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Gualala - Ft Bragg - Glass Beach Run Details

August's run is a joint run with our friends in Silicon Valley Club, co-hosted by James Schenck (SVM) & Simon Tidesley (NorCal MINI...

Top Five MINIs To Look Forward To In 2015

MotoringFile tops its list with the 2016 MINI Clubman.

MINI Commits to 2017 Dakar X-Raid Team

According to The Daily Toggle MINI committed to support the 2017 X-raid Team at the 2017 Dakar Rally in this official press release:
Munich (DE). MINI will continue to play an important role in the Dakar Rally. Just 26 days ahead of the start of the 2015 Dakar Rally (4-17 January), Jochen Goller, Senior Vice President MINI, has announced the two-year extension of the brand’s Dakar Rally programme until the year 2017.

During the MINI @ Dakar 2015 Media Round Table, held in the MINI Motorsport section of the BMW Museum as the heart of the BMW Group, Goller said: “The Dakar Rally is the ultimate challenge for all drivers and teams, making it one of the most enthralling events in the world of motorsport. MINI has taken on this unique challenge with great success in recent years. The Dakar gives the MINI brand a unique opportunity to connect with its fans worldwide, with Dakar enthusiasts and people who look beyond statistics and results to enjoy sports in such fascinating, exotic places. These strategic reasons and our constant desire to improve were behind the key decision to extend our Dakar engagement far beyond the 2015 Dakar Rally into 2016 and 2017, together with our strategic partner in motorsport, X-raid.”

“With its three consecutive Dakar Rally victories from 2012 to 2014,” Goller continued, “MINI has played a major role in the history of this iconic rally. For the past three Dakar editions, the MINI ALL4 Racing with its core qualities of performance, reliability and agility has proved that it is the car to beat. Our goal for 2015 is to achieve a great team result, just like we did in 2014.” The partnership between X-raid and MINI started in 2010. In the following year, the Germany-based team entered the prestigious Dakar Rally with the MINI ALL4 Racing, based on the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman. In 2012, the MINI ALL4 Racing claimed its first Dakar victory, and repeated this feat in 2013 and 2014 when Joan “Nani” Roma (ES) successfully completed the title hat-trick, including an outstanding team result: three MINI ALL4 Racing finished the Dakar on the podium and seven finished in the top ten.

In 2015, a total of ten MINI ALL4 Racing, with driver crews from twelve countries will take on the ultimate motorsport adventure of the Dakar Rally led by defending champion Joan “Nani” Roma. “The Dakar Rally is a tough challenge and there are many new, strong competitors on the entry list. But MINI and X-raid are very experienced and we have a very fast and reliable car in the MINI ALL4 Racing. There’s no doubt that we are capable of winning, no matter who our opponents are,” said Roma.

U.K's Auto Express Looks At The MINI Challenge

Auto Express gives its verdict on the "Competition version of Cooper S, called the MINI Challenge":

Verdict

4
Designed as an affordable way for racers to learn their craft, the MINI Challenge gives you a lot for your money. With racing brakes and a sequential box, plus the guarantee of close racing, it’s a good school for aspiring BTCC drivers.

Audi A3 Cabriolet MINI Cooper Convertible Comparison

India's cardekho provides a comparison of the Audi A3 Cabriolet and the MINI Cooper Convertible.

2002-2010 MINI Navigation Systems Lose Update Capability

According to MotoringFile:
The CD and DVD based navigation systems found in MINIs from 2002 to 2010 can no longer updated after 2015. This is due to the mapping company that provides the data no longer supporting physical media

Which Is A Better Car? The Old Or New MINI?

AutoExpress examines the old and new MINIs and decides:
Driving Minis separated by more than 50 years is an interesting exercise. Clearly, comparing cars from such different ages is tough, but the genius of the modern MINI is that it manages to encapsulate some of the charm, driving fun and classless appeal of the original in a modern, well built and safe hatchback.

