Monday, November 30, 2009
MINIs will transport athletes and officials around London during the 2012 Olympics under a £40 million November 17, 2009, agreement between BMW and the London Organizing Committee. BMW will supply 4,000 standard vehicles and showcase some electric vehicles at the Olympic Park.
Don't miss this December 12, 2009, 5:00 p.m. event. It is open to all, not just MINI owners, and to all ages. Bring a new unwrapped toy as your admission. The event is to benefit Children's Hospital in Oakland. To get you in the mood we have an adult driving a toy MINI -
[Source: WorldTraveler3 @ YouTube]
Audi has no plans to offer the new A1 in the US, however, just like for the MINI, a multitude personalization options will be available to buyers. The Audi A1 is based on the VW Polo with 1.2 L and 1.4 L engines that make 75 hp and 105 hp, respectively. A convertible edition may also be on the horizon.
Friday, November 27, 2009
First, MINI confirmed it will be producing a Rolls Royce luxury edition MINI, but, no word yet on whether it will be offered in the US. [Sources: egmCarTech; The Auto Channel]
Second, as part of its strategy to change the cockpit entertainment experience, next fall MINI will roll out its MINI Connected technology as a first step to a full wifi and web-connected entertainment option. The MINI Connected software and hardware to be released will connect to the web for entertainment and use an iPhone app to connect to the following content:
Google Local Search
Send to Car
Even further interconnection is scheduled for 2013. [Source: MotoringFile]
Third, Auto designer Othmar Wickenheiser and Gert Hildebrand, the lead designer at MINI, have released MINI Design, a volume dedicated to Minis/MINIs. [Source: MINISpace]
Fourth, MINI USA Vice President confirmed that the MINI Countryman has been delayed to an early 2011 launch in the US; that the Speedster and Coupé are coming to the LA Motorshow; and the US dealer network is expanding substantially and rapidly. [Source: MotoringFile]
Fifth, edmund's inside line told us what is new for MINI in 2010 - They all come standard with a multifunction steering wheel with cruise control; Mayfair and Camden packages are available for the MC and MCS hardtops; there is an optional Harman-Kardon system available; the JCW Convertible costs $250 more than last year, the Cooper and JCW are $300 more, the MCS, MCS Convertible and Cooper convertible are $400 more, the Clubman and Clubman S will cost $250 to $400 more; and MINI-E production will end with the 2009 model.
Finally, Autoblog has started a rumor based on Spy Photos and reports that MINI is experimenting with "hotted-up" prototypes of a MCS and MINI Clubman S diesels.
Oh, and don't miss this tongue-in-cheek post about MINI over at Meta-cars. You should also check out Tara's photos from NorCal MINIs Goes Umigo Kart Racing. Looks like the event was a blast!
We want to also congratulate Larry and Tami on their new grandchild - sure to be spoiled rotten.
We will see you all at the December 12, 2009 Holiday Lights Tour & Toy Drive presented by NorCal MINIs and MINI of Concord. This is one you won't want to miss! Bring new unwrapped toys for Children's Hospital of Oakland and get a great festive home tour and MINI of Concord Winter Wonderland. The event starts at 5:00 p.m. at MINI of Concord Collision Center, 1967 Market Street Concord, CA 94520. Invite all your friends and family. This one is not limited to MINI Owners or adults.
Come Monday we should be back to our regular posting schedule. Right now we are still unpacking. Hope all had a great Turkey Day and a lucrative Black Friday.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Meetup Location: MINI of Concord Collision Center, 1967 Market Street Concord, CA 94520
Start Time: 5:00 p.m. (Tour starts at 5:30 p.m.)
Monday, November 16, 2009
(from MOTORING FILE) Recently MINI revealed to us some insight into the current MINI E field trial program. We got to drive the car (a review is coming) and we talked about some of the insight that they have gotten from the program launched earlier this year.
There is little question that the MINI E field trial was a bold move for BMW. It was designed to give the automaker valuable data and feedback on a large scale roll-out of electric cars among other things. It also placed BMW in the electronic infrastructure business – something that was expected but still uncomfortable for the German manufacturer.
Some of the bigger issues MINI USA has had to deal with revolve around the plug design and installed the home charger. For one a worldwide standardization of connectors does not currently exist. The connector used on the MINI E was not compatible with previous generation chargers so it made installation of new equipment mandatory. On top of this the entire process required timely installation by electricians and checks by local inspectors. And of course local laws and permits needed varied greatly.
