The MINI Adventure team, representing 7 different nations, came together with a fleet of 15 new MINI Countryman to conquer the changeable terrain of Argentina. They set off from Córdoba with just three rules: "Be safe. Share the experience. Enjoy." These simple maxims carried the group through sweeping plains, sky-scraping mountains and the occasional salt flat on their quest for unbridled adventure. Encountering majestic landscapes, local culture and the bustling Dakar Rally basecamp along the way, the crew well and truly went the distance. With no special modifications to their MINI, it was time to prove that when the road runs out, MINI Countryman disagrees.
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...
According to MINI Space during the 2015 Dakar Rally there was another MINI led event in Argentina:
Sports Car Illustrated writes about the new 2015 MINI Cooper John Works that has just debuted at the 85th Geneva International Motor Show.
Technology Tell reviews the 2015 MINI Cooper S. It concludes, in part:
Instead of the 1.6-liter mill in the other MINI Cooper, this one has a 2.0 liter BMW-sourced turbo pushing out 189 horsepower and 207 ft-lbs of torque. That’s pretty darn respectable in a package that is supposed to achieve 38 MPG on the highway.
We’ll get into the feature set later in the week, but unfortunately you do not get the world’s largest speedometer in the center of the dash in a MINI anymore. Instead, the speedometer is placed in front of you with a few ancillary gauges, and the center is now dominated by the new MINI infotainment system. However, surrounding the infotainment is the wonderfully cheeky — and sometimes distracting — cluster of LED lights. The binnacle can act as a tachometer, a volume-setting reminder, or to tell you what driving mode you are in.
Give us a day to let it sink in, and we’ll get to talking about how it all works. One thing we can say: It is nice to have the go-kart handling stay with the vehicle, especially in this latest iteration.
MotoringFile reports the new Clubman will have "patented BMW aero technology called 'Air Curtain.'" It purportedly works "[t]ogether with the “Air Breather” [so] the system reduces drag on the bodyshell in a very simple, but extremely effective way."
The Press covers the story of Nelson, New Zealand car restorers Guy Griffith and Garry Orton and their 1964 1000cc, 300-horse power Mini Cooper, driven by Nelson Hartley, who are out to beat their own Bonneville Salt Flats speed record of nearly 235 kmh (146 mph) set in 2012.
Automobile Magazine discounts all of the reports of a BMW-Toyota plan to market a Rocketman as a MINI Minor based on a BMW Board Member's direct statement. It reports, in relevant part:
Mini does not currently plan to launch a smaller model below the Cooper, potentially called the Minor, BMW board member for Mini Peter Schwarzenbauer told Automotive News. "I don’t see a smaller car than the current one," he said.
Tony Lynch enjoyed a good weekend on his return to the MSA British Rallycross Championship in the MSA SuperNational class Team Geriatric Mini Cooper S.
In the buildup to the 2015 season, Lynch and the team have been working on a development programme for the MINI Cooper and the installing of a new suspension yeilded positive results at Croft for Round One of the British Rallycross SuperNational class of the championship. . . . .
BMW Group PressClub USA announces:
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – March 19, 2015… MINI USA and MINI of Grand Rapids with the help of the St. Ignace Events Committee are calling all MINI owners to gather in St. Ignace, MI, this summer for a second attempt at the record for the world’s largest parade of MINI Cooper cars. Registration for the August 1st parade across Michigan’s iconic 26,372 feet long, 500 feet high Mackinac Bridge is now official open. MINI owners interested in joining the fun can register at MINIONTHEMACK.com.
The current record of 1,450 MINIs in a parade was first set in 2009 by the London & Surrey Mini Owners Club, which filled the historic 2-mile auto racing circuit around the famous Crystal Palace Park in the UK’s capital city. History will be made again if more MINIs join together in Mackinaw City and motor north along Interstate 75 to complete a mass crossing of the Mackinac Bridge – where the official car count will be made.
“Last summer thousands of MINI owners joined us for an epic 5,000-mile rally across the U.S. during MINI TAKES THE STATES so we are really excited to see how many owners and friends join us this summer for MINI on the Mack,” said David Duncan, Vice President MINI of the Americas. “We anticipate the MINI community will gather in full force to once again cross the iconic Mackinac Bridge and try to break the world record!”
Originally conceived in 2013 by the local MINI dealer in Grand Rapids, the event quickly become part of MINI folklore as owners from all across the U.S. started motoring into town.
