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Madonna Inn - San Luis Obispo Run Details

Don't miss our run to Madonna Inn, a landmark resort hotel on California's Central Coast, the weekend of July 22nd & 23rd. ...

A MINI Tour Of The Blue Ridge Mountains

Designers Meaghan Dee Duncan's and Nick Duncan's MINI travels with their Bulldog Dexter through the Blue Ridge Mountains are documented in a photo article at MINI Space.

Naked Five Door F55

Carscoops provides photographs of an undisguised 2015 five door F55 MINI sitting on a trailer that were found on a Dutch internet forum.

A Peek Inside The New MINI Paint Shop



[Source: AutoCarVideoVV @ YouTube]

Where Does The New Clubman Concept Slot In The MINI Lineup?

That is what Top Gear wants to know after reviewing the official MINI press release on the Clubman Concept to be revealed at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show:
So what else do we know about the new Clubman concept? Well, it's considerably larger than the current car - 26cm longer and a full 17cm wider, no less - and wears utterly vast wheels: Mini doesn't say exactly what size those blingy rims are, but they look no smaller than 20-inchers.

We know there are three seats in the back - no Countryman-style centre rail here - and that the central display screen packs a yet-posher version of the new hatch's touchscreen system.

But don't be fooled: despite the concept flourishes, this car is nailed-on for production. However, we also know that a five-door Mini - not the new Countryman but a smaller hatch based on the same platform as the three-door Mini - will arrive before the end of the year.

So where does that leave the (essentially five-door) Clubman when it arrives? Would you take the production version of this over a five-door Mini hatch? In fact, do you want a more-door Mini at all?

Because My Other Car Is A MINI

How much was it for that damn U-Haul again?

Artist Cassandra Lillard Designs Countryman Art Car

Denver artist Cassandra Lillard designed this MINI Countryman for Denver, Colorado's Schomp MINI which provides photos and profiles the vehicle and artist.

DIY: Coilover Installation 2002-06 MINI (Video)

Thank you Kurt Hammond @ YouTube for the mechanic's eye view!

Was The 2013 MINI JCW GP II Worth The $40K?

YouTube's Motor Trend Channel's Ignition Show tries to answer that very question.

Is This Why The Spanish Dakar Rally Team Was So Fast?

Check out this headline in U.K.'s the guardian:
Dakar Rally team founder is held after 1.4 tonnes of cocaine is seized in France
According to the article, David Oliveras, the owner and co-founder of the Epsilon Spanish Dakar Rally team, is in custody in Madrid after French authorities discovered about 1.4 tons of cocaine hidden in a truck belonging to the team on its return from South America.

What Do They Think Of The F56 In Malta?

The Times Of Malta discusses the new F56 and says, in part:
The new Mini is one thing above all: a car with even more Mini about it. .  .  .

New Clubman Concept To Debut At Geneva Auto Show

In this BMW Group PressClub USA press release MINI announces it will unveil a new MINI Clubman concept at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show. Here's the substantive text of the press release that sets forth what to expect from the concept, but check out the article for the photo gallery:
 . . . At the 2014 Geneva Auto Show MINI presents the MINI Clubman Concept, showcasing a new brand philosophy for a higher class of automobile. 26 centimeters longer and just under 17 centimeters wider than the current MINI Clubman, the Concept comes over as sophisticated, cool and elegant. The iconic design is supplemented by high-quality details, plenty of space for functional features and selected materials. Refinement of the hallmark MINI styling ensures instant recognition, both on the exterior and the interior. The extensive color and material concept redefines contemporary elegance and high-end quality in this segment.

Four doors and five seats offer plenty of utility space, thereby supporting an active lifestyle.
Classic MINI design features such as the hexagonal radiator grille, Side Scuttles, the Black Band, short overhangs and elliptical front and rear headlights ensure high recognition value from every angle.
Length: 4223 mm, width: 1844 mm (not incl. mirror), height: 1450 mm.
Integrated aerodynamics as an essential part of the exterior design.
The interior design interprets typical MINI shapes and colors, presenting an effortless and elegant combination of high-end quality and functionality.

An elaborate color and material concept in the interior with exclusive materials and unexpected details.
 
