The MINI Brand has been a cultural staple in the automotive industry for over 50 years. Throughout its entire lifespan, the British Motor Corporation (BMC) (1959–1968) and its successors produced the original two-door MINI. The BMC’s successors include the British Leyland Motor Corporation (1968-1986), Rover Group (1986-1988), British Aerospace (1988-1994), and BMW (1994–present). Each design distinctly illustrates the different eras of each ownership while still retaining its iconic look and feel. Despite going through decades of different changes and innovations, each MINI vehicle still feels like you’re driving a MINI.
We at MINI Edmonton made a timeline of each different MINI design. This allows you to follow the stylistic choices of that era, while illustrating the evolution of each vehicle.
First marketed as Austin Se7en, The original two-door MINI sold in two different models: the Basic, and the De Luxe. Soon after, Morris Minor began marketing the MK1 as the Mini-Minor, emanating the first iteration of its brand name. From there, they eventually simplified it to just “Mini”, selling more than the Austin Se7en from the Austin Motor Company.
Throughout the British Motor Corporation’s Ownership of MINI, the company created numerous versions and iterations of the vehicle. Some of these iterations included such as the Morris Minivan, Austin Se7en Pick-Up, Austin Mini Countryman, Morris Mini Moke, and Morris Mini-Cooper ‘S’.
During the 1970s, the Mini 1275 GT began production along with several other limited edition models. The Clubman and GT models for the MINI only sold in 2-door estate and 2-door saloon body styles—anything else would have compromised the vehicle’s iconic design.
Within the height of the 1980’s, the Mark II and IV iterations of the MINI were manufactured. Despite the misfire that the Mark III endured during its production, the Mark IV spiritually succeeded it with numerous changes never featured in a MINI vehicle before. Some of these changes included 1275cc power units, as well as changes to its design such as the first iteration of a MINI with racing stripes incorporated into the aesthetic. By the year 1984, the Mark V released and by the time it reached 1990, the MINI had already made a large impact on the Japanese market with the introduction of the Mark VI.
In March 1991, the MINI Cooper was named “The Greatest Car of All Time” by Autocar & Motor Magazine. Three years later, BMW took over production of MINI and produced a wide variety of models of the MINI Mark V1 including the Mini Check Mate, Studio 2, Cabriolet, Neon, British Open Classic, Italian Job, Sprite, Mayfair, Rio, Tahiti, Monte Carlo, Mini 35, Cooper Grand Prix, Sidewalk, and Equinox. In 1996, the Mark VII finally released, establishing the final release of the original 2-door MINI.
By the year 2000, MINI will have dropped the ‘Mark’ label from its newer models, which include the MINI Hardtop, Convertible, Cabro Mini, Countryman, Roadster, and Pacemen. Today, the MINI Cooper is still ranked as one of the best vehicles of all time. With a large selection to choose from, incorporating modern technology and performance, it still retains its classic design and silhouette:
- 2018 MINI Clubman
- 2018 MINI Convertible
- 2018 MINI Countryman
- 2018 MINI 3-Door Hatch
- 2018 MINI 5-Door Hatch
We hope you’ve enjoyed this MINI trip through memory lane. From all of us at MINI Edmonton, we’re proud to carry all of this automotive heritage with us. Come stop by our showroom to see why the MINI Cooper is a timeless vehicle. You can also book a test drive ahead of time to better fit your schedule. We hope you’ll stop by soon!