Mini history and facts
Minis were originally produced by England-based British Motor Corporation from 1959 and morphed into an iconic symbol of 1960s British culture. Though a tiny car, its space-saving engine meant a more substantial share of the floorplan could be used by passengers.
Throughout the 1960s, performance versions of the classic Mini, which were known as the Mini Cooper and Cooper S, won races and rallies, including the prestigious Monte Carlo Rally. Minis famously featured in the classic 1960s film The Italian Job starring Michael Caine, with the racier versions of the Mini used to pull off a daring heist.
The first Mini models under the ownership of BMW were introduced in 2001, departing from the classic two-door Mini with a hatchback format.
Mini has launched numerous models and facelifts over the past 20 years, making the car available as either a hardtop or cabriolet, and reviving Mini's racing heritage with more sporty versions of the car that offer powerful engines.
Under BMW's reign, Minis have become significantly bigger, with the range including hatchbacks, estate cars and small SUVs, making the Mini a more practical option as a family car than before.
BMW has mainly produced Minis at its factory in Cowley, Oxford, though SUV versions have been built elsewhere, with the Countryman assembled at a BMW facility in the Netherlands. The 10 millionth Mini rolled off the production line in Cowley in 2019, marking the Mini's 60th anniversary.
The great deal of choice BMW has brought to the Mini proposition means that the Mini stable varies quite a lot on price, as well as on insurance costs for motorists. You can still buy the more expensive petrol Minis with their turbocharged engines, but Mini now offers all-electric and plug-in hybrid models as well.