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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:10 pm 
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Interesting AROnline blog and comments below on the launch of the MPi Mini over 20 years ago........

Blog : It was 20 years ago (1/10/96)
Twenty years ago – on 1 October 1996 – BMW made a significant announcement through its British subsidiary, the Rover Group. The Mini Mk7 MPi was announced at the Paris Motor Show, the final incarnation of the Issigonis car. It was intended to tide the brand over until the launch of an all-new Mini funded by BMW.
However, in order to make the Mini legal to sell beyond 1996, Rover had to fit a twin point injection system, side impact bars, an airbag and raise the gearing. The final drive was now a ludicrously high 2.76:1 to meet EU drive by noise regulations. This came as a shock to those who had learnt to drive in old Mini’s fitted with 3.765 and 3.44:1 ratios. The Mk7 was only available in two basic versions, Mini and Cooper, although there would be limited editions in the remaining years of the car’s life. All versions now used the same 63bhp Mpi A-Series engine.
There was also a significant hike in price with the car retailing at £8995 for both versions. On top of this, the owner could specify the £800 Sportspack complete with 13in wheels, which did nothing for handling and raised the overall gearing even further. The Sportspack look was particularly popular in Germany, which had been taking more and more Minis as the decade progressed, something that would have been noticed by BMW. On paper the investment by Rover was not justified by the sales. Production slumped to 15,638 in 1996, but this was all part of a long-term strategy by BMW to keep the Mini brand in the public eye.....
http://www.aronline.co.uk/blogs/blog-20 ... ago-today/


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