In 1955, a small team at the British Motor Corporation (BMC) started working on designs for a new small car. In 1956, Britain was facing international criticism following an invasion with France and Israel to take control of the Suez Canal from Egypt. Sanctions including an oil embargo threatened oil supplies to Britain.
Elsewhere, imports of small cars from Europe were threatening the dominance of British manufacturers. BMC countered with the Mini, which was unveiled in April 1959.
Lots of space inside with minimum dimensions outside, seats for 4 passengers, impeccable driving characteristics, superior fuel economy, and a very affordable price – this was the brief from BMC to Sir Alec Issigonis. And so it was, on August 26, 1959, he revealed to the world the result of the developments that had followed since the brief – MINI. At the time, it was a revolution in automotive design since its 34 bhp, 850 cc, 4cyl. petrol engine was mounted transversely up front.
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Manufacturer – British Motor Corporation
Country – United Kingdom
Model – British Motor Corporation Mini
Vehicle type – Small family car
Production – 1959 – 2000
Length – 120.1 inches
Wheelbase – 80.3 inches
Width – 55.1 inches
Height – 53.1 inches
Engine – 850cc petrol
Top speed – 72 mph