WHAT'S COMING UP?
August's run is a joint run with our friends in Silicon Valley Club, co-hosted by James Schenck (SVM) & Simon Tidesley (NorCal MINI...
THAT MINI SHOW! profiles the finalists and criteria used:
. . . Each of the four finalists will have the opportunity to go to Atlanta, Georgia where this year’s MINI Takes The States trip will kick off on July 9, 2016. Finalist’s choosing to participate in MTTS are eligible for $4000 to cover expenses. Public voting for the grand prize winner closes on June 30, 2016, and the winner of a two-year MINI Clubman lease will be announced on July, 9th at the MTTS kick off. . . .
Motor Trend includes the MINI Cooper S and JCW as one of its 15 performance cars that "fly under the radar." It says:
Just because subcompact cars usually look cute and adorable doesn’t mean they’re not packing a good dose of firepower. In the case of the Mini Cooper S and its more powerful JCW sibling, you’ve got anywhere from 189 to 228 hp and 206 to 236 lb-ft of torque on tap on a diminutive hatchback complemented by a chassis that can easily make winding roads beg for mercy.
BMW Blog highlights the B&B Automobiltechnik's 300 horsepower 2016 MINI JCW:
. . . the tuner claims that the MINI JCW will be able to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) from standstill in 5.4 seconds, shaving nearly a full second off the official time claimed by the guys in Oxford. Furthermore, the top speed limited will be removed, this way allowing you to reach a new top speed of 174 mph (280 km/h). That being said, you’ll also have to pay 3,950 Euros for it or $4,400.
River Cats game tickets for June 5th are still available! Go here to purchase through PayPal. Last day for pre-sale tickets is May 30th!
. . . For our recent Mini Clubman, the mileage shown on the vehicle's display ended up at 36.4 mpg over 323 miles that was about two-thirds highway, one-third local traffic.
We'd view that as more evidence that the three-cylinder Mini Coopers can deliver remarkable fuel efficiency if you drive them at a normal pace. . . .
NY Daily News calls the 2016 MINI Convertible "a drop-top novelty, now with (slightly) less compromise," however, concludes:
. . . From the bottom of the range all the way up – or from boot to bonnet as the British might say – the Mini Convertible is a smile-inducing ride, no matter how much you pay for it.
Get to know MINI FAST FORWARD. A MINI COOPER S feature for your browser.
1 – Install the app and immediately accelerate YouTube, Facebook and even Netflix videos.
2 – With the app, the S key on your keyboard is transformed into a MINI COOPER S accelerator.
3 – Get to what matters fast.0 to 1-minute videos in 7.15 seconds.
thestar.com reviews the 2016 MINI Cooper Convertible and concludes:
. . . Fuel consumption will be the least of your worries in the Mini Convertible. It’s a lot of fun to drive, so you’ll be more concerned with the percentage of your openometer. And who knows? With a little time behind the wheel, you might go searching for the Italian Job movie we’ve all forgotten about. It’ll remind you we all need a little escapism in our lives.
The Car Connection makes the comparison and the MINI comes out on top by .6:
. . . The verdict? Both of these retro-styled small cars may have started in a similar place many years ago, but they’ve evolved to be very different in actual market appeal today. The Beetle remains an affordable, head-turning two-door, but the Mini Cooper lineup is probably where you should turn for a car that makes you happier over the long term.
motors.co.uk provides a "how to" on choosing the right MINI for you. It thinks the JCW is for technophiles:
. . . What’s not to love about Mini’s John Cooper Works? Named after the pioneer of the sporty Mini Cooper, the JCW certainly lives up to its provenance. . . .
love:mini recaps the May 7-8, 2016 action.
futurecars.com reviews the 2016 MINI Cooper Clubman and provides these pros and cons:
What we like
More upscale interior with more space and a better layout for daily use.
Upgrade engine is worth the extra expense with little sacrifice in fuel economy.
What we don't
Base engine is underpowered for the car’s size.
Still pricey and not as practical as some rivals.
The Daily Toggle in its article:
. . . debuted at the 1997 Rallye Monte Carlo, exactly 30 years after Mini placed 1st for the third time with the overall winners Rauno Aaltonen and Henry Liddon in the no. 177 Mini Cooper S.
* * *
To mark the 30th anniversary of the MINI triumph in the Rallye Monte Carlo, Rover unveiled a design concept in 1997 that already embodied elements of the future MINI. . . .
