Throughout the ’Eighties the good old Mini struggled on, appealing to motorists who craved economy and who weren’t put off by the model’s age. Even so, back in 1989 (30 years after its launch), the Mini line-up of just City E and Mayfair models was hardly exciting. And with the Mayfair costing £5350 back then, it was £151 more expensive than its in-house rival, the (admittedly more basic) Austin Metro 1.0 City.
If Austin Rover was to halt the Mini’s sales slide, something had to be done – which is exactly what happened in 1990, when the legendary Mini Cooper name was reintroduced. Here was a sporting Mini for fun-loving car buyers of the ’Nineties; and despite its fairly hefty £6595 price tag, the new Cooper became an overnight success.
It didn’t take long for the new Cooper to take over as the best-selling Mini in the range, hence the obvious but truthful headline in this early brochure: “It’s captured the imagination of a new generation.”