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Over the Hills and Far Away Run - October 11/12/13, 2019

Your Hosts: Tina and Steve Sandke Come join us for a weekend crossing the Sierra Nevada and back! The fall colors should be in full sw...

Half Of All Australian Drivers Are Road Ragers

The Motor Report discusses an Australian study by insurer AAMI that found -
Surveying 3740 Australian motorists, the study saw half of the respondents admit to yelling and swearing at another driver for what they saw as rude or dangerous behaviour.

Of the 50 percent that admitted to verbally abusing another driver, 82 percent felt it was justified.

* * *

The results also saw 38 percent of participants admit to delivering a "less than polite" gesture, with 81 percent of those feeling justified.

A worrying 18 percent also admitted to deliberately tailgating another motorist over a perceived slight, with 66 percent of those feeling justified.

Worse, 10 percent of respondents said they had been forced off the road by angry drivers, and two percent of those said they'd been physically assaulted.

Sandell Wants To Impress With MINI In The Sweden World Rally

Patrik Sandell will represent the Sweden World Rally Team alongside Dani Sordo in his first outing in a MINI WRC JCW at the Sweden World Rally in the second round of the WRC. Richard Taylor of ProDrive will run the car in Sweden. Sandell looks to impress the team according to this www.Crash.net article.

Photo Gallery Of 2012 MINI Cooper and Cooper S Hatchbacks

Motor Trend's photo gallery is rather extensive.

Plans To Increase WRC Exposure To Be Executed Without North One Sport

The plan put together by the championship stakeholders with former WRC promoter North One Sport to increase the visibility and coverage of the championship over the next three years was placed in doubt when North One Sport went into administration at the end of 2011. Now, however, FIA President Jean Todt says they will go forward with the plan without North One Sport.

The plan calls for increased television coverage and it looks like, at least in Europe, French television giant Eurosport is ready to take on the role of promoter.

In related news, MINI continues to seek additional investment in its WRC teams.

[Source: Autoweek]

Does The New MINI JCW Roadster Have A Twin Turbo?

gizmag claims it does.

Maine Sunday Telegram Looks At The Countryman

The Maine Sunday Telegram calls it "A Mini With Maxi Traction" to start its review of the MINI Cooper Countryman S All4. Scott Wasser, Executive Editor decides,

Possessing a nimbleness, quickness and agility that is rare in automobiles, the Mini's personality is about as far from "Hummeresque" as you can get. Folks who enjoy driving enjoy driving conventional Minis because they are engaging, responsive and rewarding.
The same is true of the new Countryman ALL4, at least in "S" trim. Its peppy engine provides quick takeoffs, its robust brakes provide secure landings, and its sport-tuned suspension slithers through turns like a snake.
The extra ground clearance and weight associated with ALL4 doesn't seem to adversely affect those qualities.
But the sport suspension and tires also result in a harsh ride that isn't for everyone. The same is true for the Mini's switchgear, which sometimes requires access to the owner's manual to figure out how to do something that should be intuitive.
Mini fans will consider those things endearing personality traits rather than character flaws. Given how much I enjoyed driving the latest and most practical Mini made, I obviously qualify as a fan.

MINI Bosses At Cowley Plant Commemorate Completion Of Exterior Of Body Shop

The Oxford Times reports that Cowley Plant MINI bosses gathered to commemorate the"topping-out" of the exterior of MINI's new Cowley Plant body shop extension.   According to the article -
The extension will provide extra capacity to accommodate the next generation of Mini models, which are expected to arrive from next year.

Women Better At Putting It In

A British study by NCP found women are better car parkers than men.  However, the study did not include parallel parking. 53% of female drivers parked centrally in a space as opposed to just 25% of male drivers.

[Source: INAUTONEWS]

Mini Enthusiasts Flock To The Annual Mini Fair

Express & Star reports on the annual Mini fair at Bingley Hall in the U.K.


Speedlux Provides Details On Special Edition Soho

The Soho is a special edition MCS with "a paint'n'kit job" according to Speedlux in an article with a large photo gallery of the vehicle.

MotoringFile Drives The Roadster In Portugal

Following its drive, as it gathers its thoughts, MotoringFile posts a large photo gallery of the New MINI Roadster.