Car tells us all about the 2017 JCW Countryman to launch next year and provides a bucket full of spy photos. It points out:
. . . From this prototype it’s clear to see that the JCW will feature – just like the hatchback and convertible versions – more aggressive styling, as well as extra air intakes to feed its turbocharged powerplant.
Also evident on this test car are bigger wheels and upgraded brakes. Unsurprisingly, it also sounded more potent than the standard version. . . .
. . . I think the 'S' in Mini Cooper S stands for Satan as it really is a devil car. . . .Rachel, tell us how you really feel.
GTSpirit.com is impressed by the 2016 MINI Cooper S Convertible in his review on the streets of Los Angeles.
PaulTan.org examines the new MCS Clubman driving the vehicle around Stockholm. Its judgment:
. . . It might sound like we are having a downer on the Clubman, but the truth is that the new car is a thoroughly capable machine, one with enough substance to back up those handsome looks. With the premium small car segment being a hotly contested one, however, it’s going to have a real fight in its hands. Wish it luck.
The Daily Toggle, we do believe this is tongue in cheek.
. . . Designed in collaboration with Glade™, an S.C. Johnson Company, the four new E-SCENT-IALS engine additives will inspire those who motor in proximity to MINIs to share the brand’s happy, spontaneous, carefree, and invigorating ideals. . . .
auto123.com the MINI Seven will debut on June 23, 2016 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the MINI John Cooper Works Challenge Edition will run up the famous 1.16-mile (1.87km) Hillclimb course in the First Glance category.
wheels reviews the 2016 MINI Cooper S Convertible. Due to the lower price than the prior model the article examines whether the Convertible has been gutted to make its new price point and decides:
. . . The Mini Cooper S Convertible is much easier to live with, almost as much fun and even more affordable than its predecessor. The grand scale of the Mini design language hasn’t taken the edge off its looks like some believe the five-door hatch has, and makes this the clear go-to drop top in this segment.
PLUS: Better value for money; timeless style; balance and dynamic poise
MINUS: Poor rear vision with roof down; reversing camera not standard . . . .
GN Cars examines the 2016 MINI Cooper S Convertible and finds, in part:
. . . It doesn't take much to justify the purchase of a Mini Convertible as an alternative to some of the more mundane options. It's a significant commitment in money terms but this isn't just a fair-weather machine, and has enough space to cope with adults, kids and luggage. It also manages the clever trick of appealing to a very broad demographic; you can see young, old and everyone in between taking a shine to it.
MotoringFile examines whether MINI can grow its sales in the U.S. and asks:
. . . We love the F56 generation and fully believe it’s the best MINI line-up ever. But put plainly it’s less MINI than it was in 2003. Is that something that most people notice or just the hardcore fans? That’s the money question in our minds. . . .
The Motor Report reviews the new 2016 MINI Cooper Convertible and concludes:
. . . The Mini Convertible has grown better with age, and while some may bemoan the gradual swelling of its external proportions, there’s no denying that this is one of the better-looking sub-$50k four-seat convertibles on the market right now.
And truth be told, it’s got universal appeal. At a 57:43 percent female:male split, almost as many males buy roofless Minis as women.
And when the product is now this good, who can blame them? The only real negative here is a claustrophobic back seat, but that’s to be expected when making something as tiny as a Mini hatchback into a convertible. A Tardis, this ain’t.
BMW PressClub USA press release:
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – May 10, 2016 – MINI USA is proud to introduce the new MINI Seven, the first special edition of the latest MINI generation which presents a striking combination of the brand’s traditional values and the progressive product quality of the current models. Exclusive design features on the exterior and interior underscore the British origins, hallmark driving fun, premium character and extrovert appeal that make the new MINI Seven a more exceptional phenomenon in urban traffic than ever before.
The 2017 MINI Seven special edition will be available in both Cooper and Cooper S variants of the MINI Hardtop 2 Door and 4 Door models in late summer. Pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle’s arrival in market.
The name MINI Seven recalls the premiere of the revolutionary British small car more than five and a half decades ago. In August 1959, the virtually identical models Austin Seven and Morris Mini Minor were presented to the public for the first time. The first specimen of the legendary 4-seater created by designer Alec Issigonis and known today as the classic Mini came off the production line as the Austin Seven.