Some areas where MINI found issues around where fleet customers not working with MINI to determine charging locations quick enough. Also there was the issue of post-installation troubleshooting and who pays for that service visit.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
We know . . it's in Pennsylvania.
[Source: kellynissan @ YouTube]
On University Motors in Ada, Michigan died due to the Michigan economy. It was in Ada for more than 34 years, offering service, advice and friendship to the MG community. Because they have gone under they are liquidating via auction. Up for auction will be office equipment, shop equipment, tools, books and literature, MG memorabilia, new parts, used parts and miscellany from MG keyfobs to MG posters, MG watches to MG pictures, MG pins and patches to MG signs, MG buttons to MG banners, MG models, pens, ashtrays, and playing cards to MG mirrors. This is a lifetime collection of MG memorabilia and things octagonal. In addition, items from BMC, Jaguar-Rover-Triumph, Lucas, SU, Lockheed and a number of car clubs will be included. The items may be viewed here.
The auction will be held November 21, 2009 via the internet by Vander Kolk's Golden Gavel Auction Service. Here, let former University Motors owner John Twist explain it all to you.
MotoringFile advises that it has "heard from very high level sources that BMW North American is currently not planning on importing any flavor of MINI diesel for the foreseeable future."
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
MotoringFile confirms that, depending on the market, the MINI Countryman will have four seats with an optional five seat configuration.
MotoringFile reports that, although MINI originally intended to release the Countryman in the US in early 2010, it has now been delayed until late 2010 at the earliest and could pushed back to early 2011, due to the present economic climate.
Michael Schumacher's 1994 Benetton B194 in which he won the 1994 Formula One World Championship. Bidding is at about $3,000,000 and there are still over five days to go on this German listing.
If you need more information before you make your bid Automotive News reports that eBay now offers for all vehicles built since the 1981 model year listed for sale on eBay vehicle history reports from Experian Automotive at no cost to vehicle buyers or sellers.
[Source: via autoblog]
According to Car and Driver, due to the initial problems experienced by MINI-E leesees Richard Steinberg, manager of Mini electric vehicle operations and strategy advised that MINI is considering extending the MINI-E leases to keep its customers happy and to keep the cars on the road long enough to collect the amount of data MINI needs for the experimental electric car project.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
This is so wrong on so many levels. Garnet Hertz of the Pasadena Art Center College of Design is turning this arcade cabinet into an actual running car that renders on-screen what's happening in real life using GPS sensors. The GPS sensors from an iPhone are to be combined with software to map what is in front of the vehicle and then the simulated reality is delivered to the screen.
Here is a video that shows how it is supposed to work. We still prefer the low tech windshield.
Here's the pre-race run map.
View Norcal MIni Directions to Umigo Indoor Kart Racing 6538 Patterson Pass Road Livermore, CA 94550 (925) 373-7223 in a larger map
Racing will be followed by a 2010 NorCal MINIs Planning Meeting. Be sure to bring your events ideas for next year to the meeting or transmit them to firstname.lastname@example.org before the meeting so that they can be put on the meeting agenda.
Please RSVP to your email invitation, add yourself to the event as a guest on the Calendar Of All Motoring Events or email us at email@example.com
If you have never been to Umigo you will not want to miss it. Here's a little taste -
Racecar driver Michael Schumacher and bartender Salvatore “The Maestro” Calabrese show why drinkling and driving don't mix.
[Source: via egmcartech]
Monday, November 9, 2009
TheCarConnection.com gives the 2010 MINI Cooper 10 out of 10 for styling but believes
the interior's plastic-fantastic controls need work.
TheCarConnection.com's main dislikes are the "[d]iminutive rear seats," "[n]umb, overly fast power steering," "[q]uirky, plasticky controls" and that "[o}ptions add up quickly." TheCarConnection.com's bottom line -
The 2010 MINI Cooper/Convertible runs the gamut from smart econobox to thrusty sports convertible-all with unmatched driving feel and expertly interpreted styling heritage.
TheCarConnection.com gives the 2010 MINI Clubman a 9 out of 10 for styling concluding
The 2010 MINI Cooper Clubman has the right heritage and styling cues, but its crazy-quilt controls and cockpit styling look better than they act.
TheCarConnection.com's biggest dislikes were that the electric power steering feels electric; it was easy to pump up the price tag; and access to the backseats was tricky. TheCarConnection.com gives the following bottom line:
A big-bodied extrovert, the 2010 MINI Cooper Clubman's the most desirable MINI for anyone beyond their single stage of life.
