Sonora Run - Sunday June 9, 2024

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"Every Mini Should Sound This Good"

That is the headline for Road & Track's article about this Austin Mini with an Arden 8-Port engine -

900 HP MINI Clubman Dragster

500 cubic inches and 900 horsepower according to Just A Car Guy.

Report On MINI Challenge Race At Rockingham June 18-19, 2016

love:mini reports on the Rockingham Motor Speedway MINI Challenge race of June 18-19, 2016:
Rockingham Motor Speedway was always going to be different. The cars go round anti clockwise for starters! A 2-mile circuit, half on the high speed banked section, the other half on the technical infield section. The Grandstand, Pit garages, Paddock areas and facilities are superb. Car park big enough to house 20,000 cars too. In the outskirts of Corby not too far from the M11, A14 and the A6116. Well so the sat nav says. Six races plus qualifying, in all a busy weekend. . .

MINI Tanks In 2016 JD Power Initial Quality Survey

The Daily Toggle discusses the results and notes:
. . . MINI’s IQS score of 127 problems per 100 vehicles put it fifth from last place. MINI’s score in 2015 was 5 points higher at 122. . . .

What Type Of MINI Do You Have?

Autocar Drives The 2016 MINI JCW Convertible In The UK

Autocar writer Hemal Mistry takes the JCW Convertible for a spin on UK roads and decides:
. . . The Mini John Cooper Works Convertible is a very likeable car and provides a more affecting roof-down character than the hatch. However, the JCW hatchback's superior handling dynamism should still draw those most interested in buying a pure driving machine.

Compared to its nearest rivals, the Abarth 595C and the DS 3 Performance Cabriolet, the JCW may be far more expensive but remains a better car to drive and is a proper convertible. . . .

Review Of The 1966 Morris Mini Cooper

MINIs On Top 2016 Recap

MotoringFile summarizes this year's Massachusetts Mt. Washington gathering and reminds readers:
. . . For those who have never attended MINIs On Top, it is important to note that a large part of the event is fundraising for a charity and this year’s charity was The Fisher House, helping military families. Visit the MINIs On Top website for more details about this annual event. . . .

A First Drive Review Of The 2016 MINI Cooper Convertible

autoblog writer Brandon Turkus gives his first drive review of the 2016 Convertible and decides:
. . . It's bizarre for me to recommend a Cooper over a Cooper S, but I am.We already liked the base Mini's budget-conscious formula for attacking twisty roads, and after more time behind the wheel the "momentum car" aspect of the Cooper proves more fun than barreling through turns in the Cooper S. Mini rolled the Cooper's low output, loads of low-end torque, and excellent chassis and suspension setup into an affordable, open-roof package that bests its big brother for the first time, well, ever. The Cooper is more rewarding and more affordable, so ignore conventional wisdom. You won't be disappointed.

Couple Of MINI ALL4 Racing Team Teams Take on Italian Baja

The Daily Toggle reports on the race that ends June 26 in which:
. . . Two MINI ALL4 Racing are lined up against a large entry of competitors. Under the banner of X-raid Team, the two MINI ALL4 Racing entries will be crewed by Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) and co-pilot Timo Gottschalk (GER) in car #202, with Bryce Menzies (USA) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) in MINI ALL4 Racing #214. . . .
And the results are in:
. . . CARS– World Cup. 1) Al Attiya-Baumel (Toyota Hilux Overdrive) with a time of 3.37’13’’; 2) Vasilyev-Zhiltsov (Bmw X3) after a gap of 2’09’’; 3) Gadasin-Kuzmich (G-Force Proto) with a gap of 5’42’’; 4) Dabrowski-Czachor (Hilux) with a gap of 5’55’’; 5) Menzies-Colsoul (Mini All4 Racing) after a gap of 6’42’’; 6) Al-Rajhi-Gottschalk (Mini) just after a gap of 12’02’’.

2016 MINI JCW 0-240+ K/MH Acceleration

It's like this -

DIY: Replace Left Barn Door Lock On 2007-2014 MINI Clubman

bratling at NorthAmericanMotoring.com offers step by step illustrated instructions to replace the lock that bratling views as a "common failure condition."

