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Pinnacles National Park Run Details

Hi Everyone,  RAIN or SHINE we will visit Pinnacles National Park on Saturday, November 11, 2017. MEETING/DEPARTURE TIME: 9:00am/9:30am ...

Instant Karma



[Source: Florida Driver @ YouTube]

Hamad Takes Delivery Of The First F56

Administrator @ MINI2.com has posted a pictorial on Hamad's posts at MINIf56.com about his receipt of what appears to be the first F56 MINI delivered anywhere in the world. Hamad has also posted this video that features how the vehicle sounds when not in sport mode:

Learning With The J-Turn



[Source: CrookedProgramm @ YouTube]

Popular Mechanics Reviews The New MINI Hatchback

Basem Wasef reviews the new MINI Hatchback for Popular Mechanics. Among his observations:

As much as our well-intentioned, eco-conscious ids believe the three-cylinder with the six-speed manual should be the ride of choice, its skimpy low-end torque demands a bit of revving and clutch slip to instigate strong launches. Without that aggressive right-pedal action, we stalled off the line during a test drive in the wilds of Puerto Rico. MINI estimates up to 42 highway mpg with the slushbox, but we suspect our mileage would vary thanks to our inherent desire to rev the bejeezus out of that tiny engine.

A Sneak Peek Inside The F55

And it is just a peek as MotoringFile got this spy photo of the five door F55 with the doors open.

DIY: Swap R53 MCS Supercharger Pulley



[Source: Mod MINI @ YouTube]

Tony Hawk Jumps His Countryman


Tony Hawk Jumps Over His MINI Cooper Countryman by Riders-Match

Test Drive Of The 2014 MINI Cooper S Roadster

Provided by automobile @ YouTube.

A First Look At The New MINI From India

Siddharth Vinayak Patankar examines the new generation MINI for India's NDTV Auto.

Patankar reflects:
The new MINI is marginally bigger than its predecessor, and promises to be more luxurious, less quirky and a better drive. There is a new engine family making its debut too, though in India the car will no doubt arrive with both diesel and petrol options.

The good news for MINI fans is that the car has changed enough to impress and yet [sic] stayed the same so [sic] that you don't think its a huge step away from what they know and love as the MINI Cooper! But that is kind of also a let down isn't it? I mean you have got to look really [sic] hard before you can tell this is not the 2nd generation car!

Castrol MINI JCW Team Readies For Cape Town Race

The Castrol MINI John Cooper Works duo of Lee Thompson and new team-mate Ryan Rhode ready for round two at Killarney in Cape Town, South Africa. 3D CAR SHOWS discusses the team's first round success and what to expect from the remainder of the rally season.

MINI ALL4 Racing To Take On Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

BOXSCORE highlights the efforts of MINI ALL4 Racing at the upcoming Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, the fourth race in the 2014 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies. The X-raid team will run six cars and Dakar winner Joan “Nani” Roma (ES), will race for the first time since his January win. Roma is the defending champion having won last year’s Desert Challenge.

MINI Cooper D Deliveries Delayed Due To Noisy Engines

U.K.'s AutoExpress reports MINI Cooper D deliveries have been delayed due to noise problems. The new 1.5 liter three cylinder diesel engine proved to be much noiser than anticipated and, now, there is no present timetable for delivery of the new diesels.

Autocar's Magazine Pits F56 Against Its Competitors

U.K.'s Autocar provides a preview of its magazine, on sale as of March 26, 2014, that includes an extensive comparison of the new MINI to virtually every one of the MINI's competitors.

Five Door MINI Hatch To Debut At NYIAS 2014?

autoevolution thinks it might.

AutoWeek Reviews The New Cooper And Cooper S

Jay Ramey of AutoWeek looks at new MINI Cooper and Cooper S. His answer to the question "Do You Want One?":
Mini is no longer alone in the premium compact segment, though the Fiat 500 is perhaps just a bit too small to present direct competition to what is in effect a very small and very fun hatch. This new version stays true to the first-gen (BMW-produced) model that premiered over a decade ago, adding power and improving fuel efficiency while remaining distinct in a range that now includes seven cars.

