• Austin Mini

Mini – a small car produced by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and its successors from 1959 until 2000. In 2001, was replaced by the new MINI. The original version of this car has gained a cult hit and has become an icon of the 60s, and its front-wheel drive allows you to save space contributed to the generation of designers vehicles. The prestigious international competition for the "car of the twentieth century" took second place, second only to Ford T.

The characteristic two-door body was designed for BMC by Alec Issigonis. The vehicle was originally produced in factories in Longbridge and Cowley in the UK, and later also in Spain (AUTHIE), Australia, Belgium, Chile, Yugoslavia, Portugal, South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela and Italy. Mini first generation (Mk I), lived to see three significant upgrade to the Mini second generation (Mk II), Mini Clubman and Mini third generation (Mk III). In addition, mass-produced it in a variety of body styles, including station wagon, pickup, van or SUV-like recreation buggy version called the Mini Moke. Mini Cooper and Cooper S variants were sports model successfully primed for them in many rallies, three Mini won the Monte Carlo Rally.

The reason to start work on a new car maÅ‚olitrażowym marked with the symbol ADO15 (Austin Drawing Office project number 15) was the fuel crisis. In 1956, as a result of the Suez Crisis access to crude oil has been significantly reduced, the UK authorities were considering the introduction of fuel rationing. Prices of large cars plummeted on the world market there has been a boom for efficient small cars (such as BMW Isetta even), leading the way in the field of designing and manufacturing led Germany. In such a situation, the head of BMC – Leonard Lord decided that the company must take quick action. Before the builders of the new vehicle has marked some basic requirements. Firstly, the car should be in the dimensions of 10 × 4 × 4 ft (3 × 1.2 × 1.2 m), the passenger must be at least 6 feet (1.8 m) from 10 feet overall length of the vehicle. Furthermore, the engine because of the cost, it should be already existing drive unit. Alec Issigonis, who worked for Alvis, has been restored to working in BMC in 1955, with its above-average skills in designing small cars has become a key person of the project. The team that created the Mini was surprisingly small. In addition Issigonis belonged to him, Jack Daniels, working with him on the project before the car Morris Minor, Chris Kingham, which brought the company behind Alvis. Additionally, participated in the work of two engineering students and four draughtsmen. Together, in February 1957, designed and built the first prototype that the color was painted in what was affectionately called the "orange box" (called "The Orange Box").

ADO15 equipped with a standard four-cylinder liquid-cooled engine BMC series, however, mounted transversely in front of the body, was connected to a four interlocked gearbox with differential, placed under the sump and incorporated into the central lubrication system with oil. The drive was transferred to the front wheels. Almost all small front wheel drive designed the cars were similarly configured. Coolers mounted on the left side, so that the engine could be mounted next to it. However, by rotating the drive unit obtained a breath of air moving fan blades. This location also allowed the engine to save a lot of space for the passenger compartment. However, its drawback was the exposure cooler too warm air coming from the engine running.

The vehicle suspension Issigonis designed the friend Alex Moulton of Moulton Developments Limited. Instead of traditional springs used rubber cones. They allowed to ride on rough surfaces, but their rigidity in conjunction with its wheels located near the corners of the chassis, while driving the car gave specific feeling similar to driving a go-cart. Initially planned to use the combined oil system over which Issigonis and Moulton worked yet Alvis. However, due to lack of time has not made it in the Mini. This damping system has been further developed and as a hydraulic system debuted in 1962 in Austin in 1100. Specific were also dziesięciocalowe wheels, tires were needed for their brand new tires. Their execution was entrusted to Dunlop.

To reduce production costs have unusually body made visible on the outside weld along the pillars between the panes and connecting the body to the floor panel. A further simplification was the use of the door visible from the outside hinges.

All of these innovative solutions have made it in the car with such a small footprint, save up the maximum space for passengers and luggage.

Production models differed from the prototype several elements. Additional reinforcements were used front and rear designed to take the weight of the suspension and carburetor was situated behind the engine, and not before. It is necessary to add a special transmission between the gearbox and the engine, if they wanted to keep his cross setting. This solution allowed the company to further reduce stress on the gearbox when changing gear and prevented the rapid wear a synchronizer, which was trouble in the first prototypes. Engine capacity was reduced from 948 to 848 cm ³, which in turn led to a reduction in the maximum speed of 145km/h to 116km/h

Contrary to the intentions of the designers utilitarian Mini, its classic recognizable around the globe silhouette, which has become an icon of pop culture, has been registered by the Rover Group (successor BMC) and, like the brand, reserved the copyrights to its shape.

The production version of the Mini was released a press release in April 1959 and in August was produced the first batch of several thousand vehicles for sale.

