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How MINIs Are Made In The UK

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Although the two-door and four-door pair wore Mini badges, both vehicles remained purely concepts. In , BMW set out on creating the production Mini. The first aspect that was considered was the design, which was chosen from 15 full-sized design studies. Stephenson penned the new Mini One R50 and Mini Cooper leading the team which developed the E50 car in Munich parallel development in England by the team at Rover having been dropped in After the launch of the new Mini, Stephenson told automotive magazine Autocar : [1].

At the North American International Auto Show in January , BMW announced that it would be extending the Mini range with the launch of two new two-door sports crossover vehicles based on the Mini Paceman concept car, with a coupe version planned to enter production in and a roadster to follow in In July , BMW has announced that an electric Mini model will be built at the Cowley plant, in Oxford, that will start production in Mark I Minis can be identified by exterior door hinges, sliding door glass, tail lights smaller than later cars and a "mustache" grille.

The A-series engine came in a wide range of capacities, initially as an cc, but later the , , and cc engines were added. The non-Cooper cars had gearboxes with the "magic wand" selector, with 4-speeds no synchromesh on 1st while the Coopers has a remote shift selector.

An automatic, 4-speed transmission was introduced in In , a 2-seater van was launched, along with an estate, both sharing a longer wheelbase In the pickup was introduced, also based on the longer wheelbase. The Mini received some minor modifications in as sold as the Austin or Morris Mini in most markets. The most visible changes were larger doors with concealed hinges. The boot lid lost the original hinged number plate and its recess shape and a large rear colour-coded lamp was fitted in its place, along with larger rear side windows.

Sliding windows were replaced with winding windows—although some Australian-manufactured Mark I Minis had adopted this feature in with opening quarterlight windows. The suspension reverted from Hydrolastic to rubber cones.


The Mark IV, launched in , introduced a front rubber mounted subframe with single tower bolts and larger bushes in the rear frame. In addition twin stalk indicators were introduced with larger foot pedals, and from onwards the rear indicator lamps had the reverse lights incorporated in them. The Mark V, launched in , introduced 8. Internal bonnet release were fitted from For this model twin point injection with front-mounted radiator was introduced, along with a full-width dashboard and driver's side airbag.

It was available in Cooper, Cooper S and One variations at launch. In many European markets, the Mini One was powered by a 1. This generation of minis was the only production model to have one, replaced by a turbocharger from the second generation onwards. The names Cooper and Cooper S followed the names used for the sportier version of the classic Mini, which in turn come from the involvement of John Cooper and the Cooper Car Company.

This car featured many extras which help to improve performance, such as a racing exhaust and air filter as well as uprated suspension.

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Hand-finished by Bertone in Italy, it was offered as a limited-production run of 2, cars during the model year, with of those originally intended for the UK market although ultimately, were sold. At the Salon International de l'Auto , Mini introduced a convertible model which was released in the model year and available in One, Cooper and Cooper S trim versions. The convertible roof is fully automatic—an unusual feature in such a small car—and can be opened partially to act as a sunroof whilst the car is driving at speed.

The convertible model forsakes the rear hatchback of the Hardtop Mini, replacing it with a drop down 'tailgate' that is reminiscent of the classic Mini—it incorporates similarly prominent external hinges, and with the roof in the closed position, the rear roof section and luggage shelf can be raised with two handles, semi-tailgate style, to access the luggage space easier. The convertible also adds two small power windows for the rear seat passengers which are lowered automatically when the roof opens. The second generation Mini was introduced in the Cooper and Cooper S trim levels; the range was added to in with the Mini One.

For the first time, there was a diesel-powered Cooper, available from April , and badged as the Cooper D, which was supplemented in January with a new 2. The Convertible and Clubman versions followed later.

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In , the Mini First trim level was launched in the UK, which is a low-end, petrol-only version, with less power and a lower speed. It has twin "barn doors," alternately referred to as "the Splitdoor," enclosing the boot instead of a pull-up hatch, and also features a "Clubdoor" on the right-hand side regardless of the intended market. This means that in right-hand drive markets, the rear door is on the road side of the car, requiring rear passengers to exit into the road.

