Archive for August 2006

24 Hours of MTTS: St. Louis to Indianapolis in the JCW GP

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, MTTS, Reviews Aug 31st, 2006 24 Comments

Just back from a whirlwind MTTS trip that went above and beyond all my expectations. We got to St. Louis a little too late for the baseball game but just in time for a little after hours MTTS party. Early this morning Todd and I headed out to the Arch. At this point the GP was starting to sink in as a real live car and I must say that it was getting better looking the more I saw it.

After our Arch photo opp was over I was handed the keys to a GP courtesy of MINI USA. I might add that this particular car was broken in by none other than Fireball Tim and Hubie (the men responsible for the fastest MINI in the world). So I got some quality time to the tune of about four hours with the GP. First impressions: better than wow. This car is a complete package like nothing we’ve ever seen before. It’s not the fastest MINI out there, just the most complete MINI I’ve ever drive. MINI and BMW did a great job inside and out with the small details. The look of the car really makes sense in the real world as compared to the 2D world as seen on this site or countless magazines. In other words, don’t make your mind on this car’s looks until you’ve seen it in the flesh.

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2007 Navigation System to Include iDrive-like Controller

MotoringFile Sections: R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch) Aug 30th, 2006 41 Comments

As we reported 18 months back, MINI’s new navigation system will indeed feature a simplified iDrive-like controller behind the shifter. The controller will mange an interface that is similar to the BMW iDrive system but redesigned to look a bit more MINI like. The main screen (as seen in the image above) will feature “entertainment”, “communication”, “navigation”, and a link for set-up. This is very different than the version found in the latest 3 series which also includes a link for controlling the climate control. It’s assumed that BMW decided to keep the climate system in the new MINI controlled exclusively via the standard interface found on the center stack.

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MTTS Coverage: Gabe checks in

MotoringFile Sections: MTTS, Podcast Aug 30th, 2006 2 Comments

FINALLY Gabe gets to play along with the MTTS coverage! Actually behind the wheel of a GP he tells us what he thinks. Plus, an update from Fireball Tim on last nights happenings and a special birthday wish for his wife Cathy!

I’m seeing lots of voicemails coming in gang! Keep ‘em coming. I’ll be doing another voicemail show later this week. You know the number, right? (206) 33_WHITE

Download || Subscribe | 14:00 | 9.62MB

An Electric MINI with 640hp (Updated)

MotoringFile Sections: Efficiency, In the Press Aug 30th, 2006 13 Comments

Several weeks back we brought you a link about a company that was creating a fully electric MINI. The concept includes four electric motors (one per wheel) with a combined horsepower of 640. This information has circulated quietly on the web for over a month now with little notice outside the MINI community. Until today when a Treehugger.com story was posted on Digg. So with all this recent publicity we thought we’d re-post a link to the information for those that missed it the first time around.

[ The Hybrid MINI ] Treehugger.com

New Adventure for MINI UK’s Charity Activities

MotoringFile Sections: Official News Aug 30th, 2006 No Comments

MINI UK has been working with the charity Whizz-Kidz since 2002 and has helped raise funds and awareness during this time. With the launch of the new MINI on the horizon, the time is right to see how MINI can help another organisation. From January 2007, MINI will be offering its support to a new charity partner. Whizz-Kidz is dedicated to transforming the quality of life of disabled children and young people across the UK through the provision of customised mobility equipment, training and advice.

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MTTS Coverage: Fireball Tim and Hubie

MotoringFile Sections: MTTS, Podcast Aug 29th, 2006 2 Comments

This morning I caught Fireball Tim and Hubie Fuh on their way to St. Louis via Metropolis. Hubie told me about his plans for breaking more records in New Jersey and Tim can’t wait to meet Superman!

Don’t forget, if you have anything to add to our MTTS coverage, feel free to leave us a voicemail message at (206) 33-WHITE!

And watch for Gabe and Todd in St. Louis later today as well! Tell ‘em db says hi!

Download | Subscribe | 11:26 | 7.89MB

Alfa to take on the MINI?

MotoringFile Sections: In the Press Aug 29th, 2006 28 Comments

Looks like another automaker will be trying to emulate the MINI sales success. Automotive News is reporting that Alfa Romeo is planning on building a MINI fighter for 2008. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Due by 2008, the Junior will become Alfa’s new entry model, fitting below the lower-premium 147, which will be replaced in late 2008 by the larger 149.

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