Sonora Run - Sunday June 9, 2024

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Manhart Tuned F56 JCW To 300 hp, 470 Nm Of Torque

autoevolution covers the powerful tuned stunner.

New Mini Clubman Vs Audi A3 Sportback

U.K.'s The Daily Post pits the vehicles against each other and decides:
" . . . So the new Mini Clubman is a better vehicle than it was, no question. But up against the perennial favourite of the Audi A3, it still lags behind. Not by much, but in many areas. Unless you’re besotted by the quirky looks, it’s hard to recommend the Mini over the Audi. Even on paper.

It's A MINI Puzzle

Play this MINI Puzzle at Jigsaw Planet.
preview240 piece

recombu Reviews The 2016 MINI Convertible

recombu reviews the 2016 MINI Convertible and concludes:
. . . The Mini Convertible strikes a blow to those who subscribe to the school of thought that Minis are effeminate and impractical. This modern incarnation is stylish, reasonably spacious, refined and great fun to drive.

We'd thoroughly recommend it if you appreciate the looks, need four seats and are optimistic about British summers. Those that take the plunge will find it's a unique and enjoyable vehicle with very few direct rivals. . . .

New Three Year Deal For MINI Plant Oxford Workers

The Oxford Times reports that the BMW workers at MINI's Plant Oxford:
. . . have been rewarded with a bumper pay deal for the car plant's best year since the new model launched.

Staff at the Cowley plant were hailed "world beaters" in January following the car manufacturer’s most impressive sales figures since the new Mini hit the highway in 2001.

Now they have been handed a pay increase totalling 10 per cent, described as the best deal in the car manufacturing sector. . . .

EWN Goes For A Test Drive In A MCS JCW

From EWN, an African video review:

MINI In A Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz built the best camper in the world!What do you think ? :)
Posted by LIFE 

73/100 For 2016 MINI Clubman From Australia

Australia's motoring reviews the 2016 MINI Clubman giving it only 73 out of 100, but, concludes:
. . . this car does have a positive vibe to it, so there’s a chance you will simply have to have it. Fun and sensible? It’s not a bad combination.

Settlement Reached In MINI Timing Chain Tensioner Class Action

MotoringFile advises:
. . . Paperwork went out last week to owners and former owners who might be interested in joining the class-action suit against MINI for the timing chain tensioner defect. Many of you have likely been reimbursed for all expenses associated with this but surely there are those out there that missed MINI’s extended warranty notification.

The gist of this is that if you’re within 7 years and or 100K miles you may want to a look. Check out the first few pages of the mailer sent out here (PDF)

Music Is Up And Top Is Down

Cool Hunting test drives the 2016 MINI Convertible and concludes, in part:
. . . Driving the new Convertible is easy and fun. It performs and handles well and is perky—especially in the S edition. With its upped game in style, fit and finish, performance, technology and customization, it's a vast improvement yet undeniably still a MINI. . . .

Renew By April To Keep Receiving Latest News, Exclusive Discounts

NorCal MINIs Members it’s time to renew your membership by April to keep receiving the latest news and exclusive vendor discounts. Your membership dues keep the good times motoring every month. Starting May and thru December 2016, all the runs NorCal MINIs organizes are geared for Members Only. That means that any reservations, discounts and/or benefits are for 2016 NorCal MINIs’ card holding Members.

Not a member? Join by going to www.norcalminis.com and click on the “Buy Now” button to be directed to PayPal. Annual membership is only $25 per MINI family. If you have any questions, please email us at info@norcalminis.com.

MINI Clubman ALL4 And JCW Convertible Premiere At 2016 NYIAS

Official Press Release:
22.03.2016 Press Release

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – March 22 – MINI USA will motor into this year’s New York International Auto Show with two world premieres - the new MINI Clubman ALL 4 and the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible . With its power transmission to all four wheels, the new MINI Clubman ALL4 offers a superior grip on all types of terrain. In addition, MINI has developed its fastest, most powerful open-top yet with the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible.


The addition of the ALL4 all-wheel drive variant once again demonstrates how the reinvented new MINI Clubman offers exceptional versatility. It combines all the advantages of an all-wheel drive system – traction, directional stability and driving – with classic MINI go-kart handling.

The ALL4 system can shift power from the front to the rear wheels in just a quarter of a second. It is also lighter and more compact than previous all-wheel drive platforms for better vehicle handling, fuel efficiency and interior space.

The MINI Clubman ALL4 now offers the highest level of everyday practicality with the addition of all-wheel drive capabilities, making it the ideal primary car in the household.


As the first open-top MINI powered by BMW Group engine technology, the new MINI Convertible is a premium four-seater soft-top convertible that is both practical and customizable for unlimited motoring fun. And when passion for motor racing is the driving force and intense open-air pleasure the goal, the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible takes the ideal line from the word go.

