Lodging Planner for Lake Tahoe Weekend Run - May 18 - 19, 2024

Saturday and Sunday overnight run to South Lake Tahoe. Enjoy the backroads, less traveled, and even more scenic than your usual run up the f...

WRC Team's Shakedown Before Rallye de France

According to MINI Motorsport Dani Sordo's and Kris Meeke's shakedowns in advance of Rally France-Alsace went "flawlessly." Sordo finished tied with the second quickest fastest time and will start in 10th and Meeke, who came in sixth, will start 16th. Other MINI drivers in the event include Armindo Araujo of Motorsport Italia who is starting 13th; Daniel Oliveira for the Brazil World Rally Team will start 17th; and Pierre Campana for Equipe de France FFSA will start 19th.

MINI And Full Metal Garage Look At The Countryman S All4 WRC

This is a "Monster" of a video:

[Source: via Bond MINI]

Classic Mini In The Land Of Eternal Snow

Check out this article at MINI Space about a classic Mini arctic tractor in the Arctic and Antarctica.

In Depth Video Tour Of The 2012 MINI Cooper JCW Coupe

[Source: SAABKYLE04 @ YouTube]

MINI Inspired By Goodwood Now On MINIUSA Website

Go here and find out how you can reserve your limited edition, hand-appointed, $52,000, Rolls Royce MINI.

[Source: via MotoringFile]

Get Your Shift Together And Manual Up

How Good Is The MINI Countryman WRC?

EVO Magazine gives it a good thrashing and an honest look on video -

[Source: via autoblog]

The Minis Of Speedfest

Just A Car Guy posted this photo of Minis getting prep'd to race at Speedfest on the North Island Naval Air Station.

msn cars Reviews The MINI Coupé

msn cars review of the MINI Coupé gives it four out of five stars and concludes,
Purists are going to be predictably narked here - though maybe less so than they were over the Countryman - while those looking for a true MINI sports car might feel short-changed. But the company has always protested that the Coupé would be a niche product.

This is, basically, a MINI Hatch with two fewer seats and a funny roof - but the independence of spirit such a car represents may well prove to be exactly what some people are looking for, and above all else it re-emphasises the fun-to-drive disposition that is the very essence of this brand.

Drive Actor Pulled J-Turns In A MINI

Drive movie star Carey Mulligan in an interview with Movies.ie admits,
. . . Another day we were going to shoot in a car-park so we borrowed a producer's Mini-Cooper to get there. Ryan was like, ‘Let me show you something, strap in!' Then he did this twisty-spinning handbrake turn, and I said from that point on that I was never getting in a car with him again.

Turning Your MINI World Upside Down

Located in the rotunda of New York's World Financial Center.

[Source: via Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?]

MINIUSA 2012 Configurator Now Available

Make up your own 2012 MINI.  The MINIUSA Configurator for 2012 is now up and running.

[Source: via MotoringFile]

Free Lunch And Drive The MINI Coupe

East Bay MINI is offering a chili dog lunch and a test drive in the all new MINI Coupe on Sunday, October 2, 2011, from 11 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. RSVP here.

Limited Edition London 2012 Olympic Games MINIs

In honor of the 2012 London Olympic Games MINI plans to build 2012 examples of a special edition series in Cooper, Cooper D, Cooper S and Cooper SD trims, which will be available in a choice of three colors Chilli Red, White Silver or Lightning Blue. All models get white mirror caps and a white roof with the London 2012 Olympic graphic. Other exterior features include a unique Union Jack single sport stripe running over the bonnet, roof and rear tailgate, while special graphics can also be found on the side scuttles. Other touches include, in the interior, the London skyline etched on the passenger side supplemented by the words “London 1 of 2012”. The vehicles will be available to U.K. buyers beginning in March 2012.

[Source: Carscoop]

Long Jumping MINIs To Prepare For The Olympics

autoevolution reports on England long jump champion J.J. Jegede easily clearing three MINI London 2012 Editions.

