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Nevada City Adventure 2016 Set For May 21

Mini Mania's Nevada City Adventure 2016 is set for Saturday, May 21, 2016. Don't forget to RSVP. What should you expect? Joi...

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

How To Drive Fast At Thunderhill

Alex Lloyd explains how to drive fast at Thunderhill for Jalopnik, with such tips as:
. . . Turn One: A perilously fast left hander where balls the size of grapefruits are required. In a prototype, you’re approaching the braking zone at approximately 160 mph.

No matter what car you’re in, this is a momentum corner. You want to lift early, brake lightly, and role speed down to the apex. The exit is blind, so you must sense how early you can get back to full power. Time, here, is gained on entry. With a downhill exit, an overly hot entry lacks the punishment typically dished out. . . .

MotoringFile Toasts The Debut Of 2016 MINI JCW Convertble

MotoringFile covers the European debut with oodles of photos and this Official Press Release:
Official Release: When passion for motor racing is the driving force and intense open-air pleasure the goal, the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible takes the ideal line from the word go. The second John Cooper Works model of the latest generation combines engine and suspension technology optimised for use on the race track with distinctive design and equipment features as well as the extensively refined qualities of the new MINI Convertible.

John Cooper Works now launches the second top athlete of the new model generation; new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible invites racing fans to enjoy extreme driving fun in a particularly exclusive way; unique vehicle concept in the small car segment combining authentic racing feel with intense open-air enjoyment, complete with the premium quality and mature product substance of the new MINI generation.

Thrilling performance properties and extrovert charisma; drive, suspension technology and aerodynamics developed on the basis of well-established racing expertise; distinctive design features in the unmistakable style of John Cooper Works and clearly differentiated from the new MINI Convertible.

2.0-litre 4-cylinder power unit developed exclusively for John Cooper Works models; current engine generation with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology as the basis; fascinating performance characteristics and highly emotional sound development due to distinctive design of pistons, turbocharger and exhaust system; the most powerful engine in the MINI portfolio with 170 kW/231 hp; output increase of 15 kW/20 hp as compared to the predecessor model and 29 kW/39 hp as compared to the new MINI Cooper S Convertible: maximum torque: 320 Newton metres; 6-speed manual transmission as standard, 6-speed Steptronic sport transmission available as an option; combined EU fuel consumption: 6.5 l/100 km (automatic: 5.9 l/100 km, combined EU CO2 emissions: 152 g/km (138 g/km).

Extremely sporty acceleration and elasticity figures; 0 – 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds (minus 0.3 seconds) with manual transmission and 6.5 seconds (minus 0.6 seconds) with Steptronic transmission, 80 – 120 km/h in 6.1 seconds (minus 0.7 seconds); top speed increased by 7 km/h to 242 km/h (automatic: 240 km/h).

Power transmission to the front wheels; high-quality suspension technology with set-up geared perfectly to the vehicle concept and engine performance characteristics; standard trim includes Brembo sports brake system, 17-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels Track Spoke silver and speed-related Servotronic steering support; Dynamic Damper Control available as an option; Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) as standard with DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control) and Performance Control.

Powerfully expressive design with dynamically stretched silhouette, powerful surface shaping and optimised air routing in the style of John Cooper Works; large cooling air outlets in the front apron which also occupy the space provided for the parking lights and fog lamps in the MINI Convertible; distinctively designed side sills and rear apron; LED headlights with white turn indicators and LED rear lights as standard; radiator grille, side scuttles and tailgate with John Cooper Works logo; optional body finish in the variant Rebel Green exclusively available for John Cooper Works models.

New textile top with fully electrically powered, especially low-noise operation for the first time; fully automatic opening and closing of the soft top at the press of a button in 18 seconds, also during travel at speeds up to 30 km/h; sliding roof function available at any road speed; optional MINI Yours top with integrated high-end Union Jack graphic.

