The Mini: Cross-Section of a Motoring Innovation

mini-cross-section (Image: geni, cc-sa-3.0)

Designed by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) in 1959, the Mini was an affordable, compact family vehicle that soon became an icon of 1960s Britain. Its space-saving design (making the Mini the first ‘modern’ small front-wheel drive car in Europe) influenced a generation of car makers and allowed for 80 per cent of the vehicle’s floor-plan to be used for passengers and luggage, as the above cross-section image demonstrates.

morris-mini-cooper (Image: Lokal Profil, cc-sa-3.0)

Voted the second most influential car of the 20th century after the Ford Model T, the Mini was considered by some to be a contemporary of the Volkswagen Beetle, which had enjoyed similar popularity in North America. Its combination of practical family application, status as an enduring symbol of Britishness and worldwide retro-cool icon ensured a tremendous production run, in many variants, of 5,387,862 Minis between 1959 and 2000.

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