. . . Duncan and Poltergeist personally interviewed six or seven longtime MINI owners to find out just what features they missed from the R50, R52, and R53 MINIs. “We found out the top four interior features people missed were the center speedo, the center window toggle switches, the old mechanical key to manually start the car, and—the biggest surprise of all—the old digital clock up in the headliner near the rearview mirror.The new accessories replace these discontinued items.
The Daily Toggle MINI has announced it has released the MINI Motoring Accessories Throwback Collection that quietly debuted at SEMA. To accomodate new MINI owners who miss prior MINI embellishments:
Top Class Actions reports:
BMW of North America LLC has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit over allegations that certain Mini Cooper models contain an engine defect.
The BMW class action lawsuit filed by Joshua Skeen and Laurie Freeman alleges that Mini Cooper S Hardtops, Clubmans and Convertibles between the model years 2007 to 2010 have a timing chain problem that costs vehicle owners thousands of dollars to repair.
* * *
If approved, the BMW class action settlement will reimburse Class Members 100 percent of the cost of repairing or replacing the timing chain tensioner at an authorized MINI dealer. In addition, the BMW settlement would extend the four year or 50,000 mile warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. . . .
J.D. Power summarizes everything you want to know about the 2016 MINI Cooper Convertible.
ZerCustoms explains the new powerkits:
AC Schnitzer announced today two new powerkits for the latest version of the Mini Cooper S and of the high-performance Mini Cooper JCW. AC Schnitzer's new powerkit for the Mini Cooper JCW and S includes a re-programmed ECU and bespoke sport exhaust system. The new exhaust includes a back box and two "Sport" or "Sport Black" tailpipes. The new exhaust also includes a "Track Mode" flap system with remote control. AC Schnitzer's power package increases the output of the Mini Cooper S from 141 kW/192 hp to 173 kW/235 hp and of the Mini Cooper JCW from 170 kW/231 hp to 195 kW/265 hp. It includes a 2-year warranty. . . .
Auto Cheat Sheet heralds the upcoming introduction of the 2016 MINI Convertible:
While it may not be the most ultra-masculine machine we’ve ever come across (especially in the color seen here), the 2016 Mini Convertible is being heralded as one of the greatest slices of “open driving excitement” money can buy when it goes on sale in March next year. It may not be the kind of car for guys with face tattoos and viking beards, but it sure as hell looks like a great option for their lady friends, who probably prefer something in this shade of aqua in order to better complement their eye shadow. . . . .
Benjamin Franklin's Letter to His Daughter (excerpt)
"For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.
"With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country...
"I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."
Rapid News Network the 2016 MINI Convertible:
BMW says that the new MINI Convertible will launch in three engine variants including a 3-cylinder petrol engine with 100 kW/136 hp in the MINI Cooper Convertible, 4-cylinder petrol engine with 141 kW/192 hp in the MINI Cooper S Convertible, and 3-cylinder diesel engine with 85 kW/116 hp in the MINI Cooper D Convertible.
The MINI Convertible will go on sale nationwide in March of next year, meaning it will most likely land as a 2017 model. At 3850mm on a 2495mm wheelbase, it’s 98mm longer than the model it replaces, and 44mm wider at 1727mm.
The boot of the new auto is around 25% larger than that of the outgoing MINI Convertible, at 215 litres when the roof is closed and 160 litres with it down. . . . .
Official Release: The global marketing campaign “Stay Open” is about to get underway in time for the start of communications for the new MINI Convertible. The campaign will accompany the new MINI Convertible up to market launch and beyond in three campaign phases that follow on from one other.
The “Stay Open” tagline for the new MINI Convertible is as multi-faceted as its target audience and pays tribute to the “Always Open” campaign of its predecessor. On a rational level, it highlights new product features that enable the new MINI Convertible to drive with the top down for even longer. From an emotional perspective, it reflects the free spirit of the target group – always cosmopolitan and open-minded. Its life-affirming optimism is a consistent theme throughout all elements of the campaign.
The print campaign takes this feeling and stages the new MINI Convertible in open spaces full of bright, vibrant colours. The feel of open-top driving is conveyed with lots of blue sky.
The central element of the campaign will be an online film that goes far beyond the scope of regular TV commercials. The short cinematic film directed by Oscar-winner Joachim Back will be revealed in stages – initially previewed with a teaser and landing page to kick off the campaign. The film will be revealed in its entirety to coincide with the market launch of the new MINI Convertible.