Featuring the most powerful engine in the British brand’s portfolio with 228 hp, the second John Cooper Works model of the latest generation combines engine and suspension technology optimized for use on the race track with the extensively refined qualities of the new MINI Convertible. This lends even greater fascination to the vehicle concept of an open-top four-seater with outstandingly sporty performance properties that is still unique in the small car segment.

Like all other MINI models in the product portfolio, the new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible is made for individualization, setting the standard in the premium convertible market.


This week, the 2016 MINI Hardtop 2 Door qualified for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s TOP SAFETY PICK+ award with good crashworthiness ratings across the board and an advanced rating for front crash protection. The award comes after the car earned a good side rating following improvements to its side curtain airbags. The changes boosted protection for rear seat occupants.

On the service side, MINI was honored by J.D. Power in its 2016 U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study . The brand ranked #1 among Mass Market brands in customer satisfaction and its total score of 858 also stands above the 2016 luxury segment average. The CSI study is a leading indicator of how customers view their vehicle service experience within the first three years of ownership.

The new MINI Clubman ALL4 and new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible will be on display at the MINI stand for the duration of the press and public days in the North Hall #260 of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

For more information, including full product press releases, press images and videos and technical data on the new MINI Clubman ALL4 and MINI John Cooper Works Convertible, please visit the model specific newsrooms at MINIUSANEWS.com . For MINI USA news, follow us on Twitter at @MINIUSANEWS.

MINI Gets Top Honors In J.D. Power Customer Service Index

LeftLane reports J.D. Power has bestowed on MINI honors in its customer service index:
. . . MINI landed 858 points, ahead of Mercedes-Benz, Lincoln and Jaguar. . . ."

Feeding America Is MINI Charity Partner For MTTS 2016

MediaPost's MarketingDaily writes:
. . . The automaker has named Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization dedicated to fighting domestic hunger through a network of food banks, as the official charity partner. Similar to years past, a portion of the proceeds from each registration fee will be donated to Feeding America. . . .

US Launch of F57 MINI Convertible Delayed

According to MotoringFile:
MINI USA has proactively identified an issue with the new MINI convertible’s soft top. Because of this the launch of the car will be pushed back to launch (sales) date to April 15th. . . .

MTTS 2016 Registration Now Open

As reported by JustBritish, registration is now open for MINI Take The States 2016.
. . . MINI owners looking to participate can now register at MINITAKESTHESTATES.com. The adult registration fee is $40 for a single city ticket, which includes an evening and morning event in one city, or $75 for a multi-city ticket, which includes access to any and all MTTS events. Children under 12 are free. Information regarding hotel accomodations is also available on the site. . . .

MINI JCW Team At Sebring

NY Daily News Reviews 2016 MINI Cooper S Clubman

The New York Daily News review says, in part:
. . . So if you live in a city and want BMW quality, but don’t want to be just another 3 Series driver, MINI has the car for you. Sure, the wannabe race car driver in me may opt for the Volkswagen Golf R or Ford Focus RS instead, except lap times aren’t paramount in every buyer’s eyes.

Have some fun. Buy a weird British wagon. Life is too short to worry about MSRPs.

2017 MINI Clubman ALL4 Testing In Sweden

overdrive spotted a 2017 MINI Clubman All4 testing in Sweden and has the photographs to prove it.

PistonHeads Reviews The 2016 MINI Convertible

PistonHeads is nonplussed:
. . . Beyond ardent Mini loyalists however, it's hard to recommend the Convertible. The laudable points of its gearbox and quality are totally undone by its dynamic shortcomings. Fans of the brand will likely not consider a DS 3 Cabriolet or a Beetle, so suggesting them is probably a moot point. Those after more simple and rewarding roadster thrills though will be better served by a MX-5, as they have been for a very long time. It's the Answer to Everything, right?

Za Top Range Review Of 2016 MCS Clubman

Za Top Range writes about the 2016 MINI Cooper S Clubman with this take:
. . . Do we like it? 
Yes of course, starting off with the two-litre TwinPower turbo four-cylinder engine, it displayed a willingness to just get up and go. With serious pulling power in all eight gears, it displayed the trademark go-kart style that encouraged a determined enthusiasm behind the wheel. Enhanced sound dampening techniques, made the Clubman extremely quiet in most situations, while an aggressive tap on the accelerator allowed the engine to truly raise its voice and we loved the tunes produced by the twofold breathers at the back.  Space is nothing to worry about, it has been made bigger and better.

