Archive for March 2008

The MINI Mecca: MINI Park Lane

MotoringFile Sections: MF Feature Mar 31st, 2008 27 Comments

Beyond the MINI plant in Oxford there aren’t many places for enthusiasts to go and pay homage to the brand. For BMW owners there’s BMW Welt, the BMW Museum, the ‘Ring and a number of manufacturing facilities around the world. For the MINI, there’s really only one public place beyond the plant that deserves mention, Park Lane MINI. The central London dealer is claimed to be the center-piece of all BMW owned MINI dealers and boasts two floors of everything MINI.

Recently I had a few hours to kill in London and decided to finally check off Park Lane from my list of MINI related to-dos. continued →

JCW MINIs Make US Debut at NYC Show

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, Official News, R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch) Mar 29th, 2008 50 Comments

If anyone needs any extra incentive to visit the NYC auto show in its last weekend, here’s the official press release announcing the US pricing and available of the new factory JCW MINI that debuted earlier this week in NYC.

Official MINI USA Press Release: MINI USA announced today the debut of two all new performance models at the 2008 New York International Auto Show. Following their successful World Premier in Geneva, the MINI John Cooper Works hardtop and the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman are showcased at MINI’s display and represent the first new models from the recently integrated John Cooper Works Brand.

In addition, pricing for both new models were announced today. The MINI John Cooper Works hardtop will be offered at $29,200. USD. The MINI John Cooper Works Clubman will be offered at $31,450, USD. Both prices include a $650 destination and handling charge, MINI USA’s Free Full Maintenance Coverage for 3 years/ 36,000 Miles and a 4 year-50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. continued →

5th Gear Video: Renault Clio Cup vs the MCS

MotoringFile Sections: MINI Competitors, R56 (Hatch), Video Mar 28th, 2008 26 Comments

It’s a tough fight for the MCS due to the lack of sport suspension and the skinnier tires but it still makes a good showing…

The Next MINI Killer?

MotoringFile Sections: MINI Competitors Mar 27th, 2008 38 Comments


Is Alfa Romeo building the next hot hatch? Taking cues from MINI and Fiat, it would seem they are.

As well as having sporting pretensions Alfa Romeo is also making sure the Mito is highly customisable. Having watch Mini’s success, and learnt lessons from Fiat’s launch of the 500, the Mito will come with a large options list. Even the headlamp and taillight surrounds will be switchable so, Alfa says, you’ll be able to give your car ‘eye-liner’.

continued →

Cars.com Compares Premium Hatchbacks

MotoringFile Sections: MINI Competitors, R56 (Hatch) Mar 27th, 2008 3 Comments

Like I said in a previous article, this is a comparison that is going to go on forever. But this time, Cars.com has changed it up a bit by adding the Opel Saturn Astra to the mix with the Volvo C30 and MINI Cooper S.

So you want something small and relatively fuel-efficient, but it also has to be stylish and fun to drive. If that’s you, then a hatchback is a good choice. Here, two new ones – the Saturn Astra and Volvo C30 – square off against the car that jolted the segment when it was reintroduced for 2002: the Mini.

It’s a great comparison with MINI getting the nod on most of the categories and the win (which we all already knew). Still interesting to see the Astra in the mix.

[ Premium Hatchbacks ] Cars.com

AC Schnitzer Mini Cooper S

MotoringFile Sections: MF Feature Mar 26th, 2008 11 Comments


AC Schnitzer usually turns their efforts toward tuning BMWs. Look like they have decided to take a shot at tuning MINIs too. Besides suspension and body kit, they have tuned it to have 49bhp more than the standard car.

And without so much as a second glance we’re sitting on the speedy side of 140mph. Perhaps it’s not such a bad thing the new Mini’s speedo is enormous… Pressing down into the tarmac, the Schnitzer feels totally stable at this speed.

continued →

JCW Dealer Installed Kit Not Discontinued

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, R56 (Hatch) Mar 25th, 2008 17 Comments

We’ve had a couple of readers write to us with juicy rumors of the dealer installed JCW Engine kit being discontinued now that the factory car has been announced. So we’ve reached out to our contacts and at MINI for clarification. The answer is that the dealer installed kit will continue to be available for the foreseeable future. And at $2100 we believe it (along with the JCW suspension) continue to be a relative performance bargain. 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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