Sonora Run - Sunday June 9, 2024

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National Name Your Car Day Is Almost Here

love:mini writes, in part:
MINI is offering 5000 official 'Named' certificates to a selection of owners who sign up and fill in their details on the site.

We all know how much MINI owners love personalising their cars, and an official MINI certificate is one of those things, that you just can't buy (yet).

NHTSA Investigates BMW Stall In MINI Side Impact Recall

According to Law360:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into BMW’s recall methods over concerns the company delayed announcing a recall of more than 30,000 Mini Coopers that failed side-impact performance tests.

International Business Times Reviews 2015 JCW

The International Business Times reviews the 2015 MINI JCW and writer Alistair Charlton's opinion is:
As you have probably worked out by now, I absolutely loved the John Cooper Works. Being a Mini it feels approachable and not intimidating in the slightest - and to drive in Comfort, automatic and with a gentle right foot you could even kid yourself that this is nothing special. But switch to Sport and manual, pull the left paddle a couple of times, hear the exhaust bark into life and floor it. Then you'll realise this little Mini is very special indeed. . . .

MINI Open To Making Bigger Cars

LeftLane reports:
. . . "I'm not sure who set the traditional size limits for what a MINI should be? MINI doesn't have to mean small in size. There are brand lines set by traditionalists and historic customers, and I respect that, but at the same time the world moves on," said Sebastian Mackensen, the brand's senior vice president, in an interview with British magazine Autocar.

Mackensen stressed that customers, not brand purists, will ultimately have a say in how big future MINIs will be. However, he also hinted that the car maker isn't currently planning on going much bigger than the new second-gen Clubman (pictured) that was introduced last week at the Frankfurt Motor Show. . . .

New York Daily News Announces "The Mighty MINI Returns!"

Steve Siler of the New York Daily News drives the 2015 hardtop and thinks:
. . . the MINI JCW is clearly happiest on scenic, curving two-lane roads. A firm, but mannerly ride and unwavering on-center stability let us reach for high speeds in long straights while the aforementioned brakes scrubbed off speed steadily and effortlessly. The wild-eyed temperament of prior JCWs has been replaced by predictability and poise.

Edmunds Road Tests The 2015 MINI Cooper JCW

Edmunds.com provides a thorough review with comparisons, as well as this "Quck Summary":
The 2015 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works represents the most powerful vehicle in the company's history and maintains the hatchback's reputation for lively handling. It's fun to drive and reasonably priced, making it worthy of consideration against some strong rivals.

Here's What The New MINI Clubman Will Cost In The U.S.

This official press release, reprinted in part here, tells you:
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – September 25, 2015… MINI USA announced pricing today on its all-new 2016 MINI Clubman with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24,100 for the Cooper model. The most spacious and versatile MINI every built, the new MINI Clubman is the first MINI to enter the compact premium segment. It is both longer and wider than previous MINI models and offers premium quality and craftsmanship in every detail for under $25,000. The Cooper S variant will start at $27,650. All prices exclude the $850 Destination & Handling fee.

“The premium quality and value of the new MINI Clubman will set the standard for the premium compact segment going forward,” said Patrick McKenna, Department Head, Product Planning & Events, MINI USA. “MINI defined the premium small car segment with the relaunch of the Hardtop back in 2002 and the new Clubman will help us redefine the notion of "premium" with nearly bespoke levels of customization."

Like every MINI model in the product line up, all options are available a la carte, as well as in bundled packages. This means customers can decide to pay for only what they select and are not forced into more expensive packages that include equipment they don’t want or need. The new MINI Clubman also features a number of special upholsteries that have been developed specifically for the vehicle, including a smooth-grained Indigo blue-dyed leather with diamond-stitching in the pattern of classic English Chesterfield sofas, and a rich Burgundy leather with environmentally friendly Dinamica trim.
While the new MINI Clubman is longer and wider than any other MINI model, the newest member of the MINI family endured extensive testing on the Nürburgring in Germany, the Circuit of Miramas in France and the Millbrook Proving Ground in the UK, as well as the legendary roads of Wales. This testing was conducted to ensure that the new MINI Clubman maintained the legendary “fun to drive” handling that enthusiasts expect on the road.

