Could get if i spoke my mine on these fake Mini's and the re-using of the old Longbridge model names i remember just after B*W sold us we where under contract to build the first 20 prototypes, when the first 2 came down the line we all stood back and refused to touch them then they entered the spray booths some how the paint guns where set to full flow and covered then in runs
I'm not sold on the looks myself but I can see the appeal for the practicality and usefulness of the type/size of car that it is. Certainly I can see a fair number of people buying these as family cars in lie of your normal VW Golf/Polo, Audi A3 and Merc A-Class offerings.
MrB wrote:.I know BMW stole it, but that doesn't mean it's not a good car.
Remember its DNA was made at Longbridge the Germans did not have much of clue how to design/build a transverse FWD car and this was the only reason they brought the Rover Group which of course included the guys down the road at Lode Lane for all the 4x4 tech. They got all the info they wanted then jumped ship.
The first prototypes were made well before BMW saw Rover. We were driving them round when I still worked there in early 1999.
They weren't designed at Longbridge, they were designed at Gaydon. BMW paid for that development, so 'stealing' it was not really what they did.
They didn't buy the company to get hold of the technology, transverse engine or 4x4.
Transverse engine technology was everywhere. The technology that Rover had was the old under the engine gearbox like in the Maxi, Allegro and Mini. Even they had stopped using it and were using gearboxes and final drives developed by gearbox manufacturers that BMW were free to buy like everyone elses does.
The 4x4 system was also not LR technology. The gearboxes and final drives were also sourced from third parties. And while LR 4x4s were fantastic off road, they were compromised by this on road. Don't get me wrong, they were great (I'm proud of being on the development team) but it's not what BMW wanted to put on their cars.
My understanding, and I've yet to hear a convincing argument otherwise, is that BMW wanted to expand their brand range, just like VW were very succesfully doing. Rover and Land Rover would have done that nicely, and hence the reason they were initially left with very much their own leadership. Problem is Towers and his Cronies didn't have a clue how to run a car company.
Duncan was you at the NEC when B*W held the large scale meetings and told us that Longbridge's future was only safe if the new deal was voting in and then we would get the new mini - sorry but after 15 yrs service and an unbroken 65yrs of family service to Longbridge i do feel that B*W helped in what happened back in 2005.