The History Of The MINI Cooper JCW

AutoExpress provides an extensive history of the John Cooper Works edition of the MINI/Mini. The article even includes the GP.

1,928 2014-2015 MINI Cooper and Cooper S Hardtops Recalled For Transmission Problems.

CarComplaints.com reports, in part:
BMW now says if the 2014-2015 MINI Cooper or MINI Cooper S Hardtop 2-door has been in a service department, the dealers might have mistakenly reprogrammed the transmission control units. The automaker says the transmission control unit might have software problems that can cause a driver to believe the car is in "park" when it's not. The car could roll down the street because the transmission really wasn't in park.

MINI Cooper says the recall will start February 1, 2015. The automaker says the problem can be fixed by reprogramming the transmission control module with the correct software.

MINI 4 Door At The 2014 LA Auto Show

Green Car Reports discusses the U.S. debut of the four door MINI at the 2014 Los Angeles International Auto Show.

F56 JCW Exclusive Rebel Green Revealed


Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, it looks like we won’t have to wait for an official announcement from MINI to see what Rebel Green looks like. Three pictures posted on Total MINI reveal the long awaited color, and as we originally thought, it is very close to the legendary Connaught Green exclusive to the JCW WC 50 announced in 2009. Although it appears to be equally similar to BRG II, we would almost call this color Metallic Connaught Green. (Doesn't look very rebellious to me...)

Merry Xmas To All And To All A Goodnight


RMS Titanic Versus MINI 5-Door

autoevolution evaluates the comparison with clarity and inside, such as this on "Power":
The Titanic was equipped with 24 double-ended and five single-ended boilers feeding two reciprocating steam engines for the wing propellers and a low-pressure turbine for the centre propeller. The full output is rated at 46,000 hp. By comparison, the MINI Cooper has only 3 cylinders and a turbo, delivering 136 hp. Despite this, it's much faster. Top speed in the car is 208 km/h or 129 mph, compared to just 44 km/h or 28 mph of the ocean liner.

Epic MINI Adventures

MINI Space discusses 7 epic MINI Adventures, from Tibet to the Arctic Circle.

Fireball Tim's MEGA-MINIS Book Now Available

According to AutomotiveAddicts.com, Fireball Tim has published the first book in a series depicting vehicles he designed for film, TV and personal projects. The first book, MEGA-MINIS, covers MINI Cooper concepts.

Trackday At Portimão Racetrack In A MINI Cooper S JCW GP



[Source: Socce Alex @ YouTube]

Which Is More Fun - A Ford Fiesta ST Or A MINI Cooper S?


Yahoo! Auto Canada compares the two and favors the Ford:
Put a completely different—and blunt—way, the MINI Cooper S feels like a car that will be more likely to impress your passengers, while the Fiesta ST will impress you specifically.

If you value more creature comforts, or want more customization, you might want to hold out for the MINI Cooper 4 door. Otherwise, the bottom line is that if your budget is limited, without a doubt go for the Fiesta ST. It shows what a hot hatch should be today.

Guy Who Built That MINI Must Have Been High

U.K.'s The Oxford Times reports:
AN 18-YEAR-OLD who was caught selling cannabis in a car park at the Cowley Mini Plant has been given a community order after appearing at Oxford Crown Court.

Make MINI Christmas Ornaments

Template courtesy of The Daily Toggle.

U.K.'s Sunday Mail Daily Record Road Tests The Countryman

The U.K.'s Sunday Record and Daily Mail drives the Countryman and concludes:
The Countryman is a great version of the MINI that means you can have as much fun in the countryside with this car as you always did in the city.

MINI Driving Assistant Receives Euro NCAP Advanced Award

MotoringFile provides the official press release of the Euro NCAP Advanced Award given to MINI for the MINI Driving Assistant. Here is the press release:
Official Release: The new MINI in the premium small car segment is the leader not just when it comes to driving fun but also in the field of active safety. This status has now been confirmed by the independent safety testing institute Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme), in particular due to the new driver assistance systems. MINI has received the Euro NCAP Advanced award 2014 for its pedestrian warning system with city braking function. The system forms part of the Driving Assistant option for the new MINI 3 door and the new MINI 5 door and is rated by safety experts as a groundbreaking innovation in reducing the risk of accidents in urban traffic.