The Center Instrument with newly conceived user interface creates an event-controlled interaction space with touch operation.

A new class for the future of MINI
"The MINI Clubman Concept shows how the MINI Clubman could be taken a step further: more interior space, a greater sense of high-end quality and yet still clever, bold and distinctive. In short: more car, more MINI," says Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design, explaining the approach to this model. For over 50 years now, MINI has stood for maximum use of minimum space. 26 centimeters longer and just under 17 centimeters wider than the current MINI Clubman, the MINI Clubman Concept applies this aspiration to a new class of automobile.

As Head of MINI Design Anders Warming explains: "With the MINI Clubman Concept we are presenting a car with space, flair and style in a segment where the focus is mainly on function and utility. With clever ideas, emotional design and a cool blend of colors and materials, it offers an overall experience which remains unique in this segment to date."

Supreme, dynamic, elegant – the exterior design.
Even with larger exterior dimensions, the MINI Clubman Concept is instantly recognizable as a typical MINI. With the characteristic agility of the MINI proportions, the prolonged roof line clearly reflects the car's extensive utility space. It also gives the silhouette a distinctive elegance, underscored by generous surfaces. The powerful, warm Berry Red color shows surfaces and shapes to optimum effect. The roof in the color "Blade" - a metallic grey - creates an elegant contrast with the warm red of the corpus.

Classic MINI design icons such as the hexagonal radiator grille, Side Scuttles, Black Band and the typical lights are designed in precise, high-end style. The modern, reduced interpretation of these features gives the MINI Clubman Concept a more sophisticated, charismatic look. The themes of aerodynamics and air ducting are clearly highlighted in the exterior design. All openings and outlets are integrated in the geometry and elegantly shaped. Clearly defined wheel arches and the roof spoiler accentuate the car's dynamic appearance, underscoring the overall impression of sporty flair.

Typical MINI in every detail - the front section
Seen from the front, the circular headlamps, hexagonal radiator grille and roof with add-on look clearly identify the MINI Clubman Concept as belonging to the MINI family. The radiator grille is strikingly elaborated and incorporates the bumper in the front section. The bumper is finished in Black Chrome, adding a touch of exclusive style to this functional element. Elaborate details such as the three-dimensional structure of the chrome ribs inside the front grille further enhance the front section. The high quality standards of the MINI Clubman Concept even extend to the surface modelling. Fine edges add precision and presence to the generous surfaces.

In the lower area of the front-end design there is a continuous air inlet which highlights the breadth of the MINI Clubman Concept, thereby emphasizing its solid standing on the road. Meanwhile a finely wrought chrome rib appears to hover inside the air inlet, giving this sporty detail a touch of exclusive appeal. In the outer section of the front apron there are so-called AirCurtains - an aerodynamic feature that gives the wheel arches an aerodynamically optimized closure. These dynamically surround the lower part of the front section like two brackets.

Plenty of space for characteristic dynamism - the side
Reduced to the essentials, the side view instantly conveys the qualities of the MINI Clubman Concept: a long wheelbase, flatly positioned windows and short overhangs reflect characteristic MINI agility. At the same time, the long roof line and the typical two-box design clearly emphasize the car's high level of functionality and its generous utility space. Meanwhile the four doors reflect the extended exterior dimensions and increased functionality. Generous surface expanses elongate the side, while at the same time subtle surface modelling and precise lines make the silhouette appear flat and dynamic. Three chrome elements give the side section a sense of exclusivity with modern understatement. At the front, the Side Scuttle incorporates the filigree mirror base and turn indicator in an elongated element whose shape is echoed by the two electrical door openers. Integrated flush with the surface, these draw a line back to the rear which is taken up by the rear door handles. Above this, the surrounding shoulder line in chrome offsets the corpus of the car from the greenhouse and roof in hallmark MINI style. This so-called Waistline Finisher embraces the entire passenger cell, reinforcing the exterior graphics so typical of the brand. The 19" light alloy rims in bicolor Black Chrome and Chrome finish are the highlight of the side view. A clear cup formation gives the elaborate multi-spoke design a highly dynamic touch. In between, glossy accents are added by non-cupped polished surfaces.