"Topless Fun"

That is how Pocket-lint highlights its review of the 2016 MCS Convertible:
. . . The Mini Convertible is already the top selling convertible in the UK. And it's easy to see why in its third-generation guise: those quirky looks meet the mood swings of an adolescent when it comes to drive handling, cornering and comfort. It keeps you on your toes.
The lack of a touchscreen, the sometimes rigid ride, some irks with the gearstick, and the interface control positioning don't add-up to entirely matured perfection though. But then we're looking for more of a pool party, not a dinner party. And that's exactly what Mini gets right: the fun factor.

BMW Vision NEXT 100 MINI Concept

BMWBlog discusses the BMW Vision NEXT 100 Concept vehicles that BMW will unveil to celebrate its 100th birthday, including a NEXT 100 MINI.

The Car Connection's 2016 MCS Convertible First Drive

The Car Connection opines, in part, after its first drive:
. . . From a practical standpoint, the 2016 Mini Cooper S Convertible is basically a hot hatch that lets you drop the top. It’s quite the counterpoint to a roadster like the Mazda MX-5 Miata—as it provides much (admittedly, not all) of the thrilling driving experience yet offers that flexibility. It’s far more exciting to drive than the Volkswagen Beetle Convertible or Fiat 500 Convertible and closely rivals the driving fun of the base Audi TT, albeit at a lower price—$30,450 for the Cooper S Convertible. Just take it easy on the options, as you can add nearly $10k to the bottom line.

No need to be overly gimmicky this time: This is one that shows how fun can be serious business, too.

No. 18 MINI From Hell And Back At The Pirelli World Challenge

Jalopnik covers Precision Motorsports Group’s No. 18 Mini Cooper at the Pirelli World Challenge:
. . . The rear fender is all black tape, carefully wrapped around and cut to look like a real, in-tact black plastic Mini fender if you don’t already know to look for something funny on the rear of the car. If anything, it’s less faded than the actual fender. That’s practically an upgrade! . . .

IOL Driven Looks At The MINI Clubman And Convertible

iol's "Driven" looks at the MINI Convertible and Clubman. As for the Convertible:
. . . A compact convertible that seats four in comfort is still not the Mini’s true calling and while the fabric roof keeps the cabin better insulated than before, with it retracted that newfound maturity is briefly sidelined. Not confined to a lifestyle accessory, under the skin the new platform and engines combine to entertain the talented driver whose bones are still malleable enough to cope with a firm ride. . . .
and the Clubman:
. . . For the bulk of commuting on less than smooth surfaces, a comprehensively redesigned suspension layout imbues the Clubman with a newfound suppleness that’s not apparent in the rest of the Mini family. . . .

Manhart Racing 300 HP F56 MINI JCW

Manhart MINI John Cooper Works F56 Tuning JCW 01 750x500 Manhart MINI John Cooper Works: Tuning with 300 horsepower
BMWBlog highlights the Manhart Racing F56 JCW that reaches a top speed of 246 km/h.

MINI Wins If Good Design Award

MINI won two awards, according to Bimmerfile:
. . . The new MINI Clubman, meanwhile, was victorious on two fronts. Its assured, elegant and noticeably more mature character put forward a compelling case to the jurors of the iF design award, and the Festival Automobile International in Paris presented the MINI Clubman with the “Grand Prix du Plus Bel Interieur de l’AnnĂ©e 2015” for the vehicle with the best interior of 2015. The MINI Clubman’s cabin engages in a skilful collage of understated elegance and creative extrovert appeal. At the heart of the interior is the ultra-wide instrument panel with cockpit facia frame, which almost appears to be floating. It is complemented by atmospheric lighting, high-quality decorative trim strips and intriguing hidden details revealed by the interior on second glance – such as the exclusively designed tartan pattern adorning various materials in the numerous cubbies and storage facilities. The coveted “Grand Prix” awarded by the Festival Automobile International was presented to Oliver Sieghart, Head of Interior Design MINI, in Paris in January.

The design of the MINI Convertible also attracted praise, convincing as it did with aspects such as the use of high-quality materials for the interior, enhanced comfort levels and an evolutionary design – an optional highlight of which is the unparalleled black fabric roof with titanium grey Union Jack design woven into it. The roof can be retracted in just 18 seconds, creating a combination of the driving fun for which MINI is renowned and an intense open-top motoring experience. . . .

MINI Enhancements For UK Drivers

Via MotoringFile:
Official Release: MINI has today announced a number enhancements for the standard specification on MINI Hatch models and the introduction of new personalisation options available exclusively for UK drivers.

LED headlights and foglights are now included in MINI’s flagship option pack, the MINI Chili Pack. Such are the savings of MINI Chili Pack that it is bought by over 50 per cent of MINI Hatch customers and 75 per cent of MINI Clubman customers.

In addition to the enhancements to the popular Chili Pack, MINI is today announcing that MINI Teleservices and MINI eCall will be standard on all MINI Hatch and MINI Clubman models from March.

