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Source: BMW Group Munich. An original celebrates its anniversary. The MINI was presented to the public for the first time 20 years ago at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris. With the relaunch of the traditional British brand under the umbrella of the BMW Group and the debut of the MINI One and MINI Cooper models, a success story that is unique in the automotive sector began. As the successor to the classic Mini, whose production time ended just a few days later after 41 years, the second generation had all the prerequisites for a new revolution in the small car segment. The MINI was the first premium vehicle in its class, its modern concept enabled continuous development in terms of driving fun, efficiency, comfort, safety, connectivity and, last but not least, model diversity. A journey through time with an early MINI Cooper is great suitable to track down the groundbreaking character of the second generation. The ambassador from the early stages of the British original for the 21st century rolled off the assembly line in October 2001, six months after production started at the MINI plant in Oxford. Three previous owners have already had a lot of driving pleasure with it over around 175,000 kilometers. And like every MINI, it was given a name. It was christened “Sunny”, inspired by its body painting in the Liquid Yellow variant, which also makes it a rarity. In the first year of sales of the modern MINI in Germany, only every fifteenth vehicle was delivered in this color. The combination with a roof and exterior mirror caps in black was even rarer. The starting signal for the development of the second generation of the MINI was given back in July 1994. The designers attached great importance to not only transferring design details such as the short overhangs, the round headlights and the hexagonal radiator grille, but above all the basic idea from the early years of the classic Mini to the modern era. The modern MINI should also be unique, offer space for four people and their luggage, be efficient on the road and impress with driving characteristics that no other model in its class could match. In addition, modern comfort requirements and the highest safety standards were taken into account. The result was yet another revolutionary new small car – all criteria based on the requirements of its time and this time also developed and manufactured according to the quality standards of a premium brand. In autumn 1997, selected journalists were able to inspect the MINI 2000 study for the first time. That woke the MINI fever. The relaunch of the brand and the upcoming presentation of the production vehicle became intensely discussed topics, especially online. At the same time as the world premiere in Paris, national and international MINI websites were activated, on which more than 100,000 interested parties soon registered. On July 7, 2001, sales of the MINI began in Great Britain, and two months later the market launch in Germany. At this point in time, the MINI plant in Oxford was working a weekend shift for the first time in order to cope with the high demand. But the global triumphal march had only just begun. In Japan – where the classic Mini had a large fan base – generation two also met with enormous interest. The start of sales there was scheduled for March 2, 2002, because this date is pronounced in Japanese as “MI-NI”. On March 22nd, 2002 the American fans finally got their chance. Dealers there had already booked 20,000 orders. The second-generation MINI impressed everyone around the world with its agile handling. Even “Sunny” leaves no doubt that the MINI was designed for sporty cornering. The 85 kW / 115 PS engine of the MINI Cooper also ensures impressive acceleration. A good 20 years ago, this also convinced John Cooper, the ingenious sports car designer who once paved the way for the classic Mini on the racetracks. “The MINI Cooper puts a smile on your face,” he said after a first test drive with the model that was again named after him. With front-wheel drive and four-cylinder engines installed transversely at the front, elementary design principles of the first generation were adopted in the new edition. A McPherson front axle with axle shafts of the same length, the multi-link rear axle, disc brakes on all four wheels and the standard anti-lock braking system, including cornering brake control and electronic brake force distribution, were now available from the outset Individualization is a central component of the typical MINI style. Seats and upholstery, interior moldings and steering wheels in several variants as well as modern equipment options such as automatic air conditioning, heated seats, panoramic sunroof and navigation system ensure variety and a premium look in the interior. The original MINI accessories program included additional headlights, white rear lights, an aerodynamic package, various roof decors, additional instruments and even a car phone. A diesel engine made its way into the second generation of the MINI as early as 2003, and this followed the following year MINI convertible. In the third generation introduced in 2006, the variety of models became even greater. MINI Clubman, MINI Coupé and MINI Roadster were added. Soon afterwards, the brand made an advance into the premium compact segment, where today the MINI Countryman and the new MINI Clubman provide a go-kart feeling in a further dimension. Additional target groups were conquered in what is now the fourth generation of the small car with the MINI 5-door. That the basis for technological progress had already been laid with the reinterpretation of classic design features in the second generation of the MINI is also evident in the interior. There, “Sunny” expresses its individual style, especially with the large speedometer in the middle of the instrument panel. In the first-generation MINI, the central instrument was replaced by new displays behind the steering wheel with the introduction of the MK V in 1985. And in the current fourth-generation MINI, too, speed, engine speed and other driving-related information are displayed in a modern – depending on the model, digital – instrument cluster on the steering column. The central instrument is still an important design and control element to this day. It serves as a control display for navigation, infotainment, telephone and vehicle functions. Over the course of 20 years, the MINI has matured noticeably and its character is still unmistakable. And the fresh color that looks so good on “Sunny” currently has a special, forward-looking signal effect. Yellow accents mark the MINI Cooper SE (combined fuel consumption: 0.0 l / 100 km; combined power consumption: 16.8 – 14.8 kWh / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g / km), the first to be purely electric powered model of the brand marks the next evolutionary step of the original.

If you have any questions, please contact: Press and Public RelationsMatthias Bode, Press Spokesman for Product Communication MINI Telephone: + 49-89-382-61742E-mail: Andreas Lampka, Head of Communication MINI Telephone: + 49-89-382-23662E -Mail: Jennifer Driver-Ruckenbrod, Head of Communication MINI and BMW Motorrad Phone: + 49-89-382-35108 Email:

The information on fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and electricity consumption is determined in accordance with the prescribed measuring method VO (EU) 2007/715 in the currently applicable version. The information relates to a vehicle with basic equipment in Germany, the ranges take into account differences in the selected wheel and tire size and the optional special equipment and can change during configuration. The information has already been determined on the basis of the new WLTP test cycle and for comparability calculated back to NEDC. For these vehicles, other values ​​than those given here may apply to the assessment of taxes and other vehicle-related charges that are (also) based on CO2 emissions. Guide to the fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and electricity consumption of new passenger vehicles’, which is available at all sales outlets at Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH (DAT), Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen, and is available free of charge at

The BMW Group With its brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and a provider of premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises 31 production and assembly sites in 15 countries; The company has a global sales network with representatives in over 140 countries. In 2019, the BMW Group achieved worldwide sales of more than 2.5 million automobiles and over 175,000 motorcycles. Earnings before taxes in fiscal year 2019 amounted to € 7.118 billion and sales to € 104.210 billion. As of December 31, 2019, the company employed 126,016 people worldwide and long-term thinking and responsible action have always been the basis of the BMW Group’s economic success. The company has firmly anchored ecological and social sustainability along the entire value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources in its strategy. Www.bmwgroup.comFacebook: http: //


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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