The Austin Maxi (1969-1981) was launched in Oporto, Portugal on 24 April 1969. It was quite different from other cars in the class, being a front-wheel-drive hatchback when rivals were mainly rear-wheel-drive three-box saloons. It was designed by Alec Issigonis and so, as with the Mini, managed to package an incredible amount of interior space into a relatively small exterior - the seats when folded down easily made a double bed for sleeping should the need arise.
As a result of various British Leyland problems the model continued in production for some years, the main development points being an early change from the problematic cable gear linkage to a rod type, and the facelifted "Maxi 2" revamp in 1980. The Maxi 2 didn't last long however, as production ceased on 8th July 1981.