British car model made by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and its successors from 1959 until 2000

The Mini is a small car made by the British Motor Corporation (BMC), British Leyland and Rover from 1959 to 2000. It used a transverse engine and front-wheel drive, where the turning power was put on the front wheels of the car rather than the back wheels. Its design saved a large amount of space. It allowed most of the car's size to be used for passengers and luggage. It had only two doors, but could seat up to four passengers.

A red, Mini Cooper

The design was very influential for car-making in the second half of the 20th century.[1] In 1999, the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century, behind the Ford Model T.[2][3] The original model is considered an icon of the 1960s in Britain.[4][5][6]

The original Mini was designed for BMC by Alec Issigonis.[7][8]

It was first released in August 1959. Rover ceased production in October 2000. It was marketed under the names Austin, Morris, Cooper, Wolseley, Riley, British Leyland and Rover.


  1. Buckley, Martin; Rees, Chris (2006). Cars: An encyclopedia of the world's most fabulous automobiles. Hermes House. ISBN 1-84309-266-2. The BMC Mini, launched in 1959, is Britain's most influential car ever. It defined a new genre. Other cars used front-wheel drive and transverse engines before but none in such a small space.
  2. "This Just In: Model T Gets Award", James G. Cobb, The New York Times, 24 December 1999
  3. Strickland, Jonathan. "How the MINI Cooper Works". Retrieved 20 July 2010.
  4. Reed, Chris (2003). Complete Classic Mini 1959–2000. Orpington: Motor Racing. ISBN 1-899870-60-1.
  5. Reed, Chris (1994). Complete Mini: 35 Years Of Production History, Model Changes, Performance Data. Croydon: MRP. ISBN 0-947981-88-8.
  6. Clausager, Anders (1997). Essential Mini Cooper. Bideford, Devon: Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-86-9.
  7. Wood, Jonathan (2005). Alec Issigonis: The Man Who Made the Mini. Breedon Books Publishing. ISBN 1-85983-449-3.
  8. Nahum, Andrew (2004). Issigonis and the Mini. Icon Books. ISBN 1-84046-640-5.