The Euro NCAP Advanced award has been in existence since 2010: sponsored by European governments, automobile clubs and insurance companies, it recognises outstanding developments that have resulted in major advancements in the area of active safety and occupant protection. The award focuses especially on novel systems whose impact is groundbreaking in that they go beyond the requirements of the Euro NCAP crash test recognised throughout Europe.

MINI presented the pedestrian warning with city braking function at the market launch of the new generation of the original in the premium small car segment, incorporating it in the program of special equipment features. In the Driving Assistant option available for all model variants of the MINI 3 door and the MINI 5 door, it is combined with active cruise control, high beam assistant, road sign detection and collision warning with city braking function. This functional diversity makes the Driving Assistant a particularly attractive option as it significantly enhances both comfort and safety when driving the new MINI.

The pedestrian warning with city braking function which has received the Euro NCAP award is active within a speed range of 10 to 60 km/h. Using a camera installed on the windscreen in the area of the rear view mirror, the system analyses images and warns the driver in situations where there is a risk of collision with a pedestrian. The driver is initially given a visual indication in the form of a graphic symbol in the instrument panel, while at the second warning level an acoustic signal is added to prompt a reaction. At the same time, an automatic brake manoeuvre is initiated with medium deceleration force. This element on its own considerably reduces the risk of collision. The driver also feels the initial braking effect – an unmistakable indication to take action which greatly contributes to accident avoidance.

The effectiveness of the pedestrian warning with city braking function was subjected to extensive testing and confirmed by the independent Euro NCAP test laboratory. This was the basis for the system being selected for the Euro NCAP Advanced award 2014.

INAUTONEWS Test Drives The MCS 5 Door

INAUTONEWS test drives the five door MINI Cooper S and decides:
Pro: Great chassis, great engine, massive fun overall. The added back doors make it very usable for a small family. The host of systems give you perks that were reserved to the BMW big brother. Good overall fuel economy if we take into account that you’re driving a 200 HP, automated, gasoline bomb. 
Against: Price and price of optional equipment. Functionality sacrificed on the altar of retro-like design. The back doors are very small, making it rather hard to enter the car if you’re a six feet (1,85 meters) guy.

2014 JCW Parts Revealed

Motor Trend reports, in part:
Mini is still rolling out some JCW parts for the F56 Mini in Germany. Performance-enhancing upgrades include a distinct JCW engine tune that increases output (Mini hasn’t released horsepower numbers) along with controllable flaps for the exhaust to make for a sportier sound. Black, 18-inch John Cooper Works wheels are also available, as are other trim pieces like JCW mirror caps, a rear spoiler, JCW floor mats, and more.

MINI Three Cylinder Engine Shared With BMW 2 Series Coupe

BimmerFile reports MINI's new three cylinder will be used in the BMW 2 Series Coupe:
. . . .At 136hp it motivates the 218i from 0-60 in 8.8 seconds. That actually slower than the MINI it came from but equipped with a manual probably just as fun. . . . .

Launching A MINI Into Space

As part of the launch of the 5-door MINI in South Africa, according to 3D Car Shows, MINI South Africa has literally launched a MINI 5-door into space. Viewing is available via a video recording which can be viewed at minitospace.co.za. MINI South Africa is also running a competition where entrants have to guess where the MINI landed.

850 2015 MINI Cooper 2-Door Hardtops Recalled For Faulty Seatbacks

CarComplaints.com reports 850 2015 MINI Cooper 2 door hardtops are being recalled for faulty seatbacks:
The defect is blamed on a manufacturing process performed by the supplier that can cause the teeth of the seatback mechanism to disengage. The MINI Cooper front passenger and driver seatbacks can fold in a rear-end crash, folding an occupant right along with the seats.

