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Happy New Year!

Be grateful.  The re-designed MINI could have looked like this!

Let's Motor In 2014!

Mini Sport's R53 Build's First Rally

MINI's Official 2014 NAIAS Press Release

MotoingFile has posted this official press release and the offiicial photo gallery of the vehicles:
Official Release: The new edition of an original is the central focus of the MINI presentation at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2014 in Detroit. The British premium brand presents the new MINI – with a distinctive and carefully refined design, further increased driving fun and a range of innovative fittings that is unique in the small car segment. As well as this latest addition, the limelight in Detroit will also be on the six other members of the MINI family. All in all the diversity of the model program is greater than ever before in the history of the brand. What is more, MINI provides visitors to the NAIAS from January 18th – 26th 2014 with a look ahead to a new form of extreme driving fun. The MINI John Cooper Works Concept sees its world premiere in Detroit, instantly conveying a genuine passion for racing.

More than 800,000 visitors are once again expected to attend the 26th North American International Auto Show at Detroit’s Cobo Center . Some 200 exhibitors from all over the world will be displaying their latest models, products and technologies. The NAIAS is one of the world’s leading automobile trade fairs, and as it is traditionally the first of the year it typically points ahead to the future.

The new MINI: more innovations, more space, more driving fun.

The latest generation of the MINI is once again a pioneer of individual style, premium quality and high-end technology. The evolutionary refinement of its design, entirely new engines and innovative driver assistance systems make the new MINI more athletic, efficient, expressive and progressive than ever before. The car’s characteristic go-kart feeling is now enhanced with optimised ride comfort, adjustable dampers being offered as an optional extra for the first time. More interior space, optimised functionality and detailed refinements in terms of material and finish likewise reflect the maturity of the latest generation.

All four seats of the new MINI tangibly increase freedom of movement and the luggage compartment has been expanded by 30 per cent. A new display and operating concept, innovative driver assistance systems and the latest MINI Connected features also allow even more intensive interaction between driver and MINI. And the new MINI is the first automobile in its class to be fitted with LED headlamps and a Head-Up Display.

The new MINI is due to go on the market in the USA in spring 2014. There will be a choice of the models MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S at the market launch. Both can be fitted with either the standard 6-speed manual transmission or the optional 6-speed automatic transmission according to preference. The transmissions and engines have both been newly developed. The entire drivetrain technology along with an extensively optimised suspension provides the perfect basis for maximum driving fun in the small car segment. At the same time, the engines and transmissions, a weight-optimised design and improved aerodynamic properties along with extensive MINIMALISM technology all contribute to the enhanced efficiency of the new MINI.

MINI model program: success based on diversity and individual style.

The new MINI puts the British automobile manufacturer fully on track to continue its global success story. 12 years after the relaunch of the brand, MINI has become established in the USA, too, as the epitome of efficient driving fun, stylish individual flair and uncompromising quality. The consistently expanded model program is one aspect which has contributed to its ongoing growth in popularity. Over the past few years the MINI family has expanded to a current total of seven members. The hallmark brand qualities are to be found in the classic MINI concept as well as in the MINI Clubman, the MINI CoupĂ© and also the two models designed for open air driving fun – the MINI Convertible and the MINI Roadster.

And there are now two models representing the brand’s venture into a new market segment. The trailblazer here was the MINI Countryman, the first model of the brand to be fitted with four doors, a large tailgate and space for up to five occupants. This agile all-rounder is now joined by the MINI Paceman, the world’s first ever Sports Activity CoupĂ© in the premium compact segment. The all-wheel drive system ALL4 specially developed for MINI is also available for the MINI Countryman and the MINI Paceman.

World premiere in Detroit: the MINI John Cooper Works Concept.

In the USA, too, the aspirations of especially performance-oriented MINI fans are addressed by the extremely sporty John Cooper Works models. At the NAIAS 2014 MINI gives the public a first impression of the future of this brand so deeply rooted in racing passion. The MINI John Cooper Works Concept premiered in Detroit represents the next generation of the small car segment’s fascinating top sports car.