The new MINI Clubman will be powered by BMW Group-developed three- and four-cylinder MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology engines, and like all MINI models and trims, will come standard with an efficient six-speed manual transmission. Meanwhile, the Cooper S variant will offer an optional 8-speed automatic or 8-speed sport automatic transmission with paddle shifters. This high tech and efficient sporty transmission is not only a first for MINI, but also a rarity in the segment. 
The new MINI Clubman also comes with an array of standard equipment, including:
Six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching function
MINI Connected infotainment system with 6.5-inch high-resolution display, third-party app support, Bluetooth audio streaming, and voice control
Leather-wrapped three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and gearshift lever
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Rain-sensing windshield wipers
Keyless ignition
12-color ambient interior lighting
60/40 split-folding rear seats
16” forged alloy wheels in “Loop Spoke” design
Carbon Black leatherette upholstery
MINI Driving modes with Green, Mid, and Sport settings
Automatic headlights

Cooper S:
Six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching function
MINI Connected infotainment system with 6.5-inch high-resolution display, third-party app support, Bluetooth audio streaming, and voice control
Sport seats with increased bolstering
17” forged alloy wheels in silver “Vent Spoke” design or black “Net Spoke” design
Leather-wrapped three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and gearshift lever
MINI Driving modes with Green, Mid, and Sport settings
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Automatic headlights
Rain-sensing windshield wipers
Halogen fog lights
Keyless ignition
12-color ambient interior lighting
60/40 split-folding rear seats
Chrome-tipped dual exhaust outlets
Cooper S front fascia with hexagonal grille mesh, chrome surround, additional brake ventilation ducts
Carbon Black leatherette upholstery

In addition to the standard equipment and a la carte options, several packages are available, including:
Sport Package - Cooper
17” alloy wheels in silver Vent Spoke design or black Net Spoke design
LED Headlights and taillights
Sport seats with leatherette upholstery
Dynamic Damper Control adjustable suspension

Sport Package - Cooper S
18” alloy wheels in silver or black Star Spoke design
LED Headlights, taillights, and fog lights
Dynamic Damper Control adjustable suspension

Premium Package
Dual-pane panoramic sunroof
12-speaker, 410-watt harman/kardon audio system
Comfort Access keyless entry with hands-free Easy Opener for split rear doors.

Technology Package
8.8-inch high-resolution widescreen display
Turn-by-turn navigation with real time-traffic information
MINI Connected XL with support for Journey Mate companion app and the full MINI Connected app portfolio
Rear-view camera and rear parking sensors

The Clubman will go on sale in January 2016 at MINI dealers across the U.S. Customers looking to build or pre-order a new MINI Clubman can use the configurator now available at MINIUSA.com or visit their local MINI dealer.

Autocar Pits New MCS Against Used Volkswagen Golf GTI

Read the article at Autocar to see how it turned out. Here are the raw numbers:
Mini Cooper S 3dr

Price today £18,840; Price when new £18,840; Engine 4 cyls, 1998cc, turbo, petrol; Power 189bhp at 4700-6000rpm; Torque 206b ft at 1250-4750rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual; Kerb weight 1235kg; 0-60mph 6.9sec; Top speed 146mph; Economy 49.6mph; CO2/tax band 133g/km / 21%

Volkswagen Golf GTI DSG 5dr (2013)

Price today £20,799; Price when new £28,895; Engine 4 cyls, 1984cc, turbo, petrol; Power 258lb ft at 1500-4600rpm; Torque 227bhp at 4700-6200rpm; Gearbox 6-spd dual-clutch auto; Kerb weight 1405kg; 0-60mph 6.5sec; Top speed 155mph; Economy 44.1mpg; CO2/tax band 149g/km / 24%

Who Is John Cooper?

