2012 was a record-breaking year for MINI. The British premium small car manufacturer can look back on it as the year of its highest sales ever with over 301,526 MINIs were sold worldwide, up 5.9% on 2011. The strongest sales were in the USA, followed by the UK and Germany.
MINI also expanded its market reach with the opening of its first showrooms in India, in New Delhi and Mumbai in January. In February, MINI opened a showroom in Amman, Jordan. MINI is now active in over 100 markets around the globe.
In September 2012, readers of UK's Autocar, voted the MINI, “Greatest British Car ever made”, 53 years after it first went into production.
What a great way to go into 2013 for the marque that celebrates 100 years of British manufacturing this year.
2012 was a year of Special Editions and a line up that expanded to seven models. Here, we have the new MINIs of 2012.
In January 2012. the MINI Bayswater, along with the MINI Baker Street, kicked off the limited editions launched …MINI kicked off 2012 by launching two limited edition MINIs, the MINI Baker Street and MINI Bayswater. The exclusive design and equipment features were the epitome of contemporary London style.
February saw the launch of the MINI Roadster, the first open-top two-seater from MINI was pure sportiness. The manually operated soft-top had a steeply raked windscreen, low centre of gravity and an automatically extending rear spoiler. The MINI Roadster came with a choice of four engines, spearheaded by the top of the range 211 bhp MINI John Cooper Works Roadster. Later in the year, variable valve timing is added to the entire range of MINI John Cooper Works models, improving both engine responsiveness and fuel efficiency.
The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman world premiere at Geneva Motor Show in March. Turbocharged with 218bhp engine and standard ALL4 all-wheel-drive system with optional six-speed automatic transmission.
Also the special edition MINI Highgate Convertible was introduced. Like the MINI Baker Street and MINI Bayswater, the MINI Highgate Convertible's styling came with a generous dash of Brit-cool.
For tradespeople who want to creating the right impression of stylishness while undertaking the mundane - the delivery goods. The MINI Clubvan combined the practicality of a compact delivery van with the distinctive looks of a MINI. The MINI Clubvan was a two seater with 860 litres of load space.
With an exclusive colour scheme and classy appointments, the MINI Clubman Hyde Park and Mini Green Park special editions were unveiled in July. The MINI Clubman Hyde Park had earlier been premiered at Auto China in Beijing in April.
The MINI Paceman made its world debut at the Paris Motor Show. The seventh model in the MINI line-up, the MINI Paceman had two doors, a large tailgate, flowing coupé lines plus a lounge-style interior featuring two individual seats in the rear. It was the first Sports Activity Coupé in the premium compact segment. An ALL4 all-wheel-drive system is available as an option.
Later in September, the MINI John Cooper Works GP was built in a limited run of just 2000 units. The vehicle featured a 218 bhp turbocharged four-cylinder power unit, adjustable coilover suspension, an ultra-powerful sports branking system, Driving Stability Control with GP race mode and specially designed allow wheels and sports tyres. The MINI John Cooper Works GP was tuned on the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit where it recorded a best time of 8.23minutes.
October: In Germany, over five months, MINI put 25 MINI Es in field trials to test the all-electric MINI's performance under every day conditions. The impressions and experiences of the testers will be analysed, the results of which will be incorporated into the design and build of future electric vehicles.
MINI John Cooper Works models are supplemented with variable valve timing to improve engine responsiveness and fuel efficiency in November 2012.
MINI Countryman with new paint finishes and interior styling modifications are revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show, also in November.
November was also a Guinness record-breaking month for the MINI, not once but twice. In the London, 28 female gymnasts managed to squeeze into a MINI to set a new world record. Meanwhile, down in East Sussex, 23 members of the same gymnastic team crammed themselves into the original classic Mini, setting another world record.
Perhaps it was inevitable that 2012 would end up being a record breaking year for MINI in more ways than one.