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The updated 2018 Mini Hatch is nearly upon us, but how far has it come since the original reborn, ‘new’ Mini Cooper?
Good question! To find out, let’s have a look back in time to see how the German-owned British hatch has evolved after nearly two decades on sale.
First generation (R50/R53): 2000-2006
Launched towards the end of 2000 (2002 in Australia), the ‘R50’ Mini hatchback was the first model launched under the new Mini marque, after the original Mini was discontinued earlier that same year.
The first-generation of the new Mini was developed by the Rover Group and BMW during the late 1990s, though the Bavarian marque took full control of the project when it sold Rover in 2000.
In Australia, just the 85kW Cooper and 120kW Cooper S were launched initially, though a more affordable and less powerful Mini One was available overseas.
The original Mini Hatch was priced from $32,650 before on-road costs when it arrived Down Under in 2002, while the supercharged Cooper S asked for $39,900 – which was a lot of money for a light car, even by today’s standards.