New Mini to be premiered in Oxford

The Mini plant in Cowley in Oxfordshire Photo: PA

The new Mini will be launched in Oxford later this year - on an auspicious day in UK motoring history.

Mini owner BMW has chosen the launch date of November 18, which is the 107th anniversary of the birth of the Mini's founding father Sir Alex Issigonis.

BMW's Cowley plant in Oxford will host the world premiere of the new car, with a party in London that evening.

The car will then be displayed that week at the Los Angeles and Tokyo motor shows, with the vehicle going on sale in the UK early next year.

Small, nippy and affordable, the original Mini was a sensation when it first went on sale in 1959 just as many households, hitherto predominantly carless, were thinking of splashing out on a vehicle.

It was seen as the first "classless car" and remained hugely popular for decades.

After taking over the Rover car company from British Aerospace in 1994, BMW started making the new, bigger, Mini at Oxford in 2001 and the car has continued to catch the public's imagination with around 50,000 a year sold in the UK.