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MINI UK Issues Limited Edition Convertible

According to MotoringFile in its republication of a MINI UK Press Release:
Official release: To celebrate the upcoming launch of the new MINI Convertible, MINI has unveiled a limited edition model, MINI Open 150 Convertible Edition.

Launched in the UK only, just 150 of the exclusive model will be available to order from March 2016.

Exclusive to the interior of MINI Open 150 Edition is the new Leather Chester Malt Brown upholstery. On the dashboard is a specially designed Open 150 Edition plaque and door entry strips also hold the unique Open 150 Edition badge.

MINI Open 150 Convertible Edition comes packed with standard equipment, including heated seats, MINI Yours Soft-top and 18” MINI Yours Alloys. Chili Pack and Media Pack are also standard on MINI Open 150 Edition, featuring a number of popular options including satellite navigation and LED headlights.

The MINI Rain Warner function and MINI Always Open Timer have been developed exclusively for MINI Convertible and are available as standard on the MINI Open 150 Convertible Edition is. If the car is parked with the roof open and the forecast is bad, MINI Rain Warner sends a message to warn the driver via their smartphone. When the car is being driven and there is rain forecast ahead, the driver will be alerted on the centre console. The digital Always Open Timer registers the time spent driving with the roof down.

The equipment offered on MINI Open 150 Convertible Edition is in addition to the exceptionally high level of standard equipment already offered on the rest of the MINI Convertible range. Highlights include MINI Connected, MINI Visual Boost Radio, Rear Parking Distance Control and Rear Reversing Camera.

Only 150 MINI Open 150 Edition convertibles will be sold to UK customers UK and will be available to order from March 2016. Prices start from £29,990.

The 2016 MINI Convertible Cooper S

MotoringFile's review says, in part:
. . . It’s technically good, yes. But it’s the feeling you get from driving it with the top down that makes it great. It is a mood change and a day maker. Too often in our world of cocooned comfort we lack visceral experiences that give mundane moments real life. It may sound like a stretch but I really believe a car like the new MINI Convertible gives us those moments back.

A MINI With A Trunk? But No Superleggera?

MotoringFile advises:
. . . It could be coming according to Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW board member in charge of MINI. At the recent convertible launch Mr. Schwarzenbauer was surprisingly candid with what the brand is considering for its 5th volume model. And it’s not good news for the beautiful Superlegera concept.

While car a based on the Superleggera electric roadster concept is still on the table (as a halo) the business case is proving difficult. “The volume would be low, but the price would be considerably higher than MINI’s current vehicles”, he said.

Economically it is easier to put a sedan on paper than a great halo car,” Schwarzenbauer said. “We have to look at all the options.

“As you know, halo cars are economically not always great. It is a trade-off: How much does it do for the brand, and how do you make it feasible?” he said. . . .

MINI Cultivates TV Mature Brand Image

According to Automotive News:
Mini spent more than half of its record marketing budget last year on TV to build awareness, says its top U.S. executive.

It's part of the new strategy to portray Mini as a more "mature brand" and attract new buyers, said David Duncan, vice president of Mini of the Americas, in an interview at the launch of the convertible here. . . .

MINI Working On An All Electric

MotoringFile reports:
BMW is working on an all electric MINI model according to Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW board member in charge of the MINI brand. We’ve heard rumors for over a year now that MINI is leveraging technology developed for BMWi and more specifically the i3 to develop what could be the brand’s 2nd electric offering after the pioneering MINI E. As opposed to the MINI E however any new electric MINI would be offered to the entire market rather than a limit test-based release. . . .

New MINI Countryman To Be Offered As Hybrid

According to Carscoops:
. . . The most interesting addition to the range though will be the plug-in hybrid version, which according to fresh reports, will combine a three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor powering the rear axle. BMW (and therefore Mini) will use their expertise gained from the i model series in this powertrain. Power is expected to reach a combined 240hp, with 136hp from the petrol and another 102hp from the rear-mounted electric motor.

The official debut is expected in October, during the Paris Motor Show, with the JCW and PHEV versions to follow shortly after.

Everything You Want To Know About The Longest, Widest MINI

TFLCar offers an article and this video on the 2016 MINI Clubman:

C|Net Reviews The "Massive MINI"

C|Net reviews the new 2016 MINI Cooper Clubman and commences:
Let's start with a superlative. The 2016 Mini Cooper Clubman is the longest Mini model yet. Stretching to 168.3 inches from nose to tail, it's just over a foot longer than the previous-generation Clubman model. Heck, it's more than 6 inches longer than the Countryman CUV.

But it almost had to be this way. The dimensions of the new Cooper four-door that joined the lineup this generation are so close to the first-generation Clubman, that the new model had to grow significantly to justify its existence. . . .

MINI JCW Team Readies For 2016 IMSA Challenge Series

Straight from BMW Group PressClub USA:

  • 2016 will be the first full season for the team after late start in 2015
  • Driver line-up confirmed plus addition of third car
  • Team hopes to keep momentum following podium finish at season finale
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – January 28 – MINI USA and LAP MotorSports LLC are gearing up the MINI John Cooper Works Team for the 2016 season of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSCC), the first full season for the team. The team also today announced the addition of a third car and two new drivers – Ethan Lowe and James Vance. Building on the momentum of the team’s first podium at the season finale at Road Atlanta last year and a solid performance during three days of testing at The Roar Before the 24 , the team is hopeful for more podium finishes during the 2016 season. The season kicks-off this Friday, January 29th, at Daytona International Speedway .

The Indianapolis-based MINI John Cooper Works team owned and operated by racing veteran Luis Perocarpi will return this year with drivers Mat Pombo and Derek Jones. The racing duo, who brought MINI JCW its first podium finish at Road Atlanta last year, will return in MINI JCW #73. This year they’ll be back in the car for the entire season of CTSCC battles. Also joining the team with Mat and Derek is Ramin Abdolvahabi, who drove MINI #52 during the last half of 2015.

Newby James Vance will be joining the MINI JCW Team this year. A very quick, young driver from the U.K. by way of Canada, he drove Karts for seven years and competed in SCCA Mazda MX-5 Cup in 2013 with best finishes of second at Road Atlanta and fourth at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

Ethan Low comes off a stellar rookie season in 2015 that saw him finish sixth overall in the Street Tuner class, including two forth place finishes and five top tens. Low was the top finishing rookie closing driver in last year’s field. Low returns to Daytona where he made his first career start in the series qualifying sixth in last year’s BMW Performance 200.

The team will compete with a fleet of production-derived MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop race cars closely related to the John Cooper Works Hardtops that are currently on sale at MINI dealerships across the U.S.

With a super-wide stance, ultra-rigid body and incredibly precise handling, MINI has a long history in motorsports and has always felt right at home on the track. Ever since John Cooper first recognized the racing potential of the classic Mini in the early 1960s, his name has stood for success and performance on the race track
with MINI.

For a full schedule of the 2016 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series, please visit IMSA.com . To follow the team during the race on Friday, January 29th go to IMSA.com or download the IMSA app. Follow #37, #52 and #73 while they compete in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge! Green Flag is scheduled for 1:45PM. . . .

MINI USA Teases "Defy Labels" Superbowl Commercial


The Telegraph Reviews The New MINI Clubman

U.K.'s The Telegraph offers its review of the new MINI Clubman and this overall verdict:
The verdict 8/10

In most ways the Clubman does a successful job of expanding the Mini’s appeal into a bigger, more family oriented car that’s still fun and frugal to drive. However, those unconventional boot doors are a gimmick , and it’s expensive compared with many rivals.

NORCAL MINIS CALENDAR & OTHER EVENTS