Before the Mini Metro, there was the Innocenti Mini

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We often hear people say that the original Mini outlived its successor, the Austin Mini Metro (and its derivatives). What we don’t hear as often is that it also outlived the Innocenti Mini. This Bertone-designed (by Marcello Gandini) hatchback was built on the Mini platform by BL’s Italian affiliate, and showed that, if BL wanted, they could have had a modern Mini for the 1970s in many more markets. While we all love how cute the original Mini is, and the R50 of 2000 preserved those looks, back in the 1970s, this looked up-to-the-minute, so much so that even in style-conscious Italy, it managed to survive into the 1990s. Here are two shots of later Innocenti Minis, the Mille of 1980, which was the last to use BL power; and the Small 500, the last of the line on the original wheelbase. More about these two in Autocade​ (in fact, all the Innocenti Minis are there): autocade.net/index.php/Innocenti_Mille_(1980–1) autocade.net/index.php/Innocenti_Small

The 1980 Innocenti Mille, the last of the BL-powered Innocenti Minis. At this point, Innocenti was just using up the last A-series 1·0-litre engines. Not far away were replacement Daihatsu units.
The last of the original-wheelbase Innocenti Minis, the Innocenti Small 500, made from 1990 to 1993, with a two-cylinder engine. The Small range had a larger counterpart, with a longer wheelbase and different sheetmetal, derived from the Mini base.

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