The Mini, a style icon with Pirelli tyres

The new Cinturato CN54 radial from the Pirelli Collezione range is making Mini owners happy

Home Road Cars Tyres The Mini, a style icon with Pirelli tyres

Is the Mini the most iconic car in history? Many people would answer “yes” to this question: in fact nothing and nobody has been able to resist the charm of this famous small English city car, from the Beatles to David Bowie, through to the worlds of cinema and fashion. Today Mini owners make their cars even more special thanks to the Cinturato CN54, the new tyre from the Pirelli Collezione line, dedicated to the most iconic cars built between 1950 and 2000.

Show more images


For the various versions of the Mini manufactured and sold under licence by Innocenti and for the more recent versions of the Classic Mini, Pirelli has recreated the Cinturato CN54 measuring 145/70 R12 originally launched in 1972, a radial tyre with the tread design and sidewall kept entirely as they appeared at the time, but manufactured using modern technologies, so as to guarantee reliability and safety without any loss of the original style. In order to develop the tyre, Pirelli's engineers adapted for modern materials and processes the design criteria which the car's original designers used for their design, by relying on the company's historical heritage of documents, pictures and design drawings which have been preserved and placed at the disposal of the Pirelli Foundation.


It was in 1964 that Pirelli started to look into the possibility of designing a Cinturato radial tyre for the Mini with a 367 F tread pattern. A year later, the success of the Mini swept through Italy and Innocenti obtained the licence to build these famous small city cars in their Lambrate factory, until 1975. In 1976 Pirelli developed the tyre dimensions 145/70 SR 12 for the Mini 90 and the 155/70 SR 12 for the Mini 120, whilst for the sports versions of the car, such as the Innocenti Turbo De Tomaso, they created the Pirelli Larga wide series.

During the Eighties, for the small city cars such as the Mini, the tyre with the P lunga (elongated P) was the P3, which was fitted to all the models on the market including the special versions, such as the Red Flame, the Check Mate, the Studio 2 or the Piccadilly. During the Noughties, which saw the rebirth of the new Mini with a modern twist, built under the aegis of BMW, Pirelli obtained formal approval for the car to be fitted with the Eufori@ Run Flat, a tyre synonymous with driving reliability capable of functioning for 150 kilometres at a speed of 80 km/h even when completely deflated, thanks to the special load-bearing construction of the sidewall.


It is said that Alec Issigonis drew the first sketches of the car on a table napkin from a restaurant. Whether this is fact or fiction is not known, but in August 1959 the first model appeared: the Mini Minor 850, created at the behest of the British Motor Corporation. The car was sold under two brands, Austin and Morris and with two designations: the Austin Seven and the Morris Mini-Minor. Designed primarily as a low-cost small city car, it quickly changed its personality to compete in professional races: from this base in 1961 was developed the first Mini Cooper, the winner two years later of the Monte Carlo Rally.

These were the years when the mini-car also arrived in Italy: from the Mini minor 850, to the Cooper 1000, right through to the Mini Mark 2, Mark 3, Mini 1000 and Mini 1001. The Italian versions of the Cooper also encountered a huge success, both as a result of better finishes than the English versions and their lower cost. In the run-up to the 1970s, British Leyland (the new title of the BMC) made two decisions: to make the Mini a stand-alone brand and to introduce a luxury version - the Mini Clubman. In 1997 came the transfer of ownership to BMW. This year the Mini is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the brand with an exclusively designed model, the Mini 60 Years Edition.