A Banner Year for MINI: 2012 in Review
Instead of the untimely demise predicted by the Mayan calendar, 2012 was an incredible year for MINI and its amazing fans. Scroll through this banner year and get a taste of our bright future.
The New Faces of 2012
The MINI production lines were absolutely humming this year, introducing the MINI family to a whole slew of new faces. From a new drop top to a MINI Countryman brother, here's a refresher of the new kids to look for on a block near you.
The MINI Roadster brings new joy to those snaking country roads. We dropped the top and took in the thrills of MINI motoring bliss.
The MINI Clubvan is the newest mover and shaker that's ready to hire. This year, this energetic expediter got poised to give your small business a pick-me-up.
The MINI Countryman has a design-savvy coupé brother that's eager to navigate you and your crew through city wilds. The street chic style of the MINI Paceman sends a clear message that bold design continues to be a time-honored tradition of the brand.
MINI John Cooper Works
The purebred lineage of the John Cooper Works racing dynasty also grew in leaps and bounds during 2012. The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman charged onto the scene as the most powerful MINI ever, the MINI John Cooper Works GP clocked in as the fastest street legal cruiser available, and just recently we were introduced to the striking new MINI John Cooper Works Paceman, which offers circuit-worthy muscle with a sleek coupé silhouette.
Massive Meet Ups, Epic Road Trips
There's nothing more MINI than taking an epic pilgrimage to a faraway land or coming together to demonstrate the raw force of our extended community. From MINI United and MINI Takes the States to the Put Foot Rally and road trips across South America, 2012 laid innumerable MINI tread marks all around the globe in the name of adventure and camaraderie, and it couldn't be done without each one of you hitting the gas.
Inspiration for the Creative Class
It wasn't just the global community of MINI fans who were galvanized into showing their solidarity this year. From fashion, to design, to music, the industries' leading lights came forward to showcase works inspired by MINI.
The celebrated Italian handbag designer Ilaria Venturini Fendi created a limited edition range of handbags reusing offcuts of the MINI Roadster design. Embellishment materials ranged from wing mirrors to car handles.
Franca Sozzani, the long-standing editor of Italian Vogue, customized her own, floral MINI Roadster design for the glamorous HIV fundraiser Life Ball.
And French rockers Superbus were ready to shout their inspiration from the rooftops with the release of their song "Mini," an ode to the joys of motoring MINI-style. We dare you to try and rid your brain of this earworm before the year is out!
And going by the year's successes, Superbus had more than enough reason to pen their paean to the car. MINI racked up some stellar accomplishments for 2012.
The year set off in good stead when Peterhansel scored the top spot on the grueling track of the legendary Dakar Rally with his monster ALL4 RACING vehicle. Can the team repeat their success at Dakar Rally 2013 this January? Stay tuned to find out...
Full-throttle speed hunters were drawn to the new MINI John Cooper Works GP, which pounced onto the scene in August. A rebrush of the original GP MINI, it's the fastest production MINI ever made, clocking in a stunning 8:23 minutes on the notorious Nürburgring racetrack. Blink and you'll miss it!
But it wasn't all about speed and endurance records in 2012. Over in China, MINI was scoring gongs for their nimbleness, agility and "creative use of space." This team's Guinness World Record-breaking parallel parking was a master feat of driving, with only 15cm between two cars. Watch it here.
And speaking of "Creative Use of Space," it doesn't get more extreme than this 28-strong troupe of gym members from Sussex, UK. They clinched another Guinness World Record for the most people in a MINI!
A bumper year of world records closed with a MINI convoy on a Christmas mission to Santa this month. Bearing festive wishes collected from MINI fans from every corner of the globe, they compiled one wish list nearly 4km long. Was your wish one of the 76,000 that made it?
The Road Ahead
With fond memories and nostalgia tugging at our heartstrings, it's tough saying goodbye to a year as stellar as 2012. But let's not forget we have a whole new chapter to write for 2013 and it's up to each one of us to pen a few of its lines. We've got MINI meet ups! Epic road trips! Records to shatter! Races to win! And who knows, maybe a new set of wheels to ogle over. We're set to motor on into one more road trip around the sun, where each of those 365 days is a golden opportunity to seize the NOT NORMAL spirit that makes us all distinctly MINI.
Bring on 2013 and let's motor!
Dune hopping is no hobby, and the X-raid Team in their MINI ALL4 Racing have had their work cut out for them on the Dakar 2015 route. Scroll down for an exclusive look at their sand-spraying antics.
More than 9,000 kilometres over perilously soft sand dunes, through fields of treacherous boulders, across the gargantuan heights of the Andes, and through the relentless desert heat of one of the driest regions on earth: anyone with victory in mind must be prepared to suffer. That much is certain, as MINI looks to successfully defend its title at the 2015 Rally Dakar.
Take it from the guys who go the extra mile to top the podium. This is what they say it takes to win.
He did it! After completing a 9,000+-kilometre loop through South America, Nasser Al-Attiyah won the Rally Dakar 2015 in the MINI ALL4 Racing. It is the fourth time in a row that MINI has won the world's toughest rally.
The competitors at the 2015 Rally Dakar now have half of the roughly 9,000 kilometres through the heart of South America behind them. Their reward is a rest day. However, it would be wrong to believe they can put their feet up for a day. There is no time for that sort of thing on the toughest rally in the world.