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The MINI is a B-segment car produced since 2001 by BMW. Its retro design created by American designer Frank Stephenson is inspired by the original Mini, which was launched on the market in 1959. The new MINI is not sold under the Mini brand, but independently together with the Mini Countryman, and is manufactured in Oxford, England. The prototype was presented to the public at the 1999 Paris Motor Show.

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    Initially, the engines were a 1.6-litre petrol engine with four valves per cylinder, of Chrysler origin, in atmospheric variants of 90 hp maximum power (“MINI One”) and 115 hp (“MINI Cooper”) and with a volumetric compressor and 163 hp (“MINI Cooper S”‘; 170 hp since 2004). In Portugal and Greece, the “MINI One” had a cylinder capacity reduced to 1.4 litres and a maximum power of 75 hp, in order to receive tax benefits. The Diesel (“MINI One D”) was a 1.4 litre Toyota common-rail direct injection, initially with a fixed geometry 75 bhp turbocharger, then a variable geometry 88 bhp.

    After restyling in 2007, all engines were replaced. The gasoline engines were developed jointly by BMW and the PSA Peugeot-Citroën Group, and have four valves per cylinder and variable distribution. The “MINI One” incorporates a 1.4-litre indirect injection engine with 75 or 95 hp. The “MINI Cooper” and “MINI Cooper S” have a 1.6 litre engine, the first with indirect injection and 120 hp, and the second with direct injection, turbocharger and 184 hp. The Diesel comes from PSA Peugeot-Citroën and has 1.6 litres of displacement, common-rail direct injection, intercooler and four valves per cylinder; it has a maximum power of 90 hp (“MINI One D”) or 109 hp (“MINI Cooper D”), depending on whether the turbocharger has a fixed or variable geometry.

    Classic Mini

    The classic Mini soon acquired the fame of being a car for any social class, a milestone in a society as compartmentalised in that sense as the British. Although the underlying idea was always that Mini was the people’s car, Issigonis was also interested in popularizing its design among the wealthiest. The dream opportunity came to him from the hand of Lord Snowdon, friend of Alec Issigonis. It was this character who introduced the Mini among the London high society. As one of the first buyers of the small car, he liked to move quickly through the streets of the capital, enthused by its small dimensions and exceptional stability.

    The husband of Princess Margaret (sister of Queen Elizabeth of England) used his influence to give Alec Issigonis the opportunity in 1960 to present the Mini to his sister-in-law, Queen Elizabeth.

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