The Car Guide provides a history lesson on John Cooper whose
  "rear-engine Cooper 500 won Britain’s first post-war race on July 13, 1947 . . ."

Spy Photos Of 2016 MINI Countryman Hybrid

BMWBlog provides spy photos of a 2016 MINI Countryman Hybrid camouflaged test mule and writes, in part:
. . . Even though BMW has never confirmed a hybrid Countryman, the assumption has always been that the next-gen F60 MINI SUV will use the same plug-in hybrid as seen in recent BMW cars. We believe the new Countryman will be powered by the same drivetrain found in the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer . . . .

"Clubman Shows Just How Maxi Brand Has Become"

The Truth About Cars synopsizes the new Clubman with a few head shakes:
. . . (And the five-door Hardtop exists, why?)

The Clubman will get BMW’s 8-speed automatic transmission as an option in the Clubman S, which was noticeably missing from the newest Hardtop. The Clubman will also get Dynamic Damper Control as an option, lifted from the Cooper S Hardtop.

According to the automaker, the Clubman will sport 17.5 cubes of room in the rear cargo area, increasing to 47.9 cubes with the rear seats folded down. The bar between the split opening rear doors has also shrunk, which should increase rear visibility in the minivan Clubman. The rear tail lamps are much larger and affixed to the symmetrical rear doors this time around. . . .

autoevolution Calls 2015 MINI JCW An "Emotional Buy"

autoevolution provides this video from TheFastLaneCar.com and says, in part:
Overall, the new JCW should be a blast to drive if we’re to believe Nathan, the man behind its wheel in the video below. However, its price tag and niche positioning do make it an emotional buy, as all JCWs have always been. This is that one car that allows you to have fun at lower speeds, without being afraid of its might.

New Tech Comes With New Clubman

AMOnline touches on the new technology being revealed with the introduction of the new Clubman:
The new Clubman also offers features that appear in a Mini for the first time.

These include the electric parking brake, eight-speed Steptronic gearbox – available as an option depending on the model - electrical seat adjustment and the option of Mini ‘Yours’ interior styles with backlit door bezels.

The Mni ‘excitement package’, standard on all UK models, comprises of LED interior and ambient lighting as well as a projection of the Mini logo onto the ground from the exterior mirror on the driver's side when the car is opened and closed.

Another new feature that is unique within the competitive field is the ‘comfort access’ option including hands-free opening of the split doors at the rear. . . . 

DIY: Change The Oil In The R53 Supercharger

Macaul Neenan provides step by step instructions at MiniMania.

autoevolution Tests The 2015 MINI Cooper

autoevolution tests the 2015 MINI Cooper and concludes:
Therefore, you really need not worry about the MINI Cooper. BMW managed to keep its essence alive and even with this new engine things are still fun, we dare say even better.

CarAdvice's Video Walk Around Of New Clubman

Taken at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show by Australia's CarAdvice.

Engaging MINI Launch Control

MotoringFile provides these step by step instructions:

  1. Shift gear selector to Sport Automatic (down to “D” and left to “M/S”)
  2. Engage Sport Mode
  3. Engage DTC
  4. Left foot on brake
  5. Right foot on full throttle (must click past overboost button below pedal)
  6. A checkered flag will appear in the speedometer
  7. Driver now has 3 seconds to release the brake and… LAUNCH!

Car and Driver Reviews The 2015 MINI JCW

The short version of Car and Driver's take on the vehicle:
Indeed, the JCW gets closer than ever to the sublime, ready-for-anything nature of the larger and less powerful but generally flawless VW GTI, although with its starting price of a rather dear $31,450, the JCW is nearly $6K more than the base GTI. Load it up to the level of our test cars, whose bottom-line totals ranged from $37,850 to $41,800—that’s Golf R/Audi S3 money!—and the JCW starts to look and feel rather too cute to be taken seriously, no matter how refined and improved it may be. Keep it simple (cloth seats, manual transmission) and one can really make the case for one of these. But if you want all the goodies, you had better really love Minis.

