This hard -
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 reports:
. . . For MINI TAKES THE STATES 2016, which takes place from July 9 to 23, 2016, MINI USA has named Orphans2Families as its charity partner.
* * *Beginning in January 2016, potential parents will be able to browse profiles of infants, toddlers, and small children from the MINI TAKES THE STATES website (www.minitakesthestates.com/charity-partner). During registration, participants can select orphans (maximum of two) to test-adopt. . . . .
NelsonMail reports the specially modded 1964 Morris Mini Cooper S won't try to break the record at Bonneville because:
[t]he organisers of the Bonneville Speed Week have cancelled the event due to the muddy, wet condition of the salt flats in Utah.
Press Examiner reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has required a recall of 35,000 MINIs sold in the U.S. because: .
. . . some of those vehicles were improperly constructed and provide less protection for occupants during collisions than is required by law. An additional 4,130 MINI hatchbacks are being recalled in Canada. NHTSA documents indicate that the models involved in the recall weren’t built with enough material to reduce the effect of side-impact collisions.
The agency initially found the standard Cooper Hardtop to be compliant, however a slight variance caused the sportier S trim to fail.
The recall includes certain Cooper and Cooper S Hardtop two-door cars from 2014 and 2015, as well as the 2015 John Cooper Works Hardtop two-door. BMW is not aware of any injuries linked to this issue. Owners of these models will be notified by MINI and the company’s dealers will be installing the additional energy absorption material, between the rear seat interior side panels and the exterior body, free of charge.
The MINI recall should begin September 12, 2015.
MINI Coopers recalled for second time after tests show rear passengers aren’t protected in a crash. Owners can call Mini at 866-825-1525 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 for more information.
Today’s recall is an expansion of a previous recall filed in December, which covered 3,085 Cooper two-door hardtop cars from the 2014 model year. However, there have been no reports of accidents or injuries related to the defect.
Express and Star. Effusive in his praise he concludes:
It is all very well put together in a way that would startle anyone who remembers the very first hot Minis of half a century ago. That’s a comforting thought about a car that surprises in unusual places.
PistonHeads' Danny Milner just took delivery of a new MINI Cooper S JCW Automatic and concludes his initial review:
Against all the odds, the JCW and I have got off to a good start. Looks aren't everything and character still counts for something, it seems (it's what I keep telling the missus). But, I still have some question marks. The grip from the run-flat Pirelli P7 Cinturatos hasn't inspired so far, particularly in the wet, and the steering is demonstrating MI5 levels of secrecy about what's happening beneath the front wheels. With a trip up to Scotland on the cards, I'll have much more opportunity to explore the capabilities of the hottest Mini yet. I'm looking forward to it, and judging by the pulsing red lights around the enormous circular central screen, so is the Mini.
autoevolution looks at the new MINI John Cooper Works hatchback video review below from TheFastLaneCar.com and found:
The guys from The Fast Lane Car are amongst the lucky, first ones to take this new beauty out for a spin and they found something nobody said a word about up until now. The press release left it all out and not one official spoke about it.
We’re talking about a remote control, a magic button if you will. What it does is add character to the car by opening up a flap in the exhaust. Now, this kind of technology is not new, not by a long shot.
As a matter of fact, we’ve seen it on various custom, aftermarket exhaust for some time now, but it is a rare sight to have it installed as stock by a manufacturer. I guess that if we had to have a trendsetter in this regard, it’s only befitting that it’s MINI.
Automotive News reports on the survey and notes:
The upper echelon of the J.D. Power’s 2015 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study was dominated by luxury brands. Porsche was followed by Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
Mini, the top-scoring non-premium brand, was led by a strong launch of the Cooper. Mini, which had two segment wins with the Cooper and Countryman, rose five spots in the rankings to 11th place with a score of 825 on a 1,000 point scale -- an industry-leading 30-point gain from 2014.
WardsAuto does an in depth technical review of the new engine and fires off this assessment:
. . . . It helps that this one essentially is half of BMW’s award-winning 3.0L turbocharged straight six and, as such, inherits the suite of state-of-the art technologies that make BMW’s latest-generation 4- and 6-cyl. engines (all with common 0.5L cylinder displacements) so deservedly acclaimed. That TwinPower technology package includes twin-scroll turbocharging, direct fuel injection, dual Vanos variable camshaft control on both intake and outlet sides and Valvetronic fully variable valve control.
