Mini Cooper – Everything You Need to Know | Up To Speed


– Great Britain, land
of the Beatles, Big Ben, the Queen, Queen. It’s also home to some of
the most influential cars ever made. Jaguar. Land Rover. Lotus. But one car stands out above the rest. Or should I say below. The most British car of all time. One so iconic that they
didn’t change it for 40 years. It’s the best selling
icon of British motoring that changed car design forever. It’s also really cute. It is the most British thing
since the queen herself. Ello govner. This is
everything you need to know. Ello govner. This is
everything you need to know. To get up to speed. Oh my God. This is everything you need
to know to get up to speed on the mini. Mhm. The mini was built to answer a question. Yo. How do we fit the most stuff in the smallest space possible? The Morris company wanted a car that was efficient, roomy, small enough to conquer London traffic, and still be fun to blast
down in English B roads. The job was given to Morris
engineer Alec Issigonis. Who had previously worked
on the Morris Minor, another icon of British post war design. In 1952, Morris and Austin had merged to create the British motor company. Issigonis and his team
struggled to strike a balance between a small exterior
and a roomy interior until they had a major breakthrough that would influence
economy cars for decades. They turned the engine sideways and made it power the front wheels. This little tweak changed everything. The transverse engine mounting saved room in the engine compartment which made the cabin bigger. Front wheel drive
eliminated the drive shaft to the back wheels, allowing for a flat floor, making more rear leg room. Four fully grown adults could fit inside the impossibly small prototype. Even more impressive that the capacity was the cars maneuverability. The wheels were very close
to each corner of the car, which blessed it with
incredibly nimble handling. Issigonis was so committed
to nailing the driving feel, that Morris converted an air field into a test track just
so they could fine tune the handling. Basically they had the top damn test track a couple of years before
James May was born. Once they had perfected the ride the prototype was ready
for mass production. While other manufacturers built their cars on an assembly line, Morris built their new car on a jig. Welding every piece of body work together piece by piece. The process was slow and meticulous, but it insured quality
fitment all the time. This commitment to precision in minis would soon become one of the
brand’s defining factors. The mini debuted as the Morris Mini-Minor and Austin Seven in 1959. And people went batshit over it. – Whoa! That sounds so familiar. – Bat droppings. – The small stature made it
perfect for city driving. And driving it was fun. BMC was satisfied with the
public’s perception of the mini as the practical family four seater. But they wanted the little
rascal to be something more. Like when my dad told me
I could be so much more if I just applied myself instead of just doing the
bare minimum like I always do. Well guess who’s on the internet now, dad. So Morris did what any parent would do and signed the mini up for some sports. BMC prepared cars to be entered
in the Monte Carlo rally in 1961. The race took place in January, meaning the scrappy
little mini has to deal with icy roads and snow. All while racing with Ferrari and Lotuses. The car did okay. Leading it’s class until
suffering an accident that ended the run. It was never gonna win with 34 horsepower but while other cars were
spinning out on the ice, the mini’s front wheel
drive gave it awesome grip in the crappy conditions. BMC and Issigonis knew they
were onto something with this cool little front wheel drive racer car. Good job you little guy. Good job you little mini. You did so good in Monte Carlo. You did so good in Monte Carlo. I’m very proud of you. I think he’s a natural. No one saw the potential better
than English racing legend John Cooper. Why is Cooper such a legend? Oh well nothing huge, he and his dad only
changed formula one forever when their mid engine
race car won back to back championships in the late 50’s. Convincing everyone else to go mid engine. Influencing race and road
cars for decades to come. That’s it. No big deal. Cooper saw the minis racing in Monte Carlo and was like, do you guys really want to win? I can help you do that. And Issigonis was like. Okay chap. Cooper tuned up the tiny
engine to make 70 horsepower and upgraded the brakes. The result was the Mini Cooper S. Ever heard of it? John Cooper and the
gang took the mini back to Monico 1964 and kicked everyone’s (beep)! Then they went back the next year and kicked everyone’s (beep) again! The next year they won again! But they were disqualified
because they had the wrong light bulbs in their headlights. Seriously? But mini didn’t get discouraged. They came back the next
year and won again. The repeated success of
the Mini Cooper proved that you didn’t need to
have hundreds of horsepower and an Italian name to win races. You just needed heart. So many people were inspired
by the minis rally outings that they began to race
minis on their own. Both the mini class leagues
and against other sports cars. The go kart like handling made it a force to be
reckoned with on road courses. Here’s the crazy thing about minis. They were made for over 40 years with like a million engine options and little changes here and there to make them safer. But the look hardly changed at all. To the untrained eye, the classic mini that