Aerodynamic details for optimum air ducting.
The MINI Clubman Concept is the first MINI to be fitted with a so-called AirBreather at the side. The AirBreather echoes the design theme of the AirCurtains in the front apron, cutting dynamically into the surrounding Black Band. The elaborate double roof spoiler at the rear is shown to best advantage from the top view. The third brake light is integrated in between the two wings of the roof spoilers in Formula 1 style. There are also two longitudinal sections of plexiglass which run across the entire length of the roof like rally stripes. In conjunction with the roof spoiler, this means that the distinctive dynamic air typical of MINI is applied to the MINI Clubman Concept from a bird's-eye perspective, too.

Typical MINI Clubman: split doors for increased loading convenience - the rear.
The MINI Clubman Concept is broad and athletic in the rear view. The familiar MINI cascading - a staggering of multiple layers - gives the automobile a very solid standing and a muscular wheel orientation when seen from the rear. The most striking rear elements are the characteristic split doors. The typical continuous door frame is no longer made of sheet metal. The door graphic itself provides the frame surrounding the entire rear section like a discreet bracket. This newly elaborated design gives the whole rear a reduced, modern appearance. The horizontally positioned rear lights have a highly detailed finish. Their shape underscores the car's broad standing and the dynamic orientation of the rear section. Selected chrome accents such as the "Clubman" inscription, the MINI emblem on the left-hand door and the door handles are specific details which emphasize the high-quality aspiration of the MINI Clubman Concept.

As in the front section, the aerodynamically optimized bumper finishes off the rear to the road. A functional detail in the rear apron is the Smart Opening function: a sensor underneath the bumper allows the tailgate to be opened using your foot if you do not have a free hand.

Exclusivity and function interpreted in contemporary style - the interior design.
Along with the exterior, the interior of the MINI Clubman Concept has also grown to larger dimensions. With four doors and five fully-fledged seats, the MINI Clubman Concept offers plenty of space for the pursuit of an active lifestyle.

The new dimensions are brought to life by means of generous surfaces and more sophisticated spatial effect. The underlying design theme in the interior is the characteristic ellipse. Precise and contoured in its shaping, it comes over as more sophisticated while clearly displaying its origins. Around the ellipses, the interaction between several levels and surfaces adds lightness and a three-dimensional feel to the interior.

The unusual materials are especially worthy of mention: nubuck leather in a light Sky Blue, patent leather in rich Berry Red and black soft nappa leather ensure an exclusive interior atmosphere which is highly expressive. In between, elements in patinized silver add high-end accentuations. The patina gives them the character of familiar, fondly used items. Decorative strips in blue limed ash grain convey cool, modern elegance. The two highly expressive fabrics Tweed Grey and Black Twill set an attractive counterpoint to the classic value attributes of wood, leather, silver, thereby creating the familiar MINI interior experience. Small details such as the buttons with Union Jack embossment on the seats and central console, contrast stitching, piping or red accentuation surfaces in the sun blinds which only appear when these are folded down all add a touch of surprise to the mature character of the MINI Clubman Concept.

High-end sophistication and presence - the instrument panel
The interior element of the MINI Clubman Concept with the most powerful presence is the leather-covered instrument panel. With a surround in blue limed ash grain and a white porcelain finish, the black upper section of the instrument panel has a hovering appearance. Indirect rear lighting of the gap reinforces this impression and gives the area in front of the driver and front passenger an extremely high-end ambience. The linear air vents have patinized, silver-plated surrounds. Between the air vents there is an area in Black Chrome which can be back-lit if required that provides additional information for the driver and front passenger. The suggested "Faded Diamonds" rhombus pattern gives the Black Chrome surface a particularly high-quality structure. The lower section of the instrument panel is finished in Berry Red patent leather, providing an extrovert yet sophisticated contrast to the more discreet design of the upper half.

Multi-layered and light - the door design.
The newly interpreted ellipse in the side runs dynamically across the two doors to create a visual link between front and rear. The armrests in blue Nubuck leather appear to hover in the doors, while behind them there are practical storage compartments. The decorative surfaces in the doors have indirect backlighting to underscore the inviting, contemporary ambience. The side mirrors and roof liner recede discreetly into the background due to use of high-quality fabric Tweed Grey in salt-and-pepper look, while the quality weave of the fabric Black Twill with classic black-and-white contrast on the floor and mats makes for an elegant finish.

