MotoringFile was at the L.A. Auto Show for the debut of the new MINI in North America and provides an extensive photo gallery and video:
[Source: eiokay @ YouTube]
INAUTONEWS suggest MINI likely will, and Rolls-Royce might, produce full size SUVs based on this recent comment at the Oxford debut of the F56 in response to the SUV question:
Something in this direction makes sense for Mini . . . you have to look at different options,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW Group board member for Mini and Rolls-Royce. Also, “For what could be the next step for Rolls-Royce we are obviously looking at many things including an SUV,” Schwarzenbauer added.
Wiltshire Business covers the end of an era as the last R56 leaves the Oxford plant. Consider these numbers:
1,041,412 of the outgoing MINI Hatch model have been produced at the high-tech facility, which has built more than 2.4 million MINI vehicles since 2001. 14% of all cars built in the UK last year were MINIs, and MINIs accounted for 14% of all UK vehicle exports in 2012.
motorsport.com reports the X-raid team will field 11 MINI ALL4 Racing and a BMW X3 CC for the 2014 Dakar Rally. It also profiles the two driver teams that will pilot the vehicles.
John Rosevear of The Motley Fool writes an article published in the Investor Center of DailyFinance that claims to set out why the 2014 MINI Cooper's success is crucial to the future of BMW.
Jalopnik takes a quick look at the new parts on the MINI and says the new "GREEN Mode" "Consumption-optimized driving fun" sounds "like sex that's actually not going to happen despite all your efforts" and is a useless waste of programming on a feature no one will use.
Jalopnik analyzes the media reports on MINI executives' comments, especially this comment, and concludes MINIs will continue to get bigger and have less go kart like, higher seating positions:
Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW Group board member responsible for the Mini, Roll-Royce and BMW motorcycle brands, revealed at the unveiling of the new Mini here, that "Cars with high seating positions do very well: The high seating generates stronger customer loyalty."
[Source: ConceptCars @ YouTube]
Inventor Spot looks at the newly revealed re-designed MINIs and gives these standing sprint numbers:
These power numbers may look impressive onscreen but how do they translate to real world driving? Testing shows the base 2014 Cooper with manual gearbox making the 0-60 mph sprint in 7.4 seconds (7.3 with automatic), eventually topping out at 130 mph. The larger motor in the 2014 Cooper S performs as one might expect, taking just 6.4 seconds (6.3 with automatic) to reach 60mph from a standing start and posting a 146 mph top speed.
Autocar and, based on Robertson's comments, believes MINI may build models larger than a Countryman, but, is unlikely to build anything smaller than the Hatchback.
Motor Trend makes its observations about the new 2014 MINIs and opines:
The new Mini Cooper may be bigger, but there are probably more consumers waiting to experience the Mini mystique than purists complaining about the car's size. We're not sure how much bigger Mini can grow the Cooper Hardtop after this generation, but we're looking forward to seeing how well the new engines and interior updates work in the rest of the ever-expanding Mini lineup.
CBS News Money Watch reports, in part:
BMW announced on Monday the recall of nearly 89,000 of its Mini and Mini Cooper cars in U.S. and more than 235,000 worldwide.
The company said a water pump that cools the turbocharger in some models has a circuit board that can malfunction and overheat.
"In an extreme case this overheating can lead to a smoldering of the water pump and eventually can create a vehicle fire," said BMW spokeswoman Nathalie Bauters.
Bauters said about 12 fires have been reported to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, though none have resulted in accidents or injuries. The fires started when the vehicles were standing still, she said.
The recalled models include: 2007-11 Mini Cooper S; 2008-11 Mini Cooper Clubman; 2009-11 Mini Cooper S Convertible; 2009-11 Mini JCW; 2009-11 Mini JCW Clubman; 2009-11 Mini JCW Convertible; 2011 Mini Cooper S Countryman.
Bauters said the recalled vehicles were manufactured either in the U.K. or in Austria.
The company said it will send letters to owners in February explaining how to get the water pump replaced.
Carbuzz thinks the new spy photos of the F58 Clubman show it to have lost its cool factor and to become a bland four door family economy car due to the elongation of the wheelbase and elimination of the suicide door.
Jalopnik discovers that, contrary to the publicity about the new MINI being lighter than the present version, the U.S. spec. cars will weigh 80 to 90 lbs more than the present generation.
Motor Trend spoke with MINI Chief of Design (some say chief apologist) Anders Warming and was left with this impression as it recounts the conversation:
But according to Mini chief of design Anders Warming, the plumped-up car had a few reasons for being: Sure, they think it will likely appeal to a wider audience, especially in the U.S., the company's biggest market. But growing pedestrian-safety and crash requirements also played a role, especially in the length of the car.
He was quick to point out, though, that the car is still shorter than than many other premium small cars.
