Mini is British style icon
17 March 2006

The original Mini has ranked fourth in a poll of British design icons organised by BBC Two’s The Culture Show and the Design Museum.

The nationwide poll invited people to vote for their favourite example of British design conceived since 1900. Winning honours went to Concorde, followed by the London Underground Map and the legendary Supermarine Spitfire.

The Mini was the only car inside the top 10 results; the E-Type Jaguar was voted 11th, just ahead of the Aston Martin DB5 in 12th.

The Alec Issigonis-designed Mini was designed as a cheap, fuel-efficient four-seater, and it revolutionised the way small cars were built. The engine was turned sideways to provide more cabin space, and powered the front wheels, negating the need for a bulky transmission tunnel. Every nook and cranny in the car is utilised to perfection - leaving 80% of the three metre-long Mini to be devoted to its occupants.

When released it instantly appealed to a huge spectrum of the population, regardless of their wealth. Celebrity owners like the Beatles only added to the Mini’s kudos, and helped it to achieve five million sales over a period of 40 years.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate
    First Drive
    19 March 2018
    The Mercedes-Benz E-Class could be all the estate car you’ll ever want — or it could be overkill. Let’s see which...
  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?