The participating agencies were WCRS, London; KKLD, Berlin; and AKQA, London.
Serviceplan Campaign X will be responsible for adapting the international campaign for the German market. The German campaign for the new MINI Convertible will get underway in mid-February 2016 in time for the market launch on 5 March 2016.
What is now an annual holiday tradition for MINI owners in the US, the MINI USA Gift Swap is back!- The Daily Toggle
In case you haven’t participated before, here’s how it works:
1. Sign up to get matched with a fellow MINI Owner.
2. Send them a gift any Motorer would love.
3. Receive a gift of your own.
MINI USA sends out gifts to random participants, as well.
So unless you are Nigel and say “Bah!” to things Christmas-like, head to MINI USA and Sign up.
autoevolution show an "oops" moment while testing the new MINI Cabrio JCW on the track at Nurburgring.
Highlighted at Speed Society.
MiniCarParts.net reports, in part:
. . . The recall affects MINI Cooper and Cooper S models built between 2002 and 2005. In the recall documents, MINI says that the power steering can fail because of “manufacturing or other” issues. In the event of a failure, manual steering would remain, but greater effort would be required to steer the car.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began investigating the problem in 2010 after receiving hundreds of complaints, including a few minor crashes and three fires caused by melted wires.
BMW first attempted to address the issues through its warranty program, by offering extended steering warranties, Last month the NHTSA demanded a recall. BMW agreed despite asserting that the problem wasn't an unreasonable safety risk. Dealers will replace power steering parts as needed starting in December. . . .
2015 NorCal MINIs Holiday Party
Sunday, Dec 6th at 3-6 pm
Dave & Busters, 1174 Roseville Pkwy, Roseville, CA
$35 ticket includes: $10 play card, unlimited soda, coffee & tea, and Mediterranean buffet
Let’s meet up at Peet’s Coffee (1380 Holiday Lane, Fairfield)
at 1:30 pm and motor to Dave & Busters
Bring a max. $25 gift if you want to join in on the gift exchange!
Please no gift duds; this is not a White Elephant.
We’ll be gathering donations for My Sister’s House, a Sacramento shelter for victims of domestic violence.
Please check donation ideas here: http://www.my-sisters-house.org/make-difference/wishlist/
Use The Paypal Button to get your tickets NOW!!!
Auto Express has the photos and says, in part:
MINI new Clubman is bigger and more practical than ever, but it's about to become hotter too. Our spy snappers have captured the racy Clubman John Cooper Works (JCW) edition before its likely debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.
The high performance Clubman will get running gear based on that in the new MINI JCW hatch, so the 189bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine in the Clubman Cooper S will be bumped up to a heady 228bhp. Expect a 0-62mph time of around 6.5 seconds and a top speed of at least 150mph, but around 40mpg combined should also be possible. . . .
Car and Driver asks:
What car is the most overrepresented in each state? What model of car did, say, California buy far more often than any other state in the Union?Surprisingly:
In Maryland, the MINI Clubman sells at 383 percent of the national average.
MotoringFile examines the crews MINI ALL4 Racing's X-Raid Team will enter in the 2016 Dakar Rally:
. . . The X-raid Team entry for the Dakar will consist of four MINI ALL4 Racing crews. These crews are made up of highly skilled and professional drivers and co-drivers, all recognised as masters in the world of rally motorsport – and all readied to claim MINI its fifth Dakar title. . . .
The Auto Channel hosts the review penned by Katrina Ramser who asserts, in part:
Beyond being just stylish, the MINI Cooper Hardtop puts out some excellent performance, fuel economy and safety. It’s pricier than many competitors, however – especially when you tack on all the options that make it a thrill to drive. I’d test drive the Mazda3 and Hyundai Veloster to be sure, but will bet the MINI’s seductive presence wins out.
BMWBlog reports the new MINI engine has been nominated by Wards as one of the ten best of 2016:
. . . MINI is well represented by the B38A15A 1.5 liter three-cylinder which took the crown last year. The 2.0 liter B48 unit found in the MINI JCW and the new X1 is also present on the prestigious list. . . .
PistonHeads got ahold of one with a manual transmission and questions whether it is better than the automatic. It concludes:
Although it shares identical wheels and tyres with our long-termer, this manual JCW doesn't ride on the same two-position Variable Damper Control suspension. Which, for all their best of both worlds promise, have barely been switched out of comfort since we took delivery. Think of the Sport mode more of a track day setting.
