TURIN - BMWs new Mini will go on sale November 18 to mark what would have been the 100th birthday of Alec Issigonis, the creator of the iconic car.
Issigonis died in 1988 at the age of 82. His original Mini sold 6 million units between 1959 and 2000.
The new Mini will be bigger and more powerful than its predecessor. The first new Minis to launch will be the Cooper and Cooper S variants, priced about the same as the current models at 17,350 and 21,000 in Germany. A more basic Mini One model is expected to arrive in early 2007. Prices have not been announced.
The current Mini convertible will remain in production for another 18 months. Supplier sources say a new convertible, code-named R57, will debut in March 2008.
A station wagon variation of the just-introduced Mini is expected to be shown at next Septembers IAA in Frankfurt. Kay Segler, head of the Mini brand, said the Traveller name will not be revived for the wagon. We are looking at a variety of alternatives, he told Automotive News Europe.
Code-named R55, the station wagon will be about 150mm longer than the new Mini, which has grown to 3670mm. Sources say the added length will be shared almost equally between a longer wheelbase for more passenger roominess, and a lengthened rear overhang for increased cargo space.
The wagon will come with a small door for rear passengers, say sources. Because of the position of the fuel tank the additional door can be located only on the cars right side.
Tony Lewin contributed
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