The model-specific features of the car’s exterior design are instantly recognisable, deriving directly from the technical requirement for optimised air ducting and precisely controllable handling in extremely sporty driving situations. Among other things, the MINI John Cooper Works Concept has very large air inlets in the front apron and a rear spoiler as well as distinctively designed side sills and rear apron. What is more, 18-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels, a sports brake system and a sports exhaust system reflect drivetrain and suspension technology developed with extensive race track expertise.

Want Photos And Video Of The 2014 MINI Roadster?

You have got 'em. Go to Kelley Blue Book. It has an extensive gallery.

BMW And Toyota To Work On Joint Sportscar Platform

Automotive News reports BMW Group and Toyota have signed a long term agreement to cooperate on a joint sportscar platform. With the 2012 agreement to cooperate on lithium batteries and lightweight technologies we speculate the agreement will result in a shared electric sportscar platform and the technology may trickle down to future MINIs.

A Video Look At The New MCS Interior . . .

. . . and driving scenes from Motorsport Magazine.

Monster Energy MINI X-raid Team Preparations

Four Wheeler highlights the Monster Energy MINI X-raid Team's preparations for the 2014 defense of its Dakar Rally title.

Android Support In F56 For MINI Connected

For the first time MINI will offer Android support for MINI Connected when ordered with "Visual Boost Radio" and the MINI navigation system on a F56 MINI, according to MotoringFile.

MINI Again Partners With Burton For The BGES

In a press release at BMW Group PressClub USA MINI announces that it will again partner with Burton to sponsor the Burton Global Event Series (BGES) snowboard competition with the next stop being this January at the Burton European Open January 13-15, 2014, in Laax, Switzerland.  MINI will have the MINI Paceman SNOW BEAST on hand and honor the behind the scenes people who make the event happen.

China Is MINI's Most Important Market

Apparently MINI is not shy about making that point. Here is part of what Li Fangfang reports for ChinaDaily.com.cn
. . . MINI's growth in China is incredible, and magnificent," said Jochen Goller, senior vice-president of the brand. "It has been the most important market for us."

He told China Daily that MINI will post an "all-time sales record" this year in China with 28,000 cars delivered to clients.

That will represent 20 percent growth from a year ago when it reported full-year sales of 23,275 units, up 51 percent from 2011.

"The all-new MINI we launched here is due to go on the China market in the first half of 2014 and I believe it will drive the sales next year," said Goller.

"That will help close the gap with the other three leading MINI markets."

China currently follows the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany as the brand's biggest markets. Goller said the gap between China and Germany is about 7,000 units, while the difference with the UK is 23,000 and 40,000 with the US. . .

Here Come The 2014 MINI Accessories . . .

 . . . the first of which MotoringFile reveals, a F56 JCW Aero Spoiler.

Wiper Blades May Soon Disappear

The Blaze recounts a discussion with former MINI Exterior Designer who is presently Chief Designer at McLaren, Frank Stephenson, wherein he contends wiper blades are archaic and high frequency soundwave emitters that keep the windscreen clear of water and bugs, already used in military applications, will take their place.

If true, then in the future Heywood Banks' song will make even less sense.

Prick Hacks Roadsign

Who knew electric roadsigns could be hacked to make a dot matrix phallus?  Jalopnik?

XCAR Gives The MINI Roadster A Once Over

Bimmerfile Looks At The F56

Calling the F56 the first all BMW MINI and the first front wheel drive BMW, Bimmerfile looks at the re-designed MINI and carries the official MINI press release that accompanied the reveal at Oxford.  It notes the new manual F56 is almost as fast as the manual R53.

MINI Snowman 2013

[Source: AutoMotoTV @ YouTube]

Before You Show Us How Fast Your MINI Is . . .

learn how to drive fast!

[Source: 1puglife @ YouTube via Jalopnik]

Renderings Of The 2014 MINI Convertible And Roadster

The X-Tomi Design Team has rendered mock ups of a MINI Cooper convertible and Roadster that it believes capture the anticipated look of these vehicles for 2014 according to BEFORE IT'S NEWS.

