Jan 31st, 2005
More on the next MINI from Autocar.
With engineering work well underway on the next-generation Mini, and the secrets of the car’s new engine revealed, we didn’t expect to get a tip-off about the new car’s looks. But these official sketches released by BMW’s Designworks studio seem to give more than a hint about the look of the next-generation Cooper S. Close examination of this rendering appears to confirm that it is a version of the Mini 2: note the hidden wipers, conventional bonnet, extended rear haunches and the new, one-piece grille opening.
With the supercharger’s bonnet air intake set to go, BMW needs a way to make the new hot Mini instantly recognisable. This aggressive bumper treatment and faired-in driving lights could be an ideal solution. (New pedestrian safety regulations are expected to outlaw separate driving lamps).
Jan 31st, 2005
Reader John Schoettler gives us a brief synopsis on an article in the March issue of Motor Trend detailing the next MINI:
In the new March issue Motor Trend magazine it states the following on page 20:
“Design chief Gert Hildebrand regards these design cues as sacred: bug-eye headlamps, grille shape, clamshell hood with a central bulge. Headlamps fixed to fenders rather than integrated in hood to cut costs”
In the article it also stated the next-gen Mini will start production in late 06 as a 2007 model and an AWD version will come out a few years later and JCW is planning on getting the new engine up to 230HP. The article also stated that 4-door hatch will come out a year later while a next-gen convertible will be about 2 years later. The rear multilink suspension will also be simplified to allow for more wheel travel which will help create more rear seat space and will also make the ride smoother..
Jan 31st, 2005
Since we posted about the new 2005 JCW US catalog several people have asked about the availability of the JCW strut brace. While, for some reason it wasn’t mentioned in the catalog, it was available outside the US as an approved JCW accessory. After some official confirmation we can now say with confidence that the JCW strut brace should be available by late March in the US. No prices have been announced yet.
Jan 30th, 2005
The Telegraph takes us on our journey through time and the Col de Turini and manages to paint to an incredible picture of the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally in the process. It’s a great read for anyone, but especially for those that don’t know the Mini’s history well. Here’s an excerpt:
The road sign says “16 Lacets”. That’s 16 hairpins in succession, some of them almost too steep to walk up or down, joined by short, narrow sections of never-quite-straight, never-quite-smooth asphalt, almost all with sheer rock faces on one side and vertical drops into oblivion on the other. Not to mention black ice, packed snow or the odd rock-fall around each blind approach.
Four decades have passed since the original Mini Cooper S first won the Monte Carlo Rally with a series of giant-killing performances on these very roads, and most things change a lot in 40 years. But whether you spell Mini with lower case letters as in 1964, or MINI all in capitals, as they do now it belongs to BMW, the Col de Turini (of which the 16 consecutive hairpins are a tiny part) is as thought-provoking as ever.
[ Old Mini or new MINI? Brian Laban decides, on the Col de Turini ]
Jan 29th, 2005
Among the many small changes made on January 1st for all MINI production are the new standard advanced airbags. This is a addition that hasn’t really been talked about before just recently so not much was know about the feature. It’s listed in the article we previously linked to by Sean Bartnik however, knowing that many readers might have missed it, I wanted to feature it within its own post. Here’s an excerpt of Sean’s description:
These airbags have weight sensors in the front seats and use the weight of the seat occupant to determine airbag deployment speed and force. This is why the sport seats are of a slightly different design on the bottom cushion for ’05 models — the scalloped portion at the front of the bottom cushion exists no more and the cushion shape is a little flatter for ’05.
Jan 28th, 2005
Promini has an informative article on the wonderful world of cabin air filters. It may not be as exciting of a topic as that latest JCW spoiler but it’s probably more important. Here’s an excerpt:
MINIs are equipped with a small A/C cabin filter element. The filters are designed to trap all dust and/or solid particles. This is a major improvement over the window screen style filtration of the 70’s and 80’s. Unfortunately most car owners are not aware that this item even exists and requires annual replacement, and more often in dusty areas that have high vehicle population. The only indication that you would experience is that the A/C does not seem to have the force that it did when the vehicle was new. Similar to a dirty engine filter, restriction reduces airflow and volume.
[ Have you changed your cabin air filter? ]
You can also check out installation instructions here.
Jan 28th, 2005
Sean Bartnik has some great info and photos on the new automatic MCS and all the other subtle 1/05 interior tweaks at his weblog. Here’s an excerpt from the site:
The shift lever is really sharp-looking and feels nice in your hand. It’s a leather knob and the shift release button is really slick-looking with the red S on the side (I think it looks a lot like a full-face helmet with a face shield, and the resemblence is probably intentional — very sporty). The shift pattern layout is the same as in the Cooper CVT, with P R N D in the normal fashion, and then the SportDrive mode available by nudging the shifter to the right from the D position. The manual mode can be operated via the shift lever in the same manner as on the Cooper CVT: tap forward for downshifts and tap rearward for upshifts. Unlike the Cooper CVT (at least in the U.S.), the Cooper S automatic can also be manually shifted via paddles on the steering wheel, which leads us into…