About Mini driving
It's the little car that can. The 60's British style icon reborn in the 21st century, the cheeky little MINI can run rings around cars twice its size. The revamped MINI launched in the space year 2001 and has proven to be a resounding success, even winning around some of the committed fans of the original. It's entirely possible that every fifth person driving a car in London is driving a MINI.*
Everyone in their right mind agrees that the MINI is a fun car to drive but not everyone knows how much power the MINI can put out. The MINI mixes a top speed of 140mph with the ability to turn a corner like nobody's business. When you see what a professional driver in a MINI can do, you'll be inspired to experience MINI driving yourself. The Mini is a classic British car, and if you'd like to take one onto a classic British track then take a look at our selection of Mini Goodwood driving experiences.
*Accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Maybe more like one in every six.
"The new Mini isn't big and it's not clever. It's just a damn good little sports car that puts the fun back into driving.
That's why it's our Small Car of the Year."
Top Gear, December 2006
About the Mini
During the chase scene in The Italian Job (the 60's classic version) the people driving the Minis always stay in the order Red, White and Blue - the colours of the Union Jack.
Autocar magazine awarded the Mini the 'Car of the Century' award in 1995.
When the classic Mini was discontinued just over 5.3m had been manufactured. Or, to put it another way, there were enough made that every single person in Finland could be driving a Mini and there would still be a few left over for visitors.
The Mini was a real fashion icon in the 60's (and onwards!) and was driven, among others, by Enzo Ferrari (yes, that Ferrari), Steve McQueen, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Marianne Faithfull and Peter Sellers.
The distinctive fat exhaust pipe of the new MINI came about when the designer noticed they hadn't included an exhaust on the mock up they were due to present to the company Big Wigs. Finding a handy beer can (there's always one nearby when you need one!) he cut a hole in it and shoved it on the back. The new MINI was judged a resounding success design-wise and they were told not to change anything. So the beer-can style stayed!
It's physically impossible to write anything featuring MINIs or The Italian Job without saying "You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" in a terrible Michael Caine accent at least five times.