The concept of spatial function in the rear is rounded off with clever storage facilities in the split doors as well as a double load floor. The pouches in the doors are elaborately fitted with Nubuck leather in Silk White. They are placed within convenient reach and help make optimum use of space in the luggage compartment. The double load floor provides additional storage capacity.

Intelligent controls.
The display area in the center console (160mm x 150mm) adapts according to the content selected or the situation on the road. Three "intelligent" toggles are assigned the relevant content according to selected content or driving functions. Above and beyond this, the three toggles can also be freely programmed and assigned particular functions according preference. The haptic quality of the toggles means that the various functions can be operated during travel without looking. Here the MINI Clubman Concept has taken classic operating elements that have been a part of MINI for 55 years and consistently advanced them. . . . .

Bay Area Freeway Retaining (And Sound) Wall Art

Denis Cuff of the Contra Costa Times provides a photo gallery and discussion of the freeway retaining wall art found throughout the Bay Area, such as this snippet:
. . . Architectural medallions adorning the portals to the Caldecott Tunnel fourth bore cost about $70,000 of the $417 million project cost, according to Caltrans. The oak leaves on I-680 in Danville cost $60,000 out of a budget of $32 million for new auxiliary lanes. . . . .

The Last R56

Read the wonderful article of Ali Mir at JCW Adventures about his Oxford Plant tour and his report on the last R56 to come down the production line.

auto123.com Previews The 2014 MINI Cooper/Cooper S

auto123.com previews the 2014 MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S.  It provides these "pros" and "cons":
Pros: Since its reintroduction to the automotive world in 2002, the MINI Cooper has been loved for its quirky styling and go-kart-like handling abilities. Unique looks and a great personality behind the wheel ensure the MINI’s continued to be a popular model over the years.

Cons: Since BMW took over the brand and launched the new MINI in 2002, the price of the little hatch has reflected the German influence. Considered a premium brand, the higher-priced MINIs offer up little in terms of cargo space and passenger room. However, models like the Countryman and Clubman serve to address those issues along the way.

Paddy Hopkirk And TWINI To Grace Burlingame

Stormin' Norman sent us this press release from the TWINI Racing Team:
TWINI TO BE FEATURED AT PADDY HOPKIRK’S GOLDEN JUBILEE IN BURLINGAME, CA

February 22, 2014
Oakland, CA
For Immediate Release

Fifty years ago this month the intrepid duo of Paddy Hopkirk and Henry Liddon piloted their bright red one liter Morris Mini Cooper S Works rally car to victory in the grueling Monte Carlo Rally, showing their tailpipe to many famous drivers in much more prestigious race cars. What the little car lacked in horsepower during the hill climbs was more than compensated for by the precise handling of the wide bulldog stance and front wheel drive on the downhill sections. Their monumental victory launched the Mini Cooper onto the world stage of Motorsports where it has been competing ever since.

This year, Hopkirk, a bright and amiable 80 year old from Belfast, has a full dance card as he is being fĂȘted near and far for his remarkable accomplishment in the winter of 1964. He has already been cheered through the streets of Belfast and honored in Monaco. Now it is our turn in Northern California. On April 12th, Paddy Hopkirk will be the guest of honor at an invitation only gala event at The Candy Store clubhouse in Burlingame where a group of prominent Bay Area automotive enthusiasts house their car collection and host special events. Previously honored there are such racing greats as Derek Bell, Sir Stirling Moss, Parnelli Jones and Bobby Unser.

The Hopkirk event program features racing Minis from yesterday and today. Present will be a replica of his famous number 37 Mini from 1964 as well as Mike Kearney’s Fortech Mini, five time SCCA National Champion in GT5 during the Eighties and Aughties, along with driver Doug Peterson.

Also featured at the Hopkirk Golden Jubilee is TWINI, the twin engine MINI Cooper race car specifically designed and built by Jacques Andres to win the 2014 25 Hours of Thunderhill endurance race hosted by the National Auto Sport Association and held each December at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, CA. Dave Vodden, Chief Executive Officer of Thunderhill Raceway, will also be on hand to entertain members and their guests with stories of his premier event at the Raceway.

