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Hi Everyone, It's that time of year again. Our annual meeting will be held on September 17, 2017 at Miner's Leap Winery. Meetin...
The Auto Channel advises Tom Noble has been appointed as Department Head of MINI USA Brand Communications. Noble joins the MINI USA team from his current role of General Manager of Sales, BMW Group Australia.
MINI Space the MINI X-Raid Team drivers are:
Handpicked and assembled from every corner of the globe, this year's team hails from nations far and wide: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Russia and Spain just to name a few.
AutoExpress met with MINI boss Jochen Goller to discuss all things MINI past, present and future. In an enlightening interview one of Goller's surprising comments was:
“In terms of models, at the moment we have a portfolio of around seven. I feel that a range of something between five and seven cars is probably the right amount.”
However, Goller hinted that future MINIs will have less chance of overlapping in terms of size. “What we will do is more strongly differentiate the characters of the products,” he said. “Because when you look today, they are actually close both size and purpose-wise – and in terms of target groups, they are also similar. We’re fishing in a rather small pond with our customers.
MINI Space offers all you need to know about MINI ALL4 Racing's 2014 Dakar Rally effort, including this gem:
Boasting a 320 hp TwinPower Turbo 2933cc straight-six diesel engine, this growling beast under the bonnet allows the nearly 2-tonne MINI to reach speeds of up to 178 kph. Dropping in a powerful diesel engine, the X-raid Team, the X-raid Team piloting this brute made sure it had enough torque (ca. 800 Nm / 2100 rpm) to conquer the most dangerous of dunes so it could coast across them as if out for a casual Sunday drive.
MotoringFile it appears that MINI will cease production of the MINI Roadster and Coupe in 2015. BMW responded:
“We will focus on just a few model variants over the medium and long term. Please understand that we cannot comment on what models there will be in specific. The MINI Roadster and MINI Coupé were the last two additions of the MINI family, both of these cars are – like the MINI Clubman - based on the previous MINI architecture. We have discontinued the MINI Clubman in summer this year. With the new MINI Clubman Concept we gave an outlook on the MINI Clubman’s future. The previous MINI architecture and the new MINI architecture will coexist for some more time, until we have renewed the entire MINI family. We can at this point in time not confirm that the MINI Roadster or MINI Coupé will be discontinued.”
BMW Group PressClub USA:
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – November 19, 2014…The new MINI Hardtop 4 Door will make its North American premiere at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, with an intent to redefine what is expected from the premium small car segment. Originally showcased at the Paris Motor Show in September, the new four door model of the iconic MINI Hardtop will be shown for the first time in the United States at MINI’s press conference at South Hall #503, November 19, 2014, 4:40 pm PT.
As if the presence of the MINI Hardtop 4 Door wasn’t enough to draw a crowd in the city of angels, the stunning MINI Superleggera Vision roadster concept will also be on display for the first time in the U.S., along with a classic Mini. The three-car feature display will serve as a visual of the past, present and future vision for one of the world’s most recognizable cars.
More MINI; More Possibilities.
Even with its four doors, seating for five and added cargo space, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door maintains the dynamic character and go-kart handling of the 2 door model while adding functionality and interior space. The MINI Hardtop 4 door has more legroom in the rear, more shoulder space in the front and back and additional cargo space compared to the 2 door model making it more practical for a family or owners just looking for more MINI.
“The new MINI Hardtop 4 Door gives us an opportunity to offer a functional car with all the classic MINI proportions and legendary go-kart handling of the MINI Hardtop 2 Door,” said Patrick McKenna, Head of MINI Product Planning and Events, MINI USA. “It will appeal to people who want the added flexibility and convenience of four doors and five seats while enjoying the smaller footprint of a premium small car.”
The MINI Hardtop 4 Door is the first four door MINI to be built on the shared front wheel drive global architecture with BMW Group and will be powered by the same three- and four-cylinder MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology engines found in the MINI Hardtop 2 Door model. The new MINI Hardtop 4 door goes on sale in January 2015 in the U.S. and is priced at $1,000 USD above the equivalent MINI Hardtop 2 door.
