Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dramatic Look At Man's Mom's MINI Countryman S All4






[Source: JPettsProductions @ YouTube]

No 2012 MINI Challenge Germany?

[Photo Credit: tsrennsport.com]
According to information that Fredrik @ totalMINI.com purportedly received from Team Gigamot, there will be no 2012 MINI Challenge Germany.

Now That's A Mini Mini

This mini Mini was caught on film running around Los Angeles during the 4-day Thanksgiving weekend by Ellen Bloom and posted on her blog "L.A. Is My Beat."


Jalopnik Posts "Ridiculously Cool MINI Countryman All4 Wallpaper"

The 1600-px version is here and the giganto-desktop version is on Jalopnik's Facebook page in the "photos" section on the left. Thank Joshua Elzey for the image.

Philippine Bureau Of Customs Seizes 16 MINI Cooper Bodies

ABS-CBNnews.com reports that, on Tuesday, the Philippine Bureau Of Customs seized 16 MINI Cooper bodies, among other items, found in a 40-foot container van in the port of Manila.

Fight Breast Cancer - Put Pink Tires On Your MINI

Radar Tires has made a limited edition of pink sidewall tires suitable for the MINI, among other vehicles.  They will be available in the first quarter of 2012.

According to autoblog,
Radar Tires has been donating $1 for every four tires it sells to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation since May of 2011, and the Ring of Hope project is simply a more visible way to underscore the company's commitment to fighting breast cancer. Radar Tires will donate a minimum of $250,000 annually to the charity.

Walton's Likes And Dislikes In Fueling A 2011 Countryman All4

Chris Walton is the Chief Road Test Editor at edmunds Inside Line who, while long term testing the 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman All4,liked the fuel cap holder but disliked the size of the glove box.

Learn Car Tuner Lingo

Want to learn how to talk like a tuner or at least know what they are talking about when they say they installed a SRI, CB, SS kit,  FSB and RSB? Read this CNET article "ABCs of Car Tech: Talk like a tuner".

MINIs Make List Of Best Fuel Economy Sports Cars Of 2012

The base MINI Cooper, the MINI Cooper S Hatchback and the MINI Cooper S Convertible all made Consumer Reports list of "Best Fuel Economy Sports Cars Of 2012" according to Auto Channel.

MINI-E Launched In Durban, South Africa?

BMW showcased the MINI-E revealing it at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban, South Africa during the climate change conference. Surprisingly, Times Live reports the vehicle will soon be available in South Africa despite prior pronouncements by BMW that the experimental vehicles would be destroyed and not sold.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Double Your Track Time In February!

Coming out to MINI Thunder III on Sunday, February 19, 2012? You can tune up the day before with Hooked On Driving's (HOD) HPDE clinic at Thunderhill Raceway on Saturday, February 18, 2012. For $285 you get coaching, classroom and track instruction and you will learn how to enjoy your car "at a higher level than is prudent on the streets and highways." In fact, take the course, and they say right on their website,
"Practice up with HOD on Saturday so you're a virtual Mario Andretti at Mini Thunder on Sunday!"
You can Register Here.


MINI WRC Reflection And Future

Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio of the MINI WRC Team speak to MINI Motorsport and del Barrio exclaims that the " two podium finishes were obviously really special " but he looks forward to next year.

MINI Makes Auto Channel's 2012 Best Cars Under $25,000 List

Auto Channel includes the 2012 MINI Cooper among its selections of "2012 Best Cars Under $25,000."  However, don't be too excited.  The Chevrolet Malibu topped the list!

MINI Redefines Luxury For The Wealthy

Media Post's Marketing Daily found luxury is no longer defined by so-called luxury-identified brands. "We saw a broad range of devices, things like digital cameras, and flat-screen TV's." Chief Researcher Stephen Kraus, from the research firm Ipsos Mendelsohn, said when asked what luxury vehicle they had purchased recently,
" . . . it was not necessarily brands you might expect. Yes, people mentioned Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus, but also Mini Cooper, Harley-Davidson and Corvette, and someone even said they had just bought a John Deere tractor," . . .