Featuring front-wheel drive, an engine mounted transversely at the front, short overhangs and a wide track, the Mini offered an unusually generous amount of space for passengers and luggage within a minimum surface area – with a fascinatingly agile driving response to boot. The current MINI model generation embodies the very latest version of this principle of making the smartest possible use of the space available. Not only does it meet contemporary standards in terms of comfort, safety and functionality, it also offers a whole new level of driving fun and refined premium characteristics in terms of design, material selection and finish quality.
The classic body concept is once again represented by the new MINI Hardtop. A re-interpretation of traditional design features gives it an unmistakable appearance. In the interior - likewise designed in hallmark brand style - there are four seats and an 8.7 cubic-foot luggage compartment. Thanks to its high-quality drive and suspension technology, typical MINI go-kart feeling is combined with exemplary efficiency and optimized ride comfort.
The original in the small car premium segment is also geared towards the extended requirements of modern target groups with an innovative body concept. In the current generation, MINI is also represented in the small car category for the first time with a fourdoor model. Featuring a wheelbase extended by 2.8 inches, two additional doors, a third seat at the rear and one of the largest luggage compartments in its class, with a volume of 13.1 cubic feet, the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door provides a whole new range of options to enjoy the driving fun that is so typical of the brand.
The new MINI Seven: stylish and expressive exterior design.
The exterior design features compiled exclusively for the new MINI Seven are geared towards achieving a particularly stylish and striking expression of the MINI Hardtop 2 Door and 4 Door, complete with its characteristic proportions, surface design and lines. Instantly fascinating appeal is created especially by means of a body finish in the MINI Yours color Lapisluxury Blue. This non-metallic finish is the most intensive blue tone ever applied to the body of a MINI. The paint finished conceived for the exclusive equipment program MINI Yours is based on the color Ultramarine, which is regarded as the “blue of kings”. The MINI Yours paint finish Lapisluxury Blue derives its striking brilliance, intensity and depth from the highly elaborate and technologically sophisticated production processes by which the paint and protective layers are applied to the body surfaces.
There are three other body finishes available to choose from for the new MINI Seven as alternatives to Lapisluxury Blue. The non-metallic finish Pepper White and the variants Midnight Black metallic and British Racing Green metallic are three of the classic options within the MINI color range in which the characteristic interplay of lines and surfaces on the exterior is given stylish yet discreet emphasis. This also brings out the athletic stature of both the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door and 4 Door models. It is especially defined by the powerfully arched bonnet and the large air inlets in the front apron, the dynamic wedge shape of the side window graphic and a striking sill line that combines with the parallel character line to direct attention to the large wheel arches. The fact that the width of the rear increases towards the bottom likewise contributes to the image of a body sitting powerfully on top of wheels.
Regardless of the selected body color, the roof and exterior mirror caps of the new MINI Seven are finished in Melting Silver. This contrasting color available exclusively for the design model underscores the horizontal body structuring typical of MINI, taking in the corpus, glass sections of the passenger cell and roof. The exclusive bonnet stripes of the new MINI Seven are designed to harmonize with the coloring of the roof and exterior mirror caps. The bonnet stripes, also in Melting Silver, each feature a surround in the color Malt Brown on the outside.
The 17-inch light alloy wheels of the new MINI Seven were likewise created especially for the design model. With the clear structure of their spokes and two-color finish, the wheels in MINI Seven Spoke two-tone design convey a solid, high-end impression. 18-inch light-alloy wheels are optionally available for the new MINI Seven in MINI Yours Vanity Spoke two-tone. Both variants of the light alloy wheels perfectly match the exclusive exterior features of the MINI Seven with their burnished surfaces and the MINI Yours paint finish Spectra Grey.
Another distinctive accentuation is added by the surrounds of the side indicators on the front wheel arches, known as side scuttles. These bear the logo of the design model which is made up of the wordmark “Seven” and the number seven. The MINI Seven logo is also to be found on the model-specific door sill finishers on the driver and front passenger side.
High-end and harmoniously designed ambience on the inside.
The interior design created for the new MINI generation is defined by three-dimensionally molded surfaces, high-quality color and material combinations and a modern display and operating concept. A new interpretation of classic styling is reflected in the horizontal structure of the cockpit and the circular or elliptically shaped contours of key features such as the air vents, instruments and door trim. The central instrument - another characteristic element - offers additional display content. Functionality and ergonomics are optimized by the new dashboard on the steering column and the newly positioned controls.