The engine also is compact and lightweight – ideal for transverse front-drive applications – with its forged steel crankshaft, aluminum block, weight-optimized pistons, vibration-damping countershaft, a map-regulated oil pump and a mechanical coolant pump that also supports the alternator and HVAC compressor. Its turbocharger is integrated into the exhaust manifold for compactness and a short exhaust-gas path, and fuel injectors are positioned centrally between the valves, right next to the spark plugs. . . .
. . . The latest is Strategic Vision’s 20th-annual Total Quality Awards, in which the organization names Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Volkswagen, and General Motors named as the industry’s top brands in terms of vehicle quality and customer experience.
The Mini Cooper Roadster is the top-ranked individual model with 935 points, its title of best standard convertible one of six category wins for BMW, whose other winners are the i3 (best near-luxury alternative powertrain car), BMW 3 Series Touring (Luxury multi-function car), Mini Cooper Countryman (tied for specialty coupe with the Dodge Challenger, which leads us to think they meant the Paceman), BMW X4 (near-luxury utility), and BMW X5 for luxury crossover. . . . .
The Sun Daily.
AutoGuide.com sources AutoCar for this info:
As for the Countryman, this vehicle is expected to be transformed into something far more rugged than its current iteration. Supposedly, it will take design cues from the company’s X-Raid, which is a four-time winner of the Dakar race. But any changes they make will not be just in the styling department; the vehicle is also likely to get more capable.
Based on MINI’s UKL platform, which underpins the Clubman, the next-generation Countryman is expected to be longer, wider and appreciably more capacious than today’s model. All-wheel drive will be provided by the same system found in BMW’s 2 Series Active Tourer.
Top Speed reviews the 2015 MINI Cooper S, includes video and a photo gallery, and writes, in part:
The most striking fact about it, though, is that it’s longer and wider than it has ever been. Not only that, but Mini also launched its first-ever five-door Cooper, a body style that seemed unlikely with the Clubman still around
autoevolution got to get up close and personal with the real thing and decided:
. . . The car looks smaller than you might think in person and we believe it's mostly due to its carefully designed styling. Everywhere you look you notice a curve or a circle or something that manages in one way or another to make this otherwise large car seem smaller than it is. . . . .
LeftLane says the Superleggera is greenlighted for 2019 while Car Throttle discusses the strategy and says, in part:
Speaking to Autocar, Mini boss Peter Schwarzenbauer said: "We are now working hard to get it on the street. It’s an economically challenging project and there is no firm decision, but we have a lot of people here that are fighting for it.”
So it’s not definite, but it’s certainly sounding very promising. It will be a very different kettle of fish to the MX-5, though. It’s anticipated that the lower-powered models - which will almost certainly feature BMW’s 1.5-litre turbocharged three-pot - are going to be front-wheel drive. It won’t be the first front-driving car to take on the RWD MX-5; Fiat’s pretty Barchetta did that during its two production runs between 1995 and 2005.
motoring.com.au discusses the new look BMW X1 and observes:
. . . it's based on the BMW Group's UKL front-drive architecture, which has already been seen on the current MINI three- and five-door hatch and the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and Grand Tourer.and
Sharing their modular architecture with MINI engines, the X1 powerplants sit across the engine bay for a shorter nose than the new X1's predecessor.
MotoringFile does a proper comparison and finds, in part:
The more you drive the Mini, in fact, the more one-dimensional the memory of the Audi becomes, its lifelessness at low speeds a curable condition but only by continually operating at the opposite extreme.
Yahoo! News reports a story where a woman in the U.K. had too much pleasure in her MINI:
A driver has been left red-faced after she crashed her Mini into the back of a van - while pleasuring herself.
The anonymous woman, who was stuck in traffic at the time, got a jolt from the blue when her car suddenly lurched forwards and hit the M&J Seafood van in front of her.
Described as “fit” and in her 30s, the woman swapped details after the accident - but it wasn’t until van bosses checked the footage from the camera at the back of the vehicle that they noticed what caused the crash.
The woman had been using a sex toy on herself, possibly to alleviate the boredom of traffic. . . . .
motoring.com.au says it has, according to its "European sources".
MotoringFile published this BMW/MINI press release:
Official Release: MINI has achieved its best-ever first half-year with 165,938 MINIs delivered to customers, an increase of 25.8% on the same period last year. Sales in June were up 25.4% to total 36,025. “With strong double-digit growth, MINI has had a flying start to 2015,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, responsible for MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad.
