The DS-inspired prototype that spawned the Mini. BMC’s abandoned future Issigonis’ forgotten XC9001 project. After the stillborn V8 he had designed for Alvis, and before the Mini, Alec Issigonis created a reardrive 1 ½ -litre saloon for BMC. Jon Pressnell tells the fascinating inside story of the XC9001 prototype. Photography Bmiht/Author’s Collection/Jan Simmons/Suzanne Hankey.