MINI Superleggera Vision.
Forward looking design has always been a part of the inspiration behind MINI. The iconic classic Mini created by Alec issigonis in 1959 was inspired by a design challenge and the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door is no different. Today, the past and future come together with the MINI Superleggera™ Vision. The stunning roadster concept combines the tradition of classic coachwork construction of Touring Superleggera™ with MINI’s authentic British styling to create timeless aesthetic appeal. First shown at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2014 in Milan, the MINI Superleggera™ Vision will serve as a visual centerpiece of the potential future of the brand. It is also the first time the sporty roadster concept will be shown in the U.S.
“The MINI Superleggera Vision creates a unique emotional beauty in combining the past and future of the automotive industry – traditional coachwork craftsmanship and modern design styling,” said Anders Warming, Head of MINI Design. “It’s energetic, minimalistic design perpetuates what the classic Mini started 55 years ago - reduction to the essentials.”
More with your MINI.
Also at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, MINI management will be presented with two Residual Value Awards for the MINI Hardtop and the MINI Countryman models by ALG, the analytics division of TrueCar, Inc. and the industry benchmark for projecting future vehicle values and depreciation data. The annual ALG Residual Value Awards honor the vehicles and brands that are predicted to retain the highest percentage of their original price after a conventional three-year period.
MINI will also use the event to showcase the brand’s newest integration with Spotify, one of the world’s most popular streaming music services. Spotify will now be available in all MINI vehicles that feature the MINI Connected infotainment platform.
For more information including pictures, videos and technical information on the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door and the MINI Superleggera Vision, please visit MINIUSANEWS.com.
Eric Peters Autos recounts bugs that popped up in their 2015 MINI Cooper S press vehicle software and states, in part:
The whole damned car is run by code. From the drive-by-wire throttle to the cantankerous computer-controlled gear changer. It’s a frickin’ PC on wheels – running the latest buggy version of Windows.
Auto World News has further details.
The Daily Toggle offers this official MINI press release:
From 27 November 2014, MINI – the BMW Group’s cult urban brand – will be the focus of attention in a temporary exhibition entitled “The MINI Story”. Up to 31 January 2016, visitors to the BMW Museum will for the first time be able to admire over 30 original vehicles, smaller exhibits and accessories from 55 years of MINI history. Numerous photos, films and sketches, along with a wealth of background information, tell the story of the tradition-rich brand across 20 themed areas. On 28 November 2014 the BMW Museum hosts a grand opening party for the new exhibition.
“A MINI has an inspiring, engaging way about it. It defies barriers and is ridiculously good-looking at the same time,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG with various responsibilities, including MINI, at the opening of the exhibition. “The bond between a MINI and its driver is above all an emotional one. This wide-reaching exhibition at the BMW Museum and the brochure to accompany it provide an engrossing showcase for the rich heritage of MINI – from the conception of the original Mini in 1959 to the present day. I look forward to welcoming crowds of visitors and MINI fans who share our passion.”
“Following the recent guest appearance by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, this special MINI exhibition allows us to give our visitors a closer look at another of the BMW Group’s heritage-rich brands,” adds Gabriele Fink, Head of the BMW Museum. “We’re bringing together the most varied aspects of MINI within a youthful, dynamic and innovative setting.”
Wide variety of distinctive models and innovative design
A small car with a big history: the special exhibition shines the spotlight on the development of the MINI brand. An informative and action-packed tour leads visitors from the early days of the space-saving classic models such as the Morris Mini Minor and Mini Traveller to the unmistaeably contemporary design of the first new MINI, built in 2001. Alongside the model series on display, concept vehicles and creative one-offs – from a camper van to a stretch limousine complete with whirlpool – demonstrate the astonishing variety of models produced by MINI as well as the customer-centred focus of a brand cherished around the world for its innovative design.