Autos CheatSheet Reviews 2016 Clubman

Autos CheatSheet weighs all the pros and cons, inside and out, and concludes:
. . . So we may not have loved the infotainment controls, and we missed that 189-horsepower four, but it was hard not to feel a little sad the day we had to turn our Clubman in. Mini has always offered a blend of style, performance, and luxury in a package that’s wholly unique in the auto world, and in the current Clubman, it’s matured into one of the most attractive compact family cars on the market today at any price. We loved our mid-level car, but if you want to pay a bit more for the loaded Cooper S, you’ll have a BMW-beating level of luxury for a bargain price that made us first fall in love with the car. For the price range, versatility, performance, and utility, the Clubman is a great for people with a growing family or people who want fun-to-drive hauler for errands. It’s a car that you’ll be glad to own, and that’s a feeling that will last for years.

KBB Quick Take On 2016 MCS Convertible

Kelley Blue Book takes a quick look at the 2016 MINI Cooper S Convertible and observes:
. . . As a convertible, the Mini excels as an automotive toy. This Cooper S model, with its BMW-developed 189-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and optional 6-speed automatic transmission, has deceptively quick acceleration to complement its razor-sharp handling. . . .

Lancashire MINI Register's Annual Mega MINI Meet

love:mini covers the Father's Day U.K. meet:
. . . Enthusiasts from all over the country made the journey to the North West coast with FullOnMinis coming from the North East, East Coast Mini Club coming from... well, the East Coast, and some even made a near 600-mile round trip from Bournemouth - good effort from Amy Hibbard and her crew. . . .

Fox News' Gary Gastelu Test Drives The 2016 Clubman

Gastelu suggests in his Fox News article that,"MINI may need to lose the all caps and add an asterisk to its name." According to Gastelu:
. . . It’s very nimble, and entertaining to drive on a twisty road. The suspension handles bumps and curves with equal skill, and that extra-long wheelbase adds stability. All told, the Clubman has a near-luxurious ride. . . .

The Future Of Mobility

WCCF Tech examines the MINI Vision Next Concept unveiled by MINI at Goodwood. It informs, in part:
. . . “Every Mini is my Mini” is the tagline that follows this concept car and when you dig deeper into the intricate workings of this concept you realize why. This concept revolves around car-sharing. The basic idea is that you don’t need to own a Mini. The mini arrives at you location via a location based app and is ready for your use. The car adapts to whoever is using the vehicle. The silver exterior acts as a projection screen and allows the user to change color and patterns on the fly.
Once the user sets their preferences, the data would be stored on a cloud and restored automatically to the Mini that you use. Thus, the car’s designer Anders Warming claimed that the Mini you use in London would be the same as the one you use in New York. . . .

MINI's Interpretation Of A Shooting Brake

Motion Cars sees the new MINI Clubman as MINI's interpretation of the shooting brake and decides, in part:
. . . Summing up, by reinterpreting the shooting brake concept to improve interior room and practicality while adding new features in driveability, suspension comfort, safety, controls and connectivity, the 2016 MINI Clubman makes a case for itself as a family car with sporting intentions.

At the same time as it advances to the premium compact level, the new MINI Clubman retains its distinctive style and character, high-quality cabin, nimble handling around turns, and enough scoot to make its enthusiastic driver happy. . . .

More Spy Shots Of 2017 MINI Countryman JCW

Auto Express has photos of what it believes to be a 2017 MINI Countryman JCW track testing and observes:
. . . As you can see from our spy photographs, the new Countryman's shape hasn't changed much - but it’ll have a more muscular look than before, especially so on the JCW version. This model appears to get a new front bumper with larger air intakes and a special JCW grille, plus LED headlights. . . .

A Quick Spin In A 2016 MCS Convertible

Australia's Drive provides a quick review and concludes:
. . . Slip, slop, slap. The Mini Convertible is better than ever and more fun with its top off.

Which Brands Cost The Most To Maintain?

[Source: twocents]

MINI Countryman E Is Here

MotoringFile covers the reveal of the MINI Countryman E:
. . . The Countryman E plug-in hybrid prototype accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in around 6.5 seconds. Its average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles will be approximately two litres per 100 kilometres, which equates to CO2 emissions of under 50 grams per kilometre. The range on electric power alone as measured in the EU test cycle will be 38 kilometers or about 24 miles. MINI will likely allow for a 50 mph limit to electric power giving the Countryman E the ability to run in 100% electric mode for many urban commutes. . . .

What's The Difference Between The 2014 And 2016 Clubman?

Autotrader contrasts, compares and concludes:
Although many new models are just subtle evolutions of their predecessors, that isn't the case with the 2016 MINI Clubman. The latest version offers a dramatically different design, more interior room, far more equipment and completely different powertrains. Although we don't have anything especially bad to say about the outgoing Clubman, we strongly prefer the new one -- and we think you will, too.

