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Text | Desmond Chan
Photos | MINI, Low Fai Ming

07 June 2019
As MINI celebrates its 60th anniversary, we look at some key features of the car that has made it an endearing automotive icon.

There are certain cars that have become quintessential icons in the history of automobiles, recognisable by anyone regardless of their knowledge of cars. And having had starring roles in shows like The Italian Job and the Mr. Bean series, it's no surprise that the Mini has become a popular culture staple.

2019 marks 60 years since the original Mini was first manufactured and launched to the public. Built by the British Motor Corporation (BMC), it was marketed under BMC's two main brand names, Austin and Morris, as the Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor.
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In those 60 years, a lot has changed for the brand, as well as the car. The Mini brand underwent multiple changes in ownership, eventually being acquired by BMW in 1994 as part of the Rover Group. In 2000, BMW sold of the Rover Group but retained the rights to the Mini brand, and launched the new generation car under the 'MINI' name.

The car, too, has evolved over time. And yet, while the car has undoubtedly changed over 60 years, there are still several key aesthetic and dynamic characteristics that have remained constant over time.
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Timeless design

Perhaps the most compelling aspect of a MINI is its iconic design. While newer generation models have grown bigger, they still retain the iconic design language where form follows function. Also, important design elements such as the round head lights, the iconic shape of the front grille, as well as contrasting wing mirrors have all remained present across all generations.
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Compact spaciousness

Another ingenious aspect of the original Mini was the way it manages to craft out interior space in spite of its miniscule footprint, thanks to the transverse engine and wheels-at-the-corner layout. In the new generation MINI models, you will find that despite its seemingly small size, it will comfortably seat four adults, while still delivering more than usable boot space.
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Unique personality

MINI also offers customers a wide range of customisation options, ranging anywhere from exterior details such as paint colour, rim designs and racing stripes to interior touches including handcrafted details, premium materials and colours. This allows customers to really personalise the car to reflect their own unique personality.
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Go-kart fun

The term 'go-kart handling' has been lavished on MINI cars, and it's for good reason. Thanks to the car's short wheelbase, wheels-at-the-corners layout and precise steering, MINIs are undoubtedly fun and exciting to drive. The agile handling and fun-to-drive character permeates MINI models across all generations.
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Feisty racer

This, of course, has also led to notable racing success, including winning the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. This spirit of motorsport and feistiness is best embodied in the John Cooper Works models today, which delivers ample performance for both the road and the track.
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Cultural significance

Even as it transformed from its workhorse roots to becoming a car that captures a youthful, exuberant spirit, there's no denying that MINI has had significant cultural impact on the automotive industry.
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To celebrate the iconic model's 60th Anniversary, MINI has crafted the MINI 60 Years Edition. This special edition model features a new British Racing Green exterior paint finish that celebrates the car's heritage. Additionally, the car features unique 60 Years bonnet stripes, side scuttles, logo projection, door entry strips and 17-inch wheels in Dark Spectre Grey with Burnished Spokes.
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60 Years
The unique 60 Years interior surface design highlights the cabin of the car. The cabin also features '60 Years' emblems on the steering wheel and front seats, with the seats finished in an exclusive leather in Dark Maroon with contrast stitching and piping.

The limited MINI 60 Years Edition is available for the MINI Cooper 3 DoorMINI Cooper S 3 Door, MINI Cooper 5 Door and MINI Cooper S 5 Door. Exterior colours include British Racing Green, Melting Silver, Midnight Black and Lapisluxury Blue.
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The MINI 60 Years Edition is currently on display at the Eurokars Habitat showroom. For more in-depth details of the brand's history and to register interest in this 60 Years Edition model, you can visit this website. You can also register for a test drive here