Mini / Cooper / S 3-dr hatch
IF you can imagine a housebrick with wheels - really big wheels - then you've got an idea of the concept underlying the latest Mini.
The new car takes the visual appeal of the original, wraps it up in totally contemporary technology and struts out onto the market with a pricetag well in excess of much larger, more comfortable cars.
But cheeky charm is something the Mini oozes, and the driving experience is, in the Cooper S version, very much a modern interpretation of the original.
As a space-efficient hatch the Mini doesn't cut it, but as an irresistibly appealing two-door sports car it has the sort of charisma others only dream about.
Retro with a rationale.
Model release dates: May 2002 - February 2007
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THE original Mini, designed by Sir Alec Issigonis (pictured at left), was released in Australia as the Morris 850 in 1961 and by 1963 was the third best-selling car in Australia.
Local production began in 1961, the Mini Cooper was launched in October, 1962, and the Cooper S in 1965.
In 1971 the Mini was facelifted with the square-front Clubman treatment.
Mass production ceased in Australia in 1978 and in the UK in 2000.
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