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A mini history of the New Mini

2000 Classic Mini Knightsbridge: front view.

2000 Classic Mini Cooper: back view.

The original Mini was launched in 1959 (Mini MY2000 in photos).

9 Nov. 2006.

In a hint to its history, November the 18th will not only mark the launch date of the second generation new Mini. It is also the 100th birthday of the original Mini's father, Sir Alec Issigonis. Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis was born 18 November 1906 (died in 1988) from a Greek father and a German mother. He was knighted by the Queen of England in 1969. You can read more about Sir Alec Issigonis at designmuseum.org or at wikipedia.org.

After the original Mini (launched in 1959), the first generation of the New Mini, the Mini One and Mini Cooper went on sale in the UK in July 2001, a year before the Mini Cooper S joined the ranks. Then, the Mini One D added the diesel frugality in 2003.

Also that year, the first tuning kits from John Cooper Garages were launched for the Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S.

2004 saw the return of top-down Mini driving with the arrival of the Mini Convertible. It was joined that year by a freshened up Mini range.

The Mini One Seven, Cooper Park Lane and Cooper S Checkmate debuted in the autumn of 2005 with the first generation New Mini signing off in some style in the summer of 2006 with the sold-out Mini GP, the Mini Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP kit.

2007 Mini Cooper: front view.

2007 Mini Cooper: back view.

2001 Mini One

2001 Mini Cooper: back view.

2007 Mini Cooper (top right and left) and 2001 Mini (lower two).

Over 50,000 people visited the UKís 150 Mini dealerships during the carís opening weekend in July 2001 and by August 2006, Mini had achieved the 200,000 sales landmark in the UK (of a total 800,000 MINIs built within five years).

Mini crossed the oceans too and made a bigger splash around the globe than the original. It is now sold in over 70 countries worldwide. The UK, USA, Germany, Italy and Japan make up the carís top five markets and have been major contributors to the fact that in just five years Mini has become the third largest motor manufacturer in the UK.

2002 Mini Cooper S: side view. Compare with 2007 Mini Cooper S (below).

2007 Mini Cooper S: side view. Compare with 2002 Mini Cooper S (above)

2002 Mini Cooper S (top) and the 2007 Mini Cooper S (above).

The new Mini is built at Plant Oxford, which is increasing its annual production capacity to 240,000 units by 2008, more than double the planned production capacity prior to the first car coming off the line in spring 2001.

The new BMW-designed engines (developed in cooperation with PSA, Peugeot CitroŽn) will be assembled at Hams Hall in the Midlands and the body panels and sub-assemblies will come from Plant Swindon.

More about the 2007 Mini: New Mini, the second generation, Mini Cooper, Mini Cooper S, Mini specs, Mini options, brief history.

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