DIY: Diagnose High Pressure Fuel System Failure In 2007-11 MCS's

[Source: Bentley Publishers @ YouTube]

Car Advice's Review Of The MCS Countryman

Alborz Fallah provides a review of a MINI Cooper S Countryman with automatic transmission for Australian site Car Advice.   Fallah expresses concern about the long-term potential for satisfaction:
It’s early weeks with the big Mini, so we’ll see whether the Countryman’s firm ride remains bearable and whether this a genuinely practical family car.

Have Yourself A Very MINI Christmas

MINI EV Confirmed!?!

Inside EVs looks at statements made by BMW Board Member Peter Schwarzenbauer and concludes a plug-in MINI model in the near future is a done deal.

Looking Back At MINI Highlights Of 2013

MINI Space offers a retrospective on 11 MINI highlights from 2013 including the Dakar Rally win and Chicherit's backflip.

The Design Sketches And Models That Gave Rise To The F56

car body design explores the designer sketches and modeling that led to the exterior and interior design of the fourth generation of the MINI based on the photos and graphics officially released by BMW Group.

Grease Monkey Sink Design

Check out the bathroom sinks at Ford's Garage. According to Hooniverse the entire Florida automotive-themed restaurant and bar chain is designed as gearhead heaven.

New MINI Bulldog Advertisements

autoblog discusses this new "Bullheaded" advertisement, featuring Spike, and this making of the advertisement video, for the 2014 MINI Cooper.

BMW, MINI Fail To Make 2014 Top Safety Pick List

AutoGuide.com observes that BMW and MINI are among eight brands that made the IIHS Top Safety Pick List in 2013 that did not make the list in 2014.

MINI Space Looks At MINI Australia's Paceman Store

MINI Space examines MINI Australia's The Paceman Store concept and the top designers that made it a happening place.  It says, in part:
The Paceman Store. A store like no other, just like a car like no other.

Offering a new slant on traditional retail, the Paceman Store offered Melbournians the chance to not only experience the Paceman, but its style, design and cool factor through international collaborations. From New York, Oregon, London and Berlin each collaborator's work reflected the Paceman's "a new slant on things" philosophy. And the five collaborators who ventured to the land down under to set up shop for four weeks each, were the super duper talented...

Spy Shots Of The Next Generation MINI Cooper Convertible

autoevolution's BMW Power Blog caught the vehicle testing near Munich, Germany and has a photo gallery full of spy shots.

2013 MINI Cooper S Versus VW Beetle GSR

Canadian website Driving compares the two vehicles and concludes:
In this instance, the Mini reigns supreme, thanks to how its small packaging lends to such a bewilderingly fun drive. But the only thing stopping the Mini Cooper S from fully winning over my heart was its price. Sure, was loaded with goodies like a panoramic sunroof, GPS navigation and various performance bits from the John Cooper Works package, but it topped out at $37,305. That’s some $8,300 more than what the base Cooper S costs and $3,600 more than the Beetle GSR. That’s not exactly cheap, considering you could get a whole host of other hot hatches for far less.

2013 MINI Countryman Built For Dakar

iMotor Times looks closely at the construction of the 2013 MINI Countryman prepared to be piloted by defending Dakar Rally Champion Stephane Peterhansel in the 2014 Dakar Rally.  Here is video posted as part of the article.

2015 MINI Clubman Spy Photos?

WorldCarFans has spy photos of what it contends is the 2015 MINI Clubman testing in Europe. Unlike the recently spotted four door hatchback, this vehicle has split rear doors as well as four conventional doors.

Spy Shots Of The 2014 MINI E Coupe

MotorAuthority has a photo gallery of spy shots of what it claims is a 2014 MINI E Coupe testing its drivetrain in Germany.

2014 MINI Cooper Paceman Reviewed By AutoTrader.com

AutoTrader.com reviews the 2014 MINI Cooper Paceman and concludes with this advice:
The front-wheel-drive turbocharged Cooper S Paceman hits the sweet spot for value, performance and fuel economy. Make ours a manual with the panoramic sunroof -- that's a pretty sweet ride at a pretty reasonable price.