“We knew pretty quickly that we had built something special as soon as we started seeing MINIs with license plates from all over the country motoring through our city,” said George Sharpe Jr., CFO for The Sharpe Collection, owner of MINI of Grand Rapids. “This year, with the help of MINI USA, we hope to break that record and solidify a place in the MINI history books…that maybe we can break again someday!”
Upon completion of the bridge crossing, the MINI community will gather at Little Bear East Arena, in St. Ignace for lunch, entertainment and prizes. After lunch, MINI owners are encouraged to attend the Bayside Music Festival in downtown St. Ignace for a night of music, drinks and food. Don’t forget to stay for the fireworks at dusk!
To become part of the biggest-ever MINI parade, owners should register at www.minionthemack.com to secure their spot at the event and purchase commemorative t-shirts. The registration fee (Adults $25 – Children $15), covers bridge crossing toll, event set-up, mementos, lunch, music, shuttle service in St. Ignace and entrance to the Bayside Music Festival.
newstalk reports the MINI Cooper S is set to appear in the latest movie starring Adam Sandler – PIXELS.:
The movie, which is directed by Christopher Columbus, will feature four MINI Cooper S 3 door models which will take a central role in fighting the bad guys. To help save the world, the US government recruits four old-school arcaders who were at the top of their game during the 80’s (Mr Sandler, Peter Dinklage, Denis Akiyama and Josh Gad). The government gives the four gamers their own individual “MINI Ghosts” – which bear the names and colours of the Pac-Man Ghosts.
MotoringFile MINI USA has decided to pull out of the NYC Auto Show just weeks before the doors open. Here's MINI USA's official statement:
After much consideration, we have decided to withdraw from this year’s NY Auto Show. We have a lot of exciting things on the horizon at MINI and our management team is taking the necessary steps to invest in areas that support our business and benefit our customers. We hope to be a part of the New York International Auto Show again in the future.
LeftLane advises BMW has settled with the FTC claims that it illegally refused warranty repairs to MINIs if they had not been serviced by MINI.
According to the article:
According to the article:
BMW Group has dodged a fine and criminal charges in its settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over warranty practices within its Mini division.
The agency had accused the company of violating the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act by telling customers that their warranty would be void if they did not use official Mini parts and go directly to franchised dealers for maintenance. Such demands can only be made if the parts and services are provided by the company without charge. . . .
BMWBlog reports, in part:
MINI Chief Peter Schwarzenbauer says a roadster based on the Superleggera concept for the MINI brand was not approved and the board has not decided whether to add a “mini MINI” that would be built with Toyota.
Schwarzenbauer said the Superleggera would be a “great addition to the MINI range” but added: “I cannot confirm that it has been approved yet.” . . . .
Automotive News reports the MINI Superleggera Concept is headed for production for 2018. The article points out:
If the Superleggera does land in the U.S. it would be the first affordable -- that is, non-luxury, non-exotic -- British sports car offered here since the Triumph TR7 and TR8 were discontinued in late 1981.
Star Automania of Malaysia gives the MINI Cooper S a positive review.
IMSA reports, in part:
A new Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge team will debut at Sebring International Raceway, when LAP Motorsports LLC fields the No. 37 MINI John Cooper Works Team.
The Indianapolis-based team, headed by Luis Perocarpi, is looking to field two MINI JCWs in the event. While making his debut as a team owner, Perocarpi has been active in the Continental Tire Challenge and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship paddock for several years. He was instrumental in the start-up of Burton Racing, and also worked with Scuderia Corsa and JDC Motorsports.
TopSpeed acquired a bunch of photos of a camo'd 2016 MINI Cooper JCW Convertible, evaluates it against its competition and comes to this "Conclusion":
Although the Mini JCW convertible is still in its testing phase, the hardtop version that bowed at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show provides us with nearly everything we need to know. We’re getting the same appearance package, drivetrain, and options, but with more headroom and slightly less luggage room. That’s great news unless you have a lot of stuff to haul or your budget can’t handle a $30,000+ purchase that’s more of a fashion accessory than a purposeful means of transportation.
AutomotiveAddicts.com. It finds, in part:
The Mini Cooper S can undoubtedly be a feature-rich vehicle in a smallish package, but I totally get the true value in how well it performs.
As Jalopnik puts it:
It's a fight between four very hardcore Coopers: a Mini Challenge S275, a 2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP, a Mini Challenge JCW, and a 2006 Mini Cooper S Works GP.
