Archive for June 2005

2002 MINI Ranked 3rd Worst in Reliability

MotoringFile Sections: Awards, In the Press Jun 30th, 2005 88 Comments

The JD Power results are in for the long term reliability of 2002 US cars and trucks and the results for MINI, aren’t good. MINI finished 3rd from the bottom with 383 problems per 100 cars. Interestingly they finished right next to Volkswagen who unlike MINI, had no first model year excuses.

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MINI Video Input

MotoringFile Sections: DIY, R50 (Coupe), R52 (Conv.), R53 (Coupe), Reviews Jun 30th, 2005 70 Comments


As many of you who follow Motoringfile closely already know, I happen to have an OEM backup camera installed in my MINI (see: MINI Rear Camera Review). The rear-view camera produces such a nice image on the navigation display that it started me thinking about if it would be possible to use the backup camera as a video input for other video sources. It would be really cool to be able to play DVD movies (and possibly even play PS2 games) on the built-in navigation screen in my MINI. Well, after exploring the wiring diagram for the backup camera installation kit, it appears that there are indeed a couple of video inputs that can easily be tapped into (see: MINI Rear Camera Retrofit Kit Installation Instructions).

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Getrag's All Wheel Drive MINI In-Depth

MotoringFile Sections: MF Feature Jun 29th, 2005 79 Comments


Last year Getrag showed off it’s all-wheel drive MINI prototype at several industry only events throughout the world. There they not only demonstrated the car first hand, but delivered test data that demonstrated the benefits of the Getrag AWD system known as Twinster. The system has been designed for use on a number of different platforms and theoretically for a number of different automotive manufacturers. These presentations were mainly meant to sell the system to OEM manufacturers. However what makes this so fascinating for MINI owners is the fact that Getrag exclusively used a MINI Cooper S for all of their drivetrain testing.

MotoringFile has recently obtained this test data (in the form of a PDF presentation) that was passed out at one of these events. While the presentation uses industry jargon that may be a bit over the head of some of our readers, it does give us an overall impression of the performance that the AWD Twinster MINI is capable of. Interestingly they not only compare the Twinster to the normal front wheel drive MINI but to several other AWD configurations as well. There’s even a rear wheel drive version that is referenced!

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Limited Edition Lightweight MCS Coming?

MotoringFile Sections: In the Press, Rumor Jun 28th, 2005 33 Comments

MINI2 is at it again with more rumors of a lightweight factory based JCW laden MCS. Here’s an excerpt from their latest article published just today:

In terms of specifics, we believe you can expect an increased engine output that will at least match the output with the current JCW Cooper S tuning package. As stated in our earlier article, the car will feature unique carbon fibre panels to reduce weight, however it seems things will be even more drastic with unique interior AND exterior parts, including replacing glass with perspex in suitable panels, and lighter door casings, side panels and dash panels.

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Exhaust Popping

MotoringFile Sections: Faults & Fixes, Recalls/Campaigns Jun 28th, 2005 68 Comments

One of the many of items that was revised for 2005 model year was the exhaust sound on the Cooper S. MINI not only altered the physical design slightly but also re-tuned the engine management software creating a few entirely new exhaust sounds that hadn’t been heard from a stock MCS or even JCW before. This has caused quite a few owners not aware of the change to ask the now familiar question, “what’s that popping?” MINIUSA relased a official service measure earlier this year on the subject which should, once and for all, answer this question:

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Aftermarket Nav Integration

MotoringFile Sections: DIY, Reviews Jun 27th, 2005 29 Comments

My wife and I have always been big fans of having navigation units installed in our cars as they really help when trying to get around in unfamiliar territory. However, my wife’s new 2005 MINI Cooper S was ordered without a factory navigation system in order to save us some money. For our navigation needs, we opted to go with a (much cheaper) Garmin Quest portable navigation system instead. The Quest portable navigation unit works great for our needs and its super small size fits nicely with the whole “MINI” theme.

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The MINI One D Gets an Upgrade

MotoringFile Sections: In the Press Jun 26th, 2005 13 Comments


The MINI One D (not sold in the US) is getting a healthy increase in power for 2006 from it’s Toyota based Diesel (from Channel4.com):

The Mini One D will receive a thoroughly-revised new diesel engine from September, enabling it to meet the Euro IV emissions standards and also increasing power and improving performance. The revised engine management system and new exhaust gas re-circulation with catalytic converter has helped boost power output by 13bhp and torque by 10Nm, and acceleration 0-60mph has improved by nearly two seconds. It returns 58.9mpg.

[ More Power for cleaner diesel MINI ] Channel 4

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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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