Convertible MINI Cooper, Fiat 124 Spider, Mazda Miata And VW Bug Compared

MINI Vision Next 100 Concept Premiers

MotoringFile covers the premier and notes, in part:
. . . Unlike the BMW concept which focused on autonomy, the key idea behind the MINI VISION NEXT 100 is responsible use of resources for personal mobility. The motto “Every MINI is my MINI” is about innovative car-sharing, with MINI fans of the future able to access and tailor any MINI to their own personal preferences, anywhere and at any time. The MINI will be available to everybody at all times, picking drivers up autonomously from wherever they like and adjusting the car’s appearance, driving characteristics and connectivity to suit the user’s personal lifestyle. New, customised mobility with the MINI VISION NEXT 100 builds on connected digital intelligence. . . .

MINI At The Goodwood Festival Of Speed

MotoringFile has this official press release:
Joining MINI Seven on the stand will be the new MINI John Cooper Works Challenge, developed exclusively by a specialised team of racing drivers at Plant Oxford for the UK market.

Based on the ultimate performance MINI, John Cooper Works Hatch, and inspired by the MINI Challenge Race car, the MINI John Cooper Works Challenge takes performance to a new level, while also offering a thrilling on-road driving experience without sacrificing everyday comforts and refinement.

As well as experiencing the latest production models, visitors to the MINI stand at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2016 will be able to interact with a 3D virtual exhibit showcasing the MINI VISION NEXT 100 vehicle. Developed to celebrate 100 Years of BMW Group and show the brand’s vision for mobility of the future, the MINI VISION NEXT 100 will be revealed at the Roundhouse, Camden, London on 16th June.

Elsewhere at the festival, Dakar driver, Harry Hunt will be on hand with the MINI ALL4 Racing car, which he drove to finish 10th in his debut Dakar race this year. MINI Challenge racing driver, Charlie Butler-Henderson will also be driving the new MINI John Cooper Works Challenge up the iconic Goodwood hill.

For those wishing to try their hand at racing themselves, the MINI stand also has its very own MINI Challenge Racing Experience. Budding amateur drivers can use the virtual driving experience to pit themselves against their friends driving the MINI Challenge race car.

Convertible Fundamental To MINI Brand

WardsAuto quotes Magnus Aspegren, director-product planning at MINI, as saying the Convertible is fundamental to the MINI Brand, and points out:
. . . The redesigned convertible moves to a newer platform used in the hardtop line that promises improved driving dynamics with BMW engine technology for the first time, tighter fit-and-finish, higher-grade materials and a lengthier queue of customization options. . . .

MINI 2017 To See Slight Price Increases

MotoringFile reports 2017 will bring higher MINI prices to the USA, with more tech but less standard features. Added:
. . . The most notable addition to the standard feature set is the 6.5″ Visual Boost Screen. Already standard on the new Clubman and Convertible, the F55 and F56 will join the newest MINIs in offering the 6.5″ high resolution screen and MINI Connected free.

Enhanced Bluetooth and Audio Streaming are also on tap as standard features across the range. This previously optional equipment allows for streaming, cover art display and full interactivity with music apps. It also includes an integration of full functionality with your device of choice. Based on our experiences with it, this is a hugely welcome addition as a standard feature. It allows you full control of your playlists and cover art. It’s just a shame that MINI couldn’t have made it free earlier.

The other big addition is the center armrest which, now also standard across the MINI range. The arm rest comes with two storage compartments and is full adjustable. While we at MF have railed MINI’s previous attempts at armrests (and the idea of them in general), we have to begrudgingly give our support for this one. It’s well designed with plenty of storage (and importantly) gets out your way when needed. . . .
. . . For the Cooper model this starts with the driving modes which is now part of the sport package. This means that you’ll need to opt for the Sport package in order to select Sport, Normal and Green modes.

Across all models MINI has moved the “MINI Excitement Lighting” (that name…) to the premium package. This includes headlight and door handle welcome lightning as well as the multicolor lightning for the center console and footwells. . . .

New MINI Fluid Fashion From Pitti Immagine

Press release via The Daily Toggle:
Press Release

About MINI and Pitti Immagine
Pitti Immagine is a fashion-focused fair held in Italy every year. And the Pitti Uomo show, which focuses exclusively on men’s fashion, has taken place in Florence twice every year since 1972. The events promote young, aspiring and sometimes unconventional fashion labels.

