Feb 28th, 2003
Bridger.us/mini (along with my much smaller main weblog bridger.us) has had 1,003,102 hits since it's launch on 09/15/02. In fact there's been 310,000 hits in February alone. While it's nothing compared to the large MINI portals out there it's still very exciting to finally get there. Thanks everyone for contributing comments over the last several months.
As alwys if you have any feedback or suggestions to improve the site don't hesitate to let me know!
Feb 27th, 2003
Word is that could be the name for the upcoming MINI Cooper Cabrio. Whatever it's called the car is expected to go on sale in the UK sometime in the middle of '04. I would expect the US would be close behind.
From other photos we can tell the boot will be bottom hinged (ala the original Mini) and that the roof shouldn't interfere too much with the space of the backseats. Also it looks as if they've moved the antenna to just above the middle of the windscreen. This particular picture is from The Car Connection. There are more in the “Pictures” section of bridger.us/mini.
[Update] It looks like there will also be a Cooper S version of the MINI Cabrio.
Feb 26th, 2003
Here's a press release from MINI regarding the new MINI One D. There is no word on whether or not it will ever be available in the US.
“The MINI One D will travel to Geneva to make its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on March 4 2003. It will be the fourth model to join the MINI range and is the first series production MINI ever to feature a diesel engine. Combining the fuel economy of a modern diesel engine, whilst maintaining the agile driving characteristics so typical of MINI, the MINI One D will go on sale in the UK on June 7 2003. Pricing will be confirmed nearer to launch.
The 'heart' of the MINI One D is a 1.4 litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine, developed in co-operation with Toyota Motor Corporation. During a two-year development period this engine was specially modified for use in MINI. The MINI One D engine produces 75bhp and maximum torque of 180Nm at just 2000rpm. This high-performance direct injection diesel engine combines second generation Common Rail technology with a turbocharger featuring an intercooler. To save weight the cylinder head and crankcase are made from aluminium giving the MINI One D an unladen weight of 1,175Kg.
Fuel consumption in the combined cycle averages 58.9 mpg, and on 50 litres of diesel the MINI One D has a range of up to 625 miles. This means that frugal minded drivers will be able to drive from the Isle of Skye to the Isle of Wight on just one tank of fuel. The CO2 emission figure of 129g/km, ensures that the MINI One D falls into the lowest company car tax bracket.
The six-speed manual transmission, which is fitted as standard on the MINI One D (and also the MINI Cooper S), has been specially adapted to the diesel engine's characteristics in order to make the most effective use of the car's power. The 0-62mph sprint is reached in 13.8 seconds, whilst in fourth gear 50 to 75 mph is achieved in just12.3 seconds. The sixth gear ratio has been reduced in order to lower the engine's speed and fuel consumption on long distance journeys.
The MINI One D has been differentiated from the MINI One by a MINI One D logo on the rear boot lid and MINI Cooper S side sills. In addition, the MINI One D has bigger front-end air intakes for extra engine cooling and a closed off rear bumper skirt concealing the exhaust pipe.”(MINI PR)
While it would be very cool to see this come to the states but I can't see it happening until we require lower sulfer content in our diesel fuel. I think that's still 3-4 years away at best.
Otherwise it looks impressive in terms of economy but a bit disappointing in regards to performance – even for a diesel.
Feb 26th, 2003
MINI2 has details about the new JCW package available to current and new owners of the MCS.
“By installing an even more powerful and higher revving compressor, John Cooper Works has turned the MINI Cooper S top model intoan excellent driving machine.
The performance figures can be compared to those of renowned sports cars: 200 horsepower (147 kW) at 6,950 rpm give this power pack a top speed of 226 km/h.
The generous torque of 240 Nm available at 4,000 rpm catapults the powerful MINI to 100 km/h in only 6.7 seconds. The car's pulling power is also very impressive: only 5.6 seconds are needed from 80 to 120 km/h.
In order to be able to use the new compressor with the higher rpm level and load pressure, modifications to the cylinder head and the engine electronics were necessary. A special rear silencer gives the car a powerful acoustic impact.
The suitable outfit for the power MINI.
In order to emphasise the sporty driving impression of the tuned MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S models, John Cooper Works not only offers sports seats but also an 18 inch wheel rim unique to the MINI up to now.
