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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...
autoevolution, tells us what to expect from MINI at the 2014 Paris Motor Show:
The MINI model family once again presents distinctive personalities in its latest generation. The most recent example of an attractive addition to the model range of the British premium brand will be on show at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. The international motor show in the French capital is the setting for the world premiere of the new MINI 5 door. The second body variant of the new MINI offers two additional doors as well as expanded space for occupants and luggage, thereby providing new ways of experiencing the brand's hallmark driving fun and individual style in a premium model of the small car segment. This means that for the first time in the brand's 55-year history, MINI is now represented in this vehicle category with a 5-door model.
The launch of the new MINI 5 door consistently continues the successful strategy of extending the brand's popularity to additional target groups by expanding the model range. This debut takes the MINI family to a total of eight members. The selection of special equipment features, accessory products and MINI Connected Services that enable hallmark MINI driving fun to be tailored individually to personal preferences is also larger than ever before. The latest highlights in these areas will also be on show in Paris. And MINI offers visitors the opportunity to see a spectacular concept study at the Paris Motor Show from October 4th to 19th 2014, too. The MINI SuperleggeraTM Vision embodies a pioneering interpretation of the tradition-steeped roadster concept - blending British style, Italian flair, purist design, consistent lightweight construction and purely electric power.
World premiere in Paris: the new MINI 5 door.
An individual character with versatile qualities and yet still a genuine MINI: such is the MINI 5 door, presented for its world premiere at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. Two additional doors facilitate entry to the rear, where three seats are available. The MINI 5 door has a wheelbase that has been extended by 72 millimetres, providing increased space not just for occupants. The luggage compartment is now also around 30 per cent larger than that of the 3-door model, with a volume of 278 litres. What is more, the rear backrest with a 60:40 folding split enables expansion of the luggage compartment volume to as much as 941 litres.
At the market launch of the new MINI 5 door (combined fuel consumption: 5.9 - 3.5 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: there are six engines of the new generation to choose from with three or four cylinders as well as MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology. These cover an output range from 70 kW/95 hp to 141 kW/192 hp, and in conjunction with cutting-edge suspension technology harmonised precisely to suit each specific model they ensure unmistakable driving fun. Other features characteristic of the new MINI generation also include the optimised display and operating concept as well as the large selection of innovative driver assistance systems.
MINI SuperleggeraTM Vision: British style meets Italian flair.
A collaborative venture between MINI and the Italian design and body manufacturing specialist Touring Superleggera has produced the study of a compact roadster whose design and concept focuses entirely on the essentials: driving fun and aesthetic appeal. Elaborately crafted by hand, the MINI SuperleggeraTM Vision presents a modern interpretation of a classic open-top two-seater. Its minimalist yet highly emotional design combines British style and Italian flair.
The roadster's characteristic MINI proportions derive a fascinating charismatic touch by being synthesised with the lines and surface finish that are typical of Touring Superleggera. The tradition-steeped art of lightweight construction applied to the manufacture of the body and the study's modern electric drive both contribute to pure driving fun with enthralling agility not to mention ground-breaking efficiency. In the interior of the MINI SuperleggeraTM Vision, purist and therefore timeless aesthetic appeal is created by means of generous spaces and high-quality materials which are especially authentic since they have largely been left in their original state.
autoevolution reports MINI expects to make big changes to the Paceman including making it larger and giving it four doors like the present generation Countryman. Change is also coming to the Countryman. According to the article, the Countryman will be offered in a 7-seater guise and offer more space for passengers.
[Source: via Cars.com KickingTires blog]
AutoExpress is calling the upcoming 2017 Countryman the head of the MINI family and here's why:
MINI has only just released the facelifted Countryman, but it’s forging ahead with radical plans for an all-new model, due in 2017 – and our exclusive image shows how it could look.
MotoringFile covers MINI's reveal of its new Aisin 8 speed AWF8F35 automatic transmission. According to the article:
. . . the 8 speed has a decoupling mechanism that allows for a reduction in parasitic drag which allows for coasting on overrun – something that BMW has been incorporating in across its range. It’s also built from the ground-up to be compatible with MINI’s start/stop functionality.
auto123.com and provides these "Pros" and "Cons":
PROs: Besides the free-wheeling joy the feisty 2014 MINI John Cooper Works brings to highway driving, you’ll also love its road handling, particularly in an urban environment. And although the MINI JCW delivers relatively better performance, it also boasts relatively low fuel consumption.
CONs: The biggest problem for the 2014 MINI John Cooper Works is its price tag, which has been appreciably hiked northwards…which doesn’t gel with its smaller size and an underwhelming finish of dubious quality. So we can also add a discomfort factor over longer distances.