It's all perfect, from the specs on the cars up to the oddball interviews with the drivers to the changing perspectives during the race. Which Mini wins the fight? I won't spoil that for you, but I'd love to see more salutes to Best Motoring from Evo.
[Source: CarsWeLove1 @ YouTube]
VailDaily.com. She offers, in part:
Clark was impressed, although she says she’s probably sticking with her Mini Countryman so she can keep toting her sports gear around.
“My Countryman’s pretty amazing, With those seats down in the back, I can fit my snowboard bags, my surfboard, duffel bags, guitars. I even put my road bike back there. It’s really amazing what you can fit,” she said. “I think people have this idea that the Mini is too small for that stuff, but I’ve never been limited in what I can fit in it.”
The Daily Toggle reports, in part:
Again this year, MINI will compete in the TCB (B-Spec) class. The TCB class will race only a portion of the PWC weekends with either two or three rounds taking place over those weekends. MINI and Robbie Davies won this series in 2013 and Tyler Palmer finished third in the standings last year.
Like in other racing series, MINI has scaled back support. Neither MINI USA or MINI of Charleston Racing are officially backing any teams. According to PWC News, as of last November, Tyler Palmer was still looking for a racing team opportunity.
MotoringFile compares the cars and tentatively explains:
While we have yet to drive the new JCW (look for a full road test in a few months on MotoringFile) we can surmise that each of these cars represent very different answers to the same question. Do you want a classic? Do you want a track car? Or do you want something with all the technology, comfort and performance you could ever imagine from a MINI?
The Daily Toggle:
Snowboarding’s elite will descend upon Vail to compete in the 33rd Annual Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships presented by MINI.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – March 4, 2015…It’s time for the snowboarding community to gather at the Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships presented by MINI. The world’s best riders will travel to Vail, Colorado, where they will be competing in Golden Peak for the titles in halfpipe and slopestyle.
“MINI and Burton share a unique bond in having their loyal communities rally around fun and adventure,” said Patrick McKenna, Head of Product and Events at MINI USA. “Both of our brands fuel and embrace a passion among our communities that allows us to become a part of their lives which is such a rare and coveted privilege.”
The popular MINI Feature Award is back again for the fifth year in a row. With the spirit of design in the genes of the MINI Brand, this coveted award challenges the shape crews from the Burton High Fives, Burton US Open and the Burton European Open to design the most innovative feature for the slopestyle contest. The award carries a $5,000 USD grand prize with the winner determined by a jury of competitors, Burton representatives, competition judges, and media representatives.
The action continues off-hill starting on Wednesday with an epic interactive sponsor village where the public can grab some great gifts and info, and, new this year, watch the first annual US Open Broomball Tournament at Solaris. Teams consisting of Burton riders, Vail locals, and even a late entry team from MINI USA, will compete for broomball glory on Wednesday and Thursday.
MINI is also proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Chill Charitable Event at the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum again this year. The event is a jam-packed evening, designed to celebrate and support the program that has already done so much for youth across the nation. The Chill Foundation provides opportunities for underserved youth to build self-esteem and life skills through snowboarding and other board sports.
Fans interested in checking out some of the existing members of the MINI product line won’t have to look too far. MINIs of all shapes, sizes and colors will be on display outside of the in the Sponsor Village at Golden Peak and in Solaris, and the Burton retail stores in Arrabelle and Vail Village.
The Global Partnership between MINI and Burton Snowboards began in 2011. As part of the global partnership, MINI is the “presenting” partner of the Burton US Open and the official “vehicle company” for Burton Snowboards. MINI is also the presenting partner of the Burton Global Event Series (BGES), and enjoys working with Burton to create world-class snowboarding competitions and events around the world.
MINI USA is also a sponsor of the Burton Mountain Festival – which was held in eight locations around the U.S. earlier this season where fans enjoyed social gatherings, entertainment, product demos and of course, thrilling rides.
Before It's News has an article that highlights Fireball Tim's drive in a 2015 MINI Cooper S. Tim is quoted:
But all in all, it’s a whiptastic car with tremendous potential. Great design, classic yet futuristic.
Go get one NOW. I’ll wait.
PistonHeads.com peruses the MINI Countryman JCW available in the UK and believes it to be an "unsung hero":
Given the predicted continued strength of the B-class SUV segment, and the dearth of performance variants within it, I reckon the Countryman JCW is in zeitgeist central.
From the official BMW Group PressClub USA press release:
MINI Brand Sales
For February, MINI USA reports 3,720 automobiles sold, an increase of 51.3 percent from the 2,459 sold in the same month a year ago.