Passive and more aggressive
Mini says the alternative passive setup is stiffer again, but we found it surprisingly tolerable. Yes, it's firm, but there is decent compliance and the slightly more frenetic edge it brings seems to give the JCW a much-needed shot in the arm. Based on this experience, we'd happily deal with some extra rowdiness in return for the greater connection it brings.
I4U only 150 MINI 4 Door Hatchback Carbon Editions will be sent to the U.S.:
. . . The Carbon Edition is a Hardtop Four-Door Cooper S. The model then layers on the John Cooper Works Pro Tuning Kit. The kit adds 208-horsepower to the Carbon Edition. The Carbon Mini is also equipped with an upgraded exhaust. . . .
MotoringFile previews the upcoming ALL4 version of the MINI Clubman:
. . . Look for the ALL4 Clubman to officially debut this winter with production beginning in March at the Oxford Plant. The highly anticipated JCW Clubman ALL4 will begin production in November. . . .
BMWBlog offers this interview with Warming about the new Clubman and the direction of MINI Design.
Automobile wraps up its observations like this:
Pros & Cons
+ Bubbly, distinctive styling inside and out
+ Punchy, efficient three-cylinder
+ Vibrant owner community
- Harsh ride quality it breaks
- Annoying squeaks and rattles
- Less fun to drive than past Minis
edmunds.com's long term three cylinder 2014 MINI Cooper hatchback evaluation has been completed. It sums up the experience:
Pros: Surprisingly gutsy three-cylinder engine; quick-shifting transmission; responsive steering; plenty of room for taller drivers; much-improved interior layout; free scheduled maintenance.
Cons: Seldom delivers EPA fuel economy estimates; choppy ride on the highway; minimal interior storage space; required several trips to the dealer to resolve multiple recalls.
Bottom Line: Even with its slightly larger size, this is still very much a Mini. It's responsive, surprisingly quick and has a unique style inside and out that none of its competitors can match. Less than advertised fuel economy and some questionable ergonomics are the biggest drawbacks to this otherwise well-rounded package.
autoevolution claims this makes JCW just a trim-level.
As its predecessor, the all-new MINI Clubman should be offered with a high-performance John Cooper Works variant.
This means the longest production MINI ever made will get the same engine from the JCW Hatch: a 2.0-liter turborcharged four-cylinder rated at 231PS (228hp) and 320Nm (236lb-ft) of torque. Given that the Clubman is heavier, it will probably need more than 6.1 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph).
autoevolution claims this makes JCW just a trim-level.
CarBuyer provides an answer to one rhetorical question about the new Clubman:
. . . At this point you’re probably wondering, again, why the Clubman exists, and no this is not a line reprinting error. The chief points are that it’s larger, has more space and 360 to 1,250-litres of luggage room with practical 40/20/40 split folding seats. That’s considerably larger than the 278 to 941-litres of the five-door Mini hatchback. . . .
CarAdvice joins MINI to promote "Movember," which:
. . . is all about raising awareness and funds for a raft of key men’s health issues, namely prostate and testicular cancer, mental health and physical inactivity. . . .
. . . The luggage volume is up roughly 25 percent, to 7.6 cubic feet with the Convertible top up – 5.7 when it’s down. At launch, the 2016 Mini Convertible will be available in Cooper and Cooper S models.
This is the 2016 MINI Cooper Convertible, showcasing larger dimensions, a fresh design in tune with the regular Cooper hatch, and a new soft-top electric-folding roof. It will sprint to 60 miles per hour from rest in 6.7 seconds when equipped with the automatic (6.8 seconds with the manual) and reach a top speed just over 140 miles per hour. . . .
MotoringFile delivers its first impressions of the new MINI Clubman, including these:
In so many ways the Clubman is what the market has been asking for. It’s a MINI with four doors, five seats and a trunk that is entirely usable for a small family. It’s also a handsome car with the highest levels of quality we’ve ever seen in a MINI. You don’t have to make apologies for rattles or an odd angle or two. This is a MINI that’s easy to live with as much as it is easy to love.
MotoringFile covers the reveal of the four door MINI JCW Carbon Edition:
. . . The Carbon Edition takes the 191 hp Cooper S and adds the new John Cooper Works Pro Tuning Kit with the JCW Pro exhaust system and high-grade carbon fiber accessories. The result is a menacing looking four door MINI with 208 hp and a serious exhaust note. . . .