Drag Race A Clio RS Trophy Versus A Mini JCW Versus A Corsa OPC

Here is the video from Motorsport Magazine, a discussion of which can be found at autoevolution. And the winner is . . . .

New MINI Clubman Shown On London's Carnaby Street

The Auto Channel reports on September 17, 2015, MINI unveiled in a UK premiere, as part of the GQ Style Night out, the new MINI Clubman on London's Carnaby Street.

The New MINI JCW At Goodwood

autoevolution posted this official MINI JCW testing at Goodwood video:

2016 MINI Clubman As Seen On Display At The Frankfurt Motor Show

BMW Blog provides photos and commentary on the 2016 MINI Clubman displayed at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Autoblog's Look At The New MINI JCW

With the video below and dozens of photos Autoblog reviews the new MINI JCW and decides:
My question is, does the JCW audience want a micro-Bimmer? Mini seems to think so. As I said at the outset, the company seems to be making a play for a broader audience by softening experiential edges, but amping up the cartoon-like proportions and doubling down on a riotous interior design. You'll make up your own mind as to the success of the triple-gawp front-end design, and the harangue of surfacing, shapes, colors, and doodads that compose the cockpit.

I already miss the old JCW. For me it was a truer execution of the Ultimate Modern Mini concept. It was fun like a rollercoaster with a broken seatbelt at a craggy old amusement park. The new one is an OSHA-approved new ride at Epcot. Less of a hot hatch, more of a performance car. Such is the way of the auto world, I suppose.

Preview Of MINI JCW Team At Circuit Of The Americas

Sports Car Illustrated provides a preview of the MINI John Cooper Works Team at the next-to-last Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race for 2015 at Austin, TX's new track called the "Circuit Of The Americas" scheduled to take place on September 18, 2015.

Automobile's Sneak Peek At The 2016 MINI Clubman

Automobile Magazine surveys the new Clubman with MINI's U.S.Product Planner Patrick McKenna who has some very definite views:
A full 2 inches longer than Mini’s own Countryman, the Clubman is also aimed at families who might be growing out of their Hardtop or older Clubman. Mini U.S. sales are already up 14 percent so far this year after the addition of the more practical Four Door model. “With low gas prices, we’ve moved on from the MPG hounds of the first generation who only wanted heated seats. You want to get that person who might be leaving you for the next life stage,” says McKenna. “Clubman can now be the second Mini for the household.”

What Kelley Blue Book Thinks Of The Third Generation MINI JCW

In Kelley Blue Book's review it finds:
... The latest incarnation of this iconic performance model is the most powerful, best-performing and arguably best-looking version ever created -- not to mention being the most technically advanced. Building off the BMW-penned UKL platform that also underpins the new Cooper/Cooper S, the JCW model puts a sharper focus on every aspect of driving dynamics, starting with its BMW-sourced 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder engine. . . .

MINI's Frankfurt Motor Show Press Conference

Here is the transcript of the press conference:
Peter Schwarzenbauer
Member of the board of Management of BMW AG, MINI,
BMW Motorrad, Rolls-Royce and Aftersales BMW Group

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to MINI!
This wonderful MINI Clubman Estate next to me gives you a good idea which MINI will be the star today. Today we will be focusing on the new MINI Clubman. But that’s not all! I’m sure you already noticed our stand’s new colours.
The reason: The presentation of the new MINI Clubman also marks the next phase in our brand development. What does that mean exactly?
That MINI will focus more on its strengths. Under the motto “Maximise the experience – focus on the essential”, we are:
Expanding our offering in the premium compact class;
Focusing on five models with strong characters;
Introducing the brand to completely new ideas and business areas.
And, as you can already see here, we are refining the brand’s image.
We will continue to inspire our fans and turn new customers into MINI fans. The new MINI Clubman I am about to present embodies the change process at MINI like no other model.

