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Mini - Countryman series

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units: metric UK US

About Mini

The Mini was a small car produced by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and its successors from 1959 to 2000. The most popular British-made car ever, it has since been replaced by the New MINI, which was launched in April 2001. The original is considered an icon of the 1960s, and its space-saving front-wheel-drive layout (that allowed 80% of the area of the car's floorpan to be used for passengers and luggage), influenced a generation of car-makers.

This distinctive two-door car was designed for BMC by Sir Alec Issigonis. It was manufactured at the Longbridge and Cowley plants in the United Kingdom, the Victoria Park / Zetland BMC factory in Sydney Australia, and later also in Spain (Authi), Belgium, Chile, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela and Yugoslavia. The Mini Mk I had three major UK updates: the Mk II, the Clubman and the Mk III. Within these was a series of variations including an estate car, a pickup truck, a van and the Mini Moke — a jeep-like buggy. The Mini Cooper and Cooper "S" were sportier versions that were successful as rally cars, winning the Monte Carlo Rally three times.

Design and development

Designed as project ADO15 (Austin Drawing Office project number 15), the Mini came about because of a fuel shortage. In 1956, as a result of the Suez Crisis which reduced oil supplies, the United Kingdom saw the re-introduction of petrol rationing. Sales of large cars slumped, and there was a boom in the market for so called Bubble cars, which were mainly German in origin. Leonard Lord, the somewhat autocratic head of BMC, decreed that something had to be done quickly. He laid down some basic design requirements: the car should be contained within a box that measured 10 × 4 × 4 feet (3 × 1.2 × 1.2 m); and the passenger accommodation should occupy six feet (1.8 m) of the 10 foot (3 m) length; and the engine, for reasons of cost, should be an existing unit. Issigonis, who had been working for Alvis, had been recruited back to BMC in 1955 and, with his skills in designing small cars, was a natural for the task. The team that designed the Mini was remarkably small: as well as Issigonis, there was Jack Daniels (who had worked with him on the Morris Minor), Chris Kingham (who had been with him at Alvis), two engineering students and four draughtsmen. Together, by October 1957, they had designed and built the original prototype, which was affectionately named 'The Orange Box' because of its colour.

The ADO15 used a conventional BMC A-Series four-cylinder water-cooled engine, but departed from tradition by having it mounted transversely, with the engine-oil-lubricated, four-speed transmission in the sump, and by employing front-wheel drive. Almost all small front-wheel-drive cars developed since have used a similar configuration. The radiator was mounted at the left side of the car so that the engine-mounted fan could be retained, but with reversed pitch so that it blew air into the natural low pressure area under the front wing. This location saved precious vehicle length, but had the disadvantage of feeding the radiator with air that had been heated by passing over the engine.

The suspension system, designed by Issigonis' friend Dr. Alex Moulton at Moulton Developments Limited, used compact rubber cones instead of conventional springs. This ingenious design shrunk the overall size of the suspension, meaning that it could take up less space. It was built into the subframes. The use of the rubber cones led to a rather raw and bumpy ride, but this rigidity, together with the wheels being pushed out to the corners of the car, gave the Mini its famous go kart-like handling. It was initially planned to use an interconnected fluid system - similar to the one which Issigonis and Moulton were working on in the mid-1950s at Alvis - but the short development time of the car meant this was not ready in time for the Mini's launch. The system intended for the Mini was further developed to become the hydrolastic system and was first used on the Austin 1100, launched in 1962. Ten-inch wheels were specified, so new tyres needed to be developed, the initial contract going to Dunlop.

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S4 8v 0.8L      M-4
25.0 kW / 33.5 hp / 33.5 hp  60.0 N·m / 44.3 lb·ft / 44.3 lb·ft
   

Mini Countryman (1962)

petrol (gasoline) 4-cylinder 8-valve straight (inline) engine, 846 cm3 / 51.6 cu in / 51.6 cu in, 25.0 kW / 33.5 hp / 33.5 hp @ 5500 rpm / 5500 rpm / 5500 rpm, 60.0 N·m / 44.3 lb·ft / 44.3 lb·ft @ 2900 rpm / 2900 rpm / 2900 rpm, manual 4-speed transmission, front wheel drive

  
  
S4 8v 0.8L      M-4
25.0 kW / 33.5 hp / 33.5 hp  60.0 N·m / 44.3 lb·ft / 44.3 lb·ft
   

Mini Countryman (1963)

petrol (gasoline) 4-cylinder 8-valve straight (inline) engine, 847 cm3 / 51.7 cu in / 51.7 cu in, 25.0 kW / 33.5 hp / 33.5 hp @ 5500 rpm / 5500 rpm / 5500 rpm, 60.0 N·m / 44.3 lb·ft / 44.3 lb·ft @ 2900 rpm / 2900 rpm / 2900 rpm, manual 4-speed transmission, front wheel drive

  
  
S4 8v 0.8L      M-4
25.0 kW / 33.5 hp / 33.5 hp  60.0 N·m / 44.3 lb·ft / 44.3 lb·ft
   

Mini Countryman (1964)

petrol (gasoline) 4-cylinder 8-valve straight (inline) engine, 848 cm3 / 51.7 cu in / 51.7 cu in, 25.0 kW / 33.5 hp / 33.5 hp @ 5500 rpm / 5500 rpm / 5500 rpm, 60.0 N·m / 44.3 lb·ft / 44.3 lb·ft @ 2900 rpm / 2900 rpm / 2900 rpm, manual 4-speed transmission, front wheel drive

  
  
S4 8v 0.8L      M-4
25.0 kW / 33.5 hp / 33.5 hp  60.0 N·m / 44.3 lb·ft / 44.3 lb·ft
   

Mini Countryman (1965)

petrol (gasoline) 4-cylinder 8-valve straight (inline) engine, 848 cm3 / 51.7 cu in / 51.7 cu in, 25.0 kW / 33.5 hp / 33.5 hp @ 5500 rpm / 5500 rpm / 5500 rpm, 60.0 N·m / 44.3 lb·ft / 44.3 lb·ft @ 2900 rpm / 2900 rpm / 2900 rpm, manual 4-speed transmission, front wheel drive

  
  
S4 8v 0.8L      M-4
25.0 kW / 33.5 hp / 33.5 hp  61.0 N·m / 45.0 lb·ft / 45.0 lb·ft
   

Mini Countryman (1966)

petrol (gasoline) 4-cylinder 8-valve straight (inline) engine, 848 cm3 / 51.7 cu in / 51.7 cu in, 25.0 kW / 33.5 hp / 33.5 hp @ 5500 rpm / 5500 rpm / 5500 rpm, 61.0 N·m / 45.0 lb·ft / 45.0 lb·ft @ 2900 rpm / 2900 rpm / 2900 rpm, manual 4-speed transmission, front wheel drive

  
  
S4 8v 0.8L      M-4
25.0 kW / 33.5 hp / 33.5 hp  60.0 N·m / 44.3 lb·ft / 44.3 lb·ft
   

Mini Countryman (1967)

petrol (gasoline) 4-cylinder 8-valve straight (inline) engine, 848 cm3 / 51.7 cu in / 51.7 cu in, 25.0 kW / 33.5 hp / 33.5 hp @ 5500 rpm / 5500 rpm / 5500 rpm, 60.0 N·m / 44.3 lb·ft / 44.3 lb·ft @ 2900 rpm / 2900 rpm / 2900 rpm, manual 4-speed transmission, front wheel drive

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