MINI and Pitti Immagine forged a collaboration in January 2015 which spans a range of projects. Past projects include Alberto Premi’s Special MINI Edition shoe collection from April 2015 and the MINI Gentleman’s Collection from Pitti Uomo in June 2015.

The MINI FLUID FASHION Capsule Collection
This year, MINI presents a limited-run sweatshirt collection at the 90th Pitti Uomo in Florence.

The MINI FLUID FASHION Capsule Collection developed with five young, innovative labels consists of five sweatshirts displaying five distinct designs.

“The MINI brand has acted as a standard-bearer for iconic design and individual lifestyles since its earliest days. Driving a MINI is a statement of style and identity, which is one reason why the brand has had a close connection with the fashion world since the 1960s,” explains Esther Bahne, Head of Brand Strategy and Business Innovation at MINI.

The MINI FLUID FASHION Capsule Collection is limited to 200 pieces per design and available exclusively from Luisa Via Roma’s online store from mid-June.

Reveal Of 2017 MINI Countryman Nears

MotoringFile places the reveal just "days away" and tells us all it knows about the vehicle, including:
. . . The 2017 Countryman isn’t just a refresh but an entirely new car from the ground up. Because of that MINI has taken the time to go back to the drawing board to define a car that better meets the needs of owners. Because of that it’s both wider and longer than before with weight (likely) up slightly. How big is it? We’ve been told it’ll be slightly taller than the current Countryman and slightly longer than the new Clubman. Looking at the data below you can imagine what that would look like. . . .

"One MINI To Beat Them All"

That is part of the headline for Miranda Lightstone's review of the 2016 MINI Cooper S Clubman at The Truth About Cars. She concludes:
. . . Is it worth it? In my mind: yes. It’s a fabulous car to drive (you will not get bored on your daily commute), it’s practical and spacious, and so much cooler than your average runaround vehicle.

Wow, Check Out The New MINI Challenge JCW Limited UK Edition!

Auto Express posts this description in its article on the debut of the New MINI Challenge JCW at Goodwood:
This is the MINI John Cooper Works Challenge, a limited-edition version of the MINI JCW with some extra track-focused upgrades to make it better to drive than ever. It’s limited to just 100 units, and will only be on sale in the UK. . . .

MINI Seven To Debut At Goodwood Festival Of Speed

At the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 23, 2016, according to BMWBlog:
. . . That’s not all though, as the MINI Seven will be shown in front of a live audience for the first time.

Unveiled earlier this year, the MINI Seven is a throwback at the Austin Seven which was the car that eventually evolved into the classic Mini we all know from the 1960s. The new MINI Seven will be paying homage to the original, in the classic MINI way and while it was unveiled on the internet for the first time back in May, this will be the first occasion people get to see it in the metal. . . .

A Limited Edition Countryman For Poland

love:mini reports:
The MINI Countryman Pepper Edition is a car for people who want to stand out. This limited edition is limited to 444 copies, the 111 pieces in each color of pepper: white, black, green and red.

In addition, each car will be marked with an individual number - on the rear door and on the dashboard. When deciding to purchase editing Pepper, customers in the basic price will receive additional equipment worth up to 20,000 złoty. The package includes, among others, sports seats and a leather steering wheel, trim strips in Piano Black and the rain sensor, navigation system and bi-xenon headlamps. . . .

Steve Purdy Reviews The 2016 Clubman

Writer Steve Purdy reviews the 2016 MINI Cooper Clubman for The Auto Channel. Purdy advises:
. . . Lots of sporty small cars vie for attention in this market rife with competent and fun rides, decently priced, offering comparable content. You can find some with similar content for a bit less money, and some much more pricey, but you’ll be hard pressed to find one with as much character and personality as this Mini Clubman.

Download The MTTS 2016 App And Service Discount

The Daily Toggle reviews its features. Download for Android and iPhone/iPad. Also check out this offer:
If you think you’ll spend $150 or more at a dealer on service, mention the discount when you schedule your appointment using code TRACKTOTRACK. It’s only good from June 9 through August 31 so it should help a little with any pre- or post-MTTS service.

You can only use the discount once per VIN and only at the local dealer you select during MTTS registration. It’s only good at participating dealers and it can’t be combined with other offers.

Here Comes The MINI Vision Next 100

MotoringFile says MINI will reveal the MINI Vision Next 100, the concept for MINI going forward, this week!

