The Mini is a British icon, and has developed a cult following since in was introduced in the 1950s – finding its way to the southern hemisphere not long after. It was considered a relatively cheap and versatile way to get around and grew in popularity across the Region, with many people still driving ‘classic Minis’ today.
Re-introduced to the world as the BMW MINI after a short absence, the car received an updated look retaining much of the original design aesthetics.
New ‘special editions’ have been released to mark the car’s 50th anniversary and we can expect to soon see a four-wheel-drive version, described as a “chunky soft-roader tailor made for the suburbs” – bound to impress the faithful.
In a promotional collaboration last year between BMW MINI, Airstream and Republic of Fritz Hansen saw the bullet-like Airstream Inc. caravan trailer get a revival, producing a new concept of the classic caravan towed by the latest Mini Countryman and kitted out with ‘pedestal-free’ egg chairs – the whole thing out to inspire a beach-goer aesthetic.
However, the company goes beyond just releasing new models and concepts every now and then. BMW MINI also finances a magazine (The Mini international) as well as MINI Space, an online initiative that aims “take part in creative projects, competitions, events and parties – about getting involved in ‘Creative Use of Space’”.
While last year saw the largest gathering of Minis in the southern hemisphere for the car’s 50th Birthday celebrations, with over 350 Minis crowding onto a Sydney raceway to help spell out the number ‘50’, and a convoy of Minis traversing Sydney to promote the more fuel-efficient Mini Cooper D.
BMW MINI explores the cult status of the little dynamo, reinforcing its iconic nature and nurturing a following. Though the Mini itself has been weaving its way in and out of our cities for half a century and, perhaps quite unwittingly, it has also weaved its way into our cultural milieu.