MINI Pre-Owned Vehicles In February, MINI used automobiles (including MINI NEXT certified pre-owned) reported sales of 1,827 automobiles, a decrease of 2.6 percent from the 1,875 sold in February, 2014.
Table 1: Vehicle Sales BMW of North America, LLC, February 2015
YTD Feb. 2015
BMW passenger cars
BMW light trucks
AutomotiveAddicts.com took a "quick spin" in the 2015 MCS and teases in advance of publication of a review:
The 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine has sweet growl sending 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission.
BMW Group PressClub USA press release on the Park Lane:
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – March 2, 2015. Bold athletic flair and supreme versatility define the character of the MINI Countryman. As the first MINI with four doors, a large tailgate, five seats and optional all-wheel drive, it took on the role of an irresistible front-line force from the very outset - both in the conquest of additional target groups for the British premium brand and in the area of off-road driving. Its irrepressible forward thrust and flexibility are now expressed even more strikingly in an exclusive edition model. The MINI Countryman Park Lane sees its world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show in March 2015.
The MINI Countryman has enabled the brand to establish a secure standing in the premium compact crossover segment. Unmistakable design, premium quality, an interior concept of exemplary versatility and typical MINI driving fun both on and off the road go together to create an overall package that is unique in this category of vehicle, meeting the multi-faceted mobility needs of demanding target groups in urban traffic and beyond. In this way the MINI Countryman has successfully asserted itself as an all-round talent with individual style. For the first time, this special status within the competitive environment is now underscored with a special edition model. A distinct design and color concept as well as high-end equipment features make the MINI Countryman Park Lane an authentic ambassador for versatile driving fun in the compact segment.
The MINI Countryman Park Lane indicates its high-end individual flair at first sight with a specially developed design and color concept. The body finish in Earl Grey metallic is combined with the entirely new color variant Oak Red for the roof and exterior mirror caps, supplemented with optional sport stripes in the same color for the bonnet, tailgate and lower side sections. The characteristic side turn indicator surrounds in chrome known as side scuttles also comprise an inlay in Oak Red. The MINI Countryman Park Lane boldly accentuates its classic athletic character with 18-inch light alloy wheels in Turbo Fan Dark Grey design and the MINI ALL4 Exterior visual package including silver body elements for the front and rear apron as well as the side sills.
Exclusive emblems on the side scuttles and the cockpit surface bear the inscription "Park Lane," as do the entry sills. The interior surfaces in Oxide Silver for the door bezel and cockpit trim and Cross Stripe Grey for the side surrounds of the center console were also designed exclusively for the MINI Countryman Park Lane. These go together with the inlay color Carbon Black for the door trim and center console to create a sporty and premium ambience in the interior.
Located in the London borough of Mayfair, Park Lane is one of the most distinguished addresses in the British capital. MINI itself has a prestigious showroom there. It is the third time that Park Lane has lent its name to an exclusive edition model of the brand. A version of the classic Mini with particularly high-end fittings bore the designation in 1987, while another MINI Park Lane came out in 2005, following in the footsteps of its predecessor after the brand's relaunch. Now the tradition of naming design and edition models made by the British premium automobile manufacturer after London streets and districts is applied to the MINI Countryman for the first time.
The precisely coordinated exterior and interior features of the MINI Countryman Park Lane underscore both the versatile functionality and the exclusive charisma of the premium compact model. With its high-end features and versatile customization options, this all-round talent offers five seats, including a rear seat that can be shifted longitudinally and has a folding backrest with a 40:20:40 split. As a result the luggage volume can be expanded from 17.5 to 42.2 cubic feet as required, allowing the MINI Countryman not just to tackle the challenges of everyday urban traffic but also transport bulky sports equipment or carry everything required for a family holiday.
Powerful, efficient engines and high-quality suspension technology ensure that the hallmark brand agility known as the go-kart feeling is brought to life in the compact segment, too - further enhanced by an additional facet with the permanent all-wheel drive system ALL4 that was developed especially for MINI. What is more the car's raised seating position offers a supreme view of the road, giving the characteristic MINI drive feel a whole new dimension. Above this, the 208 hp MINI John Cooper Works Countryman provides extreme driving fun: here the engine power is transmitted to all four wheels as standard.
The MINI Countryman Park Lane is offered with three powertrain variants: The MINI Cooper Countryman, the MINI Cooper S Countryman with 181 hp, and the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 with all-wheel drive.