Ladies and Gentlemen, here it is, the new MINI Clubman!
I am also delighted to welcome the head of our MINI brand, Sebastian Mackensen.

Welcome, Sebastian!
A brand-new car and a new brand identity – there’s a lot going on at MINI currently! Why the big change?
Sebastian Mackensen, Senior Vice President MINI 
Thank you. I would also like to wish everyone a warm welcome! MINI sets trends in the industry and has always had a perfect feel for the times. The brand’s unconventional approaches traditionally attracted people with a high level of individuality and creativity. Of course, these are the people we want MINI to appeal to in the future. Because of that, we never stand still – and we always evolve with our customers. And that is exactly why we are taking the next step with MINI right now. 
Peter Schwarzenbauer 
What does the realignment of the brand entail? 
Sebastian Mackensen 
The new brand identity looks at our customers’ living environment today and interprets it in typical MINI fashion. It was the same with the brand relaunch in 2001. Back then, it was all about fast consumption. Everyone wanted to get a head start on the new millennium and break with convention. MINI captured this perfectly. 
Peter Schwarzenbauer 
But times change. Today, it’s more about the purpose of things, about relevance. People are more focused on the essential. That is why we decided on a bright, clear, purist appearance for MINI.
But we don’t just have a new brand identity, we also have a brand-new Clubman.
Sebastian Mackensen 
The new Clubman has a huge significance for the brand: It is the first MINI offering in the fast-growing premium compact segment. For this step, we have introduced a whole range of special features: 
A design, that is unique in this class – as you are used to from MINI
The highest level of driving comfort – GoKart feeling included.
Unrestricted road capability – for longer distances, in particular.
A surprising amount of space and therefore maximum versatility.
And, naturally, a large number of new technical features and functions.

The new MINI Clubman is much more than just a successor. It has grown up and we have added a new door concept: The new Clubman has four doors – two on each side – and five full-sized seats. But the distinctive silhouette and characteristic rear split-doors remain the same. There is plenty of room in the luggage area, with between 360 and 1250 litres of space. The Clubman’s interior will redefine premium in its segment: with high-quality materials and finishes and a wide range of optional extras. There are practically no limits to individualisation – from fabric to leather, high-gloss to matt, extroverted to classic.

Four different engines with the latest MINI TwinPower Turbo technology will be available for the market launch of the Clubman. A completely new development is the four-cylinder diesel in the MINI Cooper D Clubman – with 150 horsepower and a combined-cycle fuel consumption of only 4.1 litres diesel per 100 kilometres. The top-of-the-range model is the MINI Cooper S Clubman. It delivers signature MINI driving fun with 192 horsepower from four cylinders.
The eight-speed Steptronic transmission is also new. It is the perfect fit for the Clubman’s characteristic MINI chassis. The list of optional features for the Clubman is long. You can see a few of them here. The MINI Clubman leaves nothing to be desired.

Peter Schwarzenbauer
Sebastian, thank you!
The Clubman is immediately recognisable as a typical MINI. At the same time, it interprets the MINI design language in a totally new and different way.
The best person to explain exactly what that means is MINI Design Head Anders Warming! (Short presentation, Anders Warming)

Peter Schwarzenbauer
For me, the Clubman is one of the most beautiful, most emotionally-powerful cars around. As I mentioned at the beginning, MINI takes a multi-faceted approach to the future. The brand is operating from a position of strength. Europe, North America and many Asian markets are performing very well, with strong double-digit growth. In the first eight months of the year, we have delivered almost 212,000 MINIs to customers worldwide – an increase of more than 20 per cent over the previous year. That is the most MINIs ever sold in this period and we are well on our way to a new all-time high in sales this year.

MINI thrives on unconventional new ideas. We are also setting trends in other areas – for example, in the sharing economy. Young people, in particular, love the idea of collaborative usage. For this reason, we will be strengthening ties between MINI and the car-sharing service, DriveNow. MINI will be the first automotive brand worldwide to allow car owners to integrate their vehicle into a car-sharing fleet: The owner then receives payment for the time their car is in use. If you take this idea further, it would also be possible for MINI drivers to make their car available to a defined group of, say, family or friends via an app and without a key. But that may still be a long way off, of course.