From accessories to zeitgeist
The brand’s illustrious heritage and adherence to a “British” attitude to life are present in the pop culture of the 1960s (as epitomised by The Beatles) and beyond. 1990s TV series Mr. Bean ensured the Mini’s large community of fans were now spread around the globe – if they weren’t already. The BMW Museum gives this cultural and historical context a platform through 20 themed areas. Visitors with an interest in a particular era and its zeitgeist will find rare accessories, films and photos, adverts and design sketches to sate their appetites. The interactive joy of today’s world and a study of innovative connectivity-related ideas set the seal on “The MINI Story”, a journey back in time through half a century of MINI history.
Opening event for all MINI fans
On 28 November 2014 the BMW Museum will invite all fans of the brand to the grand opening event for the exhibition. Visitors can cast an initial glance around the exhibition from 20.00 hrs and party into the early hours with like-minded people over cocktails and more. Rock band The Rifles can be trusted to conjure up the requisite atmosphere. Entry is €5.00 and includes a welcome cocktail.
For further information go to: www.bmw-museum.com
MotoringFile announces MINI's second year secret Santa effort:
A few key points:
You may sign up to participate from now up until December 10, 2014.
On Match Day (December 10th) you will receive an email with the name and address of a randomly chosen participating MINI Owner.
Send your appropriate gift ($10 value recommended) by December 19th.
When you have received your gift, share a pic on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the tag #MINIGiftSwap
MotorAuthority says in part:
. . . eight of it [MINI's}custom-built ALL4 Racings will take part. MINI, together with its partner in the Dakar Rally, German motorsport and engineering firm X-raid, will be aiming to defend its title, which last year was won by Spanish pilot Joan ‘Nani’ Roma.
CarAdvice posts that the MINI Cooper JCW will go on sale in Australia in the middle of 2015 for less than the Audi S1. The production version of the vehicle is expected to debut at the Detroit Motor Show.
AMVIV 11 will be May 28 - 31, 2015 at the Silverton Casino Lodge in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Registration for the event is tentatively set to open in February 2015.
Hotel rooms at the host hotel are available for booking at reduced group rates:
May 28 - $40/night
May 29 - $59/night
May 30 - $59/night
May 31 - $40/night
To book your room, contact Room Reservations at (866) 946-4373 and ask for the code “MIN0528” in order to receive the special rate prior to May 15, 2015.
The study, now in its 28th year, measures satisfaction with the sales experience among new-vehicle buyers and rejecters (those who shop a dealership and purchase elsewhere). The study measures buyer satisfaction based on four factors (in order of importance): working out the deal (17%); salesperson (13%); delivery process (11%); and facility (10%). Rejecter satisfaction is based on five factors (in order of importance): salesperson (21%); fairness of price (8%); experience negotiating (8%); variety of inventory (7%); and facility (7%). Overall sales satisfaction improves by 13 points (on a 1,000-point scale) year-over-year, to 686 from 673 in 2013.
The Los Angeles Times looks at the 2014 MINI Cooper and decides:
By adding in a smart dollop of extra space and power, while taking out many of the unnecessary quirks, Mini has made its Cooper and Cooper S better cars for a larger audience.
carcomplaints.com reports a MINI Cooper gas mileage class-action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida - Jarvis, et al. v. BMW of North America LLC. The suit claims the plaintiffs paid a higher price for the car than they would have paid if accurate fuel economy values had been advertised. Further, the plaintiffs say they are incurring higher fuel costs than they otherwise would have and their MINI Cooper will now have a lower resale value.
Autonet reviews the 2014 MINI Cooper S and decides:
As I mentioned at the get-go, the Mini Cooper S isn't for everyone. It's tough for any adult to get in and out of the backseat. And then there's the price. As a premium-brand car, the price starts at $25,490 and this test car with a few additions gets you quickly north of the $30K mark – a range where there are so many other options.
However, if you're looking for something small and fun to drive – it would be hard to not look deeply at the Cooper S. Just make sure when you test it, you test out the way it handles. That cornering goodness might make you reach for that pen and paper.
