Whether you own one, have seen one driving in the streets, or enjoyed the MINI-powered heist of the popular film The Italian Job, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about the MINI and MINI Cooper. 

The MINI – A British Icon Turned To An American Favorite

Today’s MINI has a long heritage, extending to 1959, when the British Motor Corporation introduced the Mini. This tiny, two-door car is considered an icon of British cultural heritage. Today, the MINI Cooper is built by BMW, and has been owned by the brand since 2000.

The History Of The Modern MINI 

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The Mini was manufactured by British Motor Corporation from 1959-1968, then by British Leyland from 1968-1986. Then, Rover Group built the car from 1986 until 2000, when BMW purchased the brand, which manufactures it to this day. 

2000 is when the modern MINI was first introduced, with the MINI One, Mini Cooper, Mini Cooper S, and John Cooper Works (JCW). Throughout the following years, more variants were introduced, including the four-door MINI Clubman, and the MINI Convertible. 

The MINI: Innovative Technology In A Compact Platform

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The MINI is well-known for managing to squeeze the most possible power and space out of a small platform. The original MINI design allowed 80% of the car’s floor pan to be used for passengers and cargo, maximizing space even for such a small car. Today’s MINI models also incorporate advanced powertrain and steering technology for maximum fuel economy, performance, and more. 

A History Of Today’s Modern MINI Models

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The two-door MINI is still the most well-known vehicle made by this automotive marque, and it has gone through three major model generations:

  • Generation 1 (2001-2007) – This marks the first release of a MINI vehicle by the BMW-owned brand. It had features like a transversely-mounted I4 engine, continuously variable transmission (CVT), BMW Cornering Brake Control, and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
  • Generation 2 (2008) – The second generation of the MINI utilized an all-new chassis and engine, which was built to be more fuel-efficient, and its length was increased by 2.4 inches. An engine start button replaced the keyed ignition, and a new power steering and dynamic stability control system led to improved handling.
  • Generation 3 (2013-present) – The third-generation MINI is nearly 4 inches longer than the outgoing model for an interior volume of 2011 liters, and was introduced with six all-new engines, including a diesel. A 5-door model is also available, which further lengthens the car by 6 inches.

The MINI In The News

The MINI is perhaps most well-known for its pivotal role in the 2003 film The Italian Job, where its diminutive size makes it a key part of a heist that is integral to the film. Some MINI owners were even given free tickets to the film! 

Celebrity Endorsements Of The MINI 

Quite a few celebrities have endorsed or owned a MINI car, thanks to its iconic style. A few celebs who cruise around in a MINI include Adam Carolla, Blake Lively, Britney Spears, Emma Stone, Jimmy Fallon, and Mindy Kaling. 

The Most Popular MINI Groups 

A few of the most popular MINI groups include North American Motoring and Mini Cooper Forums, and there are many local user groups which can be found using this tool from MINI. 

The MINI – Small, Efficient, Fun To Drive, And Owned By Passionate Fans!

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It may not be on the same level as popular supercars, but since its introduction to America, the MINI has become extremely popular thanks to its fun, active driving style, unique look, and iconic British cultural heritage. So if you’re thinking of getting one, it may be time to take the plunge – once you sit in the driver’s seat, you won’t regret it.