The name Mini did not appear right away. The first copies were available under two brands belonging to the BMC – Austin and Morris. The name Austin Seven (sometimes written SE7EN in early publications) recalled the popular small Austin of the late ’20s and ’30s. Another term used in the UK – Morris Mini-Minor – seemed to be a play on words. Morris Minor was a well-known car (minor in Latin means less), while the mini is a shortcut Latin – minimus, which is the smallest.

Until 1962 the car was designated as the Austin 850 and Morris 850 in North America and France. In Denmark, until 1964 it was called the Austin Partner, a 1981 Morris Mascot. The name Mini was first used to describe this car in 1961,, thereby BMC surprised the company Sharps Commercials (better known under the later name of Bond Cars Ltd) who used the name Minicar in relation to its three-wheeled vehicle of 1949. However, although the legality of this project is sometimes disputed, BMC used the name Mini for the rest of the production of this popular car.

In 1964, the existing suspension of the car has been replaced by a new system is also designed by Moulton (so-called system Hydrolastic). It was the independent suspension on rubber bags filled with fluid. The new suspension term car always at the same height above the road surface, ensured greater security of traveling, but additional burden and raised production costs. According to many enthusiasts, spoiled a great driveability, which was famous for the Mini. After seven years, in 1971, so I returned to the original rubber suspension, which was used until the end of production.

From October 1965 was available 4-speed automatic transmission was designed by the Automotive Products (AP).

Although at the beginning it was sparsely furnished, the prices were competitive compared with other cars 60s A total of 1 190 000 copies of the Mini Mk I. The basic model of the Mini never bring profit to the manufacturer because it was sold below the cost of production. It was a necessity to cope with competition, but it is said that it was caused by incorrect calculations. Revenue brought to the manufacturer popular deluxe versions of richer optional equipment, which were included among other things: safety belts, mirrors and radio.

Mini became an icon of mass culture, 60s, thanks to its popularity in opinion-forming circles, movie stars and music.

In the years 1967-1970 he worked Issigonis to design a car marked with the symbol 9X to replace the Mini. He was shorter and more powerful than the Mini, but the internal politics of British Leyland Motor Corporation (the company created after the marriage of the owner of BMC, British Motor Holdings and Leyland Motors Ltd) decided that the car had never been in serial production. He had interesting technologically advanced design solutions, it was believed that will on the production in the 80s

Mini Mk II was characterized upgraded grille and enlarged rear window. Moreover, there have been numerous cosmetic changes. A total of 429 000 copies of the second-generation Mini .

Different variants of Mini cars were also built in a factory AUTHIE in Spanish Pamplona since 1968, mostly under the brand name Morris.

The car has become the star of the film The Italian Job, 1969, in which a group of thieves running from a police chase three-returnable Mini driving through the narrow streets, stairs, gutters and roofs of buildings. A remake of this film with the new Mini was built in 2003.

Popularity of the original basic Mini made it created many versions based on the models aimed at a variety of markets.

Alec Issigonis Friend – John Cooper, owner of the Cooper Car Company, designer and builder of Formula 1 cars and rally cars, saw the dormant Mini potential to compete in the races. Issigonis initially reluctant looked at this idea, but after an appeal to the board of BMC Cooper, the two engineers began work on the creation of a Mini Cooper, reverse, fast and for all the economic and affordable car. The new model debuted in 1961 under two names: Austin Mini Cooper and Morris Mini Cooper.

The original engine capacity Morris Mini-Minor was increased from 848cc to 997cc, thus increasing its power of 34hp (25 kW) to 55hp (41 kW). In addition the car were racing upgrades, placed under the hood of the new power unit with two Skinners Union carburetors, new transmissions, front mounted disc brakes unheard of at that time in small cars. One thousand units of this version has gained acceptance and gained BMC board approval of a racing group 2 engine with a capacity of 997 cm ³ in 1964, replaced with a new shorter barrel and a capacity 998 cm ³.

Even stronger version of the Mini Cooper is designated "S". This sold since 1963, the car was complementary to the previous model. Fitted with a capacity of 1071cc and larger equipped with disc brake servo Cooper S 4030 copies were produced before the modernization model to August 1964. Cooper also created two models designed specifically for the race track with an engine capacity of 970cc, respectively, and 1275 cm ³. Both models were also offered on the open market. Model with a smaller engine, however, was not well received, and the end of production in 1965 was built only 963 of its copies. Model with an engine capacity of 1,275cc still produced until 1971.

Used Mini Cooper is as follows: 64 000 copies of the first generation of Coopers (Mk I) with an engine capacity of 997 or 998 cm ³; 19 000 first-generation Coopers S (Mk I) with an engine capacity of 970, 1071 or 1275 cm ³; 16 000 Coopers second generation (Mk II) with an engine capacity of 998cc; 6300 Coopers S second generation (Mk II) with an engine capacity of 1,275cc. No built Coopers third generation, produced only in 1570 Coopers S Mk III.