Nicely equipped three-door hardtops will really be found in the $24,000 range, keeping it out of Mercedes-Benz CLA price territory; there is plenty of fun to be had even if you only have around $20,000 to spend. The Cooper S model is almost too much of a good thing -- the base three-cylinder offers plenty of entertainment on short and long trips.

If you still need more room but don't want to spring for the Countryman, wait for the five-door hardtop -- that's coming later this summer.

Motoring In Indonesia With The Indo MINI Club

MINI Space recounts an early morning road trip, starting in Jakarta, that was spent on the roads of Indonesia with the Indo MINI Club.

A Different Meaning For "Buzzed Driving"

A swarm of bees lit upon the boot of a MINI in a New Zealand car yard as reported by stuff.co.nz.

MINI Sees Double Digit Growth In Qatar

Gulf Times reports Qatar has seen a double digit sales increases in year over year sales, eighteen percent to be precise. To further boost Qatar sales MINI exhibited at the Qatar Auto Show 2014 and race driver Nasser al-Attiyah appeared after his recent successes at the 2014 Dakar Rally with MINI ALL4 Racing having finished third overall.

Can You Outrun A Speed Camera?

University of Leicester physics students have determined how fast you would have to go to make a license plate appear invisible to a speed camera.

If you want to give it a try you will first need a few performance upgrades, including a flux capacitor.  According to phys.org, the students calculated that the car would have to go 119 million miles per hour, one-sixth the speed of light, to make the license plate invisible.

evo Gives The F56 MINI 4 Out Of 5 Stars

Mike Duff's review for the U.K.'s evo gives the new F56 four out of five stars and asserts:
. . . there’s little doubt the new Mini Cooper will remain the biggest fish in its posh supermini pond.

TWIT Don't Text And Drive In SF

San Francisco drivers might discover photographs of themselves on a billboard somewhere in the Bay Area. A website, as part of the Texting While In Traffic project (TWIT), has been collecting photos of people texting while driving and putting them on the billboards. Gizmodo reports on this shame campaign against distracted driving.

It's a good project so we would like your help. Who is in the white MINI? Anyone you know? For shame!

Sunday Record Reviews The MINI Paceman

John Murdoch reviews the MINI Paceman for the United Kingdom's Daily Record.

Murdoch decides, in part:
The Paceman feels solid on the road and it provides a nice blend of the Countryman’s space with the traditional hatchback’s renowned handling.

For drivers who want a MINI but are keen to stand out from the crowd, the Paceman is just the job.

BMW/Toyota/MINI Roadster Likely To Be AWD Hybrid

Last week BMW Director in charge of MINI, Peter Schwarzenbauer, advised that the next generation MINI Roadster is likely to come from BMW's joint venture with Toyota to build sportscars. Autocar confirms that the venture will produce the next BMW Z4 and thus, provides insight into what the new Roadster is likely to be if it will be at all like the upcoming Z4:
The new sports car will feature a front-engined layout. But unlike Toyota’s FT-1 concept, it is likely to be four-wheel drive thanks to the use of a direct-injection petrol engine and electric motors. These power sources will form part of a high-tech supercapacitor-touting hybrid system that draws on technology and expertise gained from Toyota’s Le Mans LMP1 sports car programme.


* * *

At its heart will be a BMW-engineered petrol engine of no more than 2.0 litres in capacity. It will be combined with electric motors produced by BMW at its engine plant in Munich to specifications supplied by Toyota. Drive will be channelled through a sequential manual gearbox. A Toyota-developed electronics system is expected to provide torque-vectoring capability. . . . .

2014 MINI "A Nice Move Forward"

That is part of John McElroy's conclusion in his review of the new 2014 MINI for Autoline.

MTTS 2014 - Double Dog Dare Ya


Register at MINITAKESTHESTATES.com.

