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Are New Minis Still Frowned Upon?


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#91 r3k1355

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 10:34 AM

 

So,like an MPI?[/quote]

Comparing a MPI with a BINI is very silly.

 

Both the (1994-2000) Mini MPi and the (2001-2006) R50/53 MINI were engineered by Rover but both were funded by the parent BMW Group. 

 

Somewhat amusing (and depressing) that given funding and the incentive Rover were quite able to design a decent successor to the original Mini, something which they'd tried and failed to do for decades previously.

 

All they needed was a big German breathing down their necks.



#92 mab01uk

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Posted 12 July 2018 - 04:47 PM

 

 

So,like an MPI?[/quote]

Comparing a MPI with a BINI is very silly.

 

Both the (1994-2000) Mini MPi and the (2001-2006) R50/53 MINI were engineered by Rover but both were funded by the parent BMW Group. 

 

Somewhat amusing (and depressing) that given funding and the incentive Rover were quite able to design a decent successor to the original Mini, something which they'd tried and failed to do for decades previously.

 

All they needed was a big German breathing down their necks.

 

 

At the time BL/Rover engineers were more experienced and capable than BMW of building a modern small fwd car but had come to the conclusion that it was no longer possible to build a small cheap basic economy car in a high wage economy western country like the UK as profit margins were too small unless produced in huge numbers in the far east or low wage east European countries.

BMW's idea was to build the 'New MINI' in the UK but move it upmarket and create a new class of 'premium' small car of higher quality and spec which could be sold at a higher price (like BMW's) and therefore be profitable to build in the UK. It was a high risk strategy (started with the higher priced/spec/options for classic Mini MPi's) requiring huge financial risk and investment........many incuding Rover doubted the planned annual production of 100,000 MINI's would find enough buyers but production soon matched the 300,000 annual classic Mini peak sales years of the 1970's and BMW were proved right to invest in the Mini brand, It took nearly 10 years for other car manufacturers like Audi with the A1 to introduce rivals into the new 'premium' small car sector that the original Rover designed R50 MINI created. The Mk2 R56 MINI was introduced early in 2007 by BMW as the R50/53 tooling was wearing out producing far more cars that had originally been expected.........sadly the worldwide sales success of the MINI came too late to save Rover.


Edited by mab01uk, 12 July 2018 - 07:36 PM.


#93 r3k1355

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 12:39 PM

Yes they certainly saw something no-one at Rover had thought of.  Rover were getting ready to drop the Mini brand altogether before the Germans came in, they nearly tripped over themselves when they heard such a well known name was going to be tossed aside.



#94 Cooperman

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:56 PM

Rover could have used the MINI name on the 200-Series a few years earlier. If the stylists had achieved the 'image transfer', such as it was, and branded the Rover 214/216 and 218 as the NEW MINI they could have had a lot of success.

In fact the 200-Series was a fine car and could have been a real credit as the NEW MINI. I had a 214Si and I had the ECU 'improved', fitted GAZ suspension and much up-rated springs, fitted a rear anti-roll bar from a 218 and a set of vented discs with Mintex 1177 pads and it drove superbly both on rallies and on the road. In fact, it was a very under-rated car.

The failure was the Rover sales and marketing departments who didn't know where to position the car in the market. A turbo-charges Rover 218GT would have been a fantastic 'NEW MINI' and it is about the same size as the BMW MINI. It just needed some Mini styling tweaks.



#95 mab01uk

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 01:35 PM

According to ex-Rover Development Engineers they used several (R3) Rover 200's to test and develop the (R50/53) MINI and Cooper 'S' engines, steering and running gear.....the supercharged 'S' Rover 200 'test mules' used to 'fly' around the Gaydon test track and the local road test routes around Longbridge but were really early MINI prototypes 'undercover' as Rover 200's in order to avoid the international motoring press photographers eager to get 'scoop' photos of a pre-production MINI on the road.

 

Not fitting the K Series engine remains a bit of a mystery......in the book 'New MINI' by Graham Robson it seems the oficial line from both Rover and BMW was that it was too wide with the R65 Rover Midland gearbox across the engine bay (although it was earlier shoehorned into the 2" wider classic Minki project for Rover and BMW to test feasibility). The hidden agenda suggested in the book may have been the reliability concerns as suffered later by Ford with the warranty claims on the early K-Series Land Rover Freelanders. The brand new 1.6 /1.4 Chrysler Tritec engine was already on course to go into production for early 2001 and needed only 300 workers in a new factory in Brazil to produce 250,000 engines a year. Two classic Mini's were exported to Chrysler in the USA so engineers could see what the driving/engine characteristics of the Mini were all about and how a similar modern MINI version was wanted, also all the ancillaries had to be moved to the front face of the cast iron block to gain the necessary crash/crush space behind the engine when fitted in a MINI. BMW also wanted to add variable valve timing but Chrysler declined to add it on development time and cost grounds. The first Tritec prototypes were up and running in UK Rover built test car mules by early 1998. The first MINI test mules used Rover 200 (R3) bodys reduced in weight to the target weight of the MINI and with much extra stiffness added by full roll cages to match the MINI's proposed ultra stiff bodyshell needed for ultimate handling in its class.  Although Rover did not get to fit the 'K' Series engine to the R50 MINI the Rover Midland gearbox did make it into the production R50 MINI ONE and Cooper up until the mid-2004 facelift when (like the R53 Cooper S from launch) a stronger Getrag box was fitted to the range due to many gearbox failures under warranty........

When Chrysler later merged with BMW's arch rival Mercedes (for a few years)....a new MINI engine had to be found and was jointly developed with Peugeot for the Mk2 R56 MINI. The latest F56 Mk3 MINI range have all new BMW developed 3 & 4 cylinder engines built at the Hams Hall factory in Birmingham.

 

Although the R50 MINI One/Cooper and R53 MINI Cooper S were designed and developed by Rover Engineers at Gaydon and Longbridge and funded by BMW....engineers from BMW Munich only got more deeply involved in the later pre-launch stages in 2001, mainly with upgrading the quality control spec as the sudden decision for BMW to split with MG Rover and keep the new MINI meant the R50/53 MINI was now to be sold from alongside BMW showrooms rather than through Rover dealers.

ie. BMW were now more worried about their quality reputation and warranty claims......


Edited by mab01uk, 14 July 2018 - 01:41 PM.


#96 r3k1355

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 10:08 AM

Rover could have used the MINI name on the 200-Series a few years earlier. If the stylists had achieved the 'image transfer', such as it was, and branded the Rover 214/216 and 218 as the NEW MINI they could have had a lot of success.

 

Yea but the 200 series had been going since the early 80's so the brand name was established and it never really looked anything like a Mini.

Plus it was basically *cough* *cough* "just a Civic" without the good engine (except the 220 turbo, that was abit of fun).






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