“We’ll continue this momentum into the second half of the year and expect that the new MINI Clubman we premiered in June, which will be on the market from October, will bring us even more new customers. With our recently announced strategic and visual re-alignment of the brand, we’ll build on the MINI success story and achieve a new record year for MINI,” Schwarzenbauer added.
Global sales of the 3 door MINI grew by 33.0% in the first six months of the year, with customer deliveries totalling 62,599. The new 5 door MINI was handed over to a total of 44,943 customers worldwide in the same period. Sales of the MINI Cabrio are up 3.3% compared with the first half of last year with a total of 9,148 units sold.
Motorward reports that MINI has released a diesel Countryman variant for fleets in the U.K. called the MINI Countryman ALL4 Business. It comes equipped with:
- 17” 5-Star Triangle Spoke alloy wheel
- Multifunction steering wheel, including cruise control
- 3-spoke sport leather steering wheel
- Park distance control
- Radio Visual Boost
- MINI Navigation System
- Floor mats in velour
- Storage compartment pack
- Rain sensor and automatic lights on
- Automatic air conditioning
- On-board computer
- Interior lights pack
Motorward looks at Ok-ChipTuning's power package:
Performance-wise, the little MINI JCW is equipped by OK-C with a software upgrade and Akrapovic Evolution exhaust system with 100 cells downpipe. They boost the power output from 254 hp to 262 horsepower with 407 Nm and enable the car to hit a top speed of 255 km/h.
The styling is enhanced using a complete body kit which looks rather discreet, especially in this shade of black. The carbon fiber kit consists of front and rear spoilers, side skirts, mirror caps, filler cap, flared wheel arches and front grille, as well as a rear diffuser. The styling package is complemented with a set of ATS DTC Superlight Black Edition in size 7,5 x 17 inch shod with 215/40 R17 tires. The wheels are supported by Bilstein B14 suspension.
As for the interior upgrades, OK-Chiptuning MINI JCW gets Recaro Pole Position seats in Dynamica black, carbon fiber handbrake and gear lever handles, and UltraGauge-MFA with red display.
Boston Herald put together a list of "Cars for Cool Customers" and included the MINI Cooper Countryman and says:
Mini Cooper Countryman ($33,700) — Automotive analysts are slotting the Countryman into the trendy “crossover” category. If that’s the case, against middle-of-the-road rides like the Honda CR-V or the Toyota RAV4, this is by far the coolest choice. With a little more room (about a foot longer and half a foot wider than the Mini), the Countryman adds utility yet retains the nifty styling of the original. These cars are built by BMW, so have some peppy ride and handling features.
. . . and the winner is . . .
stuff.co.nz reports on Garry Orton and the 1964 Morris Mini Cooper S, which is already the world's fastest Mini. The Nelson based Project 64 team is heading back to Bonneville Speed Week in the United States, in early August hoping to set a new record. The article contains a fascinating video on the vehicle.
Here are infographics on June 2015 sales from MotoringFile:
MINI USA SALES June 2015
MINI USA SALES June 2015
|June 2015||June 2014||%|
Presented by Auto Express’ editor-in-chief at London’s Grand Connaught Rooms, the MINI Hatch resisted stiff competition to retain its position as the best Premium Small Car on the market, one year after the car was crowned Auto Express Car of the Year 2014.
The Daily Toggle:
According to Taipei Times, 43 year-old Liang Nai-yuan has turned his yard into a bit of an attraction after building a Transformer out of MINI Cooper parts.
The landscape artist started five years ago when he set out to create Optimus Prime as a birthday gift for his son out of old car parts. Since, he has added Bumblebee, Iron Man made from MINI Cooper parts, and about 100 other robots, all built out of recycled car parts. . . .
MotoringFile looks closely at the 2015 MINI JCW. It prefaces its review, in part:
The 2015 MINI JCW is arriving at dealers as we speak and on paper it’s exactly what we at MF have hoped for since the brand’s inception. From the early years as a bolt-on kit to the never fully realized R56 JCW, the brand has had plenty of promise but never quite a cohesive statement (outside of the limited edition GPs). However the F56 JCW marks the brand’s first car that might just fulfill the brand’s promise. The only question left in our mind is if it goes far enough? That’s a question we won’t have an answer to until we get behind the wheel for a full test this summer. . . .