The use of the name "Clubman" for the Mini estate van was a break with classic Mini tradition. However, BMW did not initially purchase the rights to use those names. The second generation Mini Convertible was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show [47] and the Geneva International Motor Show [48] as a model-year vehicle first available for sale on 28 March [49]. A device, marketed as the "Openometer", records the number of minutes the vehicle has operated with its roof retracted. Available variants and corresponding powertrain selections are the same as in the Mini Hatch range, including the diesel engine in some markets.

It is offered with a choice of two- or four-wheel drive known as ALL4 , and with 1. The Countryman has a longer wheelbase, more interior room, and higher ground clearance than the Clubman. It is the first two-seat Mini and the first to have a three-box design; the engine compartment, the passenger compartment and the luggage compartments are all separated. The Mini Paceman three-door crossover version of the Countryman debuted as a concept car at the Detroit Auto Show.

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Kay Segler, announced that, "the Mini Paceman is the official name of the brand's seventh model, which will be launched next year in the U. The third generation Mini was unveiled by BMW in November , with sales starting in the first half of The increase in size results in a larger interior and a boot volume increase to litres. Future models will have an F-series model number. The following designations are known: [61].

In time, production was rationalised to just Longbridge and so this was where the last of the cars were made, making Longbridge the "natural home" for the new Mini prior to BMW splitting up the company. However, as a result of the change of ownership, BMW redeveloped the entire Cowley plant, demolishing much of the factory, to create a new factory and renamed this " Plant Oxford ", on the site of what was historically the Pressed Steel Company 's Cowley Body Plant and next door to what was historically the Morris factory.

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Since , Plant Hams Hall produces the new Mini petrol engines, Plant Oxford is responsible for the body shell production, paint and assembly, and Plant Swindon produces body pressings and sub-assemblies, creating the "Mini Production Triangle". At Plant Oxford 4, employees, referred to as "associates", produce up to cars each day approximately , per year.

Final assembly is performed at Cowley, which involves the fitting of 2, components to produce the numerous variants that may be ordered. Mini sub-assemblies and pressings such as doors are supplied by the plant at Swindon , where 1, are employed and pressed parts are produced using welding robots.

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A total of around 5. Thousands of these are still on the road, with the remaining pres versions being firmly established as collectors' items. Deliveries of Minis has ranged from , in to , in In , cars were delivered, [82] with In , the Mini was Britain's seventh best selling car—the first time that a BMW-era Mini had appeared among the nation's top 10 selling cars. In the U. A total of , Mini vehicles were sold worldwide in Special spots were created; for the first season, these took the form of a satirical , sexist 60s-style television commercial.

For the second season, the spot was a pastiche of Mad Men' s opening credits, with a silhouette figure tumbling out of an office building, landing in the driver's seat of a Mini. It is reported that BMW was ordered by U. The vehicle gliders are built in the Mini factory in Oxford, while batteries, electric drive and power electronics are manufactured in Munich.

The components are then shipped to a specially equipped manufacturing complex, situated on BMW plant premises where the electric motor, battery units, performance electronics and transmission can be integrated. The Mini E is a demonstration car part of BMW's "Project i", which will be followed in mid by a similar trial with the BMW ActiveE all-electric vehicle , which will be built based on the lessons learned from the Mini E field testing. The last phase of "Project i" is the development of the Mega City Vehicle MCV urban electric car, a new brand that will be sold separately from BMW or Mini, and is expected to go into mass production between and There were several Mini concept cars produced to show future ideas and forthcoming models such as the ACV30 in and the Crossover in which became the Mini Countryman in The ACV30 featured several elements that influenced the eventual new Mini of such as the black a-pillars, chunky wheel arch detailing and white roof.

BMW demonstrated a hydrogen -powered internal combustion technology in some of their concept cars in and , and Mini showcased a hydrogen-powered concept car in at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The car differs from electric -motor hydrogen concepts, such as the Honda FCX in that it uses a cylinder-based internal combustion engine.

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An R56 Challenge vehicle was entered in the Mini Challenge. The factory team competed in a reduced programme for the WRC season, before cutting funding.

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