To develop these kinds of innovative ideas for customers, MINI will take a more active role in the start-up scene. We will be offering a programme where company founders can refine and implement their business ideas. The first start-up accelerator will be launched later this year in the United States, with further locations planned for China and Europe. As you can see, MINI will continue to set trends and shape the spirit of the times.
I am certainly looking forward to the future with this fantastic brand!

Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoy your time at the Frankfurt Motor Show and have lots of fun with MINI!

Jalopnik's Ultimate 2015 MINI Countryman Buyer's Guide

Jalopnik has posted what it calls "The Ultimate Buyer's Guide" for the 2015 MINI Countryman with photos and commentary such as:
. . . Realistically, if you’re buying a Mini Countryman you probably don’t need the ALL4 AWD system, so your smart money is on a Cooper S, which comes with a lot of options standard and is the best looking of the bunch. . . .

MotoringFile Reviews The R56 MINI JCW

MotoringFile reviews the new F56 MINI JCW and provides a plethora of pictures. Its judgment:
. . . . This is not a perfect car mind you. The runflats continue to be unfortunate and the size of that nose (dictated by EU governments or not) is a little more pronounced than some of us would like. But there is so much to love about the 2016 MINI JCW. The combination of performance, feedback and daily livability makes it simply the best MINI has created to date. For those wondering if the $30,600 base price is worth it, just look at what it replaces. This new JCW offers 20 hp for $500 extra. Plus new technology, safety equipment, and improvements mentioned here. We believe the real competition is the MINI Cooper S itself. Costing $6,500 less the current Cooper S is an outstanding feat in almost every aspect. Yet the new JCW makes the case for itself the second you hear the engine fire up, depress the clutch and move away. It immediately feels special without feeling tiring. This is a car that brings a new level of total performance to the MINI brand while not eschewing an ounce of the technologies or refinement we’ve come to expect in modern cars. . . .

Now That Is Odd

The Daily Toggle discusses five of the oddest MINI marketing items including:
. . . the MINI Clinic syringe pen complete with fake blood. The plunger extends the pen’s ballpoint tip. The pen comes from Frankfurt, Germany and dates from mid-2009.

Japanese MINI Fes

Bond MINI Diary has a gallery of the vehicles and festivities from this Japanese MINI Cooper gathering.

Brian Harper's First 2016 JCW Drive For Driving

Brian Harper reviews the 2016 MINI John Cooper Works for Canada's Driving and, after his first drive, finds:
While taking in a sports car race at Connecticut’s esteemed Lime Rock circuit recently, I spotted a fan wearing a T-shirt with this on the front: “Unique cars need unique drivers.” That perfectly describes how the Mini John Cooper Works should be viewed. The JCW name, steeped in racing history, is attached to a car equal to it, one that caters to only the most dedicated of the larger Mini faithful (JCW sales account for only a few per cent of the brand’s total).

"Hands On With The 2016 MINI Clubman"

autoblog got ahold of a 2016 MINI Clubman ahead of its Frankfurt Motor Show debut, and provides a video review and photo gallery, along with a teaser about a conversation with Patrick McKenna in which they go over the new vehicle:
Mini USA's product planning manager, Patrick McKenna, walked us through both the interior and exterior changes for the brand's newest model.

As McKenna tells it, the BMW-owned company has gone to great lengths to make the Clubman more than just a long-wheelbase car with barn doors. There are changes both inside and out that not only serve to better distinguish this new model from the brand's other five-doors, but from anything else in Mini's lineup.

DIY: R50, R52, R53 Oil Change

MiniMania provides step by step instructions with tips and hints. 

50 Years Of The Mini Cooper

Anything here you didn't know?