GwagDesigns At Digital Grin Plays With MINI Pictures

Photographer and DigitalGrin member GwagDesigns shows off a nice selection of photos of a friend's red MINI playing with a speedlight technique.

Electric Cars Are Fast - MINI-E Used As Proof

Steve Scauzillo, Staff Writer for the Whittier Daily News,writes about the speed of electric cars and how the torque goes immediately to the wheels on acceleration. It makes him want to save his pennies for the upcoming BMW Active E. However, even it won't hold to this, the fastest street legal electric car in the world -

Thieves Hit MINI Mt Laurel Dealership In PA

Between 9 p.m. on November 21 and 6:30 a.m. on November 22, police claim $14,650 worth of wheels and tires were taken from six MINI Coopers at the MINI Mount Laurel Dealership in Pennsylvania according to NBC Philadelphia. Ninety percent of MINI drivers, however, realizing the tires were run-flats consider them worthless.

2012 MINI Cooper Coupe Gets Glowing Review

Autos Craze gives the 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe a favorable review as it enjoys the car's "stylish exterior", "diverse colors", "comfortable interior", "outstanding performance", and "high tech safety".


MINI Is In New Movie "Young Adult"

So is Charlize Theron -


Rate Photos For NAM's 2012 Calendar of Motoring Events

Moderator MLPearson79 over at North American Motoring,com asks that you go here and
 . . . browse the photos. When you click on the photos you want to rate, there will be a "quickrate" area at the bottom of the screen where you can rate each photo from 1-10. The idea is to rate the photos you like as high, and those you don't like as low. If you rate only the ones you like as a 10, the voting ends up a little screwy, so ideally please vote on ALL the photos and rate them in quality.

Do keep in mind that you can rate ALL 52 photos in the gallery, you are not just voting for your favorite!

The top 13 vote winners at noon ET on 12/1/11 will be featured in the 2012 calendar.

Monday, November 28, 2011

With Snow And Ice Time To Slow Down

Jalopnik directs us to this video as a reminder what excess speed and slippery snow conditions can do.


In The Mud With A Countryman All4

MotoringFile takes the Countryman All4 off-road and found with the All3 system that the Countryman "in the dirt and mud, control leads to a car that feels surprisingly neutral and balanced."

auto motorsport Tags MINI Roadster As A Star At Detroit

German site auto motorsport predicts that the MINI Roadster will be a star at the Detroit Auto Show.

MINI Getaway Game Hits Japan

On December 3, 2011 Jung von Matt and MINI Japan will transform the city of Tokyo into the world’s largest gaming area. For nine days everyone with an iPhone or Android mobile will have the chance to hunt and keep a virtual MINI.

Campaign site: www.minicoupe.jp




[Source: POPSOP]

Oh, BMW, Come On Now!

The Truth About Cars reports:
Toyota and BMW cut a diesel deal
It goes on to say,
According to The Nikkei, BMW will supply diesel engines for Toyota’s passenger vehicles sold in Europe. When and how many is unclear.
Okay BMW, you're selling those clean diesels throughout the world except North America, in MINIs and the BMW 128.  You going to sell to the engines to Toyota for Europe. How about US? When are you going to sell them to US?

MINI Monte Carlo Edition To Be Released In Europe

According to Left Lane the MINI Monte Carlo, a special limited edition of only 200 R56 Cooper S's, has been released in the European market to commemorate Mini's Monte Carlo wins 50 years ago. The model comes in Chili Red with a white roof and unique stripes on the side, unique badges, a white rings gas cap, four front driving lights (illegal in California), interior “Monte-Carlo Edition: stitched into the seats, a two-tone red and black steering wheel, and individually numbered steering wheels, keychains and fender decals are individually numbered.

The 200 Monte Carlo editions will be made available to European buyers later this year for €36,500 ($49,600).

[Source: via SportspackMark @ totalMINI.com]

What Do You Know About The New Design Chief Of MINI?

Plenty, if you read this Wall Street Journal article on Anders Warming.  Oh, our hunch - get ready for the Rocketman.

