Archive for November 2007

MF Comparison: Modded R53 vs JCW R56

MotoringFile Sections: R53 (Coupe), R56 (Hatch), Reviews Nov 26th, 2007 77 Comments

We’ve done several R53/R56 comparisons over the past year but one thing we’ve never done is tested two (almost) identically equipped MINIs back to back. Along with that, we’ve never had the right opportunity to equally assess both cars over the right roads and in the right conditions. And while MotoringFile has been the host of multiple articles comparing the two cars, I always felt they missed a little something without back to back drives. This comparison was to be different. We’d be focusing on driving the cars rather than talking about styling, price and all the other hotly contested debates that we’ve hosted on these pages previously.

So the plan was hatched; we’d drive from Chicago to Kalamazoo Michigan with a detour to the Indiana Lakefront. Here we’d find some of the best (and largely unknown) roads in the entire region. Once back on the highway we’d finish with a two hour blast up I94 to Bell’s Brewery, home of one of the most celebrated micro-brewed beers in the US. Along with the two MINIs being tested would be another R53 (’03 vintage) and a chase car in the form of a Porsche 911 Turbo (996). continued →

Top 10 Best Resale Value Cars

MotoringFile Sections: Awards, In the Press Nov 25th, 2007 5 Comments

It’s the time of year in the US again. The time with Kelly Blue book compiles their list of the best resale values. This years Top 10 list, complied by CNN Money, looks very similiar to years past with MINI near the top. continued →

MINI USA 2008 Convertible Press Kit

MotoringFile Sections: Official News, R52 (Conv.) Nov 24th, 2007 8 Comments

This is the first in a series of official releases by MINI USA that details the US spec 2008 line-up. While there may not be any new info in these releases for the current MINI owner, they represent a good read for those seriously looking at buying a MINI for the 2008 model year. Further convertible information can be found in the MotoringFile R52 section.

The MINI Cooper Convertible and MINI Cooper S Convertible: Genuine MINIThe MINI Cooper

Official MINI USA Press Release: Convertible and MINI Cooper S Convertible bring the fun of open to motoring to the MINI brand. The authentic four-passenger convertibles have been engineered from the ground up to be fun-to-drive cars while offering a high level of safety and practicality. continued →

OFFICIAL Clubman US Launch Countdown

MotoringFile Sections: R55 (Clubman) Nov 24th, 2007 3 Comments

While our European and UK readers have been enjoying Clubman since November 10th, those of us in the US will have to wait a bit longer – February 16th 2008 to be exact. However, in an effort to make the wait a little more fun, we’ve started the official count-down clock of the US Clubman launch. So anytime, anywhere, you can always come back right here to get an update on your wait.

MINI dealers in the US will have their own launch event from February 11th through the 21st in Las Vegas with the official press event immediately proceeding that.

BMW Puts 4th Brand on Hold

MotoringFile Sections: In the Press Nov 23rd, 2007 9 Comments

Quite a topic of discussion here for a while, Leftlanenews reports that a 4th brand from MINI parent BMW is on hold, for now.

BMW has not ruled adding a fourth brand to its automobile family, but any such plans are on hold for the time being, BMW USA boss Tom Purves said at the LA Auto Show.

BMW’s current brands are BMW, MINI and Rolls- Royce. Earlier this year, there was speculation BMW might acquire Volvo or Alfa Romeo as a front-wheel-drive partner to MINI. BMW later decided neither company would be a good match.

[ BMW Puts Fourth Brand on Hold – For Now ] Leftlanenews.com

MINI Named Most Value Packed Car

MotoringFile Sections: In the Press, R56 (Hatch) Nov 22nd, 2007 4 Comments

In a list that includes the Lexus LS460, Acura TSX, Lincoln MKX and the Lexus IS, MINI Cooper is in pretty good company on Forbes Most Value Packed Car list. Not only good company, but, as we would expect, it lives near the top!

These vehicles prove that our list of Value-Packed Cars is by no means a rundown of the market’s cheapest cars. Now nearly all vehicles come well equipped with convenience and safety features, and manufacturers are doing a much better job of maintaining reliability and quality, both areas that used to vary widely. Shoppers are quite aware that initial price is just a part of the financial pie and that getting a model with a high predicted residual–and thus, higher resale value or lower lease payments–is also important.

continued →

White Roof Radio #203

MotoringFile Sections: Podcast Nov 22nd, 2007 14 Comments


Apologies, again, for those of you that get your WRR fix from the Motoringfile player. I was out of town last weekend and neglected to appoint an official WRR-poster-upper in my absence. To make sure you get the shows in a timely fashion, you really should subscribe anyway.

Db is still in Canada so nothing can stop Gabe and Todd from discussing more JCW topics including the R56 JCW Stage 1. Todd has an R56 JCW car for review and he gives first impressions. Gabe talks of driving the R56 JCW and highly modded R53 back to back.

We aren’t working this week with it being Thanksgiving and all. But don’t worry, I’ll have something in the feed for you next week.

Woofcast #203

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Shownotes/Download | Subscribe | WRR @ iTunes

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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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