In the new MINI Seven, the mature character and premium ambience of the interior is highlighted by a harmoniously matched selection of colors and materials for the seats and interior surfaces. The standard trim includes sports seats in the exclusive fabric/leather Upholstery Diamond Malt Brown, which was created exclusively for this design model. The black leather of the seat and backrest surfaces is combined with fabric in the side sections. The latter have an oblique grey and black check pattern with a discreetly integrated pinstripe in Malt Brown and seams in the same color. The variants Cross Punch Carbon Black leather, Lounge Satellite Grey leather and MINI Yours Lounge Carbon Black leather are offered as alternatives.
Other features of the design model include the MINI Seven logo on the trim of the central instrument and interior surfaces in the color Piano Black high gloss. The MINI Yours interior styles Dark Cottonwood, Fibre Alloy and Off-White are optionally available. These options from the MINI Yours program lay the foundation for a particularly stylish and selective customization that underscores the car’s premium character as well as its British roots. In the MINI Yours interior styles, select materials are combined with a precise finish and high-end design. Another accentuation of stylish individuality derives from the Color Line applied to a range of elements from the outer air vents to the vertical surrounds of the controls below the central instrument, also including the armrests in the door panels. In the new MINI Seven, the Color Line comes as standard in Malt Brown, and is optionally available in Carbon Black, a variant exclusively offered for the design model and perfectly harmonized with the other colors used for the interior of the MINI Seven.
Individual style in maximum variety: two body variants, four engine types.
The launch of the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door made driving fun in the original of the small car premium segment accessible to additional target groups. The individual style of the new design comes into its own in both the MINI Hardtop 2 Door and 4 Door models. What is more, the new MINI Seven is available in two engine variants for each body type. The latest engine generation with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology, likewise newly developed transmissions and extensive MINIMALISM Technology help ensure all model variants achieve an exemplary balance between driving fun and fuel consumption.
The engine variants will include the 1.5 liter 3-cylinder engine with an output of 134 hp for the Cooper models and the particularly spirited 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with an output of 189 hp in the Cooper S models.
For all model variants of the new MINI Seven there is the optional alternative of a 6-speed Steptronic transmission instead of the standard 6-speed manual transmission. What is more, the Cooper S models can also be fitted with a 6-speed Steptronic sports transmission which offers even shorter shift times and includes not just a separate gear selector lever but also shift paddles at the steering wheel.
Unique in the segment: go-kart feeling combined with a full range of safety features and modern driver assistance systems.
Regardless of the engine type selected, high-quality suspension technology extensively refined and adapted for each specific model of the new MINI generation ensures that the power of the new MINI Seven is transformed into enthralling agile driving properties. The hallmark brand go-kart feeling derives from a single-joint spring strut axle at front, a multilink rear axle, electromechanical power steering and highly powerful and precisely controllable brakes - a combination that is unique in the small car segment. Dynamic Damper Control is available optionally and features electrically controlled dampers which can be adjusted via the MINI Driving Modes.
The standard DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) also includes DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) mode and Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) - an electronic locking function for the front axle. The Cooper S models are also fitted with Performance Control, a system that counters any tendency to understeer prior to reaching the threshold level. The standard trim also includes tire pressure display for each individual wheel.
Exemplary vehicle occupant protection is ensured by the integrated MINI safety concept which includes not just a body with highly resilient bracket structures, optimized deformation zones and an extremely stable passenger cell but also front and side airbags, side curtain airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, 3-point automatic belts on all seats, belt tensioners and belt force limiters at the front and ISOFIX child seat mountings at the rear as standard.
The range of driver assistance systems developed for the new MINI generation includes the MINI Head-Up Display, Parking Assistant and rear view camera and also the Driving Assistant system including camera-based active cruise control, collision and pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant, speed limit sign detection.
Individually tailored driving fun with high-end options and MINI Connected.
The premium character of the new MINI Seven can be further highlighted with other individual options. The highlights of the range of individually selectable optional equipment include the seat heating for driver and front passenger, the panorama glass roof, Comfort Access, the Harmon Kardon hi-fi speaker system, Park Distance Control, power-folding exterior mirrors and auto-dimming rearview and driver’s side mirrors.