BMW Group PressClub USA:
The British premium brand MINI is presented at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show with new diversity in its model program and fresh accents for individual style and extreme driving fun. The new models on show further extend the breadth of the MINI experience, characterised by strikingly expressive design, agile handling and premium quality. Seeing its world premiere at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the new MINI Countryman Park Lane embodies the strengths of the five-seater all-rounder more impressively than ever with its four doors, large tailgate and optional all-wheel drive system ALL4. The edition model's exclusive design and equipment features highlight the variable space concept of the MINI Countryman as well as its athletic flair on all types of terrain. Another new member of the MINI family enriches everyday traffic with a dash of irresistible driving fun: the new MINI John Cooper Works unleashes pure passion for performance – not least thanks to 55 years of motor racing experience and an engine which is more powerful than any ever used in one of the brand's serial production models.
The MINI John Cooper Works is the latest and fastest new model since the original in the small car premium segment saw a change of generation. Its body concept is based on the new MINI 3 door, which is now taking the roads of the world by storm itself with its increased athletic flair and efficiency, optimised ride comfort, increased interior space and innovative equipment features. Likewise presented to visitors at the Geneva Motor Show from March 5th - 15th 2015, the new MINI 5 door meets the need for additional space and convenient entry to the rear.
Versatile, individual, exclusive: the new MINI Countryman Park Lane.
MINI has entered a new phase of its success story by venturing into the premium compact segment. The MINI Countryman combines the brand's distinctive style with a generous and versatile interior. The characteristic MINI agility in terms of drive response is experienced in a new way due to the raised seating position and gains a fascinating added dimension in conjunction with the optional all-wheel drive system ALL4. The new MINI Countryman Park Lane epitomises the versatile qualities of this all-round talent more attractively and exclusively than ever before.
Its high-quality individual style is underscored by a design and colour concept developed especially for the edition model. The body finish in Earl Grey metallic is combined with the entirely new colour variant Oak Red for the roof and exterior mirror caps as well sport stripes in the same colour as an optional extra. The MINI Countryman Park Lane boldly accentuates its classic athletic character with 18-inch light alloy wheels in Turbo Fan Dark Grey design and the MINI ALL4 Exterior visual package including silver body elements for the front and rear apron as well as the side sills. Emblems on the side scuttles and cockpit surface bear the inscription "Park Lane" as do the entry sills. The interior surfaces in Cross Stripe Grey were likewise designed exclusively for the MINI Countryman Park Lane. These go together with the inlay colour Carbon Black for the door trim and centre console to create a sports-style premium ambience in the interior.
The MINI Countryman Park Lane is optionally available with the all-wheel drive system ALL4 in all model variants. The edition model can also be combined with a particularly high-end equipment package. As the MINI Countryman Park Lane Chili, the all-rounder's additional features include LED fog lamps, sports seats in fabric/leather, automatic air conditioning, the Sport Button, a rain sensor with automatic driving light control, sports leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons and a storage and lighting package.
Top athlete in the small car segment: the new MINI John Cooper Works.
Once again, the John Cooper Works logo on a MINI is an unmistakable sign of extreme driving fun in everyday traffic. The latest version of the MINI John Cooper Works (combined fuel consumption: 6.7 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 155 g/km) merges intense racing passion with the optimised qualities of the latest MINI generation. Its completely new 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology mobilises a peak output of 170 kW/231 hp, making it the most powerful engine ever to be installed in one of the brand's serial production models.
Developed with motor racing expertise and featuring technological details in the suspension, body and cockpit that are exactly harmonised with the high level of performance, the engine's exceptional spirit can be precisely controlled for enormous driving fun. The overall package for extreme performance includes a sports suspension with Brembo sports brake system, exclusive John Cooper Works light alloy wheels, the John Cooper Works aerodynamics kit, particularly large air inlets and a model-specific interior in sports-car style.
The new MINI John Cooper Works sprints in 6.3 seconds from standing to 100 km/h. With the 6-speed Steptronic transmission available as an alternative to the 6-speed manual transmission, this sprint takes just 6.1 seconds. What is more, in conjunction with the automatic transmission the fuel consumption of the new MINI John Cooper Works according to the EU test cycle is reduced to 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres (CO2emissions: 133 g/km).
[Source: via Top Gear]
Former Australian Football League star Jason Akermanis rolls his Mini during the warm up lap of the 2008 Australian Mini Challenge. Turnology recounts the event and provides this video: