While most cars nowadays tend to strive on being the biggest and .baddest. on the road, the opposite goes for the Mini marque. In fact, one of the first brands that pop up when people are asked to name a small car, it\'s very likely that it would be Mini. In the industry for 60 years and counting, the Mini has been producing compact cars that, despite their size, provide exemplary performance on the road and exceptional comfort in the passenger cabin.
Currently, the Mini brand produces a selection of Mini-style vehicles, ranging from performance roadsters to diesel SUVs. The brand also manufactures OEM spare parts to replace components in existing or phased out Mini models, and Mini accessories to customize the interior and exterior of Mini autos. These spare parts and accessories are easily procured in Mini dealerships, although one can also find Mini spare parts online.
All cars under the Mini nameplate, along with the trademark Mini parts that come along with it, can trace their roots back to the car that started it all: the British Motor Corporation (BMC) Mini. Developed in 1956, the Mini was designed to address the chronic fuel shortages in the UK caused by the Suez oil crisis. To this end, the Mini was fitted with a compact four-cylinder engine mounted transversely in front of the car with the radiator mounted in the left side. And instead of conventional leaf springs, the car was fitted with compact rubber cones that not only saved space but also provided natural damping properties. These features, along with specially designed Mini auto parts found in the car, gave the Mini a very spacious interior that was emulated by other car manufacturers.
Today, the Mini has become an international icon. It is recognized as the second most influential car of the 20th century, beaten only by the Ford Model T. It also serves as the basis for Mini\'s entire vehicle lineup, be it the Clubman station wagon or the Countryman crossover SUV.
The Mini Cooper
In addition to the original Mini, another car that made the nameplate a household name is the Mini Cooper. Designed by and named after John Cooper, a renowned Formula One and rally car builder, the Mini Cooper and its successor, the Mini Cooper S, are basically souped-up Minis meant for racing. Mini Coopers replaced their standard 848cc engine with one with a longer stroke and, in more recent versions, fuel-injected 1,275cc powerplants. Mini Coopers also had their radiators to the front instead of the side to maximize engine cooling and were fitted with performance Mini parts like servo-assisted disc brakes for improved handling at high speeds.
Since their inception, the Mini Cooper and its variants have participated in and won championships in motorsports across the globe. Most notably, the Mini Cooper had been consistent winners in the Monte Carlo Rally, with Mini Coopers consistently winning first, second, or third place during the 1960\'s. More recently, the Mini Cooper and its close relative, the Mini Countryman, were also participants in international rally and racetrack events.