New York Daily News Analyzes The 2012 MINI JCW Coupe

The New York Daily News calls the JCW Coupe an "ultimate city car - with some limitations". Its gripes are a harsh ride, crappy sound system, glitchy MINI Connect, and terrible Nav. system.

Chanel's Classic Mini Advertisement

[Source: via The Citrus Report]

Official Roadster Pricing Released

autoblog has posted MINI's official pricing for the MINI Roadster:
The tiny droptop will carry a base MSRP of $24,350 in the U.S., while the Cooper S Roadster will set you back $27,350. The top-of-the-line John Cooper Works Roadster, meanwhile, will command a sticker of $34,500 (*pricing exclude a $700 destination and handling fee). Should buyers wish to drop an automatic transmission into their Cooper Roadster or Cooper S Roadster, the two-pedal option will cost an additional $1,250, but the John Cooper Works Roadster is only available with a manual gearbox. Mini says 16-inch alloy wheels are standard on the base roadster and its S counterpart, while the topped-out JCW Roadster will roll on flashier 17-inch wheels.

This Guy's On A Roll

This is why good safety equipment is mandatory for those of you who track your cars -




[Source: via Jalopnik]

Auto Express Gives The MCS Roadster 4 Stars

Auto Express writer Jack Rix gets the wheel of a MINI Cooper S Roadster and gives it four out of five stars calling it the
"first genuine affordable roadster rival to the MX-5".

MTTS 2012 To Kick Off July 4th - End July 15th

BMW PressClub USA has announced a July 4, 2012 East Coast start date for MINI Takes The States 2012 and will conclude on July 15, 2012 on the West Coast.

Participant registration begins in April, but owners and enthusiasts can sign up now to receive updates at www.miniusa.com/mtts.

MINI In Labor Talks At Cowley Plant Over Saturday Hours

The Oxford Mail reports that MINI is in talks with labor unions over working Saturdays at the Oxford, U.K. Cowley MINI Plant.  Because of increased demand for MINIs and the release of the MINI Roadster. The Saturday shift is operating every week rather than just occasionally as it did last year. According to the article,
Plant convenor Chris Bond said: “Because we have increased volumes we are going to have to work every Saturday until March.

“We are trying to examine the shift pattern to alleviate problems.”

Autoweek Reviews The 2012 MINI Cooper S Coupe



Autoweek  provides a review of the vehicle.  Executive editor Roger Hart says it has "questionable looks". Editor Wes Raynal doesn't like it and thought it was ugly, expensive, had poor driver visibility and was generally uncomfortable.  Executive editor Bob Gritzinger calls the fun to drive factor "off the charts" but says it has poor visibility and hard to like styling. News editor Greg Migliore likes its looks and had an "absolute blast" driving the car.

It's Super Bowl Commercial Time Again

You don't have to wait for the game to see all of them. Here is Cars.com's 2012 Super Bowl commercial "Confident You":


JCW=M?

Digital Trends asks "Is BMW trying to make John Cooper Works Mini's version of M?

Look What I Pulled Out Of My Rear!

A Mini Moke!




[Source: via mab01uk @ totalMINI.com]

MotorAuthority Gives The 2012 MINI Cooper An 8 Out Of 10

MotorAuthority reviews the 2012 MINI Cooper hardtop and gives it an 8 out of 10 with this verdict:
We find the entire Cooper range to be light, nimble, balanced, and entertaining to drive. Steering feel is very good for a front-wheel drive car, with minimal torque steer even in the more powerful models. There aren't many cars in the Cooper's class that offer this much fun, and the excitement just grows as you add more power and move up the range.

Lady, There's No Way Around The Traffic Jam

Even driving on the sidewalk won't help.  See for yourself:




[Source: via autoevolution]

Double Paralympic Gold Medallist Learns To Drive A MINI

Double Paralympic gold medallist, Ellie Simmonds MBE, is learning to drive a specially adapted MINI One Hatch she received as part of MINI’s commitment to the ParalympicsGB in London 2012 and TeamGB. The MINI’s interior has been redesigned with a false floor in the driver’s foot well and pedal extensions. The car is just one MINI adapt in its role as the Official Automotive Partner of London 2012.

