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Mini (R50, R52, R53)
Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024

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2001 Mini Cooper.jpg

Mini (R50, R52, R53). 2000–6 (prod. under 1,000,000). 3-door hatchback saloon, 2-door convertible. F/F, 1598 cm³ petrol, 1364 cm³ diesel (I4 OHC). BMW-revived Mini, taking styling cues of original but in a relatively space-inefficient package. Very much a fashion item rather than the utilitarian car that the British envisaged in the 1950s—in fact, this caused conflict during development before BMW effectively made R50 a German-only development. Often delayed but finally released 2000. BMW–Chrysler 1·6 engine not the best, though made good with Cooper and Cooper S; best performance versions were John Cooper Works models. Options included Union Jack roof; customization one of the main marketing messages. R53 denoted Cooper S, R52 the Cabriolets from 2004. Sales indicated that BMW’s decision to go the fashion route paid off though Mini no longer a classless car for everyone, and the Coopers were fairly good handling machines. Made at old Morris plant at Cowley, now renamed BMW Oxford.

Manufacturing location: Oxford, England

Marque: Mini | Predecessor: Mini (Mk VII) | Successor: Mini (R55, R56, R57)

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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024