To continue the giant killing tradition established by Hopkirk and others in the Sixties, Andres has set his sights on the dominant and well funded Porsche and Audi teams at the 25. During practice at Thunderhill before last year’s enduro, TWINI was seen running down and passing Porsche Cup cars despite fuel pump problems and worn tires. This year will be devoted to final preparation of the race car, pre-event testing and gathering all the parts, equipment and crew necessary to field a competitive team at the 25 next December.

Historic Chain Reaction

The New MINI. The New Original. The New Commercial.



[Source: MINI @ YouTube]

CAR's Most Wanted Of 2014 Is New MINI

United Kingdom's magazine CAR headlines its look at the new MINI and calls its "most wanted of 2014."  It concludes:
The best thing about the Mini since it was reborn under BMW has always been its superbly chuckable chassis. If the tech applied to the latest iteration makes this Mini the best yet, you might just forgive the 2014 Cooper its controversial face…

Up Close With The Upcoming Five Door Hatch

autoevolution takes a detailed pictorial look at the soon to be released five door MINI hatchback in various stages of camo undress.

Topsy Turvy

Sploid features this optical illusion, completed by the inverted MINI in the "driveway." Even the interior is flipped!

MINI Thunder Going Down Under

MINI Motorers.  Did you miss out on MINI Thunder at Thunderhill Raceway?  Do you live too far south to get to Williams, CA in February? Well, it looks like you will get another chance on Saturday, August 23, 2014.  This time MINI Thunder Is Going  Down Under and will hold a Southern California version of MINI Thunder at Buttonwillow Raceway.  Click here for details and to register.

Take Your MINI On A Long Road Trip

In the 2015 Volvo B12 Vario!



[Source: AutoMobile @ YouTube]

Peterborough Telegraph Road Tests MINI Roadster

The United Kingdom's Peterborough Telegraph road tests the MINI Roadster and concludes:
The theme continues when you hit the first bend. All convertible cars are compromised to a degree by the absence of a metal roof holding them together, but in truth the only time you even notice is if you slap into a particularly bad bump at speed.

The rest of the time the Mini Roadster displays all the vim and enthusiasm of its 
siblings, turning in keenly, gripping strongly and encouraging you to exploit its abilities.

With a combined fuel economy figure of 47.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 139g/km, it certainly doesn’t cost sports car money to run. Although, like all Minis, resisting the temptation to make it uniquely yours will be hard to resist. Good luck keeping your sensible head on.

Hang 10 With Mickey And MINI

The 10th Mickey & MINI will occur at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida.  What is Mickey & MINI?  Here is the description for 2014:
Mickey & MINI is an annual event held near Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida in the Fall. MINI and non-motoring events take place at Disney and the surrounding attractions. Past events have included car shows, rallies, scavenger hunts, scenic drives, winery tours, dinner theatre, go-kart riding, miniature golf, and more. The event takes place during the annual Epcot Food & Wine Festival and the weekend includes Drinking Around the World for those who enjoy sampling the food and drink from various countries.

During Mickey & MINI, Sunshine MINIs holds its annual dinner. There are games! There will also be a silent auction for our adopted charities. Florida MINI dealers sponsored dinners, events, and prizes. MINI vendors from the Southeast will be on-hand to give advice and install parts to make it look better and go faster.

The Mickey & MINI 10 theme is HANG 10.

Dude, put on your coolest beach attire and come hang out with hundreds of your choicest MINI friends!

MINI Countryman To Become More Maxi

Great Britain's WhatCar? reports:
Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW Group board member with responsibility for both Mini and Rolls-Royce, told What Car?, 'The new Mini's platform means that the size can go from 3.8 metres long to 4.5 metres long, so in theory we could offer a car of more than four metres. But our cars will always be perceived as the smallest car in the segment.

Registration Open For Blue Ridge Parkway Tour

If you happen to be in North Carolina June 12-15, 2014 consider joining the Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club on their seventh annual Blue Ridge Parkway Tour.

Registration is now open at Motorsportreg.com.

Details are posted by Nathan at motoringalliance.com.

What's It Like To Drive A JCW For 24 Hours From Lisbon To London?