Fully integrated into the car, MINI Teleservices is able to monitor the car’s service condition throughout its life. If an issue is ever detected, MINI Teleservices can send this data to the driver’s preferred MINI Retailer and an appointment to fix the problem can be arranged at the customer’s convenience.

With MINI Teleservices, MINI Financial Services is now also able to offer significant car insurance discounts for MINI Hatch drivers with MINI FlexiMile Insurance. By using MINI Teleservices, MINI FlexiMile Insurance is able to accurately monitor the amount of miles driven. Drivers who typically achieve 6,000 miles or less in a year will qualify for a discount on MINI Car Insurance if they opt for the new MINI FlexiMile Insurance product.

Without having to rely on Bluetooth connections, MINI eCall is capable of reading the speed and angle of the car on impact, the number of airbags deployed and how many seatbelts were in use at the time. Based on this data, MINI eCall determines the severity of the impact, triggering an emergency call, where this information can be shared with the emergency services. MINI eCall has its own battery unit and speaker so can function independently of other vehicle systems in the event of a severe incident.

MINI Teleservices and MINI eCall will be offered as standard on MINI 3-door Hatch, MINI 5-door Hatch and MINI Clubman from March of this year.

In addition to the changes to standard equipment, MINI customers will also have the choice of two new option packs; MINI Tech Pack and MINI Yours Pack. Both of these packs allow drivers to customise their MINI for less, while increasing the residual value of their vehicle*.

Available on all MINI Hatch models, and the brand new MINI Convertible, the newly launched MINI Tech Pack includes MINI Head-Up-Display, a first for the small car segment. MINI Head-Up Display extends above the steering wheel, projecting the vehicle speed, media information or even satellite navigation instructions on an easy-to-read display. A rear-view reversing camera is included on models where it is not offered as standard.

MINI Head-Up Display is fully integrated with the 8.8 inch central display, also included in the Tech Pack, complete with 20g hardrive, 3D mapping and real-time traffic information. This also includes MINI Connected XL with its Journey Mate function, which allows drivers to map their journey with way points and reminders before even getting into the car.

MINI Connected is also fully compatible with Spotify, controlled directly via the MINI Controller. A 12-speaker Harman Kardon stereo system combines two under seat subwoofers with five mid-range speakers and five tweeters.

Packed full the best of technology options MINI has to offer, the Tech Pack represents a saving of 10 per cent on MINI 3-door, MINI 5-door, MINI Convertible and MINI Clubman, when compared to purchasing individually.

The MINI Yours pack has been developed exclusively for the newly launched, MINI Convertible and MINI Clubman models. The pack includes hand-stitched MINI Yours Steering Wheel in Walk Nappa leather, striking Walk Nappa leather seat upholstery with braided piping, quilted leather design and a Union Flag embroidered into the headrest. Additional interior lighting comes with a choice of three MINI Yours interior surfaces, completing the look of the MINI Yours Pack.

MINI One Of 2013's Most Dependable Vehicles

AutoGuide.com lists the MINI Cooper and the Coupe/Roadster as one of the top 10 most dependable cars of 2013 according to the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study:
The MINI Cooper, MINI Coupe and MINI Roadster models all received recognition in the compact sporty car category. The Volkswagen GTI was also one of the most dependable in the segment. MINI as a brand however, ranked lower than the industry average of 152 problems per 100 vehicles with owners reporting 155 problems.

The Upcoming MINI Hybrid Models

MotoringFile asks "[w]hat MINI Hybrid Models Do You Want?":
MINI is preparing to launch the brands first hybrid. The Countryman plugin hybrid will debut in about a year’s time with a modified version of the BMW i8’s drivetrain turns around 180 degrees.

The plug-in hybrid system will be made up of three different engines in total. The 1.5-litre BMW TwinPower Turbo engine generates an output of 100 kW/136 hp together with a peak torque of 220 Nm (162 lb-ft), with power relayed to the front wheels via a six-speed Steptronic transmission. The second is technically a high-voltage generator on the front axle fulfils three different tasks: it boosts the combustion engine for brief periods with extra output of up to 15 kW and some 150 Nm (111 lb-ft) from rest, generates electric power while on the move (which is fed directly to the high-voltage battery), and enables the engine to be started and turned off very smoothly thanks to its higher output compared to conventional starters. The 3rd, the actual electric motor is located above the rear axle, together with its two-speed transmission and the power electronics. It sends output of up to 65 kW/88 hp and maximum torque of 165 Nm (122 lb-ft) through the rear wheels.

The Countryman’s electric only range will be around 24 miles with 0-60 in normal hybrid mode registering around 6.5 seconds. Of course the downside to all of this electrification is weight from the batteries to the tune of around 300 lbs. . . .