The MINI is a globally successful model that has become a permanent fixture on the streets of modern cities. The British premium small car has established itself worldwide as a symbol of urban driving fun and became an essential part of its drivers’ mobile lifestyle. The MINI has now been named “Car of the Decade” by a jury compiled by the German automotive magazine “Automobilwoche”. The Munich-based auto publication’s experts found that no other model has had a greater influence on the development of the automobile industry since the start of the 21st century than the premium segment’s first small car.
The MINI began on its road to success in 2001. With the re-launch of the brand and the concept of a premium small car combining expressive design and exceptionally agile handling with almost endless possibilities for individualisation, the BMW Group made a highly successful venture into a new market segment. The MINI was named “Car of the Decade” not merely by virtue of its continually growing market success, however, but primarily for the impetus it has given the automobile industry. The “Automobilwoche” jury highlighted MINI’s status as a “cult small car” whose success unleashed “a wave of similar products”. Although competition has since become much fiercer, MINI clearly maintains its leading position ten years on. MINI remains the only manufacturer to develop its own premium small cars independently, and achieved a new global sales record of 234,175 vehicles in 2010.
MINI’s unique character is based not least on the authentic reinterpretation of the construction features and values that caused a revolution in the automobile sector in the brand’s early years. As the first car of its kind, the classic Mini introduced in 1959, with its transversely mounted front engine and innovative interior concept, was able to offer maximum space with a minimal footprint. The classic Mini made automobile history with this principle, and although it provided the inspiration for many models produced by other manufacturers, it retained its status as a one-of-a-kind original throughout the decades. In 1995, readers of the British magazine “Autocar” voted it “Car of the Century”.