Wednesday, 29 August 2012
THE ORIGINAL MINI VOTED THE GREATEST BRITISH CAR EVER MADE AS UK CAR MANUFACTURING IS SET TO HIT A RECORD HIGH
The original Mini has been voted the greatest British car ever made in a poll by Autocar and www.autocar.co.uk readers.
The Mini beat off opposition from the original Range Rover, which was launched in 1970, inventing a new category of car and that still thrives today, and the Jaguar E-Type, which was launched in 1961 and drew votes on the grounds of beauty, function and value.
Top 10 greatest British made cars
Range Rover Evoque
The Austin Mini was launched in 1959 and notched up 5.4 million sales during its 41-year lifetime.
Autocar’s editor-in-chief Steve Cropley said: “The Mini had many faults and was never profitable, but it rewrote the rules and had the biggest impact on Britain’s car industry that any car has had.
“It was one of the most remarkable cars ever built, what with its seating for four plus a decent boot in its mere 10-foot length, revolutionary drive-train and gearbox and its ultra-compact suspension.
“Then there was the whole Mini Cooper thing, and the enormous driving pleasure. The Mini’s influence is highly visible in every VW Golf or Ford Focus today, and the legend will live forever.”
The poll was conducted to coincide with the announcement that Britain’s car manufacturing output is set to eclipse its highest ever levels by 2015, thanks to massive investment from car makers in the country.
In total, more than two million cars are expected to be build in Britain in 2015, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) – more than the 1.92 million made in Britain’s car making heyday in 1970.
Britain’s revival as a car manufacturing force has been fuelled by the success of foreign car makers investing in manufacturing in the country and thriving homegrown manufacturers of more niche vehicles. More than 80% of the 1.34 million cars built in the UK in 2011 were exported.
Jaguar, Land Rover, Honda, Mini, Nissan and Vauxhall have all announced significant investment in expanding their production facilities in the UK during the course of 2012.
The full story of Britain’s greatest car makers and thriving car industry is in this week’s Autocar magazine.