BMC MINI: The most revolutionary small car in history
The BMC Mini is unique in automotive history for several reasons. Firstly, it was the first sub-1.0-litre sedan to achieve this trifecta: seat four adults, exceed 70 miles per hour and cover 50 miles per gallon on the highway. Secondly, it was almost entirely the brainchild of a single genius engineer, Alec (later Sir Alec) Issigonis. Thirdly, its combination of a transversely mounted front engine and front-wheel-drive created what proved to be an enduring template for small cars.
The Mini, like assorted other small cars including the Hillman Imp, was essentially a response to the Suez Crisis of 1956-57. The imperative became to create new-gen machines with a smaller footprint and superior capability.