Presently being offered on eBay is this 1963 Austin Cooper S that competed in the Monaco Rally Historique in 2002. The full race 1275cc engine has twin SU’s with TR4 filters and a 12G940 cylinder head. The transaxle has straight cut gears and a Salisbury 3.9 limited slip. Dual fuel pumps are switched individually for redundant Lucas protection. Not really a road car but a true rally vehicle. Bids start at $29,995.00 and the auction ends soon.
[Source: Bring A Trailer]
Although MINI sales were up only 3% in the US, in October worldwide sales increased 11.1%, according to BMW. In fact, globally, the MINI Convertible was up 336.1%. Sales of the Hatch and Clubman versions of the MINI One increased 91.1%. Percentage sales increases were impressive for Brazil (224.8%), China (81.0%) and India (55.9%). Even the UK posted at strong 34.8& sales increase. For the year to date, however, MINI sales are lagging 14.0% behind last year's sales to date.
[Source: via MotoringFile]
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
edmund's inside line takes Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 all-season tires, Michelin Pilot Exalto PE2 high-performance summer tires, both in size 215/45R17, and Michelin Primacy Alpin PA3 snow tires on a Honda Civic Si and ran them on snow, rain and dry pavement. Check out the article for some very enlightening results.
It feels like this.
[Source: via ZerCustoms]
Thursday, November 5, 2009
FN50 Survey results
Most reliable car manufacturer
Most reliable car
1. Honda Civic
2. BMW 3 Series
3. Honda Jazz
4. Honda Accord
5. BMW 5 Series
6. Audi A4
7. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
9. Toyota Avensis
10. Volkswagen Golf
[Source: The Auto Channel]
MiniWorld reminds us that International Mini Meet 2010 will be held in Germany by the Fan Club Mini Bavaria in Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz May 21 through 24, 2010. The official IMM 2010 website is now operational and an unofficial IMM 2010 on-line forum is now available.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
worldcarfans.com reports that MINI has applied for a trademark for the terms "MINI Center Rail." The MINI Countryman when in crossover concept form had a so-called "universal, multifunction fastening rail," that was supposed to provide innovative storage space, while allowing front passengers to pass items to rear passengers that MINI referred to as the MINI Center Rail in its press release at the 2008 Paris Auto Show.
In this cnet report from SEMA cnet salivates over the the EcoRoutes ESP module for Nuvi navigation devices. The module is a small hideaway box that communicates with Nuvi units via Bluetooth and connects to (and is powered by) your vehicle's OBD-II diagnostics port. The device gathers information about your vehicle's performance and relays that info via a Bluetooth data connection to your Garmin Nuvi GPS device atop your dashboard. Using the Nuvi's touch screen there is a set of customizable gauges, the ability to view and clear fault codes when the Check Engine light comes on, and the ability to monitor real-time fuel economy and emissions data. It also data logs to track performance and interfaces with the EcoRoutes software that's already present on current Garmin devices.
[Source: BMW Official Press Release]
Check out this video of Mini and MINI crashes. Pay particular attention to the passenger compartment after each crash. You will notice the lack of significant deformation. That saves lives. After you are done watching you will want to go hug your Mini/MINI.
[Source: via Motoring Fun]
The San Francisco Chronicle|SFGate.com 52nd Annual International Auto Show, presented by AutoTrader.com, is scheduled for November 26 through December 2 at Moscone Convention Center. Expect to see the largest number of alternative-fuel, high mileage and hybrid vehicles that have ever been exhibited at the show. Here's the short list:
BMW X5 Diesel and X6 Hybrid
Cadillac Escalade 2 Mode Hybrid
Chevrolet Silverado and Tahoe 2 Mode Hybrids and E85 vehicles
Ford Escape and Fusion Hybrids
GMC Sierra and Yukon 2 Mode Hybrids
Honda Civic IMA 4-door Hybrid, Insight EX and LX
Lexus HS and RX Hybrids
Lincoln MKT and MKS Exoboost
MINIMercedes-Benz ML BlueTec and S400 Hybrid
Mercury Mariner and Milan Hybrids
Toyota Camry, Highlander and Prius Hybrids
It is anticipated that MINI will bring its full line of vehicles to the show. However, there is no word (yet) on what Concept vehicles will be there. MINI is known for its whimsical and innovative booth designs and recently has held 50th Birthday parties in its booths. We will have to wait and see what MINI has in store for the SF show.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009