collectible of the day: Rover Group News Release (1997)


Rover Group News Release (1997)
Here’s the News Release from the Rover Group that introduced the new MINI to the world exactly 13 years ago today.  It was released on September 8, 1997.

The letter features the Rover Mini logo at the top and reads:

EMBARGOED UNTIL 18.30 HRS MONDAY 8TH SEPTEMBER 1997

MINI – THE CAR FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

On the eve of the Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW Group has unveiled the new Mini – successor to the world’s most emotive small car.

The new Mini will be in production in the year 2000 and will be the most exciting new car for the 21st century.  Designed by Rover Group, BMW’s British subsidiary, and built at its Birmingham manufacturing plant in the UK, it will be powered by a new joint venture, four-cylinder engine being developed by BMW Group and the Chrysler Corporation.  The car is sophisticated and spacious yet truly authentic and its style is not compromised despite high safety standards.  This thoroughly modern Mini features classical Mini styling cues in a contemporary design that will appeal to all ages.

The new Mini is being created as a world car and will be larger than the current model, targeted directly at wealthier consumer groups looking for exciting urban modes of transport.  With superb throttle response and stunning handling qualities, the car will be true to the traditions of the brand, yet ride quality will also be exceptional.

Nick Stephenson, Rover Group Design and Engineering Director said, “Designing the new Mini for a new century is an awesome responsibility.  My team at Rover Group is thoroughly dedicated to producing a car that is a worthy replacement for an icon of the world’s motor industry.  Everyone can look forward to the year 2000 and a car that will set the adrenaline flowing in the veins of car enthusiasts across the world.”

Rover Group Product Communications

(+44) (0) 1926 482401

Rover Group News Release (1997) photo
See a larger version of the Rover Group News Release (1997).

Note that at that time, Rover Group and BMW Group were still using the name “Mini” instead of the “MINI” they ended up using at launch.  Also, the production location and date soon changed to Oxford and 2001.

A photograph accompanied the news release which featured a Chili Red and White MINI Cooper.  Notice the different side mirrors, side scuttles, and the Rover Mini front badge.