The new Mini will be unveiled at a ceremony in Oxford in November

New Mini to be launched on founder's birthday

The new Mini will be launched in Oxford on the 107th anniversary of the birth of the Mini's founding father Sir Alex Issigonis.

Mini owner BMW's Cowley plant in Oxford will host the world premiere of the new car on November 18, with a party in London that evening, before the car is displayed that week at the Los Angeles and Tokyo motor shows, with the vehicle going on sale in the UK early next year.

The original Mini was a sensation when it first went on sale in 1959 just as many households, hitherto predominantly carless, were thinking of splashing out on a vehicle. It was seen as the first "classless car" and remained hugely popular for decades.

Issigonis revolutionary design of a car with a transversely mounted engine, front wheel drive, wheels set in all four corners and an advanced undercarriage not only delivered unparalleled cabin space for passengers and luggage on a small footprint, but also exceptional driving agility.

After taking over the Rover car company from British Aerospace in 1994, BMW started making the new, bigger, Mini at Oxford in 2001 and the car has continued to catch the public's imagination with around 50,000 a year sold in the UK.

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