MINI looks back on a record breaking 2011 and looks forward to more adventures in 2012

It’s a MINI New Year quiz – so it’s only got one question! When Prime Minister David Cameron drove the two millionth MINI off of the production line at Plant Oxford in August last year, how far would all of those cars stretch if placed bumper to bumper?

MINI Highlights 2011

That production landmark was just one of a host of achievements during 2011, the most significant of which was that MINI recorded its highest ever UK sales since launch in 2001 and captured a record 2.58 per cent of the market, with sales of 50,135 vehicles, an increase of more than 14 per cent compared to 2010.

MINI Highlights 2011

April saw the launch of the Cooper SD, the most powerful diesel MINI ever. Available in all body types, the 2.0-litre 143hp four-cylinder engine delivers more power, better fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions.

Soon after came the all-new MINI Coupé, the first two-seater sports car in the brand’s history. Bringing the fun and personality of MINI to a new sector, it offers a dynamic performance that owners are already growing to love.

MINI Highlights 2011

And in October came first details of the sixth unique MINI model; the Roadster. The taut-handling Roadster is packed with MINI character and will offer open-topped thrills to a new type of customer when it goes on sale in the spring.

The MINI Inspired by Goodwood limited edition made its European debut at the famous Goodwood Festival of Speed in June. A unique collaboration between Rolls-Royce and MINI, it blends the best elements of both brands. Just 1,000 examples are being built, priced at £41,000, and the first will be delivered in March.

MINI Highlights 2011

Last year saw MINI hint at a possible solution to the challenges of urban mobility, unveiling its innovative 3+1 seater Rocketman Concept at March’s Geneva Motor Show.

The pioneering MINI E UK Field Trial came to an end in 2011. Scores of private, corporate and public sector drivers gave feedback on living with a full electric MINI Hatch. Together they covered more than 250,000 miles, at an average charge cost of under 2p for each one.

Also looking to the future was the MINI production triangle, where it was announced at Downing Street that £500 million of new investment is to be spent over the next two years. Plant upgrades to build the next generation of cars will safeguard more than 5,000 UK jobs.

MINI is official partner of Team GB and ParalympicsGB for the London 2012 Games, and in September unveiled three limited edition models to celebrate. Just 2,012 are available and come with unique logos and Union Jack trim. England long jump champion and Olympic hopeful JJ Jegede dramatically leapt over them on the banks of the River Thames to mark the launch.

May saw one of the UK’s best known young sports star, Olympic diver Tom Daley, take delivery of a MINI One D Hatch. Tom is a member of our London 2012 Performance Team, an initiative designed to provide athletes with support as they prepare for the Games on and off the field.

MINI Highlights 2011

MINI was proud to accept one of the most prestigious awards in the motor industry this year when What Car? named the MINI Cooper D ‘Fun Green Car of the Year’ in the publication’s 2011 Green Awards. Thanks to its standard MINIMALISM technology MINI is ranked within the top five manufacturers for its low CO2 emissions.

Sales records tumbled during October and November. Both months were the best ever for the brand’s global performance, and the overall 2010 total was passed thanks to the introduction of more than 10 new markets. Among these are places as remote as Bolivia in South America and Senegal in Africa.

The most popular MINI colour in 2011 was Pepper White, followed by Midnight Black and Chili Red. The MINI Countryman is now the second biggest selling model in the range behind MINI Hatch.

So how far would two millions MINIs stretch? A whopping 4,626.7 miles – all way from the Plant Oxford factory gates to the Grand Canyon! Stacked on top of each other, they would be 318 times higher than Mount Everest or 3,398 times greater than the world’s tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

You’ll struggle to find two the same. There are 372 interior trim and 319 exterior options, which makes 15 billion possible MINI combinations!