Sir Alec Issigonis retired from British Leyland in 1971 but was retained as a consultant. Among his later projects was this gearless Mini or 'City Car'.
With no clutch, gearbox or variable ratio drive mechanism, the drive is taken through a torque converter to a simple forward and reverse gearbox in the final drive. The engine is the experimental 9X, designed by Issigonis and tuned to give sufficient torque over a wide rev-band.
Potential benefits of 9X included: smoothness of drive even with inexperienced drivers, improved fuel consumption, and more interior space.
He commented: "...it is inconceivable that people would put up with so much work and pre-occupation with gear shifting when this could be completely eliminated..."