Archive for October 2008

Student Attempts to Recreate Italian Job

MotoringFile Sections: Best of the Web, Motorsports Oct 31st, 2008 12 Comments

Surely some of you have had this idea. You’ve seen the Italian Job. You own a MINI. Why not? A TOFF student tried, drunkenly, and failed.

But the posh prat came a cropper in the silver vehicle, given to him the day before by his rich parents.

It piled into the steps of his digs at 30mph, causing the radiator to blow up, the two front tyres to burst and both airbags to explode.

Six security staff, two police cars and a helicopter were scrambled to arrest the 18-year-old for drink-driving at 1am. A second student escaped from the car at Bristol University’s Wills Hall.

continued →

The Mini Story 1959 to 1999

MotoringFile Sections: Official News Oct 31st, 2008 10 Comments

Here’s a blast from the past in the form of an official release that was presented to the international press as BMW was ceasing production of the classic Mini and putting the finishing touches on the R50.

(MINI Press) The Mini is as youthful as the day that Sir Alec Issigonis first sketched its simple lines on a restaurant table cloth. In four decades it has become an icon and is destined to live on as one of the great legends of the world motor industry. The modern motor car was born on 26 August 1959. On that day, BMC (British Motor Corporation) launched the Mini. BMC had been formed in 1952 by the merger of the Austin and Morris companies, so the Mini was originally launched in two versions – the Austin Seven (some times written “Se7en”) and the Morris Mini-Minor. According to the original publicity, the Austin was “The Incredible Austin Seven” while the Morris was “Wizardry on Wheels.”

Alec Issigonis (1906 – 1988, knighted in 1969) had been born in Smyrna in present day Turkey, the son of a Bavarian mother and a Greek father who became a nationalized Briton. After the war between Greece and Turkey where Greece lost her possessions in Asia Minor, young Alec and his by then widowed mother arrived in London in 1922. Here he pursued studies of engineering and eventually began his career in the motor industry. In 1936, he joined Morris Motors at Cowley. continued →

Can a Smaller MINI Sell in the US?

MotoringFile Sections: Efficiency Oct 30th, 2008 67 Comments

We at MF love the MINI. We love the ideas and the ideals behind it. We love the efficiency but still need the performance it offers. But there’s a opinion shared among all of us at MF that MINI needs to create something that falls below the current line-up. Not only cheaper but smaller but more efficient.

There’s evidence that BMW may be doing this very thing. The project “i” is all about efficiency and small vehicles. And whether the fruits of that project are seen in the BMW brand or something entirely new, we’re sure that the MINI brand will reap some benefits of the work currently being done. In fact we believe the MINI E is one of the first concrete steps of that program. continued →

Jalopnik Interns Review the Clubman

MotoringFile Sections: R55 (Clubman) Oct 30th, 2008 11 Comments

One of the more interestingly written reviews I’ve seen in a while. This time, by a few of the interns at Jalopnik.com, who didn’t really care for the ’09 Clubman with automatic transmission.

The strong hoonage quotient promised by the turbocharged 172 HP four-cylinder and a chassis overflowing with Bruce pushed us to nail the progress pedal to the floor despite ever-tightening road geometry. The MINI responded with its best Mr. Plow impersonation and we promptly ended up on the gravel shoulder. Something was amiss. The standard-issue MINI Cooper S would consume such a surface like a German inhales a liter of Hofbräu during Oktoberfest.

continued →

MINI Gets Great Mileage

MotoringFile Sections: Awards, Efficiency Oct 29th, 2008 12 Comments

More from the Dept. of Obviousness. As we already know, the MINI gets great gas mileage. Confirmed yet again by the EPA here in the US, which has ranked the MINI Cooper as the highest mileage car in the minicompact category.

Not only is it the highest in it’s own category, the MINI also fairs well with the rest of the list, boasting the 2nd highest highway mileage of any gasoline powered car right behind the Smart, 3rd highest in the city. Of course, at the top of the list are the Toyota Prius Hybrid, Honda Civic Hybrid and the Volkswagon Diesel powered Jettas.

Have some fun with the bottom of that list too. Instead of being full of SUVs like it has been in the past, it’s full of Lambos, Bentleys, Aston Martins and Ferraris. Really, if you can afford any of those, do you care that you are only pulling down 8/13 MPG?

Should be interesting to see how a diesel-powered MINI does against the rest of the high-mileage cars. But we’ll have to wait for R60 -D to see that.

50MPG in a JCW MINI?

MotoringFile Sections: Awards, Efficiency, JCW, R56 (Hatch) Oct 29th, 2008 28 Comments

So it was in the UK using the Imperial Gallon, but still an impressive feat AutoExpress was able to pull off.

That’s not the only trick up the John Cooper Works MINI’s sleeve, though. Despite packing enough punch to cover 0-60mph in only 6.5 seconds, the supermini can now add wallet-friendly 50mpg-plus fuel economy to its impressive list of credentials. That’s 25 per cent more than the maker’s claimed 40.9mpg combined figure. But only if you know how to handle this hot hatch…

Sure the price of gasoline in the US is dropping, but I know there have to be a few of you out there that don’t have your foot in it all the time. What kind of MPG are you getting from your JCW or GP?

[ 50MPG in fastest ever MINI ] Autoexpress.co.uk

Car Magazine Snaps the MINI Crossover…S?

MotoringFile Sections: R60 (Countryman) Oct 28th, 2008 18 Comments


Car Magazine (always a favorite of ours) has some new photos of the MINI Crossover prototype that has been roaming around Munich. However a quick look at the rear of this particular prototype shows that this is indeed a different prototype than we’ve seen before. If you look closely you’ll see dual exhausts where there was only one on the previous R60 caught by Next Autos a few weeks ago. Could this be the R60 “S”? continued →

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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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