MINI USA Celebrates Its 12th Anniversary



[Source: MINIUSA @ YouTube]

Spike Discovers The New MINI



[Source: sloufiction @ YouTube]

DIY: Replace R53 Oil Pan Gasket



[Source: mlTV @cooperSml @ YouTube]

"Decreasingly English!"

That is how Sylvain Raymond's first drive review and picture gallery of the 2014 MINI for The Car Guide is headlined. Raymond thinks, in part:
Normally, people get excited about the arrival of new generation models. In the case of the new MINI, we admit to feeling the thrill, even though we still have a soft spot for the older generations. That’s proof positive that the car is a classic!

F56 Gets Official U.S. MPG Ratings

MotoringFile reports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released these official fuel economy numbers for the F56 and it compares them to the prior generation:
  • Cooper auto: 29 City / 34 Combined / 41 Highway (preliminary) 
  • Cooper manual 30 City / 34 Combined / 42 Highway  
  • Cooper S auto: 27 City / 31 Combined / 38 Highway (preliminary) 
  • Cooper S manual 25 City / 29 Combined / 38 Highway

Fidos Drive MINIs

Willow Street Agency recounts the doggone truth -

New MINIs Priced In The U.K.

According to INAUTONEWS:
. . . the 2014 MINI One hatchback will now set you back for 14,750 GBP, while for the flagship Cooper S, its future customers will have to pay at least 18,650 GBP before they will be able to drive it home. 
The third generation of the MINI has an evolutionary design and its size has increased, being translated into performance, space and efficiency. The model is actually 98 mm longer, 44 mm wider and 7 mm taller than its predecessor. As far as the engine lineup goes, this includes the 1.2 liter three-cylinder with 101 HP, for 13,750 GBP, while the 1.5 liter diesel, with 95 HP will set you back for 14,890 GBP. The Cooper and Cooper D cost 15,300 and 16,450 GBP, respectively, and they are getting the 1.5 liter engine with 135 HP and 115 HP. The top of the line Cooper S has a 2.0L unit with 190 HP.

John Cooper's Former Home For Sale

John Cooper's former four bedroom residence on the Rustington Estate in the U.K. is for sale according to the Little Hampton Gazette.  Steve McQueen purportedly stayed there on numerous occasions.

The New Generation MINIs At The 2014 Toronto Motor Show



[Source: AutoMotoTube @ YouTube]

If You Won It Would You Do This?

A contestant named "Scott" won a "Double Showcase" that included a new MINI on "The Price Is Right."  When he realized he won both showcases, worth $58,851 (the other showcase included atrip to Ecuador and Peru, and a  BMW C 650 GT Maxi-Scooter), Scott ran and belly flopped on his new MINI.

[Source: The News Wheel]

". . . Impossible To Compare"

David Thomas reviews the 2014 MINI hardtop for cars.com. Thomas concludes:
The Mini might not have much natural competition, but as it grows in size it encroaches on cars like Volkswagen's Golf. And as VW is aiming lower in terms of interior materials, Mini has gone in the other direction.

The terrific mileage, high-grade interior, enticing driving experience and even the practicality that comes with the added cargo room make this new Mini nearly impossible to compare.

Spy Photos Of Production Clubman Cold Weather Testing

INAUTONEWS caught a production version of the upcoming new Clubman testing, while the Concept was being shown at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, and provides a gallery of spy photographs.

Demise Of Coupe, Roadster And Paceman Exaggerated

Carscoops reports BMW sales chief Ian Robertson has dismissed the reports about Mini axing its range, stating, "I have no idea where that has come from".

BMW MINI Board Member Peter Schwarzenbauer said the new modular platform for front-wheel drive car could actually lead to the development and production of an even wider range of MINI models.

Schwarzenbauer advised the business model for the Roadster is difficult due to low sales volumes.  However, Schwarzenauer indicated that the next generation Roadster might come from a co-venture with Toyota.

Longing For The Rocketman

autoevolution carries renderings of the Rocketman by Theophilus Chin and calls upon Peugeot and/or Renault to partner with MINI and bring the platform to market.