50 years of Mini Cooper | Legendary Video by AutomotiveZone

MINI Wins Best Premium Small Car Award

Ireland's The Corkman reports the MINI Cooper three door hatchback has been awarded Best Premium Small Car by Auto Express at the magazine's annual New Car Awards.

"Honda Civic Type-R Power"

autoevolution says, in part, this about the following 2016 MINI JCW clip:
In this acceleration clip, the hatch goes from zero to 220 km/h (137 mph) like it was nothing and up to 200 km/h (124 mph) we reckon it would be on par with the Honda Civic Type-R that, in case you didn’t know, has 300 HP to rely on.

How Far Can You Go After The Fuel Light Illuminates?

According to an article at motoring.co.uk, based on a study by insurance specialist Liverpool Victoria you have a 45 mile range when the empty light illuminates on a MINI Cooper's fuel gauge, three more miles than afforded a Volkswagen Golf.

Party At The End Of The MINI Challenge Season

love:mini posts MINI Challenge Awards Dinner after-party info that takes place November 28, 2015, in the home town of William Shakespeare.

My, How You've Grown!

Just A Car Guy provides an interesting three infographic comparison of the size of the MINI over the years. Here are the beginning and ending graphics.

Carbon Fiber Components Coming To MINIs?

MotoringFile discusses a rumor that MINI is testing carbon fiber components:
. . . Deep inside the halls at BMW engineers are testing carbon fiber components (and more specifically a lightweight hood) for future MINIs. . . .
BMW is also working on "CF body panels, wheels, steering wheels, suspension components and even seat frames."

DIY: Remove Door Panels

A step by step DIY for Generation 1 and 2 MINIs, authored by Ken Suzuki, can be found at MiniMania!

"When You've Got Nothing To Prove"

Forgive the grainy capture.

Very Funny Mini Cooper Commercial by daringbassey

Sign Up For Your MINI VR Goggles!

The Daily Toggle turned us on to this:
MINI USA has created two short films using virtual reality. . . . Get your virtual reality goggles and watch the films at www.miniusa.com/vrfilms.

CarAdvice Gives The 2015 MINI JCW Hatch Seven Out Of Ten

Australia's CarAdvice thoroughly reviews the new JCW hatch and finds these plusses and minuses:
+ Energetic engine; responsive transmission; strong brakes; nicely balanced; impressive specs list

- Firmer ride and damping; lack of steering feedback; lacks a premium feel inside; modest outright grip; not as focused as the old Mini GP; brash cabin styling can be polarising.

Driving A MINI Causes Anxiety Attacks

Gizmodo reports, in part:
Driving a Mini makes you more anxious than when you watch a horror film or jump out of a plane. That's the verdict of a new 'scientific' study that has been sponsored by... Umm... Mini. . . .

Mr. Bean Drives Buckingham Palace For 25th Anniversary

Wheels.ca Looks At The Five Door MINI Hatch

wheels.ca summarizes its observations:
What’s Best: Still a blast to drive after all these years.
What’s Worst: Time to think outside the two-box. See what PGO Automobiles (www.pgo.fr) is doing with the MINI engine and drivetrain.
What’s Interesting: How MINI designers and engineers keep coming up with new twists on the icon.

You Can Now Build A New MINI Clubman

The MINI USA site won't let you do it yet.

However, as The Daily Toggle points out, MINI UK will.

DIY: Replace The Fuel Filter On A R50, R52 And R53

Official Press Release on "THE MINI" Surfboard

Here is the official press release via MotoringFile. Go there to see all of the photos:
MINI has teamed up with Channel Islands Surfboards, the most acclaimed and premium surfboard manufacturer in the world, to develop a surfboard which “surfs like a MINI”.

The board, called “THE MINI” reflects MINI’s best attributes and has been shaped from scratch to cut through waves at speed with its short and sporty design.

The development and design team included Christopher Weil, Head of Exterior Design at MINI, and US Open surfing Champion Kalani Robb. “To create this feeling of agility and speed, we’ve developed a board with a little extra tail volume. The board’s wider outline and low rocker really make it fly” explains Robb.