BMW Group Breaks Ground On Brazilian BMW/MINI Factory

Carscoops reports the BMW Group has started construction of a new manufacturing plant in Brazil.  According to the article,
Scheduled to commence operations in the fall of 2014, BMW's first-ever automotive plant in South America has a target of assembling at least 30,000 vehicles annually, including the MINI Countryman, BMW 1 Series 5-door model, BMW 3 Series Sedan, BMW X1, and BMW X3.. . .

AutoSpies Disappointed By New MINI Debut?

AutoSpies.com asks its readers whether they were more disappointed with (i) the debut of the new MINI or (ii) the debut of the new Subaru WRX, at the Los Angeles Automobile Show. Here is how it characterizes the new MINI:
The all-new MINI is essentially the older MINI except it's increased in size and gets a more BMW-i-fied interior.

UK MINI Billboard Banned For Encouraging Dangerous Driving

The United Kingdom's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned this MINI billboard along the country's A532 road. Accordng to MarketingWeek the ASA stated it banned the advertisement because:
. . . the large number of lines in different colours would give those who saw the ad the impression of a fast-moving vehicle - an impression exaggerated by the wide format of the poster.

The regulator also said the use of the word “fun” in conjunction with the imagery of a vehicle moving at “excessive speed” in a built-up environment was likely to encourage dangerous driving and ruled the ad was “irresponsible”

Hates The Countryman But Loves The Off The Wall Marketing

Hooniverse thinks the Countryman is horrible but really likes MINI's marketing, especially this one in Stavanger, Norway.

The New MINI - Ten Loves, Five Dislikes

MotoringFile offers a discussion of ten things it loves about the new MINI and five things it does not like.  Read the article to find out what it loves.  Here is what it didn't:
1. The rear lights are huge and haven’t gotten any smaller over the last two days spent with the car.

2. The bumper features a chin that is frankly hard to love – especially in light colors. Darker colors help greatly.

3. The scourge of the MINI branding – the “S” in Cooper S – is everywhere on the Cooper S. It’s most egregious on the front grille. Look for sticker kits from MotoringBadges.com to at least black this out.

4. The optional CD Changer (the only way to get a CD in this MINI) takes up almost the entire glovebox.

5. The clutch. It’s all new, but feel very light. Granted I just played with it in a stationary position, but the clutch on the Cooper S I demoed felt noticeably lighter than the one in our MF 2011 JCW Roadster, and not in a good way.

2013 MINI Cooper S One Of Best Cars Under $30K

Road and Track chooses the 2013 MINI Cooper S as one of the twelve best cars under thirty thousand dollars.

New Production Tricks To Produce The New MINI

just-auto highlights the new production facilities and techniques that are being used to make the F56, such as the construction of a new body shop and updates to the paint shop and quality control that now rely more heavily on new robots.

MINI Still Contemplating Diesels For The US

autoevolution advises MINI Diesels for the North American market are not yet a done deal but may be introduced if you continue to ask nicely, all based on these comments:
Speaking to Auto Guide at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show last week, MINI brand product chief Pat McKenna hinted that MINI is considering a diesel version of the Cooper for the US market, as the demand for oil burners i[s] [sic]  growing nationwide. “We hear it from our dealers and our customers,” he said

New John Cooper Works Concept To Debut At 2014 NAIAS

BMW Group PressClub USA announces the new MINI John Cooper Works Concept will debut at the 2014 North American Internatonal Automobile Show in Detroit.  Here is a taste from the press release of changes in the JCW:
The John Cooper Works Concept is based on the latest-generation MINI. Its origins are clearly recognizable in the longer wheelbase and wider track over the outgoing model, which has a direct effect on the car’s driving characteristics. The model variants of the new MINI available from launch have already shown themselves to be more powerful, punchy and agile than their predecessors. Weight savings and improved aerodynamic properties have also contributed significantly to the new car’s driving talents – and these developments likewise have a positive influence on the MINI John Cooper Works Concept.

Large air intakes – filling the space reserved for fog lights in the series-produced MINI models – and precisely formed air-channeling elements mark out the front apron of the MINI John Cooper Works Concept, which also features LED headlights and a black surround for the front grille. The model-specific John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit also comprises specially contoured side skirts and a rear apron with flaps and a diffuser element. The study car further features a roof spoiler and additional body components designed to channel air efficiently around the C-pillars for optimized aerodynamic balance at high speeds.

