Archive for October 2007

Fireball Tim with the STC MINI

MotoringFile Sections: R56 (Hatch), Video Oct 31st, 2007 18 Comments

The Fireballed one is busy cruising through the halls at SEMA ogling the latest and greatest in automotive gear. Of course, he has his video crew and will be covering it all week.

But that will be for another post. Instead, here Fireball Tim presents the Street Tuner Challenge Persuit MINI. Keep an eye on his blog for more updates about the STC Behind the Scenes videos.

Hybrid Technologies Electric MINI at SEMA

MotoringFile Sections: Efficiency Oct 31st, 2007 1 Comment


Hybrid Technologies, builder of the now famous electric MINI Cooper, are showing off the latest version at this years Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Mini Cooper is already a Hollywood star and has been featured in Forbes and the Wall Street Journal. It is powered with a pure electric drive system using state of the art lithium-ion battery units and a highly advanced BMS (battery management system). The car was originally developed for diplomatic service and has been welcomed by the Hollywood eco set as the latest and greatest in green driving.

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Ask MF: Auto Transmission Power Handling

MotoringFile Sections: Ask MotoringFile, R53 (Coupe) Oct 30th, 2007 17 Comments

Motoringfile Reader Clayton writes in with a great question concerning the Aisin automatic transmission.

I have a 2006 MCSA and I am considering adding some serious power to it, but I am worried that the transmission wont be able to handle the power. do you know of any company out there making after market parts to stengthen it?

As far as we know, there aren’t any companies that build any kind of kits to make that transmission stronger. It was never intended to be in any high power, high performance application. continued →

White Roof Radio #197

MotoringFile Sections: Podcast Oct 30th, 2007 30 Comments

mini The BMW Halloween Apple BMW Show.

We spend a good amount of time talking about the upcoming BMW 1 Series and how it will affect the MINI, the MINI Community and Gabe in general. Even though he is holding out for a Z4 M Coupe.

We also talk a bit about lease vs. buy. None of us are fans of a lease, but it really wouldn’t suit us. If you lease, let us know why below. continued →

MotoringFile MINI R50/R53 US Buyers Guide

MotoringFile Sections: MF Feature, R50 (Coupe), R53 (Coupe) Oct 29th, 2007 33 Comments

Consider this buying guide a living document and what you see here to be version 1.0. While we’ve worked hard to create the basic information, you the reader will be essential in helping us add content where appropriate. One note; you can only leave comments on this introduction post and not the actual “Buyers Guide” page.


The R50 and R53 MINI coupes were watershed products that ushered in a new era of small, sporty premium cars. Beyond that, they also resurrected a brand and changed perceptions of what a small car could do both on the track and in the market place.

They also make great used buys. But there are some important things to remember when shopping for that perfect used MINI. In this buying guide we’ll attempt to get you started down the right path. We’ll look at the cars, their issues and the seemingly constant updates made by MINI throughout the model cycle.

While it’s true the early MINIs had there fair share of issues, they are still very strong cars with little in the way of serious, budget busting potential problems (with one exception we’ll touch on later). They can provide an unequaled out of the box driving experience for a great price and are generally easy and fairly inexpensive to maintain.

That’s not to say that a potential MINI buyer shouldn’t be fully educated in the ins and outs of potential issues. It’s also very beneficial to know what has changed through the years. With this guide we hope to give an overview of what to look for in the way of potential problems and what to look for in terms options and production changes through the years. We won’t be diving into all specific issues but giving a general overview of what to look for and what to avoid.

There’s one rule of thumb when it comes to buying a used R50 or R53 MINI: buy as new as your budget allows. As is the custom for BMW, MINI made quite a few important changes to the first generation MINI coupe throughout it’s lifecycle. The most important happening in the 2005 model year (beginning with July ’04 builds).

continued → (opens guide in new window)

White Roof Radio #196

MotoringFile Sections: Podcast Oct 29th, 2007 4 Comments

miniStarting off talking about the World Series (we don’t care), the fires in SoCal (Gabe instantly thinks lootin’ time!) and wonders if any of the fires were started by Fiero’s. Can you believe there is a club in KC for those guys? Crazy, I know. By the way, that link is our “Fiero Expert”.

Then, Gabe has a delima. We vote MINI ‘natch. What about you? Then, more Fiero talk before talking about the rarest color of MINI, among others.

Plus news of the week from Motoringfile.

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Clubman 3rd Door Revisited

MotoringFile Sections: In the Press, R55 (Clubman) Oct 28th, 2007 24 Comments

A few weeks back we mentioned a story at Automotive News on the Clubman’s third door and how it was not originally planned. At the time the article was not available to the public. Today it is and it’s probably worth a quick read. Here’s an excerpt:

The passenger door that was added to the right side of the Clubman was not part of the original plan, Kranz said, and evolved during discussions about how to improve rear-seat entry and exit. The door is hinged at the rear and can open only if the front passenger door is opened. continued →

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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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