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Little Known Mini Prototypes


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#1 Mite

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 09:28 PM

For those who have Jon Pressnell's Mini: The Definitive History, Chris Rees's The Complete Catalogue of the Mini and other books/works, there are a few images of interesting and perplexing little known Mini prototypes that am curious in finding out more about:

 

1) The first example would be on page 145 in Jon Pressnell's book on a white 5-door "tallboy" estate mocked up in Experimental during the mid-1970s.

 

2) The second would be on pages 158-159 in Jon Pressnell's book on the Mini-Mini prototype (shown in BIW form), am particularly intrigued by the flat-front of the Mini-Mini both in terms of looks and potentially improving engine accessibility as well as its similarity to Project Ant (aka Barrel Car) and the Mini-based 9X prototypes. It is surprising such a front-end was not carried over to the non-Clubman fronted mk3 Mini (ADO20) as an update of the Classic Mini alongside the Clubman, given its potential to improve engine accessibility.

 

3) A third example would be in page 196 of Chris Rees book on the Wide-Body Clubman prototype, have read elsewhere of it allegedly sharing the same width as the Allegro and essentially being a SWB version of the latter (with possible scope for installation of the larger heavier E-Series units as was reputedly the case with a few experimental Clubman prototypes outside of the Andy Saunders Mini one-offs).

 

4) And lastly would be a pre-Ryder Report proposal for a comprehensive re-jig of the ADO20 Mini, giving it a full tailgate, folding rear seats and wrap around bumpers. Also a 2 door model without the tailgate. Also a 5 door Clubman fronted saloon sitting on a wheelbase 10 inches longer than the estate.

 

 

 

 

Outside of the above, are there any other little known Mini prototypes or experimental projects / mock-ups that you are interested in knowing more about?



#2 mab01uk

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 07:11 AM

Some interesting information and pictures of the Minki 1 & II development of a new Mini concept under Rover and later BMW, here on the excellent 'Austin Memories' website.
Link to the full story:
http://www.austinmem...d-29/index.html

Minki-I
"The thinking behind the replacement for the Mini started back in about 1992, while under the ownership of British Aerospace and called at that time The Rover Group.
So how was the name MINKI arrived at, simple, put a ‘K’ series engine into a Mini and you have MINKI.
At the time the general feeling was that because the design was then thirty three years old, technology had moved on so much, and with new legislation on emissions and crash testing etc., that it was best to start with a clean sheet."

The first part of the concept stage was to do an appraisal of the current Mini and see how improvements could be made.

1) Improve the powerunit, by installing the ‘K’ series engine with a 5- ---speed gearbox
2) Improve the suspension, by installing hydragas suspension.
3) Improve the driving position, by installing better seats, altering the ---rack of the steering column, and along with the fascia / controls
4) Improve its overall luggage capacity, by making it into a hatchback ----and altering the rear end package.

Minki-II
"1995 arrived, and so did BMW! They were surprised that we had such a strong brand of Mini, but no plans to do anything with it. Plans for a new Mini were required, and a ‘competition’ was set up, for later on in 1995, to decide on the route forward.
It was decided that a part of that event should be a vehicle that represented what current Mini could have become if investment and development had been put into the Mini over many years. This vehicle would then act as a better benchmark than a standard current Mini for judging what the new Mini needed to beat.
Fortunately, all of the old Minki-I stuff had just been scrapped off, so a Minki-II was hastily required! I say fortunately, because in comparison, the Minki-II project was a very grand affair! By this time, our senior management had seen BMW in operation, and were impressed by the way that they did everything properly, with very high quality prototype vehicles, excellent engineering, etc. Minki-II had to live up to this standard. Great! It was a proper project, with designers and even a few bought-out parts!"

(Minki-II can be seen on show at the Gaydon Motor Museum)



#3 mab01uk

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 07:13 AM

You might also find these links interesting:-

http://www.theminifo...k-daniels-1993/

 

https://www.aronline...w-mini-1968-74/


Edited by mab01uk, 10 June 2019 - 07:16 AM.


#4 Mite

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 11:36 AM

Have read about the Orange Box, Project Ant and the Minki-I/II prototypes both in books as well as online though interested to know about little known experimental Mini prototypes that have yet to appear online.

 

As for the recently published Mini - Celebrating 60 Years bookazine, does the section on the Mini prototypes feature any new content?



#5 nicklouse

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 12:05 PM

Maximum mini will have most of the info

#6 mab01uk

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 06:23 PM

AROnline Archive : Mini proposals

BLMC investigate a comprehensive re-jig of the ADO20 Mini, giving it a full tailgate, folding rear seats and wrap around bumpers. Also a 2 door model without the tailgate. Also a 5 door Clubman fronted saloon sitting on a wheelbase 10 inches longer than the estate.

The plans were finally killed off by the 1975 Ryder report.

https://www.aronline...mini-proposals/

 

The 1975 British Leyland Ryder Report (84 pages)

http://filestore.nat...3-c-75-53-3.pdf

 

5c5Ck5V.jpg

 



#7 Mite

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 09:31 PM

AROnline Archive : Mini proposals

BLMC investigate a comprehensive re-jig of the ADO20 Mini, giving it a full tailgate, folding rear seats and wrap around bumpers. Also a 2 door model without the tailgate. Also a 5 door Clubman fronted saloon sitting on a wheelbase 10 inches longer than the estate.

The plans were finally killed off by the 1975 Ryder report.

https://www.aronline...mini-proposals/

 

It is a pity no images have yet surfaced on the comprehensive ADO20 re-jig proposal, have to wonder whether a connection exists between the 5-door Clubman fronted saloon sitting on a wheelbase 10 inches longer than the estate and the wide-body Mini Clubman prototype (possibly in the context of increased commonality between the Mini and the Allegro for the purpose of reducing costs via a third "Supermini" sized model between the two). 

 

Then there is the following below, which appears chronologically speaking to be one of the last known stillborn Mini update proposals suggested within the company prior to the Minki-I/II projects.

 

Alternative futures – dropping Mini or Maestro?

A less-frightening alternative proposed Leyland Cars withdrawal from the Mini market to concentrate on a slightly restricted but more profitable new medium car. At present this called for the three closely-related new models, LC10, 11 and 12. A compromise would drop LC12.

 

Another proposal retained the new Mini/ADO88 but replaced the whole of the LC range with a new car based on the mechanics of the Austin Allegro. This would be a much cheaper route and one often used by Ford, but there was a significant difference. Ford’s ‘re-skinning’ jobs had always been based on successful models. Not by any stretch of the imagination could the Allegro qualify as a successful model. It had in fact been a bitter disappointment, never coming within sight of even the most pessimistic targets. It could, of course, be said that the Allegro’s basic problem was its dumpy unattractive looks and it was now a well-sorted car in dire need of a facelift.

 

There were other proposals, but they were variants of the four listed here. For instance, one suggested that the ADO88 should be replaced by a hatchback, updated version of the 18-year old Mini. British Leyland had passed on the chance of a hatchback Mini in 1968 and 1974.

 

https://www.aronline...sion-part-four/


Edited by Mite, 10 June 2019 - 10:16 PM.





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