MINI Coupe One Of Three Cures For The "Common Car"

Automobile Magazine declares that the MINI Cooper Coupe, VW Beetle and Hyundai Veloster are three cars that "boast presence, personality, and the possibility that they drive better than a sedate sedan."

LeBlanc Writes About The MINI Coupe S For Wheels.ca

In John LeBlanc's Crank on Wheels.ca LeBlanc tackles the 2012 MINI Cooper S Coupe and has this buying conundrum,
In a straight line, BMW quotes virtually no performance gains with the Coupe. That’s either a marketing or engineering miracle. With additional chassis reinforcements and rear- spoiler hardware, the Coupe weighs more than the hatch.

BMW says my press loaner S Coupe’s shocks and springs are stiffer than in the S hatch. But out on the road, the Coupe drives much like the donour car. Torque steer is there when you hammer the gas in a turn or off-the-line. And as usual, the car punches above its price class when it comes to attacking twisty roads. Massive grip, tight steering, and negligible understeer (which can be negated with a simple throttle lift), blesses the wee Coupe with A-to-B road manners that would shame many German roadsters (some even starting with the intials B-M-W) at twice the price.

So, decision time: Why buy a Mini Coupe?

While the base Mini Coupe goes up against the likes of the Honda CR-Z hybrid, the better-performing S is a different (more aggressive) beast.

Like I said, just like the hatch.

So, in the end—with no meaningful performance gains—the decision to go Coupe or not comes down to a couple of lifestyle questions: Can you do without the hatch’s vestigial back seats? Do you want the season’s latest fashions?

IPhone 4S Users Can Start Their Cars With Siri





[Source: via ZerCustoms]

MINI Debuts 3 Models In India This March

MINI will debut three vehicles in the India Market in March 2012 - the MINI Cooper Hatch, the Cooper convertible and the Countryman SUV. Almost the entire range of MINIs is expected to be showcased at the Delhi Auto Expo in January.

[Source: The Hindu Business Line]

Friday, November 25, 2011

NorCal MINIs' Friday Reminders

JOIN FOR 2012 AND GET THE REST OF 2011 FREE!


That's right!  If you join NorCal MINIs now for 2012 you can be a Member for free for the rest of 2011.  NorCal MINIs' annual Membership is only $25.00/family and entitled you to a host of discounts from vendors and Dealers that support NorCal MINIs   Use the Paypal Button to join now!:







NORCAL MINIS/MINI OF CONCORD HOLIDAY LIGHTS RUN AND PARTY



Make sure you are available the evening of Sunday, December 11, 2011 as NorCal MINIs in association with MINI of Concord will hold our annual holiday lights run and party. Come hungry and leave happy with casino games and grub after a MINI tour of local holiday lights specially selected for your enjoyment. Raffle prizes galore and Santa Claus!

THIS PARTY IS OPEN TO EVERYONE! MINI NOT REQUIRED!

The price of admission is one unwrapped new toy for a kid at
Children's Hospital And Research Center Oakland

Meet up is at 5:00 pm at the
BMW Collision Center located at 1321 Galaxy Way Suite B, Concord, CA 94520




:)
RSVP for the 2011 Holiday Lights Tour
* required
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Email Marketing Software by VerticalResponse

NORCAL MINIS' TRACK DAY AT MINI THUNDER III



You Asked For It - You Got It!

An overwhelming number of 2011 NorCal MINIs members voted to attend a Track Day at a Northern California Racetrack in 2012.  That's exactly what NorCal MINIs will do.  

Join NorCal MINIs at


Here Are The Particulars

MINI Thunder III is limited to 120 MINI/Minis. This will give enough time and instructors for every driver. There will be groups ranging from first timers to advanced.

The cost is $199 per entrant or $275 for those that want to share a Mini. This includes loads of track time, turn workers, tow-trucks, flaggers, instructors, lunch, & T-shirts. For shared entries the 1st T-Shirt is included for the primary driver and the second to be purchased @ $15 in sizes of S,M,L, XL, 2XL.

T-Shirts will be available in sizes small, medium, large, XL, and 2XL, larger shirts (3XL, 4XL, etc) must be purchased in advanced and will be at $25.00 ea.