Used Mini Cooper S three were winning the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. Initially, also took all three places on the podium of the rally in 1966, but were disqualified after a controversial decision of the French judges. Justified the use of the vehicle headlights illegal structures. It should however be noted that the Citroën DS, which ultimately took first place was equipped with a permitted white light and yet escaped disqualification. The driver of the Citroën, Pauli Toivonen, reluctantly accepted the trophy and vowed that he would never start a team of Citroën. BMC probably gained more publicity thanks to the disqualification than would give him the victory. However, its absence would make the Mini was the only car in history would be in the top three of the Rally Monte Carlo for the next six years.

In 1971 started the production license by the Italian Innocenti Cooper as the Innocenti Mini Cooper 1300 and 1973 by the Spanish AUTHIE (Automoviles de Turismo Hispano-Ingleses) as AUTHIE Mini Cooper in 1300.

The new Mini Cooper named the RSP (Rover Special Products) was briefly produced in 1990-1991, he had a much weaker performance than Coopery from the 60s That at the end of 1991 went into mass production already as Cooper emphasizes its popularity in the market. Since 1992 Coopery was equipped with an engine capacity of 1275cc fuel injected. In 1997, the first time a multipoint fuel injection. He then moved to the front of the coolers Body and introduced accessories provide… ce safety "State.

In 1969, already as a property company British Leyland Mini undergone modernization under the guidance of stylist Roy Haynes, who had previously worked for Ford. Renewed version was called the Mini Clubman, and the front part of her body with a square shape was visually similar to the greater Austin Maxi (De facto, the Clubman and 1275GT equipped with exactly the same indicators and exterior lights, which were installed in Austin Maxi). Mini Clubman was intended as the successor of exclusive Riley and Wolseley versions. New model indicated 1275GT Mini Cooper planned to replace an engine capacity of 998cc. (The production of the Mini Cooper S with an engine capacity of 1,275cc continued in parallel with the production of the 1275GT for two years until 1971). Clubman Estate had to fill the gap left versions Countryman and Traveller.

Name 1275GT is often niepoprawianie saved as a Mini Clubman 1275GT. The official name was always Mini 1275GT and emphasized the separation of Clubmana model (although both cars shared the same front part of the body and were sold in the same period).

After 1971, when stopped producing the Mini Cooper S with an engine capacity of 1,275cc, Mini 1275GT remained the only sporting Mini sold in the UK for the rest of the decade. (Innocenti in Italy, however, continued to produce their own version of the Mini Cooper, and in Australia in the early ’70s produced a unique Cooper Clubman front Clubmana called GT, equipped with a dwugaźnikowy Cooper S engine with a capacity of 1275cc.)

Model 1275GT was had a lower price than its predecessor, and was cheaper to use and insurance. It was the first Mini equipped with a tachometer (tachometer). For transmission standard used for transmission. Performance Mini 1275GT were high for the times: acceleration from 0 to 60 miles/h (96km/h) was 12.9 seconds, thanks to perfectly matched torque in top gear speed could be increased by 30-50 miles/h in just nine seconds. Few aerodynamic front end, however, meant that the truck was difficult to reach the speed of 90 miles/h A series engine with a capacity of 1275 cm ³ can be more economical and better tuned, although the low price and unobtrusive door decorated with friezes made the model gained a reputation as a popular "male racer" in the 70s and 80s

In the design of the Mini Clubman and 1275GT uses two innovations. They were the first cars equipped with the installation of the printed circuit board for mounting electronic components (common nowadays, and technically advanced in the year 1969). In addition, since 1974 1275GT was the first car offered with the tires, which could continue to drive after their breakthrough, the model can be ordered with 12-inch tires Dunlop Denovo. Tires are not bursting, and it was considered a fast air, so that it was safe to continue driving at a speed not exceeding 50 miles/h However, the noise while driving and relatively poor grip made this option was often ignored by buyers 1275GT.

By the end of the 70s British Leyland continued to produce the classic Mini Clubman models in parallel and 1275GT. Clubman and 1275GT with a longer engine compartment offer greater safety during frontal collisions, there were better equipped and had much better access to the engine, but they were more expensive. Both cars were replaced in 1980 by the new hatchback Austin Metro, while production of the original Mini was continued for another 20 years. Together wytworzono 275 583 egzemplarzy modelu Mini Clubman you wersji sedan, 197 i 110 673 606 kombi Clubman Estate 1275 GT.

Mini Mk III compared to their predecessors went through a sufficient number of modifications to change the factory designation ADO15 on ADO20 (shared with the Clubman). The most visible changes were the extension of the doors and concealing the hinges.

Buyers demanded located ™ introduction to skip windows in exchange for used previously moved (in manufactured in Australia Mini Mk I is a solution… solution already introduced a few years earlier> it). Due to the large saving ™ ™ savings> Ä ‡ powrÄ‚Å‚cono to the original rubber suspension, in exchange for Hydrolastic system.

