A brief history of Mini
When developing the Mini towards the end of the 50s, Issigonis used the go-kart as a source of inspiration for the Mini. With all four wheels pushed to the corners, low centre-of-gravity, and an overall sense of fun about it, the Mini was very much like a go-kart.
Not all could be go-kart like though. For Issigonis, form and function went hand in hand. While the car had to be fun to drive, it also had to be innovative, flexible and practical. Even though the car was small, Issigonis had to find a way to liberate maximum space within the confines of the bodyshell. Armed with an ingenious solution, he suggested that the engine in the Mini be mounted transversely as opposed to a front-facing engine, shortening the engine compartment, which would help create more room inside the car for the passengers and their luggage. This solution also brought along bonus handling benefits, with the engine weight being distributed better upon the front wheels.