The Auto Channel offers this video and reviews the 2016 MINI Clubman Cooper S, giving us this tidbit:
When I spoke later with Peter Schwarzenbauer, board member of BMW AG and responsible for Mini, he said that Mini is shifting more up-market. This was after I made a remark about the new colors of the test cars. Why were there no flashy yellow, bright blue, orange or red vehicles available? Mr. Schwarzenbauer pointed out that with moving into the premium part of the segment, the targeted customers may be less expressive.
Admittedly, the Clubman is an all-rounder, comfortable when you are out for a drive with the family or with a full load in the trunk. Fun to drive when you are alone in the car. In other words Mini is losing its youthfulness, but there is nothing wrong with growing up. When asked if this size was the maximum that a Mini will be, Mr. Schwarzenbauer confirmed with: “I believe so, or else we will have to call it a Maxi.”
MotoringFile article that offers:
. . . Earlier today I was behind the wheel of a well cared for and well specced 2006 R53 Cooper S. I was blown away. It wasn’t perfect. And the F56 JCW I was driving before and after it destroyed it in every measurable way. But by God it was alive. . . .
Auto Express's verdict, four out of five stars:
It comes as little surprise, but mating a manual gearbox to such an excitable and energetic hot hatch immediately makes the JCW a more appealing proposition. Small sacrifices have to be made in running costs, but the immediate cost saving of £1,330 over the auto and greater connection with the car it provides makes it a no-brainer if a JCW is on your wish list. But it’s also worth noting rivals, namely the lesser-powered Ford Fiesta ST, offers as much fun for a fraction of the cost.
MotoringFile carries this statement from BMW CEO Harold Krüger:
The future of the automotive industry will be decided in the fields of vehicle connectivity and autonomous driving. Digitalization is transforming our entire business model – from customer touch points to mobility concepts and services, as well as to digitally-supported production.
We want our customers to be able to make full use of their smartphone’s features in the car as well. Thus, we are going to integrate Apple’s ‘CarPlay’ and Google’s ‘Android Auto’ into our vehicles. Obviously, it is not in the interest of our customers to give third-party providers access to their data. For us, the protection of our customers’ data is top priority.
The digitalization of mobility offers an exciting potential for growth in our industry. Over the past decades, the car has become a highly complex technological machine. So, whether you want to offer mobility “Made in Silicon Valley” or “Made in Bavaria” – the same regulatory requirements and challenges apply to everybody.
The VDL Nedcar factory in Born will begin production of the new Mini convertible next month, news agency ANP says on Friday. The Mini convertible is the second car to be made in Born since the factory relaunched after Mitsubishi pulled out in 2012. The plant also produces Mini’s 3-door hatchbacks. . . .
Auto Express gives the vehicle four out of five stars and expresses, in part:
The Clubman is only the beginning of MINI’s push into more premium territory - and we have every reason to believe it will succeed. It’s comfortable, quirky and still has that degree of excitement that makes MINIs such a hit. The looks won’t be to everyone’s taste but standing out has never played such a significant role. Up against humdrum hatchbacks, we’d say the Clubman’s unique character could give it the upper hand.
auto123's review. So is this:
Pricing starts at $33,240, further proof that this is an attainable mini super car.
Motoring Research offers its first drive review with this summation:
The old MINI Clubman was a nice idea; now, it’s a nice car, and a very nice alternative for those bored by Focus and Golfs. Within minutes of speaking to him, MINI’s product manager was drawing comparisons with the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. After spending a day with it, we understood why.
It’s roomy, sophisticated and practical inside, makes good use of BMW tech (engines, infotainment) but still feels like a fun MINI to drive – without making everyone else suffer for the driver’s enjoyment.
It still looks like a Clubman, so will still be love it or hate it, and that’s exactly what MINI wants. That’s the MINI-ness: you get it or you don’t. But now it’s grown up and focused on what it wants to be, and does it well, we feel many more people than before will indeed get it.
The Daily Toggle reports:
Two pepper white MINI Coopers served as the perfect canvas as artists collaborated during Asia Pop Comic Con in Pasay back in September. The cars are now on display in a MINI showroom in Bonifacio Global City.
Band of Doodlers (website), a group of artists in Singapore, teamed up with Doodle Art Enthusiasts to create the designs. You can check out their full album here. . . .