Production at the factory in Cowley has been completed, a simple and well-recognized name already replaced the Mini separate Austin and Morris brands.

In the 70s Innocenti started production based on the floorpan Mini hatchback designed by Bertone Innocenti 90 and 120 The same designer created the equivalent of a Mini Cooper – Innocenti De Tomaso sports a turbocharged engine with a capacity of 1275 cm ³. News of the impending end of the Mini came to light in 1980 with the involvement of the group in the production of a new car Austin Mini Metro. In 1981, the Mini starred in Goodbye Pork Pie Geoff Murphy. Since then, the Mini started out of favor in many export markets. Production in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand have been suspended.

In the 80s and 90s in the UK have become popular special edition Mini (such as the Mini 25, Mini Red Flame, Mini Red Hot, Mini Check Mate, Mini Studio 2, Mini or Mini Piccadilly Tahiti). They had to stand out from the mass version of the Mini and give it a fashionable style. Mini version tops have become popular in Japan, where they were seen as an icon of retro inspired many imitators.

In 1994, under the leadership of Bernd Pischetsrieder, a relative of Issigonis, BMW took control of part of the remains of a failing company British Layland – Rover Group, that included the Mini. Thus, the right to make the Mini were in the hands of the German automotive industry leader. Then, too, to adapt to European standards, for the first time in the Mini used airbag.

Until 2000 the Rover Group brought many severe losses, which is why BMW decided to sell the individual parts of the company. MG and Rover were bought by a new British consortium Phoenix Venture Holdings and Land Rover from Ford. BMW left the marks Mini planning to implement for the production of a new model of providing Roverowi temporary approval for sale of the final series of the old model still under the brand Mini. In April 2000, selection of vehicles Mini consisted of four models: the Mini Classic Seven, the Mini Classic Cooper, the Mini Classic Cooper Sport and for the European market the Mini Knightsbridge. The last Mini (a red Cooper Sport) was built on Oct. 4, 2000, and presented to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust in December of the same year. To sum total made 5 387 862 copies of the Mini in various body styles.

After the latest Mini has been sold, the rights to the brand returned to BMW. The new BMW Mini is technically unrelated to the old car, but also uses the classic cross-set 4-cylinder engine driving the front wheels, and its exterior stylistic connection to the original.

Old Mini deepened its image icons of popular culture. There was The Bourne Identity, where participated in the chase scenes and the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, where he was the pride of the collection of classic sports vehicles. Previously, the car can be seen in television programs with the participation of Mr. Bean on the TV show The Prisoner (a version of the Mini Moke).

Many prototypes constructed on the basis of the Mini, who never went to mass production are held and sometimes displayed for visitors to the British Museum Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon (Warwickshire). This collection includes the following vehicles: Twini, redesigned Mini Moke with two engines, one in front and one to the back; Austin Ant, which was an attempt to create a vehicle with four-wheel drive with transfer case; two-seater convertible MG created by the next edition of the Mini, the work on it was abandoned due to ongoing prepared for the production of the MG Midget.

Mini car won over the years, many awards and honors. The most important of them are:

Number of over 5 million copies sold makes the Mini is the most popular British car ever created.

When in 2000 ended production of the original Mini, BMW (the new owner of the brand) announced the production of its successor – called the BMW MINI and New MINI. However, the brand, and also the name of a new car is MINI (written in capital letters).

Many of the original Mini enthusiasts reject the claim that the new MINI is the natural successor to the 1969 classic. Others simply hate it. Still others, became the first buyers of the new MINI. There are many reasons for that new car is perceived negatively. One of them is the opinion that the production of the classic Mini could be continued for many years, if the manufacturer has not been forced to give up her seat for the new MINI. New Car is larger than the original Mini. It is 55 cm long, 30 cm wider and weighs 1050kg, which is about 400kg more. This, coupled with the departure from spartan minimalism of the original objection is the reason many fans of the brand. Others feel offended by the fact that the German company BMW took over the rights to so associated with British automotive brand. However, many users Mini expresses a different opinion about the new car, saying that he is "full" successor classical vehicle. They argue the fact that he is the only concept that allows you to continue production of the cult car of maintaining modern standards of safety and production standards. Many clubs lovers MINI Mini forbade entry to your meetings. Others do not continue to search for car enthusiasts from both camps. Such a phenomenon is not just the user community the Mini. It is also common to other cars in retro style referring to already-produced classics (eg Volkswagen New Beetle).

April 3, 2007, after six years of production, from the production plant in Cowley millionth MINI rolled off. Production of the number of vehicles in the case of the classic Mini took a month for less.

In 2008-2009, in cooperation with the AC Propulsion has produced a series of 555 MINI E electric cars Cars with a range of about 160km are leased under the program of tests.