AutoGuide.com was there and provides photos of the F54 and F56 that are on display.
Contest Will Determine Ten Lucky Finalists and One Ultimate Winner
Contest Will Determine Ten Lucky Finalists and One Ultimate Winner
Official Release: Grab your favorite motoring outfit, a video or still camera and tell MINI USA what features of the new MINI Hardtop you want to test drive and you may just be selected for the Final Test Test Drives. The contest, announced this week in Los Angeles along with the launch of the new MINI Hardtop, will offer 10 current or past MINI owners the opportunity to test drive the new MINI Hardtop before it goes on sale to the public in the spring.
All ten winners will also have the unique opportunity to design a one-of-a-kind new MINI Hardtop with a member of the MINI product team and an illustrator. All ten designs will then be posted for public voting. The chosen design will be named after the winner and offered for sale by MINI USA at dealerships and through MINIUSA.com.
“The final test drive of the new MINI Hardtop before it hits the showroom is a unique experience for our owners,” said Tom Salkowsky, Department Head, MINI USA Marketing. “Giving our owners the opportunity to not only motor in the new MINI Hardtop before it goes on sale, but also to design their own MINI with our product team, is our way of thanking them for helping us bring this vehicle to life.”
In typical MINI fashion, this will not be your average test drive around the block. MINI USA will fly the ten winners and their guest to select locations around the country for the test drive experience of a lifetime. The test drives will also be captured on video to be shared as part of the campaign to launch the new MINI Hardtop.
Motorers looking to participate can visit MINIFinalTestTestDrives.com for the contest rules and submission instructions. Don’t worry…it’s simple and fun! Snap a photo or shoot video that explains what features you want to test in the new MINI Hardtop, as well as a short statement describing your dream test drive and then enter to win!
The submission phase for the contest begins on November 20, 2013, and ends on December 15, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The ten finalists selected for test drives will be announced on January 28, 2014 and the test drives will take place starting in February.
To submit your entry, go to MINIFinalTestTestDrives.com. Official contest rules are also available atMINUSA.com/FTTDRules.
Slashgear has photos.
DUB Magazine looks at the reveal of the F56, notes it is - "taller, wider, larger . . . bigger in every way, except under the hood." It concludes:
And yes, it’s still, technically, a small car. But it’s bigger in every dimension, and we’re starting to wonder when they’ll have to rename the brand. With the press release, Mini sent on a photo of the car evolving through all its generations, which makes abundantly clear that this thing just keeps growing.
The National. He likes it, but concludes,
Should you buy one? If the looks do it for you, and you really feel the need for four-wheel drive, and you’re not put off by the price, then sure, why not? But when a Scirocco R costs Dh40,000 less and offers better performance along with almost as much practicality and individuality, you’d be advised to think twice.
Dezeen takes a look, inside and out, at the design changes in the 2014 MINIs including, but not limited to the five new colors - "Volcanic Orange, Moonwalk Grey, Blazing Red, Deep Blue and Electric Blue. Interiors can also be personalised with a choice of ten seat cover designs and a variety of trims." - as well as the reworked engines, interior and exterior.
autoevolution raises with its photo gallery of spy shots of a MCS five door hatchback. It recounts the already longer wheelbase of the new MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S and believes the purpose of the re-engineer for 2014 and the future is to make the brand "family friendly."
LeftLane has spy photos of what may be the prototype MINI Traveller, a long rumored MINI six door (double rear door) "family-friendly" variant never before seen in the flesh. We doubted that and suspected that it was the F54 Clubman. According to MotoringFile it is confirmed that this is the new Clubman with four traditional doors, so it is now Countryman-size, with double rear doors.
Bangkok Post and believes the new MINI Cooper "looks hardly any different" but has grown "in all dimensions." He also notes that the hatchback may be produced in BMW's Rayong, Thailand facility.
Jalopnik posts this Auto Express video that makes us question whether you really need ALL4 for yearly winter snow and slush driving. A good set of snow tires looks like it is a better, more economical option, unless you live at the top of an extrmely snowy, icy, steep and dirt excuse for a road!
AutoWeek's editors review the 2013 MINI Cooper S Roadster. In short, Associate Editor Jake Lingeman finds it fun for only the first two minutes and Road Test Editor Jonathan Wong writes it's the "least practical" of the MINIs and believes the Openometer is "dumb".
Automotive News reports MINI topped the survey for mass marketed cars for the fourth straight year and even improved by six points over last year.
SearchBlog discusses MINIs advertising campaigns through MINIs use of social, search and user supplied content in its marketing strategy with Christopher Stemborowski, who is the manager of strategy for marketing firm Beam Interactive which has supported the MINI account for about a decade.
MotoringFile summarizes the public information available about the F56 a week before the F56's November 18-19, 2013 public unveiling. Expect the F56 to start "trickling" into the U.S. next March.