According to c|net, it's like this -

video

A Remote Controlled WRC MINI

REDRC.NET looks at the Losi 5ive WRC MINI gas-powered remote control mode and provides these specifications:
Features:
- Powerful 29cc gasoline engine
- Official WRC Mini Countryman licensing
- R.O.S.S. starter system for push-button engine starting
- Durable aluminium components used through
- 4WD capabilities featuring a durable drive train and 3 viscous differentials
- DX2E Radio System with DSMR technology for extended range performance
- Dual, large-scale digital servos for maximum performance and response
- AVC (Active Vehicle Control) technology for superior handling and driving performance
- 4-wheel independent suspension
- High power 7.4V 5300mAh 2S 15C LiPo Stick Pack and 15W AC charger included

"MINI Cooper S 2.0"

Mike Duff, for United Kingdom's evo, reviews the 2014 MINI Cooper and Cooper S. Duff observes:
The quality of interior trim has been improved markedly over the outgoing ‘R56’ Mini, and the new car’s cabin ergonomics are far better – the speedometer now sits behind the steering wheel in all versions, and the electric window switches are on the doors rather than the centre console. It’s not perfect, though – the point-and-click controller for the interactive systems is positioned so it’s almost impossible for the driver to use with the handbrake on.

Five Door F55 Spied Again

BMWBlog obtained photos of a partially disguised five door F55 MINI at the Munich, Germany airport and discusses what to expect from the three cylinder vehicle.

Eight Graduate Trainee Positions Available At Cowley Plant

The Oxford Mail reports the MINI Cowley Plant is seeking eight graduate applicants with engineering and/or finance to business and IT backgrounds for their two year graduate trainee program.  Applications close February 28, 2014.

MINI Space Mixtape For Your Next MINI Road Trip

MINI Space provides a Mixtape set of tunes for your next adventure beyond the city limit to keep your motor running.

You Don't Want To Drive There

The Atlantic discusses a study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute that mapped global road fatalities by country.

According to the article, the study discovered, in part:
Here is the map of driving fatality rates per capita, with the most deadly countries (led by Namibia) in red and the safest countries (led by the Maldives) in green. The world average is 18 fatalities from a car accident per 100,000 individuals. The U.S. is just under that figure—at 14, compared to Australia (7) and the U.K. (5).

"MINI's Four-Wheeled Puppy Dog Is Growing Up"

That is how the New York Daily News headlines Steve Siler's review of the third generation MINI Cooper. The review concludes:
Generally, we approve of the Cooper’s changes, even if its childlike innocence is officially gone. Like an adorable puppy we wish would stay little forever, the furry fellow inevitably has to grow up. So has the Mini Cooper. It’s not out of its cute phase altogether, but it’s about as grown up as we ever want it to be.

The Philippine Star Test Drives The Paceman

Manny N. de los Reyes writes for the philstar.com about his test drve of the MINI Cooper Paceman. He concludes:
All things considered, the Paceman is a wonderful, albeit pricey, addition to the Mini family. It has its own look yet is unmistakably Mini. It makes it hard to go for the base Mini Cooper when something this much sleeker and sportier—at least visually—is available. I want one.

Nevada City Adventure 2014 Pre-registration Now Open

Optional pre-registration is now open for MiniMania's 14th Annual Nevada City Adventure that will host MiniMania's 40th Anniversary Party.

Here is the announcement:

Where: 870 Gold Flat Road, Nevada City, California
When: Saturday, May 31 - 8:00am to 4:00p

Please Pre-register Here

Featuring:

Live Music
FREE Lunch For Mini Owner
Scenic Driving Tour
DYNO Testing
Product Discount
Sprint Booster Demos on your own MINI
Celebrity guest speakers
Expert Panel
Specialty Vehicles
Expression Graphics T-shirts
Much more . . .

Come to the only Mini event that takes place in the Gold Country.

We will take a tour down to an old gold mining camp, originally known as Indiana Camp, (settled by miners from Indiana in 1849), it is now known as the town of Washington. There we will stop at the Yuba River where you can pan for gold

The six acre Mini Mania compound is set right on the old tailings of the historic Sneath Clay gold mine just across the street (a few of the original buildings still stand!) surrounded by majestic pines, blue skies and (hopefully) spring-like weather throughout the day.

