vehicles.

Alec Issigonis was a graduate of Battersea Technical College. After graduation he worked as a draftsman for a plethora of engineering projects. Later, he joined Morris Motors where he was tasked with creating and fitting suspensions to the Morris vehicles.

Issigonis was outfitted with requirements to create a fuel-efficient, affordable, safe vehicle capable of carrying four individuals including luggage. To save on development costs, it was requested that an existing BMC engine be used. What he created was a vehicle that sat atop of 10 inch wheels. By using smaller wheels there was little need for wheel wells.

The car was expected to carry four individuals; the combined weight of the passengers being greater than the entire vehicle. A suspension was needed that could accept this pay-load. With his prior experience creating and working with suspensions, Issigonis designed a rubber cone suspension.

A 950 cc, four cylinder, BMC engine was selected. It was mounted in the front and expected to power the front wheels, a system that was revolutionary at the time. Instead of mounting the engine longitudinally, it was place transversely. The transmission was place under the engine due to space constraints.

When Issigonis presented his designs and recommendations to Lord in 1958, changes were requested. Instead of the 950 cc engine, a 34 horsepower, 848 cc engine would be used, making the vehicle slower but more importantly, more safe. The other request was to make the vehicle two inches wider.

There were two versions of the car when it was first introduced on August 26, 1959. The only difference between the 1959 Austin and Morris versions was their badges.

John Cooper had designed vehicles that successfully won the Formula One championships in 1959 and 1960.

He proposed a marriage between his 1000 cc Formula Junior engine with the Mini. Lord approved the idea and in 1961 the Mini Cooper was born. It was fitted with a 997 cc engine producing 55 horsepower. Later, the Cooper S came into being with the advent of the 970 cc and the 1275 cc engine - the latter capable of 76 horsepower.

From 1964 through 1967 the little car dominated the Monte Carlo Rally. The car easily achieved these victories using a 91 horsepower engine.

Minis became more than just a practical car, they became a fashion statement. This, combined with their practicality, fuel efficiency, and success on the race track, created an overwhelming demand for the little car.

In the 1980's, the Mini was starting to loose momentum. Rover tried to revitalize the Mini brand by creating special editions. In all, there were more than 40 different editions created between 1980 and 2000.

A merger with British Motor Corporation and another company produced the Britsh Leyland Company. Later, it became Rover Group. Currently, it is owned by BMW.

In 2001, BMW introduced the MINI. The MINI currently has three Cooper models. Their main differences being the size of the engine and the horsepower rating. A convertible has also been included to the line-up.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2007

Three generations of driving fun: The MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S through the years.

For three generations and over 50 years, the Cooper name has identified a MINI offering even more in the way of driving fun. The idea, hatched by brilliant Formula One designer John Cooper, to fuel the agile small car wîth an extra hit of performance and turn it into a sporting machine for the road and track has lost none of its appeal. But the Cooper has never been about horsepower, as a comparison between the classic Mini and its two successors resoundingly proves. The key here is the basic principle of the creative use of space, combined wîth the inimitable go-kart feeling that runs like a thread through the three generations of the legendary small car. These famous handling traits are enjoyed by drivers on bendy country roads and city streets around the world, wîth the classic Mini and 21st-century MINI still regularly crossing each other's path.

The small British car positively craves twists and turns demanding quick and precise changes in direction; this is where it feels most at home. The classic Mini was tailor-made for tackling hairpins and corner-strewn roads, and it still looks the part today – aided by the healthy 46 kW/63 hp available in a Mini Cooper towards the end of its production run. The classic Cooper was built up to autumn 2000, by which time its successor was already twitching in the starting blocks. In contrast to the original Mini, the new model was available in Cooper guise from the outset. And wîth 85 kW/115 hp under the bonnet, it would do its nameplate proud. From the word go, the car's powerplant and chassis formed a harmonious alliance to deliver unbeatable driving fun. As John Cooper realised, sometimes you actually can't have too much of a good thing. 50 years ago he unveiled the 70 hp Mini Cooper S. And today, its youngest descendant places 135 kW/184 hp at the disposal of its driver. As if that wasn't enough, the turbocharged engine powering the latest MINI Cooper S also sets the benchmark for efficiency in its output class.

When Alec Issigonis set out to develop a new small car for the British Motor Corporation in the mid-1950s, his priorities were space and price. Indeed, at a touch over three metres in length, the classic Mini offered astonishingly generous accommodation for passengers and their gear alike. Issigonis settled on a front transverse installation for the four-cylinder engine, under which lay the gearbox, plumb between the wheels. The positioning of those wheels at the far corners of the car and the Mini's short overhangs did the rest. The Mini was small on the outside but roomy on the inside, not to mention – at around 600 kilograms – extremely light. The principles underpinning its design remain the template for small and compact cars in the modern era.

2006 MINI Concept Geneva However, it was left to another key figure in the brand's history to uncover the vast well of sporting talent under that diminutive shell. John Cooper, a friend and business partner of Mini creator Issigonis and winner of two Formula One constructors' world titles, was quick to spot the car's dynamic potential, and in 1961 the first Mini Cooper hit the roads. Production of the Cooper was temporarily suspended in the 1970s, but by that time the Mini Cooper badge had long since become the signature of a sporty and agile small car.

As well as the intervention of John Cooper, the launch of this famous sporting career also relied on the brilliance of the classic Mini's chassis. Issigonis had broken new ground wîth the §teering and suspension of his new creation, and in so doing laid the foundations for the go-kart feeling appreciated by drivers to this day. Homokinetic joints reduced torque steer, a subframe (to which the rear wheels were fixed) improved directional stability, and rubber springs and small telescopic dampers ensured accurate responses and progressive spring action. The wealth of ideas packed into this small car still impresses. And the result of those ideas – the classic Mini's much-celebrated handling – explains why the car continues to enjoy such a loyal community of fans. When the successor to the original car came along in 2001, it was clear that highly advanced chassis technology would be needed in order to set the pace in driving fun all over again. The MINI Cooper rose to the challenge in some style, thanks to MacPherson spring struts at the front axle, axle shafts equal in length, a multi-link rear axle unique in the small car §egmènt, disc brakes on all four wheels, and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control).

The latest-generation MINI Cooper S also features Electric Power Steering wîth Servotronic function and a DSC system including DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) and an electronic locking function for the front axle differential. Known as Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), this system gives the MINI a crucial edge through the tight bends of Alpine passes, for example, by braking a spinning wheel as required to enhance drive out of corners as well as the car's §teering properties. Added to which, pressing the standard Sport Button in the MINI Cooper S makes the §teering even more direct and stirs up a particularly sporty soundtrack from the engine. All of this was unimaginable 50 years ago, of course, but you get the impression John Cooper would have wholeheartedly approved.

Source - BMW
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Concepts by MINI

MINI Monthly Sales Volume

March 2018
4,531
February 2018
3,065
January 2018
2,937
December 2017
4,611
November 2017
4,038
October 2017
3,669
September 2017
3,736
August 2017
4,448
July 2017
4,398
June 2017
4,410
May 2017
4,060
April 2017
3,481
Additional Sales Volume Data


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