Going For a Land Speed Record In A Classic Mini

That is exactly what New Zealand's Nelson Hartley will attempt at Bonneville.  Read about the upcoming attempt and the amazing mods made to the Mini to try and break records in this article from MiniMania.

The World's Fastest . . .


[Source: via Jalopnik]

Why Is The Consumer Rights Law Blog Writing Favorably About The MINI Coupe?

Read it for yourself, a favorable review from
http://ohiolemonlaw.blogspot.com, apparently an Ohio Lemon Law Attorney called "Burdge Law Office" with, of course, a link to a National List of Lemon Lawyers.

A 4 Season Update Of Automobile's S Countryman All4 Review

In an update to its long-term test review of the MINI Cooper S Countryman All4 Automobile Magazine and finds it performs admirably on rural roads, gets good gas mileage and permits the reviewer to place his elderly parents in the back seat without difficulty.

DIY - Replacing The Chain Tensioner

eric0919 @ NorthAmericanMotoring.com has posted step by step DIY instructions, with photographs, that show how to replace the chain tensioner in his 2007 MINI Cooper S.

How The WRC Team Prepares For A Race

MINI Motorsport, in part 2 of a series on the WRC Team, discuses how the team handles the "Recce," when the drivers and co-drivers get to inspect the course.

You Really Really Don't Want To Run Out Of Gas

Here's why!

[Source: MonkeySee Videos @ metacafe.com]

An Argument For Production Of The Rocketman

Green Car Reports identifies five green automobile concepts that it says should be built and that they have been waiting for.  One is the MINI Rocketman concept shown at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.  Read the article and find out why.

No JCW Countryman In 2012

MotoringFile says, in part,
. . . sources at MINI have told us that the JCW Countryman will not make an appearance in model year 2012. What’s the reasoning? Because the 2013 JCW Countryman will be worth waiting for.

Watch Out For That Lounge Lizard Leather

Billboard is located in the U.K.

[Source: Ads Of The World]

Drag Of A Drag Race

Watch this painfully slow drag race between an Isetta and a Goggomobil. No slow motion photography is involved.

[Source: via Jalopnik]

Search The British Coast For A MINI In A Bottle

Win a MINI.

[Source: The Denver Egotist]

Fixing Car Scratches

AutoMotto provides recommendations on what it believes are the 7 best scratch removal products.

PistonHeads Reviews The MINI Coupe

PistonHeads reviews the new MINI Coupe and ask the question
More niche-tastic magic from Mini - or a step too far?
Its conclusion,
if you want an endearingly tiny sporty two-seater with a surprising amount of boot space (20 litres more than you'll get in a Mini Clubman, then it would be hard not to pick the Mini Coupe. Provided you can get over the way it looks. And you're not too offended by the concept of the further dilution of the Mini brand...And you're sure that actually a normal Mini Cooper S JCW might not be a better bet any way, just in case you have to put someone in the back...and you're not keen to save up that extra bit to get into a Porsche Cayman...

DIY - Repair Door Lock Actuator Locking Mechanism

Molecular Sandwich at instructables.com provides a step by step detailed and illustrated guide to repairing the door lock actuator and locking mechanism on his 2003 MCS, a part that MINI says is "non-serviceable," but as Sandwich says,
I was sick of reading about the countless number of people who have been forced to replace this poorly designed component with a new one ($130) because BMW made them "non-serviceable". This unit IS SERVICEABLE - if you are clever enough ;)

NorCal MINIs' Secretary Becomes A TV Star

Most of you know NorCal MINIs' club secretary, Scott Hunter.  Scott is also a Service Advisor and former Service Tech foreman at East Bay MINI.. He gets his 15 seconds of fame in East Bay MINI's new advertisement running on the Bay Area broadcast TV station KTVU, Fox Channel 2. If you missed it just click on the photo and it should take you to the video.