Cars.com's KickingTires Blog ran its own real world test. It concluded:
We don't have a dynamometer or computer simulations to replicate EPA procedure, but in our driving, the Cooper S provided no indication it was no longer rated at 38 mpg highway.
autoevolution's first impression, in part:
Sure, MINI will claim that the JCW Paceman ALL4’s rival is the Evoque Coupe Dynamic that is being sold in the US with a 2-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine under its bonnet making 240 HP and 270 lb-ft (366 Nm) of torque. In doing so, they’ll point out that the Range Rover is basically $22,000 more. At the same time, it’s also slower to 100 km/h (62 mph) by 0.3 seconds.
However, that’s a car you can actually take off-road thanks to its higher ground clearance. It’s also a lot more comfortable and the only actual criteria that can allow you to compare the two is interior space. Other than that they’re almost from different worlds.
Therefore, we’re still left with only the Cooper S as the sole rival for this car and that’s what we’d recommend. It’s more comfortable, has better fuel consumption figures and can look just as good as the JCW. Unless you want to actually enter a rally with your personal car, the cheaper Paceman will fulfill all your needs and save you a lot of money.
Pocket-lint reviews the new MINI Cooper five door hardtop and concludes:
Given that, if you're not as annoyed by the cartoon styling or bored of the same-as-before design theme, it's easy to see the appeal of Mini 5-door. It's not small any more. But increasingly the extension of the Mini brands is about making it accessible to people who need more than the standard 3-door car offers. And in many ways, the 5-door is now the best, and most sensible buy in Mini's extensive, seven-car range.
BMWBlog tells the story of and discusses that:
Thomas Fürst and Fritz Kreis from Gigamot Racing, both MINI fans, tested the new KW coilover kit for the F56 MINI Cooper while doing a two month round-the-world-trip covering a distance of 22,000 kilometers.
Independent.ie. Flaviin concludes:
Adding two doors has made the car a lot bigger but it’s the right move for Mini as more Irish buyers are seeking something with a little style and plenty of options.
MotoringFile reviews the MINI Motoring Challenge:
To the video!
The Motoring Challenge was a 2-night grassroots effort held respectively in Los Angeles and New York earlier this October. The goal for MINI USA was to have prospective buyers and fans of the brand pit the F56 against competitors. That is, the Fiat 500, the Toyota Prius c, the VW Golf, and the Mercedes-Benz CLA 250.
To the video!
AutoTrader examines the 2015 MINI Countryman and provides this advice:
If you're going to buy a Countryman instead of the smaller Clubman, we say go all out and get the S ALL4 model. As the only MINI model with all-wheel drive, the S ALL4 could be a stretch worth making.
Consumer Reports had a problem with the 2014 MINI Cooper that they tested:
[T]he manual shift knob came off mid-gear-change! Not only that, the shifter boot and the ring toggle at the manual shifter’s base came off with it.Here's what MINI did for Consumer Reports and all buyers similarly affected:
But Mini has responded with a fix and then some. We recently received a notice from Mini, alerting customers that it is aware of the issue. It explained the exact problem that we encountered, including the assurance that the transmission will still operate using the remaining metal stock.
This notice tells owners that they may or may not have already heard from their dealers, but if they don’t want to wait, owners can reach out to the service department of their Mini dealership and “refer them to the Service Information Bulleting regarding the Manual Gear Shift Knob.”
To fix the issue, Mini is reattaching the shifter and boot, but with an instant-bonding adhesive. This should hopefully keep the shifter from flying free again.
We commend Mini on addressing this issue with a quick fix. And Mini even went a step further, offering $100 to owners for Mini’s online store.
Official Release: MINI USA is proud to congratulate long time MINI owner Craig Wilcox on finishing as the Year-End Points Winner in the Tire Rack® SCCA® ProSolo® Series. Wilcox, a Blue Springs, Mo., resident, drove his 2012 MINI Cooper S Hardtop to victory lane at Lincoln Airpark in Lincoln, Nebraska, on August 31. It was the third time Wilcox finished as the Year-End Points Winner in the ProSolo Series.