[Source: 3D-Car-Shows]

Lyrical Homage To The Mini Moke





[Source: via mab01uk @ totalMINI.com]

MINI RUSHOUR To Race In Italy

MINI RUSHHOUR 2012 is set to begin in Italy.  The event involves "[s]ix races, attractive prizes and a mix of fascinating racing action and MINI lifestyle" according to MINIMotorsport.

With a MINI Cooper S, and a specially developed racing kit, drivers will compete in two 30 minute races. MINI will provide "MINI Hospitality" with essential support for the racing teams. Each race weekend the top three participants will be awarded prizes - US-$ 1,000 for the winner, a set of four race tires compatible with the rules of the league for the second and a special maintenance kit for third place. The winner of the championship will get a MINI John Cooper Works Coupe Special Edition, the runner-up will participate in a round of the MINI Challenge Brazil, while third place overall driver will get a fantastic selection of articles from the MINI Collection.
The first race will take place at the Autodromo Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, France, at MINI UNITED on May 13. These are the dates for the following races:
10th June -- Autodromo del Mugello
8th July -- Misano World Circuit
22nd July -- Autodromo dell’Umbria – Magione
2nd September -- Autodromo di Imola
16th September -- Autodromo di Vallelunga

Officer, I'm Not Drunk; I Have A Cold

Researchers in the UK have found that driving with a cold - sneezing, runny eyes, fever and coughing - are just as dangerous as driving drunk.

[Source: Real Age via AutoGuide.com]

MINI Countryman JCW Prototype Driven

Shawn Molnar recently drove for Sympatico.ca the MINI Countryman JCW prototype but reserves final judgment:
If you write cheques with your heart, then you may want to distance yourself from Mini’s new Countryman JCW. Of course, if you write cheques with your brain, this car may still hold power over your pocketbook because it delivers the efficiency, practicality and utility to make it a well-rounded daily driver.

When sitting beside its nearest competitors, this Mini has the performance to thrash at Subaru’s WRX hatchback, the efficiency to best Hyundai’s respected Tucson, and enough style and verve to obliterate the Tiguan. If you can swallow that expected steep price tag of 45,000 Canadian dollars. In fact, this Mini's closest competition may come from within the fold: the $31,150 Countryman S model offers plenty of driving excitement at a bargain value next to the JCW.

We will reserve our final judgement until we've driven the production model . . .

Autosport.com Q & A With MINI Team Principal Wilcock

Yahoo.com recounts the question and answer session between MINI Team principal Dave Wilcock and Autosport.com on MINI's finish at the 2012 Monte Carlo Rally.

JCW Likely To Become MINI Sub-Brand

According to Car and Driver:
Once the JCW Countryman arrives, Mini will offer John Cooper Works packages for all of its models, but Segler wants to further differentiate JCW products in the future. This means that cars wouldn’t so much be equipped with the John Cooper Works package, but rather positioned as standalone models.

Mini already considers the standard JCW powerplant—a turbocharged 1.6-liter four making at least 208 hp—a “unique” engine, and not a standard Cooper S mill with more boost. But we interpret Segler’s remarks to mean that the John Cooper Works engine will come in for additional work in the future; that could mean it will get some unique internals, or that the displacement will be increased. Segler’s sentiments also suggest that more hard-core, limited-edition models like the upcoming new-gen Mini GP could be produced.

Sophie Tatem's Exciting MINI Carbiolet Kayak Mounting

[Source: MINI UK on Facebook]

Go Ahead, Park It Anywhere

Oops!




[Source: via Jalopnik]

Are You Participating In Stormin' Norman's MINI Thunder III?

Are you going to participate? If so,

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THIS FEBRUARY 19, 2012 EVENT.

You will also get a T-shirt with the back graphic shown here!

Butterfly Effect On MINI ABS Parts From Fukushima Disaster

The Luminary Blog discusses the delivery of her new MINI Cooper and how replacement of a defective ABS part became an international ordeal due to the tsunami that hit Fukushima, Japan.

Photos Of The Two Millionth MINI Cooper Cabriolet

You can view a photo gallery of the vehicle at modifiedcars.com.

The Pothole Gardener

Steve Wilson, a resident of London, U.K., fills the City's numerous roadway potholes with greenery which, according to psfk, has earned him the nickname "the pothole gardener."  Here's a video of some of his work:


MINI+Burton At The Park City Mountain Festival Tour

Go to MINI USA's Facebook page for more photos and info!