Rumor Alert! WRC And Rocketman In The Offing?

Car Dealer Magazine says Lee Connolly, MINI UK product and planning manager, has hinted at production of the Rocketman concept slotted below the Hatchback and WRC-inspired editions of existing vehicles within the next couple of years.

What Handling Your Stick Probably Means About You

[Source: That Will Buff Out]

Sordo Hopes To Celebrate Again

MINI spoke with WRC driver Dani Sordo in anticipation of the Rallye de France. Sordo is quoted,
"The surface is constantly changing in France, which makes the rally very technically demanding. A hilly rally awaits us, particularly in the forest sections," says Dani. That was also the case in Germany. Dani believes you must be "very concentrated" in France – and the Spaniard proved around Trier that he does not have a problem in this regard. After finishing runner-up in France last year, it should come as no surprise that Dani says: "Personally, I like the Rally France."

cnet tv Reviews The MINI Coupe

[Source: cnet Channel @ YouTube]

Tell Us What Really Happened

Adrenaline is an evil high. This is the best accident description ever!

[Source: via autoblog]

AutoGuide.com's Video Review Of The 2011 Countryman S All4

[Source: AutoGuide.com@YouTube]

How Pissed Off Did Your Commute Make You?

Audi has a real time Road Frustraton Index that measures the amount of anger over road conditions in a given location.  At the time this post was written the people of Sacramento were the most frustrated in the Country.

Check out the present levels of frustration here.

[Source: via That Will Buff Out]

Suite101.com Thinks "The Mini Cooper S Clubman Is The Best For Your Money"

Angela Nelson for US News at Car Care/Ownership @ suite101.com writes to justify this statement,
As far as vehicles go when you are looking for something affordable yet fashionable the Mini Cooper S Clubman offers the best price.

Text To Speech Added To MINI Connect

cartech@cnet reports that MINI has added text to speech functionality to the MINI Connected iPhone application. Once you access the application it can now read your messages to you. The updated version is available at the iPhone store.

Timbaland Features Pitbull And Countryman In "Pass At Me"

Check out this new sort of NSFW music video from Timbaland that features Pitbull as they perform "Pass At Me" which includes a hop into a MINI Countryman after the orgy leaves the yacht!

[Source: via RyanSeacrest.com]

MINI Launches The Coupe In Leiper's Fork, TN

The Tennessean reports that MINI introduced its 2012 MINI Coupe in Leiper's Fork, TN, more known for the horse whisperer than automobiles, at a local establishment, Puckett's Grocery, where the automobile press came to see and ride in the vehicle.  The location was chosen for its good local twity roads for test drives for the journalists. According to the article,
Mini Cooper automobiles were lined up outside Leiper’s Creek Gallery like fine pieces of art. Puckett’s Grocery’s “patio” dining area (once part of the parking lot) was host to the funky Hog Slop String Band playing vintage American roots music, cloggers were clogging in Hee Haw-esque outfits, and local horseman J.R. Root, with his 10-gallon cowboy hat and signature handlebar mustache, rode up on a horse.

And then the 2012 Mini Coupes started rolling in, piloted by automotive journalists from across the United States and Canada in Mini Cooper’s official launch of the snazzy new two-seat coupe.

The only Mini Coupe launch in calendar year 2011 had journalists from an array of publications, websites and TV stations settling in at Puckett’s Grocery for a buffet of barbecue and all the fixin’s, after having spent three hours on Middle Tennessee roads testing the spiffy coupe that tops out at 140 miles per hour.

And according to Yvonne Malmgren with the Mini USA communications team, it was Puckett’s barbecue that made it all happen.

“We were looking at two cities for this launch: Nashville and Seattle. Our logistics team came to Nashville first and ended up concluding there was no reason to visit Seattle,” she said as she stood in Puckett’s parking lot, surveying the scene.