This event is for MINI/Mini Coopers only, any model or variation.

For those that just want to come out and see what’s up you are welcome at no charge. For those who come to observe there be “ride-alongs” with instructors and coaches during the sessions for FREE, and parade laps at lunch!

Staying In Willows

Stormin' Norman, Thunderhill Raceway Park and NorCal MINIs have thought of everything.  You may find yourself rather tired as the day at the track starts early (7:00 a.m.). You might want to stay in Willows before or after the event. Therefore, we have located the following lodging deals for your lodging pleasure:

In order to get the MINI Thunder/SCCA rate for Willows, CA hotels, you must 
CALL the hotel directly (do not register on-line)
Tell them that you are attending MINI Thunder III and are requesting the Thunderhill/SCCA rates. The following rates apply if you call:

Holiday Inn – Nightly Rate $109

Baymont – Nightly Rate $79


Travelodge – Nightly Rate $ 59

For more information about participation in MINI Thunder III contact Stormin' Norm Nelson at 530-246-9943 or pooper@wildblue.net



NorCal MINIs' Meetup


NorCal MINIs will run to Willows for this event. Check back for information on where and when in the Bay Area NorCal MINIs will assemble for the run to Thunderhill for Thunder III.

REGISTER NOW


Registration for the run with NorCal MINIs to Thunderhill Raceway Park will be posted in January 2012. 

"The Littlest Coupe" Nice!

Derryn Wong, writing for Singapore's Today, calls it "the littlest coupe" and compares it to the Peugeot RCZ and Volkswagen Scirocco.

Automobile Updates Its MCS Countryman All4 Review After Four Months

After four months and 9,072 miles Automobile Magazine's Joe Lorio updates his review of the 2011 MINI Cooper S Countryman All4.  He has had problems with their vehicle. After some engine stumbling and a non-start event:
The dealership replaced the thermostat, which had a broken housing that was allowing the coolant to leak out and was causing the cold start issues.
Apparently, chrome trim peeling issues have been resolved:
After we posted our last update on Facebook, a friend of associate web editor Donny Nordlicht, and an enthusiastic owner of an early-build Countryman, responded with encouraging news with regards to the peeling chrome trim issue and the persistent rattles. He claimed that the chrome trim was a problem on early-build cars but that it has now been fixed. Mini HQ confirms that they had a supplier problem on early-build cars, and that updated moldings are now available for replacement under warranty.
Interiors rattles from plastic on plastic remain unresolvable. Sport mode helps for smoother starts. Non-runflats improved the ride.

India Movie Star Sonam Kapoor Crashes MINi During Shoot

Mid Day reports that Indian actress Sonam Kapoor's driving skills were recently put to test when she was given a MINI Cooper to drive during practice sessions for the shoot of Abbas-Mustan's next, "Players" which is being shot in New Zealand. After days of practice Kapoor managed to banged the car in reverse into a lamp post during the shoot.

AutoSpies.com Nominates The Countryman As 2011 Turkey

AutoSpies.com nominates the 2011 MINI Countryman as one of its REAL Turkeys Of 2011.

DIY: Alarm Installation On R56 MINI Cooper and Cooper S

Download this pdf from onlinepdfrecord.com and it will show and tell you what to do.

2009 MINI Hatchback Gets 9.5 Out Of 10 From MSN Autos Readers

Users at MSN Autos give the 2009 MINI Cooper hatchback in all of its guises a 9.5 out of 10 even though MSN Autos rated it only a 7.8.

MINI Cooper Coupe, A Top Super Compact Worth Driving

Automoblog.net exhibits the MINI Cooper Coupe as one of five top super compacts worth driving.

JCW Challenge Tuning Kit Available For Countryman

Now available for the MINI Cooper S and SD Countryman is the JCW Challenge Tuning kit. The accessories package includes go-faster stripes in the design of a chequered flag; the number 37 on the side of the car: a homage to the MINI John Cooper Works WRC that Dani Sordo currently drives in the WRC, and with which Paddy Hopkirk laid the foundations for MINI's success in the 1960s with victory at the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally; side scuttles in a special package design; additional headlights under the motto "four eyes are better than two"; and a John Cooper Works aerodynamics package. Optional are Double Spoke R129 alloy wheels in matt black.

