In 1994 BMW purchased Rover Group which included the Mini brand. In 1995 BMW began working on a replacement for the legendary Mini which had been in production since 1959. Rover continued to produce an updated original Mini during this transition period. In early 2001 the first version of the new MINI was produced by BMW. The new MINI was an instant success and has been a strong seller since its introduction in 2001. BMW decided to slightly redesign the MINI for 2007 to keep it updated. The car you see here was purchased new by the museum in 2006 because of its uniqueness. The last 2,000 MINIs produced with this body style (R53) were all the same; they had the John Cooper Works package (higher horsepower, stiffer suspension, bigger brakes, unique wheels) and lacked back seats to reduce weight. Each car was numbered, and only 400 of the special edition cars came to the U.S.
This MINI was purchased new from MINI of Nashville, our partner for this exhibit.