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Archive for April 2009

First Pre-Production MINI with BMW 2.0L Diesel Engine Built at Oxford Plant

MotoringFile Sections: Diesel, Efficiency, Rumor Apr 30th, 2009 33 Comments

Exclusive: Sources at the Oxford Plant have confirmed that the first MINI (in this case a R55 Clubman) went down the line with a BMW 2.0L diesel installed in the engine bay yesterday. As we reported earlier this month BMW is set to introduce the new line-up of BMW derived diesel engines for 2011. While specs are still hazy, we expect around 150bhp and loads more torque. In fact it doesn’t take much to realize that this new powerplant will be easily as par with the Cooper S 1.6L petrol unit and could in fact be marketed as a Cooper S D or even a JCW D. But the key number to remember here is that this engine (in 200+ bhp 123d BMW format) gets over 45 mpg combined in UK MPG numbers. continued →

Ask MF: Replacing Brakes, What to Get?

MotoringFile Sections: Ask MotoringFile Apr 30th, 2009 21 Comments

This week’s Ask MF comes from George:

I bought a use 2005 Cooper S last year that I completely love. But according to the dash light and the pedal feel it’s needs some pads. I got a quote a $1200 at the MINI dealer and after picking my jaw up off the ground decided that this was going to be my first DIY on my car. I’m going to have a friend who’s done this before help with the install and with the help of some info on MF I should be good to go. But my question is what to get. Obviously I could get some OEM replacement pads but I’ve heard really good things about Hawk aftermarket pads. Also I’m thinking I might as well get new rotors since I’ll have everything apart. Should get cross drilled, slotted or just stick with the OEM set-up? Also it’s worth mentioning that I drive the car hard and plan on starting to do either an Autocross or track school this year. Any advice is appreciated! continued →

MINI to Launch John Cooper F1 Limited Edition

MotoringFile Sections: 50th Anniversary, JCW, JCW WC50, Rumor Apr 29th, 2009 66 Comments

MINI will be producing a very limited edition JCW just in time for the 50th anniversary of John Cooper’s first F1 car. It’s taken a few weeks but we’ve now verified the rumor (first reported by theswitchback) from several sources across the globe. Expect the car to feature the JCW drivetrain, aerokit and some exclusive F1 badging throughout the car. But the most obvious exclusive feature of the car will be non-metallic British Racing Green exterior paint paired with the pepper white roof and mirrors.

We can also exclusively report that the first pre-production F1 was completed earlier this week at the Oxford Plant and was quickly spotted due to it’s exclusive paint color. We expect this very car to appear at MINI United but in a very special exclusive unveiling not tied to the Camden and Mayfair special editions. continued →

BMW’s New City Car to Not be Branded MINI?

MotoringFile Sections: BMW i, Efficiency, Rumor Apr 28th, 2009 15 Comments

We’ve heard from several sources over the last few weeks (despite rumors saying otherwise) that BMW will not be branding the “Mega City” urban vehicle as a MINI. It was thought earlier this year that the idea of a rear wheel drive rear engined vehicle could potentially fall under the brand attribute that are associated with MINI. However it would appear that BMW is taking the approach of “ultra” efficiency and squarely putting driving excitement far down the lists of the mega city’s core attribute – something that doesn’t align well with the MINI (or BMW) brand.

The “Mega City” (as it’s been internally referenced) will feature several key new technologies and some borrowed from BMW’s motorcycle division. In the drivetrain department look for small petrol and diesel direct injection engines meant for extreme efficiency plus a hybrid and (eventually) a full electric version. One carry-over bit of technology originally proposed for the R60 MINI Crossover years ago that may see the light of day is a solar panel designed into the roof of the vehicle to help gather excess power. continued →


White Roof Radio #294

MotoringFile Sections: Podcast Apr 27th, 2009 No Comments

miniWeather, Michael moving and some cell phone talk, including a pretty handy iPhone tip from our man Todd.

Before getting into the news, I give a quick update on my MINI, including a possible reason for my check engine light coming on, plus I had a wtf moment.

For news of the week, from Motoringfile as always, and Gabe actually was able to join us for a little bit this week too with an update on his new ride plus his thoughts on the MINI Airstream, the Speedster, the R60 plus quite a bit more. It was great to have him on this week!

continued →

MINI & Fiat Collaboration Dies While the Next Generation MINI Comes into Focus

MotoringFile Sections: Design, F56 Hatch, Rumor Apr 27th, 2009 27 Comments

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Those worries about MINI’s being built on a Punto chassis died a quiet death recently. In its place BMW has decided to build the next MINI using a shared BMW Group components – notably from the next generation 1 Series. This combined with the increased model range from MINI will (as the plans go) give BMW the economies of scale it’s looking for with the MINI brand.

For MINI enthusiasts this should be a huge sigh of relief knowing that the next car will not have to be subject to another car manufacturers needs in any way (the backwards engine in the R56 is a good example of this). Additionally it opens the door for even more collaboration with the BMW group. Specifically don’t be surprised to see more engine sharing between the two brands. Look for JCW power-plants ending up in the next generation 1 Series (and it’s derivatives) as well as BMW diesels (and potentially small turbo four cylinders) finding their way into MINIs. continued →


MINI Returns to Its Roots at MINI United

MotoringFile Sections: MINI United, Official News Apr 25th, 2009 9 Comments

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Official Release: In celebration of the 50th anniversary of MINI, tens of thousands of MINI enthusiasts and their cool cars will descend upon the legendary Silverstone Circuit in the United Kingdom from May 22nd – 24th for MINI UNITED 2009.

Located about 80 miles northwest of London and just over 30 miles from MINI’s birthplace in Oxford, the Silverstone Circuit will play host to the third edition of the world’s largest MINI fan event, previously held in Misano, Italy in 2005, and Zandvoort, Netherlands in 2007. 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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