Archive for December 2004

MotoringFile 2004 in Review

MotoringFile Sections: Uncategorized Dec 31st, 2004 24 Comments

It was a big year here at MotoringFile. For one we went through a name change. Then we went through a complete redesign. And through it all we had ton of stories. Here are some of the more interesting statistics for the year and some of the stories that drove them.

Average daily unique visits went through the roof in the last 12 months. In January we were averaging around 2200 daily. This past month we'll be close to 6000 a day. In all we managed to get just miss the 30,000,000 hit mark for 2004. Not bad for non-forums based news/weblog site.

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MINI at the 2005 Detroit Autoshow

MotoringFile Sections: Uncategorized Dec 30th, 2004 21 Comments

While this should all be old news to the dedicated MotoringFile reader, here's a sneak peak and what we'll be seeing from MINI at the North American International Autoshow (from MINIUSA PR):

MINI's fun and spirited brand personality is highlighted yet again – now with the addition of new optional features, a performance package and Hollywood 'stunt' excitement. The MINI Cooper S with automatic transmission will make its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month. A limited slip differential for the MINI Cooper S equipped with a manual transmission will also be presented along with the new 2005 John Cooper Works tuning kit. Additionally, a display will be on the stand in Detroit featuring “The Italian Job Stunt Track” roller coaster scheduled to debut at Kings Island amusement park in Cincinnati, OH this summer.

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Failed rear window on MINI Convertible

MotoringFile Sections: Uncategorized Dec 29th, 2004 68 Comments

Broken Window

We were recently sent this picture from a MINI Convertible owner in England – hopefully this is not going to be a common problem for the MINI Convertible, especially since this MINI2 thread suggests that the repair cost could be as high as $3000 because the whole roof has to be replaced! Carol, who sent the picture, wrote:

Last Sunday I opened the car from a distance of about 30 feet (it was parked in an open garage) and my back window shattered into thousands of bits!! The car had been parked there since the previous day, the back window was in perfect condition i. e. no stone chips or similar so what happened?

I am waiting for the dealer to collect it but they tell me that Mini say it doesn't happen and that I must have done something so it may not be possible to replace under warranty. I'm also told that it is not just a case of replacing the window, but the entire roof

21 People and One MINI

MotoringFile Sections: Uncategorized Dec 29th, 2004 12 Comments

Since this is the traditional calm before the storm in terms of automotive news here's something we missed this past August that may be of interest. From MINI Press:

The MINI entered the record books once more! As the 2004 Olympic Games moved into their final days late last week, the world MINI-cramming record was broken when 21 people worked their way into a MINI Cooper at the Galea Club in Athens. The Galea Club was MINI's Athens base and was the venue for the debut of MINI's XXL stretch limo. In the spirit of the Olympics, the record is regarded as truly international, though other nations are evaluating the event with a view to adding yet another person to the “cram” and securing the record for themselves.

Pics: before / during / after

MINI Convertible Alarm Now Available

MotoringFile Sections: Uncategorized Dec 28th, 2004 18 Comments

After a long wait the MINI Convertible Alarm has just been announced by MINIUSA and should be currently available from all US dealers. The alarm itself will be $399 plus $70 for the wiper stalk with the red warning light. MINIUSA is estimating installation should take around 4 hours.

Autoweek Drivers Log: The MCSc

MotoringFile Sections: Uncategorized Dec 26th, 2004 1 Comment

Since Autoweek seems to be slowly turning into a weekly MINI magazine here's yet another MINI related snippet. This comes from their weekly drivers log:

I enjoyed my romp in the Mini Cooper S convertible more than the non-supercharged version because you can go faster, of course, though mucho fun can be had in both the Cooper and S. My wife is hot to get a Mini some day and heck, why not make it the convertible? There are some glitches; the blind spot is bigger than Godzilla, and you lose the decent amount of space the hardtop offers. But its chassis is nice and tight for a drop-top, especially considering the base model's price range, and small becomes big when the sky appears. It's gonna be a real dilemma.

Read more here.

First Drive in the 2005 JCW S

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, R53 (Coupe), Reviews Dec 23rd, 2004 59 Comments

It’s four degrees Fahrenheit, a fine mixture of salt and sand is covering all roads and I’m behind the wheel of the fastest factory MINI ever made; the 2005 JCW Cooper S. Not a combination for the faint of heart. Hey I’m not complaining, but can you imagine worse conditions for a first drive save maybe a foot of snow?

While we expect a full week long test of the 2005 JCW MCS at some point, I couldn’t pass up the chance to get behind the wheel for a sneak peak. Especially considering this particular car had the highly anticipated suspension kit and 18″ JCW alloys. So without further delay, here are some very brief initial thoughts.

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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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MotoringFile Reviews

'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range