Vehicle dimensions, wheelbase and track width significantly larger than in predecessor model; optimised space on all four seats; rear seats with single-seat character and extended seat surface; luggage compartment capacity increased to 215 litres with the top closed and 160 litres with the top open; standard trim includes folding split backrest, enlarged through-loading facility and Easy Load function.

High-quality interior with refined premium ambience, modern display and operating concept of the latest MINI generation and the sports car cockpit typical of John Cooper Works models; fully integrated rollover protection bars behind the rear seats; John Cooper Works sports seats in Dinamica/fabric Carbon Black with integrated headrests; John Cooper Works door sill cover strips; John Cooper Works leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons and shift paddles in conjunction with the 6-speed Steptronic sport transmission; John Cooper Works gearshift or selector lever; cockpit displays and central instrument surround in model-specific design; pedals and driver footrest in stainless steel.

Highly rigid body structure with convertible-specific bracing elements for an agile driving response with maximum occupant protection; complete set of standard safety features with front airbags, head-thorax airbags integrated in the backrests, 3-point automatic belts on all seats, ISOFIX child seat mountings for the front passenger seat and at the rear, tyre pressure display and partially active engine compartment lid for optimum pedestrian protection; needs-based control of the restraint systems and rollover protection by means of centralised safety electronics.

Standard trim includes fully automatic soft top operation, air conditioning, MINI Driving Modes, Radio MINI Boost with AUX-IN and USB socket, as well as Park Distance Control.

Exclusive optional equipment and John Cooper Works tuning accessories; optional MINI Head-Up Display with John Cooper Works specific display content; MINI Driving Assistant; Parking Assistant; rear view camera; 2-zone automatic air conditioning with convertible mode; Always Open Timer with new display content; new wind deflector with reduced weight and simplified attachment; Comfort Access; rain sensor with automatic driving lights control: MINI Excitement Package including MINI Logo projection from the exterior mirror onto the ground in front of the door on the driver’s side; MINI navigation system and Wired equipment package including navigation system Professional with MINI Touch Controller; Bluetooth mobile phone preparation; exterior mirror caps in Chili Red; 18-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels CupSpoke 2-tone; John Cooper Works bonnet stripes as well as exterior and interior components from the John Cooper Works Pro design line.

Complete MINI Connected in-car infotainment program; constantly updated selection of apps for integration in the car via smartphone; exclusive MINI functions such as MINI Streetwise, online search, Sports Instruments and Force Meter; MINI Connected XL Journey Mate with real time traffic radar and rain warning function; online-based services for the use of social networks as well as entertainment offers such as Spotify, AUPEO!, Stitcher, Deezer, Audible, Napster/Rhapsody, TuneIn and GoPro.

Ask Nathan: MINI Cooper S Clubman Vs Ford Focus ST?

In Nathan Alden's column at TFL.com he fields and answers this question:
‘Sup Nathan?!

Simple question from Phoenix, Arizona. What would you choose, the Ford Focus ST or the Mini Cooper S 4 Door? I want it fast, front wheel drive and manual. What do you think?

Matt
His response:
A: Howdy Matt!

I think the Ford Focus ST is a huge bargain by comparison. You can load one up and still have it for less than 30K. The equivalent MINI will run $32-$38,000. The Ford Focus ST is a monster on the track and it’s very easy to drive hard – very hard. It would be my choice between the two for track days.

With that being said, the MINI Cooper S Clubman gives you a fantastic driving experience, decent interior space and gobs of personality. There are a ton of equipment options and it feels like a small BMW. Its overall performance capabilities are impressive and, as a daily driver, it would be my choice.

If you are a MINI fan, the Ford will never do. On the other hand, if you want raw performance, it’s hard to beat the Ford Focus ST.

Matt, have you considered the Volkswagen GTI? It’s TFLcar’s favorite hot-hatch – for a majority of good reasons.

Good luck!