A Road Trip In The MINI Cooper SD Convertible

Design Talks took the mINI Cooper SD Convertible on a road trip this summer "around northern France through Normandy." After providing a detailed description of the trip Design Talk says,
This is a fun car that doesn’t take itself too seriously yet offers the sort of environment and driving experience you would expect from a more serious, grown-up car. Most importantly it was a perfect road trip companion around Normandy.

Now There's Mini Power Wheel Racing

[Source: Kickstarter via autoblog]

Will The 2nd Generation GP Be Based On The Roadster?

MotoringFile thinks that it may be. It says,
We’ve been reported for several years now of MINI’s intention to bring to the market a 2nd generation GP. The first of course being based on the R53, remains the most powerful and motorsport focused production MINI of all time. Last year the rumors of what the car will be based on went from R56 hatch to the R58 Coupe. And now we’re hearing about yet another change, this time to the upcoming Roadster.

Washing The Car In Afghanistan

English Russia has a feature pictorial article on Car Washing in Afghanistan.
Simply amazing.

MINI Wins A Motorist Choice Award

The Detroit Bureau reports,
“The Motorist Choice Award methodology is designed to help consumers identify vehicles that speak to their hearts and their wallets,” explains Tyler Schulze, vice president and general manager of IntelliChoice. “The 2011 award winners all share a connection with buyers from both a satisfaction standpoint and overall value as compared to their peers.”
MINI won their 2011 award in the "Popular" category for the car that was the most "Fun To Drive."

Edmund's Compares The New And Classic Countryman

This exercise of comparison is to determine
"When does a Mini stop being mini?"
Edmund's says
". . . right about now."

End Of Summer Picnic A Hit

Thank you to all who attended and participated in NorCal MINIs' End Of Summer Picnic 2011.  Through our raffle we raised $200 that will be donated to Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF).

Special thanks to MINI of Concord and East Bay MINI for their donations of the prizes for the raffle.

Check out member Ken Gitting's slideshow in the Multimedia Gallery.  If you have photos or video from the Picnic send your links or media to info@norcalminis.com and we will post them in the Gallery.

Mini Cooper Coupe Gets No Love From Mark Rechtin

Marck Rechtin is the West Coast Editor Of The Automotive News. He saw the MINI Cooper Coupe at the Frankfurt Auto Show and was not impressed with the design. He says,
I love the regular Mini Cooper. But this one looks stepped on by an elephant. Straight on, it's OK, but the coupe roofline is badly abbreviated. It's a confluence of many bad lines.

Well Heeled Motor Vehicles

AutoMotto has posted an article on 10 cars disguised as huge shoes.

MINI One Of The Top Ten Fuel Efficient Cars

AutoMotto provides its picks of the top 10 fuel efficient cars now on the road and chose the MINI sixth. It says, in part:
MINI Cooper is regarded by many as the strongest car available in market. The car features a 118 hp non-turbocharged engine that increases the fuel efficiency. The car is best suited for long rides.

This Is Distracted Driving

They are distracting, distracted and driving. Does slapping your passenger's bottom without taking your eyes off the road count as distracted driving?

[Source: via Ridelust]

John Cooper And His Legacy

MINI has posted an article entitled "John Cooper Works" that recounts the history of John Cooper and how the John Cooper Works (JCW) came to be.

Oliveira and Magalhaes Ready For Rallye de France

Daniel Oliveira and Carlos Magalhaes of BWRT will participate in the Rallye de France September 30th through October 2nd. Their goal?
Daniel’s main objective is to improve his driving skills on tarmac and to feel better on board a full-tarmac trim MINI John Cooper Works which has already showed a promissory overall performance on this surface.