How Much Would You Pledge To Build A LEGO Covered MINI?

The Keene Family has launched a Kickstarter to raise money to fund covering a MINI in LEGOS. You in?



The Fast Lane's Video Review Of The 2014 MCS



[Source: The Fast Lane Car @ YouTube]

Chicherit's Record Car Jump Attempt Spectacular Failure

Fortunately Guerlain Chicherit is okay.  He suffered only minor injuries.  The MINI Countryman however . . .



[Source: MrPoypoy38 @ YouTube]

Video Portrait Of Head Of MINI Design Anders Warming



[Source: MINI @ YouTube]

MINI John Cooper Works Perfect For Euro Road Trip?

Carbuzz asserts the MINI John Cooper Works is ideal for a Euro road trip and definitely would be more fun than taking the trains.

MINI Debuts Four New F56 Design Lines

MINI announced four new appearance packages for the 2014 MINI Cooper hatchback - Vivid Green, Speedwell Blue, John Cooper Works Pro, and Essential Black.

AutoWeek advises that every line, except Essential Black, will offer a variety of mirror cap designs - Union Jack, Black Jack, Chequered Flag Black/Grey, Chequered Flag Black/White, and in John Cooper Works Pro Carbon. In addition, there will be two new designs called Gold Jack, and Big Bang.


There will also be nine different roof graphics for the metal roof, and six for the optional glass roof including Black Jack, Union Jack, Chequered Flag Grey, and Chequered Flag White. The metal roof will also offer new graphics called Speedwell Blue, Vivid Green, John Cooper Works Pro, and Chequered Flag Black. Each design will have unique foil side graphics. Design accents may be added to the side indicator surrounds, and buyers can choose from four designs in each of the four main design lines.

New MINI accessories a floor mat and a tray made from a anti-slip waterproof material designed to protect the luggage compartment from getting dirty available exclusively with the Essential Black line; door sill cover strips backlit with LEDs, additional main beam headlights, a synthetic fabric car cover, and sun protection elements for the rear window.

Wheel options include new 18-inch forged aluminum wheels in a cross-spoke design; and 17-inch light alloy wheels in a multi-spoke design, finished in Bright Silver metallic or Liquid Black. Hubcaps will be availables in a variety of colorincluding Bright Orange, Chili Red, Apple Green, and Bright Yellow.

Aussie Cars Guide Reviews The New MINI

Matt Watson reviews the new MINI for carsguide.com.au with photos and video.

You Can Ask MINI Anything!

Go ahead.  MINI wants you to.  It has even set up a hashtag where you can tweet your questions . . . and they don't have to be MINI related.  Think of the possibilities!



[Source: MINI @ YouTube]

A Tough Choice: 2015 MCS Vs. Ford Fiesta ST

autoevolution says, in part:
Between the two and judging only by the driving experience, the Fiesta wins but looking over everything else and taking even the character of the two in consideration things might lean the other way.

U.K.'s Auto Express Reviews The 2014 MCS Automatic

Auto Express gives it four out of five stars and provides this verdict:
The MINI Cooper S is punchier, faster, cleaner, more planted and better equipped than before – and all for just £400 more than the old car. But we would recommend the three-cylinder-engined Cooper instead. It’s not as fast, but it’s still a fun, grown-up drive with lots of character – one of the key reasons for buying a MINI in the first place.

Help Natalie Find "Lee"


Natalie Jane-Davey parked her MINI on Shaftesbury Road in Richmond, London, UK where it was scraped by a scaffolding truck.
The truck driver took off without leaving a note or trying to find Natalie. A good samaritan,"Lee", left a note on Natalie's MINI with sufficient registration information about the truck to identify it.

However, according to Mail Online, in order for police to prosecute the truck driver they need a full witness statement from "Lee." Thus, Natalie posted the note on facebook in a campaign to find "Lee" which has now been shared over 45,000 times. Lee is believed to drive a black Audi and Natalie really just wants to thank him. The police want the statement.

