Overview & History
The Mini is a small economy car made by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and its successors from 1959 until 2000. The original is considered a British icon of the 1960s. Its space-saving front-wheel drive layout – allowing 80 per cent of the area of the car’s floorpan to be used for passengers and luggage – influenced a generation of car makers. The vehicle is in some ways considered the British equivalent of its German contemporary the Volkswagen Beetle, which enjoyed similar popularity in North America. In 1999 the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century, behind the Ford Model T.
Motorsport – Rally
Mini’s history in international rallying dates back to the 1960s, when the Mini Cooper S won the legendary Monte Carlo Rally on three occasions, in 1964, 1965 and 1967, as well as wins on the Acropolis Rally, RAC Rally and 1000 Lakes Rally, and the European Rally Championship in 1965.
Reports began emerging in mid-2009 that Mini, now owned by BMW, was planning a return to rallying. The reports went even further when Prodrive said that it would not field an entry for the 2011 Formula One season, in order to focus on a return to rallying.
On July 27, 2010, Mini ended months of speculation by confirming its rally programme in cooperation with Prodrive. The team, the work based-Mini WRC Team, would compete at selected rounds of the 2011 World Rally Championship season, ahead of a full season from 2012 onwards. The team set a target of winning the World Rally Championship in 2013.