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Mini - The Small Car that Changed the Game

On a list of the most influential cars in history the Mini would have to be near the top of the list. It almost single handedly created the modern front wheel drive car and played a huge role in the development of the compact car. The brand has gone through quite a few changes over the years and the current version has little in common with the original Mini but the car is still instantly recognizable. The current Mini is produced by BMW and is a much more polished vehicle than the original. Nevertheless it still has the cult following that the original version had.

The Mini is one of the most influential cars ever to be produced. The car was introduced in 1959 by BMC and sold under the Austin and the Morris brand. The car was so popular that in 1969 Mini became a brand in its own right. The car was so revolutionary because it was such a small car introduced at a time when the industry was dominated by large vehicles. The key to its small size was that it was one of the first cars to introduce front wheel drive. This not only improved the performance of the car but it also allowed more of its floor pan to be turned into usable space. The result was a small car that had a remarkable amount of carrying capacity.

Nowadays of course front wheel drive vehicles are common but at the time this was a rather revolutionary new design. The car quickly became very popular in Britain and even developed something of a cult following the United States. Unfortunately BMC struggled financially and sales of the car declined. Eventually the company was sold to BMW who later sold off most of the other assets they got from BMC but they held on to the Mini brand. In 2001 they decided to reintroduce the Mini and it quickly became a massive success.

The current Mini success being produced by BMW is not actually related to the original. Although designed to look similar it is in reality a completely different car. The new Mini is a much more technically advanced vehicle. The new Mini has also become a much more successful brand outside of Britain. The original Mini was popular in the UK but only really developed a cult following in other countries. This isn't the case with the new model. With BMWs marketing might behind the brand it has sold well around the world. Although not nearly as revolutionary as the original car the current one is probably a more practical car. The new version is really no different than most of the other compact cars on the market but it really benefits from the image it gets as a result of its history.