The recalled 2015 MINI Cooper hardtops were manufactured August 12, 2014, to September 2, 2014.

MINI will notify owners beginning in December 2014. MINI Cooper dealers will re-align and re-tighten the seatback adjustment mechanisms.

MINI Space Animates Dakar Rally Gifs

MINI Space offers a series of animated gifs that capture the essence of the X-Raid Team's Dakar Rally assault.

MINI Still Undecided About Producing Superleggera

The MINI Superleggera Vision Concept is the caused of consternation at MINI according to MotoringFile:
No MINI concept has ever motivated so many thumbs to upward than the Superleggera. However MINI is struggling with approving the car according to Autocar. Given its new strategy of less niche models and more emphasis on core models like the F56 and upcoming Clubman it would seem the Superleggera doesn’t make a lot of sense. However it could serve the company well s a halo car helping to get people excited about the brand and into showrooms. Interestingly BMW has admitted for the first time that the Superleggera rides on a rear wheel drive platform. While we knew the concept was powered by an electric engine, that fact that this has once again been reiterated could be a sign that MINI is serious making the Roadster electric if produced. . . .

100 August/Sept. 2014 Chinese MINIs Recalled Over Faulty Seats

news.xinhuanet.com reports:
BMW's China Automotive Trading Ltd. will recall Mini Cooper models over faulty seats, said China's consumer quality supervisor on Saturday.

The recall will involve 100 vehicles sold on the Chinese mainland and produced between August and September 2014, said the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in a statement.

Due to faulty welding, the front seats may not be locked in place firmly, thus, posing safety dangers, said the statement.

Chippy Piloted By Lizzy And Valentina Visited Their 45th Country – Azerbaijan.

The AzerNews reports the story and here's part of it:
The crew of the Mini Cooper called Chippy are pilot Lizzy and co-pilot Valentina. These cheerful ladies have already visited 44 countries arriving in their jubilee 45th country – Azerbaijan.

It all began as a hobby seven years ago as the girls look back. “We wanted to go on vacations and we wanted to go to the beach, but we could not decide. Valentina wanted to go to one side of Italy, and I wanted to go to the other side. Then we though: “OK, let’s visit both”. And then we realized that we like the journey more than sun tanning at the beach. The following year, we visited 27 countries in 10 days,” Lizzy said.

recombu Reviews The New MINI Five Door Hatch

recombu reviews the new five door MINI hatchback and concludes:
Anyone who liked the Mini but needed a bit more space, then, will find the 5-Door Hatch a winner. It's just as fun to drive as the 3-door, uses the same eco-friendly engines, has a truly brilliant interior and should hold its value better than the competition. Cheaper and more practical alternatives are available, but there's nothing quite like the Mini to make A to B fun.

MINI In Home

A Cambridge, Canada MINI came to rest in a Cambridge, Canada home, and it's not the first time.

Check out the video and article at Kitchener CTV News.

MINI Superleggera Patent Drawings Surface


MINI has patented the stunning Superleggera concept released earlier this year. These photos (via Jokeforblog) show off the concept in all of it’s [sic] black and white glory and two [three] dimensional glory.

MINI Gift Tags... you know you need these!

MINI created these gift tags for the big MINI owner gift exchange, but you could use them at home just as well!

Improving MINI USA Dealer Profits, Service And Marketing

MotoringFile says MINI USA’s VP David Duncan wants to revamp:
Customer Experience
Dealer Profitability
Regional Marketing
Used and Certified Sales
According to the article:
. . . dealers have received discretionary budgets on top of what is allocated to fix cars and to make sure MINI customers remains happy customers
The changes will start in January 2015.

MINI Cooper Engine Makes 2015 Ward's Best Engines List

The Daily Toggle says Ward's has chosen the new 1.5 liter turbocharged engine in the third-generation MINI Cooper as one if its 10 Best Engines for 2015.