N

Monday, May 2, 2016

"The Scariest Car I've Ever Driven - In A Good Way"

Matthew DeBord writes in Business Insider about driving a 2015 MINI JCW:
. . . The JCW, on the other hand, thinks any speed limit is fodder for contempt. It basically wants to do 80 all the time (in other words, it wants to be on a race track), but if you're tooling along at 30, it reminds you of what every single MPH of 30 is like, in fiercely granular detail. The exhaust note is vigorous and engaging, a feisty volcano of sonic lava. The brake, clutch, and accelerator pedals all have an urgent vibe that suggest purposeful driving is the way to go and that commuting would be tiring for the left leg. . . .

Autocar Reviews 2016 MINI Cooper Convertible

Autocar's final question:
. . . Should I buy one?

If your budget will stand it, yes. Which is a fairly big ‘if’, given that small cabriolets can be bought considerably more cheaply by those who don’t need four usable seats - and we suspect few in the market really do. There again, strong residual values should mitigate the Mini Convertible's high after-options price, and Mini’s transferable fixed-price servicing packages promise to make ownership of the car easy.

If nothing else, it’s quite plain that you are at least getting what you pay for in the Mini Convertible: a better car, of greater engineering integrity and dynamism than its rivals, and what will amount to irresistible desirability for some. Get one with an automatic gearbox, though, and preferably without the optional Union Jack cloth roof.

MINI JCW Racing Team Finishes 14th At Laguna Seca

MOTORING FUN has the full report and says, in part:
It was a hard fought day at Laguna Seca! The MINI JCW Team battled through spins, flat tires and penalties to finish 14th (#73), 21st (#52) and 23rd (#37). Early on, the #37 MINI driven by Ethan Low really was showing some promise battling through the field to get as high as 4th. Unfortunately, later in the race, the #37 would be parked for accidentally engaging reverse gear while in the pits. . . .

Friday, April 29, 2016

MINI JCW Team Readies For Laguna Seca

MotoringFile has this Official Press Release:
Official Release: The Brownsburg, IN based MINI JCW Team has loaded their MINI F56 John Cooper Works cars for California to take on this season’s third Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. One of the most famous American race tracks, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will present the MINI JCW Team with another great test of speed and braking capabilities.

Team owner Luis Perocarpi said “We were very disappointed with our brake issues in Sebring. We fought hard all weekend but Mark Pombo’s brakes just didn’t hold out for the entire race and they gave out on his last lap”. After returning to the shop in Brownsburg, Indiana outside Indianapolis, the team has been working very hard to update the cars in time for Laguna Seca. In light of the braking performance issues at Sebring, IMSA has approved the team’s switch from the Cooper S model’s brake caliper back to the original John Cooper Works (JCW) brake calipers for better stopping power.

The MINI JCW Team had a top 10 finish at Laguna Seca last year in only their second outing. Last year Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca gave the team some braking challenges with its difficult corners, everyone on the team is anxious to see how the new IMSA approved OEM MINI JCW brakes will perform at the feet of their drivers.

The Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge race from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca can be live streamed on IMSA.com Saturday April 30th at 4:25pm ET and will be broadcast May 8th on FS1 at 8:00am ET.

MINI Tech Shapes MINI Buyers

Digital Trends at the NYAIS interviewed Ralph Mahler, Head of Product Management and Patrick McKenna, Department Head of Product Planning to discuss these two new model introductions, MINI’s focus on technology, and the future of the MINI brand.

MINI JCW Racing Team Gear Now Available

According to MOTORING FUN:
. . . Available in Mens or Ladies cuts, the jerseys feature the MINI John Cooper Works Racing Team logo on the front and a graphic of the 3 LAP Motorsports MINIs on the back.

U.K.'s Daily Post First Drive In A 2016 MINI Convertible

The Daily Post has Graham Scott take a first drive in the 2016 MINI Cooper Convertible. He exclaims in his review:
. . . If you’re looking for a convertible this summer that’s fun, then this fits the bill nicely. Fun, stylish, well made, it ticks the boxes and is noticeably better than its predecessor in key areas. It also offers good value for money even if something like the Fiat 500C is actually cheaper. Let your hair down.