History of MINI
The story of MINI began over 60 years ago. After groundbreaking innovations in design, technology, and performance, the MINI lineup has become iconic, not just here in the United States, but around the world.
Drivers in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens who want to learn more about the history of MINI can read this guide created by MINI of Manhattan. From the gas pump to the racetrack and beyond, let’s explore the story of an icon!
The Beginnings of MINI
The idea for what would become MINI began in post-World War II England back in 1957. Gas prices were on the rise, and drivers began looking for an alternative to the gas-guzzling automobiles of the day. That’s when Alec Issigonis, a top engineer at the Morris Company, set out to make a small, fuel-efficient car that was also spacious.
In order to accomplish this, Issigonis needed to come up with a few unique innovations. First, he pushed the wheels all the way out to each corner—this left ample room in the cabin. Then, he flipped the engine onto its side. This provided more space, and more importantly, improved stability.
The finished product soon captured the hearts and minds of the public. Everything from the design to the nimble handling of the first MINI seemed to embody the very spirit of youthful drivers in the 1960s!
It didn’t take long for folks to realize that some of the innovations aboard the MINI made it a perfect candidate for the racetrack. Then, when a MINI vehicle found its way into the hands of racing legend John Cooper, a trip to the winner’s circle was imminent.
A more powerful engine, bigger brakes, and some tuning adjustments led to the birth of the Classic Mini Cooper 997. MINI began building an extensive trophy collection almost immediately. From 1964 to 1967, MINI won the world-famous Monte Carlo rally a whopping three times!
MINI has even found success in modern motorsports. They had a 4-year win streak at the Dakar Rally from 2012 to 2015. MINI has also won as recently as 2018 when they took home the IMSA Manufacturer’s Championship.
MINI vehicles finally hit the streets of the United States in 2002, and once they did, drivers soon realized why they were popular throughout Europe. From hardtops to convertibles, seating for up to five passengers, and the enhanced capability of the ALL4 all-wheel drive system, there’s a MINI for everyone!
If you’re looking to experience the classic design and capability that’s known the world over, check out the MINI Cooper Hardtop. You could also opt for the adventurous spirit of the MINI Countryman, or the extra sophistication of a MINI Clubman.
There are more innovations on the way, too! Take the MINI Electric, for example. This fully electric, zero-emissions vehicle just goes to prove that the boundaries that MINI can break are virtually endless.
Be a Part of MINI History!
If you want to get behind the wheel of your very own MINI, visit us here at MINI of Manhattan. You’ll be able to see what 60 years of innovation can do for your drives through Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens when you take it for a test drive!
Contact us today to learn more!