The new MINI Seven special edition will come standard with the MINI Connected infotainment system including a 6.5-inch high-resolution screen or an optional larger 8.8-inch display with naviation. It offers extensive integration of smartphones in the car, allowing the use of internet-based services in the areas of infotainment, communication and driving experience by means of apps. The MINI Connected XL Journey Mate provides an innovative form of travel planning and support. Operation of all functions is intuitive and reflects hallmark brand style, using the MINI Controller in the center console and the color display up to 8.8 inches in size in the central instrument.
The new MINI Seven: following in the footsteps of its ancestors in elegant and distinctive style.
The new MINI Seven combines stylish individualism and progressive technology with an awareness of brand tradition and the British roots of the original in the premium segment of small cars. The design model follows in the footsteps of the classic Mini, its name echoing the very first appearance of its legendary ancestor more than five and half decades ago in two virtually identical model versions. This first classic Mini ever produced was an Austin Seven. It left the Longbridge plant in Birmingham, UK, on 4 April 1959. The only features distinguishing the Austin Seven from its twin, the Morris Mini Minor, were the radiator grille complete with brand logo, the hub caps and the body paint finish. Tartan Red, Speedwell Blue and Farina Grey were the names of the colors in which the Austin Seven was available.
The entire production of the classic MINI was moved to the Austin Seven’s place of origin in 1969. It was at this point that Mini became the standardized brand name for the small car, which by then had gained worldwide popularity. It was not until 31 years later on 4 October 2000 that the last of almost 5.4 million classic Mini came off the production line - also in Longbridge. Belonging to the BMW Group by this time, the brand had launched a special model of the successful small car a short time previously. Its name: Mini Seven.
The memory of the first of all classic Mini models was kept alive after the relaunch of the brand in 2001, too. Another edition model bearing the tradition-steeped name was premiered in 2005. The MINI Seven introduced on this occasion was available in three engine variants and featured such elements as newly designed light alloy wheels, white direction indicators and high-end comfort fittings complete with a lighting and storage package as well as exclusive design features for the exterior and interior. Another parallel with the current design model: the MINI Seven of the year 2005 was the first model variant of its generation to feature a roof in the contrasting color of silver
BMW PressClub USA press release:
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – May 9, 2016 – MINI USA today announced the official list of Sponsors and Partners that will come along for the ride during MINI TAKES THE STATES 2016. The list includes Shell V-Power® NiTRO+ Premium Gasoline , Pennzoil PurePlus™ Technology , InterContinental Hotels Group , Pirelli Tires , Kem Krest® and Aquafina® .
MINI TAKES THE STATES is a legendary cross country rally for MINI owners that kicks off at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Georgia, on July 9. From there, participants will make a cross-country journey through 15 cities, finishing the epic Motoring adventure at the Thermal Club motorsports complex in Palm Springs, California.
“MINI TAKES THE STATES is a great opportunity to engage with the MINI community in a way that is very unique to our brand,” said Tom Noble, Department Head, Brand Communications, MINI USA. “We look forward to having our sponsors and partners on board for the journey which will surely be an epic adventure.”
MINI will be joined this year by Platinum Sponsor, Shell V-Power® NiTRO+ Premium Gasoline. Motorers can download the Fuel Rewards® app before the event and visit the Shell tent during MTTS to find out ways to earn additional Fuel Rewards. Pennzoil PurePlus™ Technology, found in every bottle of MINI Original Engine Oil, the recommended engine oil for MTTS, will also be a sponsor.
“We’re pleased to partner with MINI for this cross-country journey. Shell has a history of providing premium products for drivers who demand the best, no matter whether they’re driving on or off the track,” said Heidi Massey-Bong, Sponsorship Manager for Shell.
Silver Sponsor, Pirelli offers MINI approved tires for the MINI Paceman, MINI Countryman and MINI Clubman models. Participants will have the opportunity to win a set of MINI spec, star marked Pirelli tires. Full details will be available at the event.
For the few hours Motorers won’t be on the road, they can rest easy while earning rewards at InterContinental Hotels Group, the Official Hotel Partner of MTTS.
Additional event partners include Kem Krest®, the official MINI aftermarket chemical supplier and Aquafina®, the perfect way for happy bodies to stay healthy and hydrated while on the road.
Earlier in the year, MINI USA also 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 of the legendary cross-country road rally. Similar to years past, a portion of the proceeds from each registration fee will be donated to Feeding America.
