MINKI-I & MINKI-II K-series Mini Development Story

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  1. Some interesting information and pictures of the Minki 1 & II development of a new Mini concept under Rover and later BMW, here on the excellent 'Austin Memories' website. [IMG]http://www.theminiforum.co.uk/forums/style_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif[/IMG]
    [B]Link to the full story:[/B]
    [URL]http://www.austinmemories.com/page46/page46.html[/URL]

    [B]Minki-I[/B]
    'The thinking behind the replacement for the Mini started back in about 1992, while under the ownership of British Aerospace and called at that time The Rover Group.
    So how was the name MINKI arrived at, simple, put a ‘K' series engine into a Mini and you have MINKI.
    At the time the general feeling was that because the design was then thirty three years old, technology had moved on so much, and with new legislation on emissions and crash testing etc., that it was best to start with a clean sheet.'

    The first part of the concept stage was to do an appraisal of the current Mini and see how improvements could be made.

    1) Improve the powerunit, by installing the ‘K' series engine with a 5- —speed gearbox
    2) Improve the suspension, by installing hydragas suspension.
    3) Improve the driving position, by installing better seats, altering the —rack of the steering column, and along with the fascia / controls
    4) Improve its overall luggage capacity, by making it into a hatchback —-and altering the rear end package.

    [B]Minki-II[/B]
    '1995 arrived, and so did BMW! They were surprised that we had such a strong brand of Mini, but no plans to do anything with it. Plans for a new Mini were required, and a ‘competition' was set up, for later on in 1995, to decide on the route forward.
    It was decided that a part of that event should be a vehicle that represented what current Mini could have become if investment and development had been put into the Mini over many years. This vehicle would then act as a better benchmark than a standard current Mini for judging what the new Mini needed to beat.
    Fortunately, all of the old Minki-I stuff had just been scrapped off, so a Minki-II was hastily required! I say fortunately, because in comparison, the Minki-II project was a very grand affair! By this time, our senior management had seen BMW in operation, and were impressed by the way that they did everything properly, with very high quality prototype vehicles, excellent engineering, etc. Minki-II had to live up to this standard. Great! It was a proper project, with designers and even a few bought-out parts!'

    (Minki-II can be seen on show at the Gaydon Motor Museum)

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