2014 MINI JCW's To Debut At Essen Motor Show

RushLane reports MINI is bringing specially modded 2014 MINI 3 and 5 door JCWs to the upcoming Essen Motor Show. As for the interiors:
Interiors of specially modded 2014 Mini Cooper will have John Cooper Works Pro illuminated LED entry door sills, attractive and matching sun blind and floor mats, and special key cap and ring. Adding to the striking cosmetics, is a new Vivid Green design line, that exaggerates the level of personalisation even further. The theme also includes MINI Junior Seat, offered in three versions based on child’s height.

MINI Releases the First MINI JCW Video Featuring Tony Hawk


While the covers have just been thrown off the new 2015 MINI JCW and MINI’s marketing blitz has already begun. In the JCW’s first video we find Tony Hawk and French rally driver Guerlain Chicherit (yes the car who attempted to break the long jump record in a MINI) racing around the streets of LA.

Not Ready For Primetime But MINI Patents Modded Superleggera

WorldCarFans advises a MINI Superleggera Vision is one step closer to production:
BMW Board Member Peter Schwarzenbauer recently revealed MINI was close to deciding whether or not to green-light the Superleggera Vision concept, so it's interestingly to note the company has a filed paperwork to patent a slightly modified version of the car. . . 

Alleged Mail Stealing Criminals In Stolen MINI Crash In Utah Police Chase

For you bemusement:



[Source: ksl.com]

Facelifted MINI Countryman Arrives In Malaysia

paultan.org heralds the arrival of the facelifted MINI Cooper S Countryman in Malaysia with a photo gallery and a thorough description of its attributes.

Thinking Outside The Box

[Source: AOTW]

Car And Driver Reviews The 2014 MCS Automatic

Car and Driver decides:
. . . karts define elemental and this Mini Cooper S laughs at elemental. It shows no restraint in piling on the gimmickry. The Mini idea suggests more than round headlights and a contrasting roof—it means simple and fun. Or did. Smarter automation and layers of do-it-for-me complexity appeal to 7-series shoppers. If a really short hatchback 7er sounds fun, your Ultimate Motoring Machine has arrived.

Australia's Wheels Reviews The MINI 5-Door

wheels concludes:
Corners are still a blast in the five-door cars. The steering feels direct and the suspension is still on the firmer side, even in the base Cooper, but the ride is far from harsh.

There is ample room in the back seat for two, while the boot will fit a stroller.

The five-door is great fun, relatively good value and practical enough to make it a good car for a young family. Now Mini just has to make that rear camera standard.

Just in case you might be tempted...


Watch This Chinese MINI Clone Spectacularly Fail a Crash Test

Why the 2015 Dakar Rally Is So Tough

2014 Dakar Rally winner Nassar Al-Attiyah discusses why the 2015 Dakar Rally is so difficult at Redbull Motorsports.

autoevolution Has Second Thoughts About The 2015 MINI JCW Paceman ALL4

autoevolution tested the 2015 MINI JCW Paceman ALL4 and has second thoughts:
All in all, we really can’t make up our minds whether you should take it or leave. We guess this car is just one of those ‘love it or hate it’ models.

The Morning Bulletin Road Tests The 2014 MINI 5-Door

Australia's The Morning Bulletin road tested the 2014 MINI 5-Door and decides:
The lowdown

Gaining the extra doors has impacted little on the performance.

Maintaining the essence of Mini, which is the low riding performance and go-kart feel, the five-door variant does improve accessibly and practicality.

The rear seat space remains tight, and those seeking a family chariot would be better served by the Countryman SUV - but don't expect the same dynamics from the higher riding wagon.

What matters most

What we liked: It still looks like a Mini with convenience thrown in, still fun to drive, diesel engine.

What we'd like to see: Less expensive options, slightly more rear legroom.

NORCAL MINIS CALENDAR & OTHER EVENTS