Stay tuned for more updates or visit MINITAKESTHESTATES.com to recieve email updates. For blog posts and press images from MINI TAKES THE STATES 2014 please visit the MTTS 2014 page on MINIUSANEWS.com. Media interested in updates on MINI USA can also follow us on Twitter at @MINIUSANEWS.
Chron provides this quote in its article:
. . . "Today's Clubman is our largest, but still very much a Mini. This can now be the only car in the household for many families," said Patrick McKenna, department head, Product Planning and 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." . . .
MotoringFile covers the creation by MINI UK of a limited edition MINI JCW Challenge for track days. Changes made to the JCW include:
- The chassis has been upgraded with Nitron springs and dampers along with front camber plates. They will be fully adjustable for both height and camber. There’s also a stiffer set of sway bars to give flatter handling.
- Brakes are the same four-piston Brembo set-up from the JCW but the Challenge will use bespoke Mintex pads of greater bite.
- A real old school limited slip differential from Quaife will be standard on the car – the first mechanical differential since the early days of the R56 (sorry EVO – MINIs other than the R53 GP did have a true diff)
- Finally MINI UK will be fitting Team Dynamics wheels in order to save over 3 lbs per corner. They’ll be 17″ in dimeter but will a full 7.5″ white. The tire choice remains a mystery.
. . . The Sport mode was my favorite, tightening up the front MacPherson struts and multi-link rear suspension and shift points, yet ECO really helped the mileage numbers in sluggish traffic. The MINI S averages 27 miles per gallon, maxing out at around 34 on the highway, making this a great commuter car. . . .
The Daily Toggle reports:
International Mini Meeting 2016 (IMM 2016) starts a week from today and takes place this year in Lommel, Belgium, from May 12th through 16th. Taking place annually since 1978, IMM moves from European country to country. Of course, it began as a classic Mini gathering but embraced the new MINI since 2001. Each day attendees will have a food and shopping village with live bands and DJs. A wedding is scheduled for the event. Registration has closed but daily tickets will be available at the event for €18. . . .
autoinsane reviews the 2016 MINI Cooper S Clubman and is enthusiastic:
. . . Honestly speaking, there is no need for more power in this vehicle. It couldn’t put more down if it had it. That is so refreshing. Most cars feel like they could use about 20% more power. This MINI has power to spare. Every time you tip that throttle you feel great about this car. It also sounds wonderful when you floor it. . . .
. . . After making a cool concept and almost putting it into production, MINI changed its mind and said the Rocketman was a no-go. Apparently, it was too small and not profitable enough, angering many of the loyal fans who said the brand had fallen in love with big cars.
Fast forward to 2015 and the Rocketman is back on track, now becoming a plug-in hybrid with similar engines to the 2 Series Active Tourer and based on the UKL1 platform. Now, Autocar has talked to MINI product boss Ralph Mahler and he hints at something slightly different, an EV - all plug and no combustion. . . .
BMWBlog explores in its interview with Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW Group’s board member for MINI. Schwarzenbauer said, in part:
. . . When questioned whether the fifth car will be the first MINI sedan, Schwarzenbauer said the British marque is not ruling out a compact sedan considering the growth of that segment, but that doesn’t seem the sedan would fit the brand’s image. “If you look at the global industry and ask me which segment is the most interesting on a volume basis, it is clearly the compact sedan,” Schwarzenbauer said. “But does a compact sedan fit the Mini brand? I don’t think so.” . . .
MotoringFile, MINI USA's David Duncan chatted with the blog about all things MINI USA, particularly fine-tuning MINI USA’s marketing message with three goals:
1. Increasing brand awareness through TV advertising, as in Mini’s Super Bowl ad this year;
2. Emphasizing that the brand stands for more than just one vehicle; and
3. Pushing the message that Mini is premium.
1. Increasing brand awareness through TV advertising, as in Mini’s Super Bowl ad this year;
2. Emphasizing that the brand stands for more than just one vehicle; and
3. Pushing the message that Mini is premium.
MotoringFile MINIUSA sustained a loss of 12.4 percent in sales in April 2016 compared to sales in April 2015. It also advises:
. . . While we won’t know international sales for another week, those figures have been trending in the opposite direction making this downward trend very US market specific. . . .