Campana Reflects On His 7th Place Monte Carlo Rally Finish

[Photo Credit: WorldRallySport]
RallyBuzz has a short question and answer session with Pierre Campana who piloted a MINI to a seventh place finish in this year's MOnte Carlo Raly.

Booth Babes Of The 2012 Qatar Motor Show

Carscoop provides a fine photo gallery of these Middle Eastern ladies.

MINI Wins 24 Hours Of Dubai

MINI Motorsport reports that the MINI of the Besaplast Racing Team dominated its class at the 24 Hours of Dubai. The team used a MINI based on the MINI John Cooper Works Challenge edition vehicles to secure the pole position and come in first.

Consumers Choose MINI As One Of America's Worst Car Brands

Perceptions are interesting things. Consumer Reports 2012 Car-Brand Perception Survey places MINI among America's Worst Car Brands 2012 but BMW among the best. Go figure. Here are the stats:


America’s Top Car Brands 2012
BrandScore
Toyota131
Ford121
Honda94
Chevrolet92
Mercedes-Benz84
BMW69
Volvo67
Cadillac63
Lexus54
Tesla51


America’s Worst Car Brands 2012
BrandScore
Infiniti16
Mazda16
Jeep12
Suzuki11
Mercury10
Land Rover8
Fiat7
Mini7
Mitsubishi7
Saab5

A Facebook MINI?

Daryl Chapman of Bauhinia photography caught this one and is displaying at on flickr.

WTF Was This Driver Thinking?

What would possess a Seattle driver to do this in the vehicle?  Search us.  However it is still fun to watch!




[Source: via Jalopnik]

Highlights Of The Next Generation MINIs

Automobile outlines the highlights of the upcoming next generation MINIs.  They include a MINI four-door hatchback expected the summer 2014; a four-door Mini Clubman in the summer of 2015; a MINIVan in the spring of 2016; and a MINI four-door sedan in the fall of 2016.

Make Safer Drivers; Require Kids Drive A Manual

ABCnews10 proposes that requiring kids to drive manual transmission vehicles will prevent talking on the telephone and texting by new drivers.


2013 MINI Prototypes Spied Testing In Daylight

Worldcarfans.com has posted new daylight spy photos allegedly of 2013 MINI hatchback prototypes winter testing

Winding Road Gives Its First Impressions Of Its 2012 Mini Cooper S Coupe Tester

Three Winding Road writers provide positive first impressions of the 2012 MINI Cooper S Coupe after they each get a week in the driver's seat.

Want To Buy A MINI B-Spec Race Kit?

MotoringFile advises that MINI of Charleston has released official pricing for the B-spec parts package for the R56 MINI Cooper. The kit will cost you around $6,000, plus tires and a roll cage.

The Telegraph Takes A Spin In The MINI Countryman

Erin Baker goes for a ride in the MINI Countryman and writes about it for the British publication The Telegraph.  Baker says, in part, about the experience:
But, without meaning to sound like a southern Baptist minister, where’s the soul? The interior is too contrived, straining to be cool; that large central speedo is annoying. The satnav design is achingly funky – all greys and whites – and hard to read at a glance. It reminds me of a friend who bought her baby a playmat in taupes and creams to blend in with her lounge. An instantly regrettable purchase.

Next Generation MINI To Sport Club Door

MotoringFile believes the next generation MINI hatchback may sport at least one club door like the Clubman.

Motor Trend Names MINI One Of Five Aging New Cars Still Worth Considering Of

Motor Trend places the MINI among its list of five aging new models it would consider.  It says -
Still in only its second generation, the modern Mini Cooper has inspired automakers everywhere, from Citroen (the DS3) to Fiat (500, anyone?). In a recent comparison test of six fun $20,000 coupes and hatchbacks, the Mini Cooper won over far newer vehicles.
From our Oddball comparison test: “The Mini won, of course, with its driving. The one-two punch of smart gearing and a thick power band make the most of the available power, and they’re accessed via a precise shifter and well-positioned pedals. The real magic comes from the solid chassis, sport-tuned suspension, and direct, communicative steering.”