The sides of the sports seats are raised for improved lateral hold, the shoulder area is reinforced and the thigh support can be adjusted to provide greater comfort and safety. The seats are available in nearly all regular colour and upholstery designs and can also be ordered with seat heating. The Easy-Entry function remains unchanged.
18-inch light-alloy rims also give the MINI a powerful and sporty look. The wheels in star spoke design featuring five widening spokes run on 205/40 R18 tyres.” (MINI2.com)
All US specific info will be released most likely at the New York auto show and will be available for immediate delivery or installation at any MINI dealer. Prices have yet to be annouced.
Feb 24th, 2003
UPDATED 3.4.03: You can now download a turn by turn PDF of the drive (with maps) here and a MS Word version here. It's also got phone numbers of our destinations and my cell phone number in case anyone is late or lost.
When: Saturday March 8th 8:00 – 2:00 (depending on where you start and end your drive)
Times: There are a couple starting points due to some of us living near the city and some of us living in the northern Suburbs. For those from outside the Chicago area email me directly for more specific directions.
Plaza De Lago in Wilmette: 8:00 (leaving at 8:30 / Krispy Kreme in Gurnee: 9:30 (leaving around 10) / Jelly Belly: around 10:30 (probably leave around 11:30) / The Spot in Kenosha: 12:30 to 1. These times are all estimates at this point but they should give you a general idea of the schedule.
Where: The starting point is for those coming from the city, near northside, or any who has to drive a ways north to get to Gurnee will be
Plaza De Lago located on Sheridan Rd. in Wilmette. We will meet at 8:00 a.m. and leave around 8:30. Directions are as follows:
Go North from the city on the Edens (I94) and exit east on Lake Ave. Follow Lake Ave. for about 10 minutes – once you go over some railroad tracks you will be getting close. From there you go through a large 4 way intersection and then hit a traffic light. At the light you will turn left onto Sheridan Rd. From there you will drive about a .5 of a mile and hit another light. Take a left on this light (Westerfield Dr.) and make an immediate right into the parking lot. We will meet in the side of the parking lot that is closest too the intersection you just came from.
Here's a map of the Wilmette area. Here's a map of the drive from we'll take from Wilmette to Gurnee (we'll be going from south to north so you should start from the bottom of the page)
The starting point for those in the far northern suburbs or for those who want to get up later and just shoot straight up to Gurnee is the Krispy Kreme in Gurnee IL. I would assume those of us coming from Wilmette will arrive at the Gurnee Krispy Kreme around 9:30 a.m. so let shoot for that as the time to meet. Directions are as follows assuming your're coming from I94 either north or southbound:
Exit onto 132 Eastbound. Shortly after you are on 132 you will turn left onto N. Dilley's Rd. Krispy Kreme will be on your left.
Here's a map of the Gurnee area
From there we will take Hunt Club Rd to County Q/Route 165 to Jelly Belly Factory. This map shows the route from Krispy Kreme to the the Jelly Belly factory.
Finally after the Jelly Belly factory we'll head north into Kenosha for some lunch at the Spot. Here's the map of the route from Jelly Belly to the Spot
Who: Anyone is welcome to join us. If you have a new MINI, a Classic Mini, or are patiently awaiting your MINI that is currently on some ship crossing the Atlantic you're welcome to come out.
The Details: This drive is a fairly long one so come prepared! Our initial meeting place (for those going to Wilmette) is a good place to gather as there's a Starbucks and Jewel right there in the plaza.
If you want more information about Plaza de Lago
check out their website: www.plazadelago.com
Things to Bring: FRS Radios, a full tank of gas, all your best Mini apparel, and a smile.
Feb 24th, 2003
I made a couple changes to the site over the weekend. First I added an “about” section in the upper right that gives you some background info on the site and myself. Secondly I've increased the size of the links to the right. I've heard from a couple people on PCs with high resolution that they can appear small. If they still seem too hard to read for you email me your monitor specs and the resolution you're running and I'll see if I can optimize things a bit more.
Update: I added a “Colophon” to give background information on how the site was created.
Feb 22nd, 2003
I'll roll past the 20k barrier this morning – anyone else nearing this mark?
To make it even more of a special day, it's my birthday as well.