Type: Compact / Economy Car
Drive: Front Wheel Drive
The beloved Mini Cooper brought us the first front wheel drive system with a transversely mounted 4 cylinder motor, way back in 1959. It turned out to be one of the most important cars in automobile history as this configuration became the blueprint for the vast majority of compact / economy cars for the five (and counting) consecutive decades to follow. Economy cars from the Honda Civic to the Volkswagen Rabbit, and Toyota Corolla all owe their lineage to the original Mini Cooper. Literally millions were sold.
Today's Mini Cooper made its debut in 2002, and is manufactured by BMW. Modern Mini's enjoy nostalgic curb appeal thanks to retro-styling combined with performance and refinements that only BMW can deliver. A supercharged or "S" model pushes Mini into the performance or sports car category where testers and owners alike report fantastic handling and more smiles per gallon than most any other vehicle on the road today. The success of today's Mini's has spawned some interesting variations on the 3 door hatchback theme, including 5 door and convertible models.