The Daily Toggle recounts all twelve stages, number seven being:
You visit your car at the shop. Because you miss it.
Automotive News reports, in part:
BMW's Mini brand will unveil its first five-door hatchback at next month's Paris auto show.
GP provides a thrifty review of the 2014 MINI Cooper S stating, in part:
This latest Mini is an attractive option for GPs. It is bigger, better mannered and more frugal - expect up to 50mpg in the real world. It retains its classless status and appeals to young and old alike. The personalisation potential is huge, but be warned - if you get carried away with the options list, you can spend half as much again.
UT San Diego and this to say about it, among other things:
The materials, two-tone treatment and quality carpeting create a “premium” environment that works well in a $30,000 car but is remarkable in a $22,000 car. That’s what I want for my money.
[Source: The Daily Toggle]
Car Advice reports the 2015 MINI Clubman will debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. According to the article:
Set to premiere at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show in September next year, the second-generation version of the ‘new’ Mini Clubman will do away with the current car’s cumbersome suicide door layout that the company admits pushed the bounds of reason.
Times Union under the caption "MINI 3.0". Lyons decides, in part:
The latest MINI shows improvements across the board from the former model. A little more room, a little less glitz, a little more power, same distinctive shape.
Register here on or before February 1, 2015. Run the new, expanded five mile circuit:
The cost is $275 per single driver/single Mini entrant.
For Shared Entries: If you are registering as primary driver with a co-driver, the 1st driver must register using the Shared Mini option and pay the total amount of $400.00, the 2nd or co-driver must also register using the Co-Driver option as a Co-driver at zero cost.. Price includes loads of track time, turn workers, tow-trucks, flaggers, instructors, lunch, & T-shirts.
T-Shirts will be available in sizes small, medium, large, XL, and 2XL, larger shirts (3XL, 4XL, etc) must be purchased in advanced and will be at $20 ea.
This event is for MINI/Mini Coopers only, any model, year, or variation. You will see other makes and models entered. These cars are coaches and will be running in the coaches/race-prep group, NOT with Beg, Int., or Adv.
Spectators are welcome to come out free of charge and see what it is all about.
autoevolution reports MINI is secretly working on a 300 horsepower all wheel drive MINI based on comments at MotoringFile that:
The new Clubman and Countryman models could get 300 HP 4-cylinder engines in 2015 and 2017, when they are due.
The Daily Toggle, Tyler Palmer finished third in the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge in the B-spec class. MINI finished behind Honda in the Manufacturer Points Competition.
Mini says two-thirds of the volume supermini sector is made up of five-door models, but in its case, the ratios are reversed, with the three-door Hatch expected to make two-thirds of sales.
Cars.co.za and gets this second opinion from Ashley Oldman:
Mini’s new contender feels entirely evolutionary and a bit grown up. It’s lost some of the retro character touches, but has improved in every other aspect. The finishings are more luxurious and the engine more powerful and torquier. It’s still fun and cheerful, but a bit more ‘comfortable shoes’ than ‘brash sneakers’.
World Car Fans reports MINI will produce the Rocketman as an entry level model but not before 2016.
The Daily Toggle recaps the 2014 MINI Challenge UK and lists the winners. In the JCW class:
. . . the winner by a large margin was veteran Chris Knox in his MINI JCW No. 888. Joining Knox on the podium are Neil Newstead in MINI No. 77 and Luke Caudle in the No. 2. The leading rookie was Simon Quinn in the No. 55 JCW who finished 15th overall. The winner of the JCW Directors class was Alan Taylor.
According to motorsport.com:
Nani Roma (ESP) and Michel Périn (FRA) gave the Monster Energy X-raid Team the win in Peru’s Desafio Inca. With their MINI ALL4 Racing, the pairing won all the six special stages that had to be contested over the course of the three-day event. At the end of some 1000 kilometres and 13 hours of special-stage action, they crossed the finish line with a lead of more than 90 minutes over second-placed Chilean Rodrigo Moreno.
The Daily Toggle provides 8 reasons that your MINI is your best friend. No. 1 - "You go on great adventures together."
AutoTrader looks at the 2015 MINI Cooper Coupe and provides this advice:
We don't see the point of buying a Cooper Coupe without the turbocharged engine. This isn't a practical car, so you might as well go all out under the hood. Whether you want to step all the way up to the JCW model depends on your budget.
Mini’s stunning Superleggera Vision Concept unveiled this spring at the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza is reportedly at least six month away from being approved by BMW bosses.
The Daily Toggle goes straight to the sources to find out.
AutoGuide.com carries the first spy photos of what is to become the 2017 MINI Countryman. It appears bigger than the present version and, according to the accompanying article:
The biggest changes could come inside, where the engineers will be striving to make more room without interfering with the exterior size too much. Furthermore, some of the fancy, futuristic-looking details seen on the Clubman Concept could be showing up on the Countryman too.