Registration is optional but Pre-registration is requested!

Early Look At 2016 MINI Hybrid Clubman

MotoringFile reports rumors, based on reliable sources, that the 2016 MINI Clubman will be all wheel drive and sport the first hybrid drivetrain in the MINI stable. It states, in part:
At the heart of the new Hybrid Clubman will be the 1.5L three cylinder lifted from the F56 Cooper and powering the front wheels. Integrated into that will be a plug-in hybrid system (likely derived from the BMW i8) powering the rear wheels only. The beauty of that arrangement is the torque (which is abundant in electric motors) won’t overwhelm the front tires and instead will provide additional power in the most effective way – to the rear. Not only will power and torque be better distributed, but it will also allow for better weight distribution across the entire car.

The synchronous electric motor will likely have an electric-only range of around 15-20 miles. Obviously this would be ideal for urban environments.

MINIs Trek Tibet



[Source: MINI @ YouTube]

A New MINI One

MINI has revealed a new MINI One, the least expensive MINI unavailable in the U.S.. According to autoevolution the new MINI One gets a smaller (new 1.2 liter versus present 1.6 liter) engine that produces 102 hp.

KickingTires Not Sold On The MINI JCW Concept

Cars.com's KickingTires blog editors looked at the concept cars that debuted at the 2014 North American International Austomobile Show and three out of four thought the design to be a "Loser":
JW: Winner

Mini had me with the unpainted sheet metal look. It's covered with clearcoat, but it harks back to prewar Mercedes racecars that were stripped of their paint in a claimed attempt (later exposed as apocrypha) to save weight — the weight-lightening movement gone extreme. Beyond that, my hope is the new suspensions will make the JCW ride more comfortably.

AB: Loser

This is not a concept car. This is a "noncept" car, a car that's called a concept but is quite obviously a precursor to the actual production vehicle. At least Acura called its a "prototype," which I can live with. I dig the unpainted metal look, and the scoops, strakes, stripes and flares are all acceptable on a John Cooper Works model, but as concepts go, this just doesn't fit my definition.

JB: Loser

I've seen this paint job before. It's what happens to a car after a year in the Cars.com long-term fleet. The JCW's imitation brushed aluminum paint looks like it was driven through a patch of bushes at 100 mph.

MH: Loser

I appreciated the unique exterior finish but not the car's numerous cartoonish design cues. I mean, five intake vents below the grille? Really? Previous JCW models have had a hard-edged driving experience. If the new one does, too, the styling needs to be a little more menacing and less chipper.

Help MINI Choose The Next Limited Edition

Help MINI decide on teh next limited edition MINI. autoblog says:
For the new, third-generation F56 Mini, the British brand is at it again. Only this time, the cars are designed and chosen by Mini's fans in a new contest. Called "The New Originals,"  Mini teamed its 10 Final Test Test Drive winners with an illustrator to design their perfect Mini, one of which will become the next special-edition model.

The ten cars are currently being voted on by the brand's fans on the Mini USA website, with the winner set to be announced at the 2014 New York Auto Show in April. A total of 56 examples of the winning entry will then be put on sale, making this one of the most limited of Mini's many limited editions. Voting closes on February 19, so hop over to the page and vote for your favorite.

"Measuring Fun Per Cubic Inch Or Fun Per Dollar"

Harvey Briggs went to Puerto Rico for Purist and drove the new MINI.  He decides in the review:
Speaking of price, the MINI Cooper starts at $19,900, while the S stickers just a few dollars south of $24,000. When you start adding optional features and packages that price can easily climb to well over $30,000, but whether you’re measuring fun per cubic inch or fun per dollar, now more than ever few cars offer more on either dimension than the MINI Cooper and Cooper S.

DIY: Supercharger Pulley MCS 2002-2006 Install (Video)



[Source: Kurt Hammond @ YouTube]

Artist Andreas Preis Design Snow Beasts Paceman

MINI Space looks at the MINI Snow Beasts Paceman designed for MINI and Burton Snowboards by urban artist Andres Preis.

"Cute But Mighty"

That comment is part of the headline of a news article in The Detroit News about the debut of the MINI John Cooper Works Concept at NAIAS 2014.

