Greatest British car ever made

2012-08-29 10:47

The original Mini has been voted the greatest British car yet made in a poll by Autocar magazine and its readers.

Other contenders for the title were the original Range Rover, launched in 1970, and the Jaguar E-Type, launched in 1961, but the humble Mini came out No.1.

Top 10 greatest British made cars:

Range Rover
Jaguar E-Type
Land Rover
McLaren F1
Range Rover Evoque
Caterham 7
Morris Minor
McLaren MPF-12C
London Taxi

The Austin Mini was launched in 1959 and racked up 5.4-million sales during its 41-year lifetime before morphing into the New MINI.


Autocar’s editor-in-chief Steve Cropley said: “The Mini had many faults and was never profitable but it rewrote the rules and had the biggest impact on Britain’s car industry that any car has had.

“It was one of the most remarkable cars yet built, with its seating for four plus a decent boot in its mere three-metre length, revolutionary transverse drive-train and gearbox and its ultra-compact suspension.

“Then there was the whole Mini Cooper thing, and the enormous driving pleasure. The Mini’s influence is highly visible in every VW Golf or Ford Focus today, and the legend will live for ever.”


The poll coincided with the news of Britain’s car manufacturing output set to eclipse its highest recorded levels by 2015 because of huge investment from auto makers in the country.

The Society of Motor Manufactuers estimates that more than two-million cars will be built in Britain in 2015, more than the highest number of 1.92-million made during Britain’s car making peak in 1970.

Jaguar, Land Rover, Honda, Mini, Nissan and Vauxhall have each announced significant investment in expanding their production facilities in the UK during the course of 2012.

UK factory production in 2011:
1 Nissan (Sunderland) - 480 485
2 Land Rover (Halewood/Solihull) - 238 237
3 Mini (Oxford) - 191 474
4 Vauxhall (Ellesmere Port) - 137 971
5 Toyota (Burnaston) - 128 146
6 Honda  (Swindon) - 97 459
7 Jaguar  (Castle Bromwich) - 49 932
8 Bentley  (Crewe) - 7003
9 Aston Martin (Gaydon) - 4500
10 Rolls-Royce (Goodwood) - 3538

  • don.quioxte.3 - 2012-08-31 08:53

    A rubbish car with no suspension, no brakes and no space.

      johan.beneke.79 - 2012-09-05 18:06

      Maybe so, but nothing else at the time was as much fine to drive. Small, yes but yet less cramped at the back than the beetle of the time. Also, the packaging was streets ahead of the rest and most hatch backs to this day still following the cue set by the mini.

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