Daniel’s word. “For sure this second opportunity running on tarmac will give us more confidence. We enjoyed a good run in Germany although we didn’t start the rally well; however, it didn’t take us much time to build up our pace and set some good split times. The MINI is a good car running on tarmac, may be superior than it is on gravel up to now. Our aim for Rallye de France is to try to come up with a clean run and make the least number of mistakes possible. Then, we will see the results”.
[Source: RallyBuzz]

Living With The Countryman S

Macarthur Chronicle writer Peter Barnwell writes on what it is like having the Countryman in the carport. He says, in part,
. . .  it has a disconcerting case of bump steer that causes the front wheels to deflect noticeably when cornering on a bumpy road. It makes the wheel jump in your hands.

The all wheel drive model possibly isn’t afflicted.

Our six-speed manual’s change action could be cleaner on the 5-6 throw as it sometimes misses the gate.

We like the interior and particularly the dash which owes nothing in style and design to any other vehicle.

Being a Cooper S means “sporty” and that’s how the test car’s suspension is set - sporty firm. It needs two modes with soft and hard for normal and sports driving.

There’s an annoying rattle in the rear parcel shelf area that we can’t isolate. Rear seat leg room is generous in the four seater Countryman and access to the rear pews is easy.

With mixed driving we have been recording 8.5 litres/100km which gets better on a freeway run.

It’s fully electronically connected and the centre screen offers an easy-to-use icon system for the satnav, audio, aircon and other controls.

At $49,850, the front drive Cooper S Countryman is expensive especially when you think that sort of dosh gets you a BMW X1 18i front drive, a new Ford Territory all wheel drive diesel V6 with some change or a new Jeep Grand Cherokee petrol V6 with a lot of change.

What price cool?

You May Have To Wait Longer For That AAA Tow Truck

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that AAA Northern California is reducing their presence in Northern California by more than 10 percent, from 300 to 265 by the end of the year, and requiring operators to cover greater distances than before. Cynthia Harris, a AAA spokeswoman, said,
"We will be reducing the number of contract stations and awarding a larger volume of calls to a fewer number of stations."
This has caused many small stations to saw they will go out of business. In addition, reimbursement rates from AAA have changed so that, in the words of J. Lance of R. Lance and Sons who had a 31-year contract with AAA to cover the Livermore Valley,.
"I walked away when I knew I wasn't going to get the rate to cover the costs," said Jeff Lance, owner of R. Lance & Sons, who had a 31-year contract with AAA to cover the Livermore Valley. "It's going to be a trying time for us," said Lance, who has already laid off 12 employees and sold a number of trucks as a result.

Building The ProDrive WRC 2011 MINI Cooper S Countryman S

edmund's INSIDE LINE has posted this cool video of David Richards' Prodrive shop putting the WRC MINIs together:

Go over to RallyBuzz for a preview of the WRC Team at Rallye de France.

MINI Coupe One Of "Next Year's Hottest Vehicles"

The Los Angeles Times in a special advertising feature discusses choices fo "The Class of 2012," next year's hottest vehicles with Kristina de la Cuesta, research director at Intellichoice.com. One chosen vehicle is the MINI Cooper Coupe about which the article say,
Since BMW launched the new-generation Mini a decade ago, the brand has flourished, its lineup growing to include a convertible version of the original Cooper, a Clubman wagon and the Countryman crossover. Mini’s march continues with the two-passenger Cooper Coupe. Starting at just $22,000, the coupe is at once familiar and far out. Its entry-level engine will hit a respectable 127 mph but, as with all Minis, this car is as much about personality as performance (check out the speed-activated spoiler).

“The new Coupe … will add even more fun and variety to the brand,” de la Cuesta said.

Does This MINI Radio Commercial Really Suck?

At DAN O’DAY TALKS ABOUT RADIO O'Day disses this MINI radio commercial.

O'Day explains,
Did you notice how you had trouble paying attention to the entire advertisement? Imagine the impact on the typical radio listener who does NOT stop everything in order to listen closely to a commercial.

Presumably some Southern California Mini Cooper dealer has an in-law with an ad agency….