Archive for April 2003

The MINI Cabrio Round-up

MotoringFile Sections: Uncategorized Apr 30th, 2003 2 Comments

This post is meant to be a place one can go to find all the latest info on the MINI Cabrio. It will be updated as new information comes in. Enjoy!

[UPDATE 1.22.04]: The MINI Cabrio is Officially Released!

[UPDATE 1.22.04]: More Cabrio Shots From London

[UPDATE 1.19.04]: Orange Inside and Out

[UPDATE 1.16.04]: More MINI Cabrio Details

[UPDATE 1.10.04]: Striking MCS Cabrio Gold in Central London

[UPDATE 1.1.04]: The 2005 MINI Cabrio Interior Revealed

[UPDATE 12.23.03]: 2005 MINI Face lift Revealed

[UPDATE 10.16.03]: More MCS Cabrio Spyshots & Video Footage

[UPDATE 10.13.03]: New MINI Cabrio Photos

[UPDATE 9.15.03]: MINI Convertible Spyshots Page Updated

[UPDATE 8.25.03]: The MINI Cabrio… One Year and Counting (A general update on what to expect from the new MINI Cabrio/Open in a year's time.)

[UPDATE 8.16.03]: New Getrag Gearbox For The Cooper In 2005

[UPDATE 6.25.03]: MINI Cabrio Color & Trim Information.

[UPDATE 6.12.03]: MINI Cabrio Launch Update

[UPDATE 5.28.03]: The MINI Cabrio May Be Built By Pininfarina.

[UPDATE 5.23.03]: MINI has shown official photos to the dealers .

[UPDATE 5.15.03]: MINI has now confirmed the new convertible models.

As we get closer to the late summer '04 roll-out of the MINI Cabrio (or the MINI Open as it maybe called) new info seems to be coming in weekly. So in response to all these photos, videos, facts, and figures I thought I'd create a post with all the current Cabrio information that I have on my site. Here are the various posts:

Another MINI Cabrio Video

Spy Video of the new MINI Cabrio

Yes Virginia… there will be an MCS Cabrio

The MINI Cooper… Open?


p>The New New MINI (rumors)

And here are the original pictures (not photoshopped as like most out there) from AutoExpress:

the new MINI Cabrio

If anybody has heard something that isn't listed here feel free to add it in the comments section.

Another MINI Cabrio Video

MotoringFile Sections: Uncategorized Apr 30th, 2003 No Comments


p>Once again AutoExpress.com has come through with a video of next years MINI Cabrio. This second clip is much better than the first in terms of clarity. Check out AutoExpress.com's spy video section for all the details.

Local MINI Car Clubs

MotoringFile Sections: Uncategorized Apr 29th, 2003 12 Comments

As you may have noticed those of us in the Chicago region are in the process of forming the Chicago MINI Motoring Club. Officers have been elected, a name has been chosen, and our first official event is being planned. But that being said there is some work to do before we start taking dues and giving out stickers.

Up until now owners in Chicago (and I imagine other areas as well) have simply had informal groups loosely held together via mass email or some yahoo group. Now it seems the time has come to create something with a bit more solidity – something that is bigger than just 2 or 3 people. If you're not familar with what a mature club can offer just take a look what the BMWCCA or the PCA. Certainly any MINI club would have a long way to go before ever reaching that sort of level but we must start somewhere.

It would seem a car like the MINI is just begging for some sort of organized owners group. It's one of those rare cars that seems to bring people together in positive ways. In fact there are a handful of clubs (listed in the links section) already established and more on the way everyday.

So here are my questions for those currently in MINI clubs or interested in them: How important do you think local clubs will be for MINI owners? What would you want to see a local club offer in terms of benefits or giveaways? How much would you be willing to pay in annual dues? And finally what type of events would you like to see local clubs offer?

Here's a list of currently operating MINI clubs in the US:

Chicago MINI Motoring Club (coming soon)
MINI5280 | Denver area club
Michigan MINI Motor Club | Michigan area club
MINIOKI | Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana MINI club
PDXMINI | Portland area club
Pitt Stop MINI | Western PA area club
SCMM | Southern California area club
STLMINI.com | St. Louis area club
(please feel free to add to this list if I missed one)

The Indy MINI Rally

MotoringFile Sections: Uncategorized Apr 28th, 2003 6 Comments

It looks like Sunday's Indianapolis MINI Rally yesterday was an absolute success. The reviews and photos have been astounding. Here's a review from Steve R.:

The ride was an all day 200 mile loop from the Dealership south and east to Nashville for lunch, and after a short break, back west and north to Greencastle for dinner. After dinner the ride continued back to the dealership.