BMW Debuts JCW In India At Auto Expo 2014

Motoroids covers the debut of the 2014 MINI John Cooper Works editions at India's Auto Expo 2014.

MINI Kicks Off "New Original" Advertising Campaign

MINI kicks off its "New Original" $4M+ advertising campaign, produced by marketers iris Worldwide and Vizeum, with a billboard in Liverpool Street Station.

U.K.'s Marketing Week discusses the new car campaign, its focus and execution. 

F56 MCS Hits Mallorca, Spain


MINI Cooper S Hatch in Mallorca, Spain by AutoMotoTV

New MINI Puma Collaborative Lifestyle Collection

MotoringFile carries this official MINI press release, but go to the article to see photos of the entire collection:
Mobility plays a vital role in today’s world, whether for business or pleasure. Nothing is more important while being on the move than luggage you can rely on. The MINI Lifestyle Collection bags and cases are a perfect symbiosis of comfort, functionality and modern design. The collection features a wide variety of colours, shapes and sizes, ranging from compact shoppers to spacious trolleys, and is characterised by the same dynamic use of space found in MINI cars.

The sporty and urban MINI by PUMA bag collection is made with durable ripstop fabric. All models have expandable capacities, making them perfectly equipped for the changing demands of day-to-day mobility. The bags feature MINI seatbelt-design shoulder straps and eye-catching orange zips.

The MINI by PUMA Weekender Bag is the perfect size for a long weekend and the main compartment can be expanded using snap fasteners on the side. The bag also has a handy separate zip compartment and a reinforced base with sturdy metal studs.

The MINI by PUMA Work Bag is just what you need to stay organised and prepared throughout the working day; thanks to its many compartments, your documents are ready to hand. Its two front pockets and padded laptop compartment ensure you always know where to find what you’re looking for.

The confidently stylish MINI by PUMA Large Holdall Bag is the ideal companion for both work and play. The wrap-around zip can be used to expand the bag when additional space is required. The bag includes a laptop compartment and can be easily carried over the shoulder or by hand. The MINI by PUMA Shoulder Bag is comfortable, practical and stylish, with shiny metal buckles and a reinforced base. The bag features a special laptop compartment and its capacity can be expanded using a zip.

The collection is rounded off by the sleek MINI by PUMA Wallet with its many compartments helping to keep cards, notes and coins in order.

MINI is launching a brightly coloured luggage series perfect for spring and summer.Whether you’re off to yoga class or taking a weekend trip, the MINI Big Duffle Bag is practical, stylish and makes a statement. The glossy lacquered-effect bags are available in over ten colours, from orange, green and blue to silver and gold, and all prominently feature the striking MINI logo.

The more compact and understated MINI Fashion Bag has the logo more subtly printed in the corner and, like the larger model, comes with a detachable shoulder strap. This model is available in the colours berry, black and white.

Lightweight with a robust shell, the MINI Rooftop Cabin Trolley is built to impress. This attractive hard shell case with racing stripes can be used as cabin luggage and is easy to manoeuvre with its two carry handles and four castors, which feature the MINI wheel design. It also comes with a mesh divider, protective transport cover, TSA lock and name tag. Available in black, grey and white, this wheeled case is also available in chili red and lightning blue.

The collection includes two other takes on the wheeled case, with the larger MINI Rooftop Trolley model and the smaller MINI Rooftop Pilot Trolley.

" . . . The Half-Size BMW"

Matt Davis went to Puerto Rico, drove the new MINI Cooper and Cooper S and wrote about it for Yahoo! Autos. Davis decides, in part:
While the anti-kitsch purge was mostly successful, the new LED multi-color outer ring on the center dash proves it was not a total victory. Clearly, BMW Group feels that youthful people with disposable income need some disco feature on their Mini, but this idea should have been killed in the prototype stage. Not because it is necessarily distracting, but because it is unnecessarily tacky.