True to the nature of the MINI brand, surfers can customise their surfboard by choosing from almost any combination of stylish colours and schemes; from Chili Red to black rally stripes.

To celebrate the launch of “THE MINI” surfboard, MINI UK is partnering with British surf school Croyde Surf Academy. Based in North Devon the surf school teaches children and adults of all ages how to surf out of its trademark big blue bus looking over Croyde Bay.

Croyde Surf Academy head coach, Carlo Fusie-Ferrero said: “I absolutely loved it, best board I’ve surfed for a while!”

“THE MINI” is available now from selected outlets and the Channel Islands online shop with prices starting at £580.

MINI Space To Disappear September 30, 2015

According to The Daily Toggle MINI Space is closing September 30, 2015:
. . . If you used MINI Space, the creative space for MINI Cooper owners around the world set up by MINI, you can download your portfolio but it will be gone after September 30, 2015. . . .

". . . The ‘Baja Poland King’"

love:mini reports the results of Baja Poland with MINI ALL4 Racing's Nassar Al-Attiyah extending his World Cup lead and Krzysztof Holowczyc winning Baja Poland:
Krzysztof Holowczyc is the ‘Baja Poland King’! He won his home event for the fifth and arguably last time as he announced his retirement from cross-country rallying, today. In his career, Holowczyc celebrated numerous successes with the MINI ALL4 Racing, such as finishing third in this year’s Dakar Rally, representing be best Dakar result of a Polish competitor in the car category. Two years ago, he secured the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup title – and also did so at the wheel of a MINI All4 Racing.

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Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel finished second behind Holowcyz to extend their lead in the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup standings.. On Saturday, he lost several minutes due to a damaged tyre. “I focused on scoring World Cup points,” Al-Attiyah said later. Winning the World Cup is far more important for me than securing the win in the Baja Poland. In addition, Krzysztof was extremely fast, here.” . . . .

MINI Sales 2015 Up 7% To Date Thanks To The Four Door Hatchback

As the accompanying chart reprinted at autospies suggests, in August 2015 MINI Sales were up 2.1% over sales in August 2014, but, the brand is up 7.3% this year over last year to date.  Looking at the numbers the new 4 Door hardtop is killing it, making up for significant lost and stagnant sales in the model lineup.

MINI Invasion 2015 Hits Ottawa, Canada

love:mini recounts the festivities:
. . . The third iteration of this event, MINI Invasion 2015 attracted a record-breaking 303 MINIs and 640 people from across Canada, including two customers who drove their MINIs from as far afield as Riverport, Nova Scotia and Kensington, Prince Edward Island – a distance of 1,533 km and 1,319 km respectively. This was Canada’s largest Invasion to date; a testament to the fact that MINI fans in the Great White North are among the most passionate MINI owners in the world. . . .

" . . . Not Naughty Enough"

Australia's Drive's David McCowen does a video first drive review of the 2015 MINI John Cooper Works, and writes, in part:
The three-door Mini JCW is the fastest Mini you can buy for now, but it's not the best Mini in the range.

"Stove-Hot Master Blaster Launched"

That is the title of The Motor Report review of the 2015 MINI Cooper JCW Hatch in which it rates the vehicle four out of five stars:
While there are more gadgets and doo-dads to distract you from the driving experience now, MINI hasn’t messed with the core JCW formula that made the first two generations such stellar hot hatches.

It’s an oversteer-happy little tyke that’s quicker than many competitors (Golf GTI Performance included), is loaded with heaps of standard kit and boasts plenty of MINI charm.

This is a most entertaining sequel indeed. The franchise is safe for now, and while the price of admission is definitely high it’s absolutely worth it.

MINI Connected Relaunched On iTunes

MotoringFile reports:
. . . MINI’s completely new Connected app has dropped on iTunes as a brand new app and as well as a free update for current users. The new version of the app is much more focused on doing a core set of functionality very well rather than offering superfluous features that have littered the app for years. . . .