WHAT'S COMING UP?
August's run is a joint run with our friends in Silicon Valley Club, co-hosted by James Schenck (SVM) & Simon Tidesley (NorCal MINI...
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.
cardekho provides a comparison of the Audi A3 Cabriolet and the MINI Cooper Convertible.
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
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.
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.
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...)
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.
[Source: Socce Alex @ YouTube]
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.
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.
"Every MINI that has entered the market since 2001 is an homage to Alec Issigonis." - Andreas Braun, curator of "The MINI Story".
I especially like the "Rapid Draining System"... [link]
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 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.
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.
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. . . . .
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.
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.
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. . . .
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.
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 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.
MotoringFile says MINI USA’s VP David Duncan wants to revamp:
Customer ExperienceAccording to the article:
Used and Certified Sales
. . . dealers have received discretionary budgets on top of what is allocated to fix cars and to make sure MINI customers remains happy customersThe changes will start in January 2015.
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.
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.
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.
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. . .
For you bemusement:
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.
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.
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 tested the 2014 MINI 5-Door and decides:
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.