Exclusive body paintwork, familiar contrast color
The Bright Highways Grey exterior paint shade owes its expressive character to a special manufacturing process. The hand-polished surface layer is finished with a clear coat and the resulting lustrous sheen of the paintwork further accentuates the eye-catching structures of its pigment layer. Exuding purity and solidity, this paint finish is complemented by John Cooper Works hallmarks such as contrasting red for the roof, roof spoiler and exterior mirror caps. Also included are Sport Stripes – in Chili Red for the bonnet and boot lid, and in white for the roof. Additional red accents adorn the rim wells of the John Cooper Works light-alloy wheels, the calipers of the sports brakes, the side indicator surrounds and the contour lines of the front and rear apron. A red accent line also lends particular emphasis to the John Cooper Works logo on the radiator grille.

A further nod to the concept car’s impressive sporting focus can be found in the center of the rear apron. The MINI John Cooper Works Concept is fitted with a sports exhaust system including John Cooper Works silencer system, and the striking twin tailpipes with chrome finish also carry the John Cooper Works logo. With the new elite sports model destined to benefit from further development, these features suggest its enticingly sporting aura will not be restricted to visual features: an unmistakable engine soundtrack promises to share center stage.

Motioncars Reviews The MINI Paceman

Aida Sevilla-Mendoza reviews the MINI Paceman for Inquirer.net's Motioncars and concludes:
Some people theorize that after noting that the basic MINI Cooper and the Countryman are the top-selling MINI models, BMW developed the Paceman to combine the best features of the two. Indeed, the Paceman displays the sassy MINI Cooper personality with the extra space and attitude of a crossover. The not-so-mini Paceman is easy and pleasant to drive and stylish to behold but, inevitably, the fun-to-drive mantra has been diminished by its size and weight. For a full measure of that priceless go-kart feeling, the Paceman’s smaller, less pricey siblings are available.

Sorry, I Didn't Hear You In My Side View Mirror

The bluetooth MINI Cooper Mirror BoomBox ($150 MSRP) is featured at ChipChick.

CNET Thinks New MINI Will Reinvigorate Brand

Wayne Cunningham, writing for CNET, believes the new MINI he saw at the L.A. Auto Show will "reinvigorate" the brand "just when its needed."

Four Door MINI Hatchback May Debut At Geneva - Replace Clubman.

Carwale suggests the five door MINI will debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show and is slotted to replace the Clubman.

Did You Have A R50/52 MINI CVT Transmission Fail?

Settlement of the Federal class action, Brad Aarons v. BMW of North America, LLC has been approved. Claim filing instructions can be found here.

Car And Driver Reviews The 2013 MINI JCW Countryman

Aaron Robinson tested the 2013 MINI John Cooper Works Countryman for Car And Driver. His opinions are summarized in "Highs and Lows":
Well-sorted suspension, useful power upgrade, the Countryman to get.

Habitual haulers will find cargo space tight, quite spendy even before options.

R50/R53 Exterior Designer Believes MINI Has Lost It

Frank Stephenson was the exterior designer of the R50 and R53 MINIs. He now works for McLaren. In a Yahoo! Automotive interview discussed by MotoringFile Stephenson made it clear he is no fan of the new MINI models and the changes that have occurred since the days of the R50 and R53. He believes most of the changes have been made solely to save money.

MINI Ready To Pursue Third Dakar Rally Title In 2014

[Source: MINI @ YouTube]

How Many Brussel Sprouts Fit In A MINI Cooper Hatchback?

United Kingdom's Orange News discusses green grocer Lawrence Jones' attempt to discover how many brussel sprouts fit in a MINI Cooper. He successfully determined the answer - 38,182.

Do You Buy A MINI Cooper S Because It Is Economical?

Not according to United Kingdom's Auto Express in its review of the MINI Cooper S:
That’s not why you buy a MINI Cooper S, though – you buy one because it’s fast and really fun to drive.