BMW has opened an exhibition at its Munich-based museum celebrating 55 years of ‘The Mini Story’. Running until 31 January 2016, it features "30 original vehicles, exhibits and accessories" from the brand’s history.
As well a number of historic and unusual classic Minis, BMW is exhibiting a range of Mini concepts, including the two concepts that preceded the launch of the all-new BMW Mini in 2001.
The AVC 30 concept, which was based on the MGF, was an interpretation of Mini’s racing heritage and was designed by BMW’s now design boss Adrian van Hooydonk. The two-door Spiritual concept was generated by Rover Group designers, led by David Saddington.
Both concepts were used by BMW and its Rover Group subsidiary to help define the direction for a reinvented Mini. The AVC30 was inspired by the Mini’s reputation for driving dynamics and its competition history. The Spirtual (which was also produced in five-door form) was rear-engined and inspired by the original Mini’s landmark use of internal space.
As part of the exhibition, BMW has also built a replica of an experimental four-door Mini that was constructed by Austin-Morris in the early 1960s. Based on period photos, the new car is based on a later-model Mini Classic.
BMW design sources say the original four-door was built on the same stretched wheelbase as the Mini Van, which was launched in 1960. One version used standard Mini front doors, which were flipped and rear-hinged, while nother version used a bespoke door design. Neither prototype survived when the company decided not to pursue the idea.
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