There were over 80 MINIs, all colors and options imaginable, and 160 or so people in attendance. The dealer provided drinks and doughnuts, and a nice goody bag that included maps, a road quiz for passengers of the ride, MINI pens, MINI pins, and discounts, as well as a chance to buy clothes and accessories before the ride.

Rich Rubin, an Indianapolis area MINI enthusiast worked with the dealership to organize the entire event. He did an incredible job. He picked a route that included plenty of interesting roads that ranged from highways to residential streets to higher speed curves and hills to very tight one lane twisty hilly sections. Due to traffic we usually wound up in smaller groups, but we stopped every 30 miles or so for a quick photo-op, and a chance to re-group.

Lunch was an all you could eat buffet at the Brown County Inn where they had an entire area reserved for us. We had an hour of so afterwards to shop in the area, or wander around and meet other MINI people and gawk at all the cars. Some cars broke off back for home after this point, but the tightest, twistiest and most interesting part of the ride came afterwards through the Cataract Falls area. A brief stop at a sleepy old General Store and we were off on the next leg for dinner at the Walden Inn in Greencastle. The results from the road quizzes were scored, and many nice prizes were awarded to the winners (MINI radio controlled cars and clocks), as well as awards for the newest and oldest Indiana MINIs, the person who showed up earliest and latest for the rally, and the longest distance award (which I missed by 11 miles).

I ran into a quite a few people who have joined us on previous Chicago area rides, and met bunch of new MINI people who I hope to see again soon on other rides.

My ride started out with a quick 200 mile early morning cruise down from the Chicago area, 160 miles for the part of the rally I drove on, and another 200 miles back from Greencastle. I haven?t checked my fuel mileage because my current tank is at 363 and hasn?t gotten to the red light yet.

I had a fantastic day, and hope to make the next rally that they plan in that area.

I swear I'll make the next one :) Congrats to all involved and a big thanks to Dreyer & Reinbold MINI for doing such a great job hosting it. For further photos of the event check out this gallery.

Cool New Japanese MINI Mods

MotoringFile Sections: Uncategorized Apr 25th, 2003 11 Comments

[Update] As has been discussed in the comments of this post CTD-Germany carries most of these same peices at better prices. The good news is I just spoke with someone from CTD and they will ship to the United States and worldwide.

There are tons of new, seemingly well designed MINI mods at Gut-MINI.com. These Japanese parts looks much nicer than many similiar items I've seen on the US or UK market. I'm not entirely sure how one would go about ordering and getting things shipped to the US but I assume it's possible. Of course it's easier if you speak Japanese :)

Orange Metallic

MotoringFile Sections: Uncategorized Apr 25th, 2003 7 Comments

By popular demand here's the rumored new Orange Metallic MINI. I've heard it's coming out sometime during the '04 model year but haven't seen this confirmed anywhere yet.


p>I believe this particular car made the rounds at the 2001 autoshows.

Do You Have Ordering Regrets?

MotoringFile Sections: Uncategorized Apr 24th, 2003 14 Comments

A friend of mine is picking up his Cooper tomorrow after the agony of debating, ordering, and waiting. Thinking about his process has got me relfecting on my own… If I could go back and reorder my car what would I change? What am I very happy with? And what might I drop? Of course this doesn't include any aftermarket mods that you might have done – I'm talking about straight from the factory.

Actually I managed to snag on of the pre-spec Coopers that was speced & built before the dealer system was launched. But that being said I ended with pretty much getting my dream car. So while it wasn't truly ordered to my spec it could be considered what I would have gotten if given the chance.

Things I wish I had:

  • Sports Suspension Plus – I never would have imagined it made a difference, but it does)
  • Cold Weather Package – this wasn't available when we got our car but to me it would have been worth it for the heated mirrors alone. There were countless times this past winter they were useless from to being iced over

Things I wish I didn't have or could do without:

  • While I enjoy my multi-function computer, if I had to make a cut that would be it

Things I'm really happy I got:

  • Xenon lights – you really can't spend enough money on lights when it gets dark at 4pm during the winter months.
  • Sport Seats (with the Sport Package) – from my experience if you want an MC and don't want to slide around during heavy cornering either get the Sport Seats or wear some cords!
  • A white top!
  • Chrome Line – this car has taken my love for well designed chrome accents to a new level
  • Heated seats – guys, if you have a special someone in your life they're highly recommended.
  • That Blessed Sunroof! (with the Premium Package) – even if it means I have to battle the occasional squeak on a cold morning I absolutely love how it turns the cabin into a very bright and airy enviroment.

I get asked this sort of question all the time so I thought a post like this might help someone out there on the fence about some options. Feel free to add feedback disagreeing or ageeing with anything I said. One of the great things about MINI owners is that we all seem to have opinions and we're not afraid to share them :)

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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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