International Business Times, gives the MINI Clubman 4 out of 5 possible stars and this "verdict":
An attractive and practical car with bags of character and enough space for four adults with luggage. The Mini Clubman is a great car for a small family who don't want to upgrade to a full-on estate or SUV, but in Cooper S form it can't quite live up to expectations. It's still a quick car and entertaining for the odd solo run to the shops late at night, but the next morning it feels more at home carrying people and bags from A to B.
Quirky and characterful, but not as fun as you might have hoped. Perhaps this is just what growing up feels like.
Jalopnik, with such tips as:
. . . Turn One: A perilously fast left hander where balls the size of grapefruits are required. In a prototype, you’re approaching the braking zone at approximately 160 mph.
No matter what car you’re in, this is a momentum corner. You want to lift early, brake lightly, and role speed down to the apex. The exit is blind, so you must sense how early you can get back to full power. Time, here, is gained on entry. With a downhill exit, an overly hot entry lacks the punishment typically dished out. . . .
MotoringFile covers the European debut with oodles of photos and this Official Press Release:
Official Release: 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. The second John Cooper Works model of the latest generation combines engine and suspension technology optimised for use on the race track with distinctive design and equipment features as well as the extensively refined qualities of the new MINI Convertible.
John Cooper Works now launches the second top athlete of the new model generation; new MINI John Cooper Works Convertible invites racing fans to enjoy extreme driving fun in a particularly exclusive way; unique vehicle concept in the small car segment combining authentic racing feel with intense open-air enjoyment, complete with the premium quality and mature product substance of the new MINI generation.
Thrilling performance properties and extrovert charisma; drive, suspension technology and aerodynamics developed on the basis of well-established racing expertise; distinctive design features in the unmistakable style of John Cooper Works and clearly differentiated from the new MINI Convertible.
2.0-litre 4-cylinder power unit developed exclusively for John Cooper Works models; current engine generation with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology as the basis; fascinating performance characteristics and highly emotional sound development due to distinctive design of pistons, turbocharger and exhaust system; the most powerful engine in the MINI portfolio with 170 kW/231 hp; output increase of 15 kW/20 hp as compared to the predecessor model and 29 kW/39 hp as compared to the new MINI Cooper S Convertible: maximum torque: 320 Newton metres; 6-speed manual transmission as standard, 6-speed Steptronic sport transmission available as an option; combined EU fuel consumption: 6.5 l/100 km (automatic: 5.9 l/100 km, combined EU CO2 emissions: 152 g/km (138 g/km).
Extremely sporty acceleration and elasticity figures; 0 – 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds (minus 0.3 seconds) with manual transmission and 6.5 seconds (minus 0.6 seconds) with Steptronic transmission, 80 – 120 km/h in 6.1 seconds (minus 0.7 seconds); top speed increased by 7 km/h to 242 km/h (automatic: 240 km/h).
Power transmission to the front wheels; high-quality suspension technology with set-up geared perfectly to the vehicle concept and engine performance characteristics; standard trim includes Brembo sports brake system, 17-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels Track Spoke silver and speed-related Servotronic steering support; Dynamic Damper Control available as an option; Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) as standard with DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control) and Performance Control.
Powerfully expressive design with dynamically stretched silhouette, powerful surface shaping and optimised air routing in the style of John Cooper Works; large cooling air outlets in the front apron which also occupy the space provided for the parking lights and fog lamps in the MINI Convertible; distinctively designed side sills and rear apron; LED headlights with white turn indicators and LED rear lights as standard; radiator grille, side scuttles and tailgate with John Cooper Works logo; optional body finish in the variant Rebel Green exclusively available for John Cooper Works models.
New textile top with fully electrically powered, especially low-noise operation for the first time; fully automatic opening and closing of the soft top at the press of a button in 18 seconds, also during travel at speeds up to 30 km/h; sliding roof function available at any road speed; optional MINI Yours top with integrated high-end Union Jack graphic.
Vehicle dimensions, wheelbase and track width significantly larger than in predecessor model; optimised space on all four seats; rear seats with single-seat character and extended seat surface; luggage compartment capacity increased to 215 litres with the top closed and 160 litres with the top open; standard trim includes folding split backrest, enlarged through-loading facility and Easy Load function.
High-quality interior with refined premium ambience, modern display and operating concept of the latest MINI generation and the sports car cockpit typical of John Cooper Works models; fully integrated rollover protection bars behind the rear seats; John Cooper Works sports seats in Dinamica/fabric Carbon Black with integrated headrests; John Cooper Works door sill cover strips; John Cooper Works leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons and shift paddles in conjunction with the 6-speed Steptronic sport transmission; John Cooper Works gearshift or selector lever; cockpit displays and central instrument surround in model-specific design; pedals and driver footrest in stainless steel.