Journal Sentinel. From his review introduction it is clear he really likes the 2014 MINI Cooper S Hardtop:
. . . Mini continues to be a cute boxy hardtop that is a blast to drive. This is especially true of the tested Volcanic Orange S version with a new 2.0-liter, twin-turbo four-cylinder engine.
WorldCarFans has a collection of spy photos of the 2015 second generation MINI Clubman out testing. It anticipates:
An official unveiling of the second generation MINI Clubman will likely occur in March 2015 at the Geneva Motor Show, with sales to commence several months later.
Daily Maverick writer Deon Schoeman reviews the new 2014 MINI Cooper Hardtop and concludes:
The new Mini – and the Cooper, in particular – is special, not because of its engineering, its performance, its handling or its advanced connectivity features. It’s special because it has heritage, personality and charisma – traits often lacking in modern motor cars.
The Cooper isn’t as fast as the S, let alone the JCW, but in many ways, it represents the purer, more honest expression of the Mini ethos. And that means it’s a cracking car to drive, too!
Fox News cautions, although the 2014 MINI has gotten bigger, "don’t get your bikini briefs in a bunch just yet, lover of small things." It finds that with the added size:
there’s no longer a need to justify poor interior quality with performance and style, as has always been the case with the MINI Cooper, because now it has all three and does a far better job living up to its $20,745 starting price ($21,300 for 2015 models.)
WorldCarFans has spy photos of the new 2015 MINI Cooper JCW. It anticipates:
Power is expected to come from a Cooper S-sourced 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine which according to BMW sources will deliver around 230 bhp (172 kW) and 258 lb-ft (349 Nm). In the Cooper S, the motor is rated at 189 bhp (141 kW) and 206 lb-ft (221 lb-ft with overboost). Power in the MINI JCW will be channeled to the wheels through a six-speed manual transmission or an updated six-speed automatic gearbox.
According to a recent report, the 2015 MINI JCW will be unveiled in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and will probably be exhibited alongside the five-door hatchback John Cooper Works model.
MotoringFile reports the MINI Superleggera Concept will make its United Kingdom debut at that Salon Privé. Here is the official MINI press release:
Official Release: MINI and Touring Superleggera, the tradition-steeped design and coach building house based in Milan, have brought the MINI Superleggera™ Vision to the UK for the first time at the highly exclusive Salon Privé.
The MINI Superleggera Vision is on the one hand a classic roadster – a compact and agile two-seater – expressing the most minimalist and emotional style of motoring; and on the other hand its electric drivetrain gives the car distinctly modern driving dynamics.
In collaboration with MINI, Touring SuperleggeraTM has designed and built an elaborately crafted, unique model which blends the tradition of classic coachwork construction with the MINI’s authentic British styling to create timeless aesthetic appeal.
Consumer Affairs reports:
BMW of North America is recalling 27 model year BMW i3 vehicles manufactured March 31, 2014, and 2014 MINI Cooper Hardtop vehicles manufactured February 2, 2014 to May 30, 2014.
The affected vehicles may have been manufactured with an air bag inflator that was not assembled correctly. This could cause failure of the the air bag to deploy properly in the event of an accident.
Improper deployment in the event of a crash could increase the risk of injury to the seat occupant.
BMW will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front passenger side air bag, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in September 2014.
BMW Group U.S. in this BMW Group PressClub USA press release reveals the sorry numbers for MINI in the following chart. While new MINI sales are tanking, pre-owned sales are robust:
MINI Brand Sales
For August, MINI USA reports 5,006 automobiles, a decrease of 16.9 percent from the 6,023 sold in the same month a year ago. Year-to-date, MINI USA reported a sales total of 34,969 automobiles, a decrease of 21.1 percent from the 44,329 automobiles sold in the first eight months of 2013.
MINI Pre-Owned Vehicles – Best Month Ever
In August, MINI used automobiles (including MINI NEXT certified pre-owned and pre-owned) reported sales of 2,561 automobiles, an increase of 17.4 percent from the 2,182 sold in August, 2013. Year-to-date, MINI used automobiles (including MINI NEXT certified pre-owned) reported sales of 17,015 automobiles, an increase of 17.5 percent from the 14,480 automobiles sold in the first eight months of 2013.
Table 1: Vehicle Sales BMW of North America, LLC, August 2014
YTD August 2014
BMW passenger cars
BMW light trucks
Business Standard is taken by the MINI Cooper Countryman offering comments like:
This Mini will be a plaything that will be the talk of the season. With its stunning looks, amazing balance of retro and contemporary cabin features and still excellent driving experience, what better badge to make you the toast of the town?