An amateur gearhead and racing enthusiast, Wilcox has spent the better part of the last ten years racing a number of MINI Cooper Hardtops that he personally modified in his own garage, many of which also serving double duty as his every day vehicle. During this time he also participated in the MINI Motoring Rewards Program, which offers incentives to MINI owners involved in amateur and professional racing.
“We’re so excited to see another member of the MINI Motorsports family taking the checkered flag and celebrating in victory lane,” said Chris Potgieter, Product Manager, MINI USA. “Craig’s enthusiasm for racing and his talent behind the wheel compliment the rich racing heritage for MINI that started back in 1964 with our first victory at the world famous Monte Carlo Rally.”
When it came time to push the pedal down for the final race of the season, a worn belt forced Wilcox back into the garage. It wasn’t long, however, before the MINI community responded with parts and elbow grease to help get him back on the track and into victory lane.
Born in Fontana, Calif., and raised in Blue Springs, Mo., Wilcox works at an environmental consulting company in Grain Valley, MO. When he’s not at the track racing his MINI, Wilcox enjoys scuba diving, hiking, traveling and spending time with his wife Precious.
MINI Motoring Rewards Program Don’t worry if you don’t have a name as cool as legendary Classic Mini drivers Paddy, Rauno, or Timo. You can still take home cash racing a MINI in amateur or professional competitions through the MINI Motoring Awards Program. It’s just a little extra incentive for MINI owners to get out there and give racing a go. Not that the sheer fun and adrenaline rush of pressing a MINI through a closed course isn’t already enough. But getting your gas money covered never hurts. For more information about the MINI Motoring Rewards Program visit MINIUSA.COM and click on MINI Motorsports.
Mass Live, near Deerfield, Mass:
The driver of Mini Cooper that struck a moose Sunday night on I-91 escaped injury despite the car rolling three times after the collision, police said.
The moose was not as fortunate. It was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
MotoringFile discusses the continued slide in MINI sales in October 2014 and provides this analysis:
Looking at the report it’s easy to see that the EPA sale stoppage of 2015 models that ended October 1 three of four models hurt shipments to dealers. That said the F56 is well represented in the report with almost 3,000 united moved the month – a major comeback after the EPA issues. The real losers for the month were the Roaster, Coupe and Paceman which continue to slide month after month.
2013 Members who have not renewed their Membership no longer:
- receive email invitations to NORCAL MINIS events;
- have access to the NORCAL MINIS' Google Group;
- are entitled to NORCAL MINIS' vendor discounts from the NORCAL MINIS' network of vendors; or,
- be entitled to nominate and/or vote.
Membership is just $25.00 per family per year. You can use the PayPal "Buy Now" button below or in the right column of the website to pay for your 2015 Membership!
That's right, 2015 Membership!!! All Memberships paid for in October, November or December include the next year, so now is the time to renew and continue to enjoy all the perks of Membership!!!
WhatCar? discusses one potential disappointment that may dissuade some from getting a MINI 5-door:
I'm still on the subject of the five-door Mini this week because of some people's reactions to it, and its apparent lack of towing capabilities.
According to one disappointed would-be owner writing in to another car publication recently, Mini UK has said neither the F56 nor F55 five-door Mini variants are 'homologated for the fitting of a tow bar', so he wouldn't be buying one.
Sure, you can't have a tow bar mounted cycle rack but the Mini is still a small car, even in five-door guise. If you are looking for a car that can tow heavy loads, I'd wager the Mini won't be at the top of your list.
I understand it may be being touted as family-friendly with its five doors, but in reality that means being able to fit a buggy in the boot and have a bit of welcome extra room for rearseat passengers, not necessarily towing trailers.
However, I am more than wiling to be proved wrong about this: if you have been put off buying a new five-door Mini because it can't tow, please let me know.