The Mini is a small economy carproduced by the English-based Britihs Motor Corporation(BMC) and its successors from 1959 until 2000. The original is considered an icon of 1960s British Popular Culture. Its space-saving Trabsverse engine front wheel drive layout – allowing 80 percent of the area of the car’s floorpan to be used for passengers and luggage – influenced a generation of car makers.In 1999 the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century behind the Ford Model T, and ahead of the Citroen DS and Volksvagen Beetle.
The performance versions, the Mini Cooper and Cooper “S”, were successful as both race and rally cars,winning the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. In 1966, the first-placed Mini (along with nine other cars) was disqualified after the finish, under a controversial decision that the car’s headlights were against the rules.
On its introduction in August 1959 the Mini was marketed under the Austin and Morris names, as the Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor.The Austin Seven was renamed Austin Mini in January 1962 and Mini became a marque in its own right in 1969. In 1980 it once again became the Austin Mini and in 1988 the Rover Mini.
BMW acquired the Rover Group (formerly British Leyland) in 1994, and sold the greater part of it in 2000, but retained the rights to build cars using the MINI name.