rolled off the assembly line in 2000 would be nearly indistinguishable from one made in the early 60s. That’s how much people love the mini. If it isn’t broken don’t fix it. Make little changes, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. But this doesn’t mean there
wasn’t some experimentation with the mini formula. God knows we’ve all experimented. Hey Chris. 1960 saw the introduction of the mini van. Not the mini van, but the mini van. Which was like any other
panel van of the era but mini. That same year there was
an estate which is British for station wagon. The estate even had wood trim giving it the nickname Woody. The next year a mini pickup was introduced with a bed big enough for like a box. Perhaps the strangest mini ever was the mini moke. And I’m not kidding, this is actually real. It’s an off road version
developed for military use. The British army and Royal
Marines took one look at puny Jeep wannabe and they were like you know what, mate? We’re good. Lack of military interest
not withstanding, BMC produced the moke anyway and it became a cult classic. But by far the coolest mini variant was the ERA Mini Turbo released in 1989. This wide bodied performance hatchback made 100 horsepower and
was the only classic mini to come from the factory with a turbo. It had a top speed of 115 miles per hour which actually sounds terrifying. Have you ever driven a mini? It’s scary. The car was built by
English Racing Automobiles a company that specialized
in building grand pre cars in the 1930s. Minis parent company at the time, Rover, wanted ERA to build a
performance based mini in the spirit of the cooper. Only 436 ERA Turbos were ever sold and most of them went to Japan. So they’re super dupes rare. In 1994, BMW bought the Rover group and development of a new
car started right away. Rover kept building the classic mini until BMW sold them to Ford in 2000. The last classic mini to roll of the line was built the same way it
had been built for decades. By hand. In late 2000, BMW rolled
out the new mini cooper. The old king was dead, but his son had taken the throne. The mini cooper was unmistakably mini. With round headlights and
a signature white roof. Yeah it was a little
bigger than the old one, but compared to other cars on the road, it was still pretty mini. Many minis – Heh. Many mini purists weren’t
completely convinced it was a proper replacement. But that didn’t matter
because the new mini was an immediate commercial success. As a tribute to John Cooper BMW revived the Cooper S
name for the sport version. The Cooper S was powered by
super charged 1.6 liter engine making 160 horsepower. Giving it a better power to rate ratio than the original. These things are rad. The block is cast iron, so you can tune the hell out of it without worrying about blowing it up. And it handles twisty roads
just as well as the old one. The mini’s like yo, dad,
I’m bigger than you. And I’m faster than you. Which is the opposite of me. I am smaller and slower than my dad. Like the mini of old, the
brand started introducing fresh models to expand the brand. You’ve the mini convertible of 2005 which is great for California but not ideal for rainy
Britain where it was born. In 2007, mini introduced a diesel version which we never got in the
states because we never get diesel cars. It’s like, hey where’s the diesel pump? And the guys like, uh … Across town. And you’re like what. Yeah we don’t really import
that many diesel cars over here. So … 2008 gave us the mini club man, which was a little
longer for more leg room and had a weird little baby door on the right side and
barn doors in the back. In 2011, mini unveiled
their very first crossover. The country man. It had all wheel drive. More ground clearance, and was all beefed up like
that kid in junior high who went through puberty over summer break and beat everyone’s (beep) now. Darrel I know I used to
take your lunch money but can we work this out? I’m sorry I’m not a bully anymore. The country man also marked minis return to the rally scene. Both in the backwoods
and rally cross events all over the world. The roided out mini won
the brutal the car rally four fricking times. Making it one of the
toughest rally cars ever. The variation in the mini line up established the brand not
only as quirky, novelty but a legitimate family to choose from. The crown jewel in line up being the John Cooper works model. These are the fastest minis you can buy. With turbo charge engines
making 220 horsepower. They’ve got functional
break ducts in the front to keep your breaks cool while you’re tearing up the track. If you thought mini forgot
about it’s heritage, you’re dead wrong. These things are real sports cars. I mean it’s British racing
green with red stripes. Those colors don’t even match. It’s like Christmas race car. That’s race car as (beep) man. The mini is truly an icon. The British love this car. In 2015, they voted it the
most British car of all time. Beating out the Land
Rover, the Jaguar E type, and the horse and carriage. No car better encapsulates
British sensibility than this quirky economy car. All right we obviously missed some things so feel free to tell us what. If you have a mini, let us see them. Is the new mini really a true mini? If you’re a British girl, hit me up. Why don’t any girls ever message us? It’s all guys. If you’re British, how
often do you say pip pip? Say what’s up to the queen for me. We got some more shows going on. We’re gonna have a science show, my buddy’s Barts hosting it. It’s gonna be really funny. And really educational. And as always, like, comment, subscribe, and share. Cheerio.