[Source: MINIMotorsport]

Austria Says Countryman Shifter Is "Very Rubbery"

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer at edmund's Inside Line really likes the 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman but finds the gear shift
. . . isn't great. After driving it again for a few days to the LA Auto show I can confirm that it's very rubbery, and also hesistant to engage each slot. Additionally, I don't find the clutch engagement to be smooth, especially when starting from stopped.

These three things combine to make our Countryman difficult to drive smoothly.

Too bad. Otherwise, it's a nice car.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving From NorCal MINIs

From everyone here at NorCal MINIs have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!





What you lookin' at!!!! 



The Motor Report Gives The 2011 MCS Hatchback Four Stars

The Motor Report gives the 2011 MINI Cooper S Hatchback four out of a possible five stars. Here's its verdict:
The Cooper S is still the big seller in the MINI stable and it's easy to see why. Few cars come with such driver appeal and on-road cred wrapped into a package with such irresistible lines and character.

The MINI, as a modern interpretation of a design masterpiece, ticks nearly every box. Whether as a turbodiesel, wagon (Clubman), or even SUV (Countryman) – it simply seems to work.

The Cooper S is frugal, fun and practical and packs a hot-hatch punch. Put it high on the list.

Countryman Really Packs The Groceries

edmund's Inside Line's Chief Road Test Editor Chris Walton finally has something nice to say about edmund's 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman ALL4 long-term test vehicle:
This weekend included, as usual, a trip to the grocery store. I've not been entirely convinced of the Countryman's utility in the past, but with 16.5 cubic-feet of grocery-bag space (instead of the standard Mini Cooper's 5.7 cu-ft) it really does haul the groceries. With the exception of the rear bucket seats, I'm starting to come around on this one.

Want To Buy A New MINI In Brunei Darussalam?

If so, you will have to buy it from QAF Auto Sdn Bhd as BMW Group Asia has appointed them as its exclusive partner for the MINI business in Brunei Darussalam.

[Source: Borneo Bulletin Weekend Online]

Here Comes Santa Paws, Here Comes Santa Paws


Make your way with fido, igor or puss to MINI of San Francisco on December 3, 2011, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and get you and your pet photographed with Ol' Saint Nick.  Just RSVP first.  

Timeless Car Design

The classic Mini is one of ten car designs that Jalopnik readers chose as the most "timeless".

Biggest Complaint About The Countryman In The US

According to MotoringFile, citing research by MINI USA, the number one complaint from the U.S. about the MINI Countryman is that it’s too small.

Future Of The Prince Engine

BimmerFile discusses the history of the MINI's 1.6 litre engine and the development and future of the present Prince  1.6 litre engine.

DIY: Check Engine Oil Level On 2007-11 MINI





[Source: Bentley Publishers]

Be Careful Driving This Thanksgiving Holiday

Rain and inclement weather with high winds will pervade the entire northwest and California. Expect West Coast roads to be slick and wet with snow and ice at higher elevations. According to The Seattle Times some flooding due to clogged storm drains has already occurred in Washington.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

They're Giving Them Away In Wisconsin



Photo Gallery Of MINI At The L.A. International Auto Show

MINI CountrymanMotoring provides a series of photos from the MINI exhibit at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.


What Does DSC Really Do?

BMWBlog provides a primer on DSC (Dynamic Stability Control), what it does, when you want it, and when you want to turn it off.

DIY: Reset Tire Pressure Monitoring System On 2007-11 MINI With No Navigation.





[Source: Bentley Publishers]

I Want To Be A Billionaire Too!!!

Check out the MINI product placement in Travie McCoy's official music video, featuring Bruno Mars, of the song "Billionaire." (Explicit lyrics)


DIY: Replace The MINI Cabin Microfilter On 2007-11 MINI





[Source: Bentley Publishers]

Riches Dislikes Countryman's Head Unit

edmund's Inside Line Senior Editor Erin Riches complains about the head unit in edmund's long-term 2011 MINI Cooper S Countryman All4.