Let’s Motor: Celebrating 15 Years of Mini in America

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The 2016 Mini Clubman

The 2016 Mini Clubman

A 2003 version of “The Italian Job” featured the modern Mini, as did the 2002 comedy “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” where a character, played by Michael Caine, drives the new model.

BMW’s Mini unit bucked car-advertising tradition with unorthodox tactics at the car’s introduction. It was launched with the vaguely British-sounding tagline “Let’s Motor” and was complemented with an insert of “Mini Motoring Games” in an issue of Rolling Stone magazine and a book of cartoons starring the new Mini in an issue of New Yorker magazine.

Indeed, Mini has succeeded beyond BMW’s wildest expectations and its popularity is a key element of the Bavarian automaker’s sales. Under BMW, Mini has added multiple new models, starting with a ragtop where the top could be deployed halfway to create a sunroof. The Mini Clubman soon followed, offering more legroom and storage and the Mini Countryman allowed the brand to offer an SUV.

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Mini’s fastest model, a John Cooper Works coupe, was the fastest production Mini, capable of going from a standstill to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.4 seconds, topping out at 149 mph (240 km/h).

In 2009, BMW began a field trial of the Mini E, an electric car based on the conventional Mini Cooper. The Mini E was made available to customers in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, and China and was part of BMW Project I, which led to a similar trial with the BMW ActiveE, which in turn led to the BMW i3 urban electric car that is now in production.

In October 2016, BMW announced plans for a plug-in hybrid Mini Countryman with “purely electric propulsion.”

Click here to continue to Page 3Mini Goes Electric

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