In 1957, Alec Issigonis set up small, secretive, long term research department and it was there that the original Mini – ADO 15 – was born.
Original design work began in 1957 full approval for production on two sites – Longbridge (existing Austin plant) and Cowley (The Morris plant) – came in mid 1958, and the new Austin and Mini-badged 848 CC versions were launched simultaneously in August 1959.
The name Mini was sued for the first time in 1961. The debut of the sporty Cooper version in July 1961, developed by racer John Cooper, and its subsequent motorsports victories were major factors toward increasing interest in the mini.
In 1961, it was renamed Austin Mini, and eight years later in 1969 – ten years after the first Mini rolled off the production line - the Mini became a marquee on its own right.
When the classic Mini production stopped in 2000, BMW announced a Mini replacement.
Since its launch in 2001, BMW’s modern Mini has become the pinnacle of small yet funky family cars in the premium small car segment.
Mini Cooper in history