The more grownup Gen 3 Mini all in all is off to a good start and deliveries in the United States begin in March. Next come the new Mini Convertible, Clubman, and all-new five-door hatch in 2015, then eventually the 220-hp John Cooper Works edition shown at this past Detroit auto show. After a pause at the crossroads, Mini has found the right road ahead.

German Auto Companies KISS

KISS as in keep it simply stupid.  Mercedes Benz and BMW are paring back the number of platforms for their future vehicles.  How will that affect BMW and MINI?

Well, Australia's Car Advice reports:
Automotive News Europe reports all future BMW and Mini models (with the exception of BMW’s electric ‘i’ range) will be built from just two platforms: one front-wheel drive and one rear-wheel drive.

BMW Group research and development chief Dr Herbert Diess said the strategy, which will cut the number of platforms from five to two, was the only affordable way to continue to grow both brands.

“We could not have such a product portfolio if we had not established architectures for our front-wheel Mini and smaller BMWs and the rear-wheel-drive architecture,” Diess said.

The group’s new front-drive architecture debuted last year under the third-generation Mini and appeared for the first time beneath a BMW model, the all-new 2 Series Active Tourer, earlier this month at the Geneva motor show. The next-generation 1 Series, 2 Series and X1 will also migrate to the front-drive set-up.

The sixth-generation BMW 7 Series will introduce the all-new rear-wheel-drive architecture when it launches in 2016. The luxury limousine will be followed by new rear-drive 3, 4, 5 and 6 Series models and new X3, X4, X5 and X6 SUVs.

AWD Plug-In Hybrid Clubman Expected In 2015

Inside EVs reports MINI will release a rumored all wheel drive plug-in hybrid MINI Clubman in 2015 with the same drivetrain as the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. It expects a top speed of 125 mph and a base price around $30K with optional goodies pushing it to $40K.

Guerlain, Go Long! As Long As You Can

Don't try this at home!

Guerlain Chicherit, on March 16th using the Monster Energy / Toyo Tires MINI Countryman rally car, will attempt to break the Guinness World Record of 332 feet for a car ramp jump set by Tanner Foust in 2011.

[Source: worldcarfans.com]
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Oxford MINI Plant Advertising For Skilled Workers

U.K.'s Swindon Advertiser reports MINI's Oxford Plant at Cowley for the first time is advertising in nearby Swindon for skilled workers even as it prepares to open the Swindon factory with new workers this fall.

MINI To Defend FIA World Cup X-Country Titles

MotoringFile advises MINI and the Monster Energy X-raid Team will defend their consecutive FIA World Cup Cross-Country Rally Championship titles. The article explains, in part:
This year’s World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies consists of ten events in total, including rallies in Egypt, Hungary, Poland, Morocco and Portugal. The fact that there are now three additional rally events on the calendar makes the championship even more challenging. However, MINI and the X-raid team are confident of mastering this challenge and defending their title.

This coming weekend (13-16 March 2014), the Baja Italy will be this season’s second world cup event. MINI and the X-raid team will take to the start in the northeast of Italy with two MINI ALL4 Racing cars, which will be driven by Vladimir Vasilyev and Martin Kaczmarski. A total distance of 608.78 kilometres will be covered in Italy, 378.51 km of which will be stage kilometres.

Race calendar for the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies:

14.02 – 16.02 Baja Russia
13.03 – 16.03 Baja Italy
03.04 – 04.04 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
20.04 – 25.04 Cross-Country Rally Qatar
18.05 – 25.05 Pharaons Rally Egypt
18.07 – 20.07 Baja Aragon
14.08 – 17.08 Hungarian Baja
28.08 – 30.08 Baja Poland
03.10 – 09.10 Rally Morocco
30.10 – 02.11 Baja Portugal

New MINI Exceeds 4,000 Advance Orders

U,K.'s Oxford Mail reports 4,000 advance orders for the new MINI Cooper S with MINI presently producing 900 a day!

NORCAL MINIS CALENDAR & OTHER EVENTS