Highly rigid body structure with convertible-specific bracing elements for an agile driving response with maximum occupant protection; complete set of standard safety features with front airbags, head-thorax airbags integrated in the backrests, 3-point automatic belts on all seats, ISOFIX child seat mountings for the front passenger seat and at the rear, tyre pressure display and partially active engine compartment lid for optimum pedestrian protection; needs-based control of the restraint systems and rollover protection by means of centralised safety electronics.
Standard trim includes fully automatic soft top operation, air conditioning, MINI Driving Modes, Radio MINI Boost with AUX-IN and USB socket, as well as Park Distance Control.
Exclusive optional equipment and John Cooper Works tuning accessories; optional MINI Head-Up Display with John Cooper Works specific display content; MINI Driving Assistant; Parking Assistant; rear view camera; 2-zone automatic air conditioning with convertible mode; Always Open Timer with new display content; new wind deflector with reduced weight and simplified attachment; Comfort Access; rain sensor with automatic driving lights control: MINI Excitement Package including MINI Logo projection from the exterior mirror onto the ground in front of the door on the driver’s side; MINI navigation system and Wired equipment package including navigation system Professional with MINI Touch Controller; Bluetooth mobile phone preparation; exterior mirror caps in Chili Red; 18-inch John Cooper Works light alloy wheels CupSpoke 2-tone; John Cooper Works bonnet stripes as well as exterior and interior components from the John Cooper Works Pro design line.
Complete MINI Connected in-car infotainment program; constantly updated selection of apps for integration in the car via smartphone; exclusive MINI functions such as MINI Streetwise, online search, Sports Instruments and Force Meter; MINI Connected XL Journey Mate with real time traffic radar and rain warning function; online-based services for the use of social networks as well as entertainment offers such as Spotify, AUPEO!, Stitcher, Deezer, Audible, Napster/Rhapsody, TuneIn and GoPro.
TFL.com he fields and answers this question:
‘Sup Nathan?!His response:
Simple question from Phoenix, Arizona. What would you choose, the Ford Focus ST or the Mini Cooper S 4 Door? I want it fast, front wheel drive and manual. What do you think?
A: Howdy Matt!
I think the Ford Focus ST is a huge bargain by comparison. You can load one up and still have it for less than 30K. The equivalent MINI will run $32-$38,000. The Ford Focus ST is a monster on the track and it’s very easy to drive hard – very hard. It would be my choice between the two for track days.
With that being said, the MINI Cooper S Clubman gives you a fantastic driving experience, decent interior space and gobs of personality. There are a ton of equipment options and it feels like a small BMW. Its overall performance capabilities are impressive and, as a daily driver, it would be my choice.
If you are a MINI fan, the Ford will never do. On the other hand, if you want raw performance, it’s hard to beat the Ford Focus ST.
Matt, have you considered the Volkswagen GTI? It’s TFLcar’s favorite hot-hatch – for a majority of good reasons.
Business Insider about driving a 2015 MINI JCW:
. . . The JCW, on the other hand, thinks any speed limit is fodder for contempt. It basically wants to do 80 all the time (in other words, it wants to be on a race track), but if you're tooling along at 30, it reminds you of what every single MPH of 30 is like, in fiercely granular detail. The exhaust note is vigorous and engaging, a feisty volcano of sonic lava. The brake, clutch, and accelerator pedals all have an urgent vibe that suggest purposeful driving is the way to go and that commuting would be tiring for the left leg. . . .
Autocar's final question:
. . . Should I buy one?
If your budget will stand it, yes. Which is a fairly big ‘if’, given that small cabriolets can be bought considerably more cheaply by those who don’t need four usable seats - and we suspect few in the market really do. There again, strong residual values should mitigate the Mini Convertible's high after-options price, and Mini’s transferable fixed-price servicing packages promise to make ownership of the car easy.
If nothing else, it’s quite plain that you are at least getting what you pay for in the Mini Convertible: a better car, of greater engineering integrity and dynamism than its rivals, and what will amount to irresistible desirability for some. Get one with an automatic gearbox, though, and preferably without the optional Union Jack cloth roof.