Concerns Mount Over Public Access To Nürburgring

Autoweek joins Pistonheads in its concern that the Nürburgring may close to the public. There is anxiety that the track may be closed to tourist drives. Autoweek points the finger -


The culprit? At a very base level, it's the number that enthusiasts love to debate--how quickly a car can lap the Green Hell, and the manufacturer bragging rights that come from having a car's suspension tuned on the famed circuit.

The Disneyfication of the 'Ring has also played a role.


* * *

MINI Wins BusinessCar Award For Tenth Straight Year

Miniology reports that BusinessCar Magazine has named the MINI Hatch ‘2012 Supermini of the Year’ in their annual awards for the 10th straight year. BusinessCar Magazine is a U.K. publication and the awards are judged by its readers and the readers of www.businesscar.co.uk.

Track Day Schedule Released For MINI Thunder III

Norm Nelson has forwarded the track day schedule for MINI Thunder III. Here it is. Stormin' Norman also says, on his Facebook page:
This schedule is subject to change and may be modified during the day due to unforseen delays on track. Please note as we have it set up now, there will be 4 groups, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Coaches/Race Prep. Each group is scheduled for 5 ea - 21 minute on-track sessions, plus classroom instruction.
NorCal MINIs has discovered that many of our Members will drive to Willows on Friday in order to participate in the Hooked On Driving event at Thunderhill Raceway on Saturday before they participate on Sunday at MINI Thunder III. If you wish to run to Willows, CA on Friday please contact Richard Stevens at carman3492@comcast.net or Kat Hsueh at minipenny@gmail.com to arrange a Bay Area meet up for participants going on Friday.

Observers who are driving up Sunday will meet up at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot on the corner of E. Main St. and Winters Rd. in downtown Winters (across the street from the Putah Creek Cafe at 1 Main Street, Winters, CA (If you want breakfast please arrive early and be prepared to leave promptly at 8:30 a.m.)

Peel Back

Peel made the world's smallest cars and the brand is being revived for the U.K. with two vehicles and are now taking orders for both its Trident and P50 models. AutoGuide.com says -
Its 0-60 time has never been measured because both Peel models are speed limited to 28 mph. The Peel Trident and P50 weigh 130 lbs and 198 lbs respectively, and are powered by either a 49cc two-stroke producing a peppy 3.35 horsepower or by two trims of electric motors. The first electric motor makes 1.6-hp at 2.5 lb-ft of torque while a more powerful 4-hp motor is available. Both electric motors deliver an operating range of approximately 50 miles.

MINI Cancels The Rocketman

Car reports that MINI has shelved the Rocketman mainly due to "stability, handling and crash performance of a baby Mini."

Welcome The New MINI Roadster

MINI Space provides an enthusiastic overview of the new MINI Roadster and presents this new installment in the "Another Day, Another Adventure" advertising campaign -


Automobile Updates Its Review Of The 2011 MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4

Automobile, in its January "Four Seasons Update" of the 2011 MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 muses -
What little precipitation we have seen has shown the Countryman's all-wheel-drive system and the Bridgestone Blizzak LM-60 snow tires in a good light. "The car's performance in snow and slush is excellent," writes associate web editor Jake Holmes. "I can already tell this will be a formidable steed come the depths of winter." Deputy editor Joe DeMatio agrees: "The all-wheel-drive Mini is extremely surefooted on snow-covered gravel roads and is capable of transforming itself into a highly entertaining and confidence-inspiring rally vehicle. I actively sought out snow-covered pavement, and getting up my brother's long, steep, unpaved, snow-covered muddy driveway was a cinch."
It also took the Countryman in for service at a little over 14,000 miles -
The month ended with the Mini calling for its first service. (Like BMWs, Minis don't follow a set service schedule; instead, the onboard computer diagnostics let you know when it's time for service, based on the car's mileage and use patterns.)
In addition to the expected oil and filter change, our Countryman had its peeling chrome trim fixed. Brand new moldings replaced the original ones that caused the trim's shiny film to fall off. We'll see how that holds up.
Another problem affecting early-build cars like ours (those built before July 1, 2011) is surging or hesitation under acceleration, between 3000 and 4000 rpm. We have observed that on a few occasions. A software update is now available to address that issue. With that done, we're hoping that the Countryman can enjoy smoother sailing through the second half of its year here without a need for any further fixes.

NORCAL MINIS CALENDAR & OTHER EVENTS