Netherlands MINI Production To Start This Summer

SRNNews.com reports MINI will commence hatchback production in the Netherlands during the summer of 2014 to expand capacity beyond the Oxford, UK plant. The article claims, in part:
BMW Group is further diversifying production of the MINI as part of a growth strategy to reach a sales target of over 2 million vehicles by 2016.

New Generation JCW Prototype Spied?

Following the MINI John Cooper Works Concept shown at the 2014 NAIAS autoblog has posted what appear to be spy photos of a MINI John Cooper Works prototype cold weather testing.

Chromeo, Oh, Chromeo. Where For Are Thou Chromeo?

With a Chrome MINI Countyman in the music video "Come Alive" by the band Chromeo according to MINI Space, which writes about it and features the video:

2014 MINI Cooper Hardtop Refreshing Or Revolting?

Motor Trend wants to know what you think about the redesigned, bigger 2014 MINI Cooper Hardtop.  Leave your comments on their page.

DIY: Replace MCS 2002-2006 Clutch (Video)



[Source: Kurt Hammond @ YouTube]

2015 MINI JCW And BMW 225i Active Tourer To Share Engine

AutoGuide.com reports the 2015 MINI John Cooper Works with share a four cylinder turbocharged engine with the BMW 225i Active Tourer and produce 231 hp.  That is 20% more power than a MINI Cooper S!
"Expect the 2015 MINI JCW to accelerate to 60 mph from a standstill in less than six seconds and its top speed will likely be around 150 mph."

" . . . Latest MINI The One To Beat."

That is how Eddie Cunningham headlines his review of the new MINI for Dublin's Independent.ie. He remarks, in part:
The new 6spd gearbox was, I felt, a bit notchy at times – but I want to test it in Ireland before saying anything definitive.

Again though, I was really impressed with the amount of pull the engine managed in higher gears at lower speeds.

To go with that, the Cooper was rock-solid stable under heavy braking and cornering – and absorbed a month's supply of potholes with ease in the process.

Just the sort of driving to make you want to drive more.

Which, as I said at the start, is what a MINI is supposed to do.

MINI Investigating New Global Creative Agencies

campaign reports, in part:
Mini is asking agencies general questions about client conflicts, their core competencies and whether they would be interested in pitching for international work for Mini in the future.

MINI Clubman S Gets 8 Out Of 10 In Critical Review

Jalopnik's Oppositelock reviews the MINI Cooper S Clubman in a very critical review with comparisons to perceived competitors, Ford, VW, Hyundai and Mazda, and gives it an 8 out of a possible 10 overall.  Here is its "Verdict":
If you find appeal in weird, small, British, German, and fun things, give this one a go. Stay light on the options to get the best value for the money, although you'll need to convince yourself it's a tiny BMW rather than an expensive hatchback.

Spare MINI Gear Cables Unavailable Until March 20, 2014

According to an article in the United Kingdom's Oxford Mailspare gear cables are unavailable (at least in the U.K.) until March 20, 2014 due to a supply problem.  If you need a gear cable the article recommends that you visit your MINI dealer since they should provide a courtesy car until the part becomes available.

Kiwi "Win with Driven" Contest: MINI Prizepack

The New Zealand Herald is holding the "Win With Driven: MINI Prizepack" facebook Contest.  For entry and rules click here.  The Prizepack includes:
. . . tee-shirts, pens, stationary, books, stickers, a hat and your car, well a small model version of a gen two Mini.

Find Out How MINI And John Cooper Became One (S, SD, GP)

This video from XCARFilms tells you what you should to know -

LeftLane Takes Its First Drive In The 2014 MINI Cooper

Nat Shirley drove the 2014 MINI Cooper and Cooper S at MINI's Puerto Rican Press Drive Event for LeftLane.  His conclusion:
Don't be fooled by the familiar face - the third-generation Hardtop is appreciably better than its predecessor in nearly every way. 
With its much-improved base engine, less quirky ergonomics and an even more enjoyable driving experience, there's a lot to like about MINI's latest model, and that bodes quite well for the brand's upcoming offerings.

NORCAL MINIS CALENDAR & OTHER EVENTS