Spectacular MINI World Rallycross Crash By Liam Doran

MINI Please Make The MINI Clubman All4 Scrambler

Jalopnik is head over heels about the MINI Clubman All4 Scrambler Concept and thinks it may be key to stemming the brand's US market slide:
. . . Sadly it’s just a concept for now, made by Mini’s Italian team. But I wish it were real, kind of like Mini’s version of the Audi Allroad. It might even tide us over until the next Mini Countryman arrives to meet our insatiable demand for crossovers. . . .

A Rat A Tat Tat, The ArmyTrix MINI Cooper S Exhaust

Check out the sound of this ArmyTrix MINI Cooper S.  You can discover more about it at BMWBlog.

MINI Shoreditch Limited Edition For The French

love:mini reports MINI has a new limited edition called the "Shoreditch" to be sold in France:
. . . Shoreditch is a district northeast of London with many industrial and picturesque streets that remains are a constantly changing environment. The galleries are besieged the old warehouses and brick number of creative, like "street artist" Banksy, regularly draw their inspiration. Shoreditch draws its creativity from its rough walls multifaceted and wild energy emanating from its unusual places.

The design of the MINI Edition Shoreditch is inspired by the soul of this unique neighborhood. Offered exclusively in France on the MINI 3 and 5-door engines in One, One D, Cooper and Cooper D, she joined the private club MINI special editions and could quickly become a "collector".

Outside, the MINI Shoreditch Edition is distinguished by its twin parallel bands hood and trunk in a shade "brick" with patterns recalling the chevron own tone to the ambiance of the neighborhood. Profile, a badge "Shoreditch" recalling the signs of the London streets is integrated with the door pillars. It is also found inside the passenger side decorative insert. . . .

Most Minis Are Men Named Marvin

BMWBlog reports on the first ever Mini census and discovers, among other things:
. . . “51% of the world’s Mini population is male, 35% are female and 14% are neither – although anyone who’s ever owned a Mini knows it’s more than just a car.” . . .
The census also disclosed:
. . . the most popular name is “Marvin” for some reason, followed by Tommy (Cooper) and Jack, although there’s a developing trend towards the names Dave, Stuart and Bob. These last three might have something to do with the recent Minions movie, to be fair. . . .

Indy Driver Graham Rahal And His '64 Mini Cooper

MotoringFile quotes Bobby Rahal's son:
“I have owned a lot of exotic cars through the years, including a Ferrari F40, a Porsche 918 Spyder, and a Porsche Carrera GT, which I’d put in the top three sports cars of all-time. But the Mini is my baby. It’ll be with me forever."

Autoweek Behind The Wheel Of The 2016 MCS Convertible

In this autoweek review Jake Lingeman answers the question, "Do I want it?:
. . . Even though it has four seats, it’s hard to consider this Mini anything more than a two-seater for Sunday fun runs to the beach with some gear. I’d say a Miata is better for that, though, and cheaper too. But, people do love the quirky styling, and it does have more utility than any Mini drop-top that came before.

If you do decide to buy one, here’s our advice: Keep the three-cylinder, get summer tires, and motor to your heart’s content.

Sacramento River Cats Run - June 5, 2016

Thanks to all of you who came out to the Sacramento River Cats game this past Saturday.  We raised $157.00 in support of Breast Cancer Awareness in honor of Carolyn Mifsud.

Our trip started at K-Mart on E. 18th in Antioch.  From there we crossed the San Joaquin River on CA-160 heading north.

Rolling along CA-160 after crossing bridge

Next, we crossed the Sacramento River on to Route 12 towards Rio Vista, California, before making a quick right turn on to CA-84.

Soon we had a little fun taking a ferry crossing.  Who knew there were car ferries in our area.  Here we are lined up waiting for the next trip across the river.

Here's most of us on the REAL McCoy II Ferry. 

According to CalTrans, The Real McCoy II is 88-feet long by 38-feet wide. It is powered by a hydraulic propulsion system, with 360 degree propellers for steering. The hull’s capacity is 80,000 pounds, and can carry up to eight vehicles.

Once we got back on the road, after waiting for the last two cars to cross on the ferry, we continued north on US-84. I'm not sure for how long, but we drove along the road as it runs on top the levy with acres and acres of vineyards off in the distance.

Here's the gang all gathered for the excellent hot dogs BBQ'd by Scott Hunter with assistance from Michael Toibin.

Our next run takes us to Sacramento again on Sunday, June 26th as we drop off cars at Niello MINI for shipment to Atlanta for the start of MINI Takes the States 2016.  See the calendar for more information.  We're collecting food for Feeding America that we will drop-off to the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano