Mini (styled as MINI) is a British automotive brand specialised in small cars owned by the BMW Group. Mini originated as one specific vehicle, a small car originally known as the Morris Mini-Minor, launched by the British Motor Corporation in 1959, and developed into a brand encompassing a range of small cars. The original is considered a British icon of the 1960s and influenced a generation of car-makers. The vehicle is in some ways considered the British equivalent to its German contemporary, the Volkswagen Beetle, which enjoyed similar popularity in North America. In 1999 the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th Century, behind the Ford Model T.
The styling of the car, like that of the Volkswagen’s New Beetle, is a retro design that is deliberately reminiscent of the original Mini. The retro styling is further enhanced by retaining other classic Mini touches such as contrasting roof colours, optional bonnet stripes, optional rally lights, and black trim around the wheel arches and rocker panels that mimic the wide wheel flares found on many classic Minis.