Archive for October 2009

MINI and JCW Released new Vintage Collection

MotoringFile Sections: Accessories, JCW Oct 30th, 2009 12 Comments

Official Release: The John Cooper Works name has been inextricably linked with the legendary motorsport exploits of MINI for over 40 years now. The acclaimed British firm is synonymous with racing expertise and premium quality, and the spirit of John Cooper is also woven into the exquisite MINI Collection in the shape of textiles and accessories for him and her. This sporting product line sets out to “KEEP IT WILD” and transfer that racing feeling to the road. In so doing, the items in the range exude a cool vintage style, complete with logos and trim features which recall the distinctive British Racing Green colour shade. This authentic look will please both budding amateur mechanics and those with less of a fondness for grease and spanners. continued →

Ask MF: Questions about BMW/MINI Shipping Preparations

MotoringFile Sections: Ask MotoringFile Oct 30th, 2009 5 Comments

This week’s Ask MF comes from reader Bob Hayhurst:

Currently I have an E30 and a R56 and both BimmerFile and MotoringFile are taylor made for me. Now my question. The other night I watched a show about the worlds largest car transport ship named the Faust out of Sweden. They were shipping both MINI’s and BMW’s (among others) from England to the US. I noticed on the BMW’s that each car had what appeared to be a coating of sorts which was evenly applied and which caused each cars paint to have a dull and flat appearence. I don’t think it was dirt or gime and it did not seem to be visible on the MINI’s, Jag’s or Rolls Royces. If you know; is this some type of protective coating applied to the cars for shipping? I’m more curious then anything.

Thanks for the kind words. The material you are talking about is called Cosmoline. It is a thick waxy substance BMW coats the vehicles in for shipment. It is removed by a hot water wash at the US port, separated and then recycled. BMW’s X5 and X6 vehicles wear protective cloth bags that are reused. On newer cars you can sometimes see during the hot summer wax like drips coming out of the door seams.

Prodrive Working on a MINI WRC Entry?

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, Motorsports, R60 (Countryman) Oct 28th, 2009 17 Comments

JCW range

Rumors are continuing to swirl around a possible MINI WRC entry in the form of the Countryman crossover. The latest comes from Autosport and sources within the team that would build the car – Prodrive. Reportedly confirmation of the deal has now been stalled until spring but work seemingly is continuing deep within Prodive Uk headquarters. Here’s an excerpt from Autocar:

The Crossover road car was due to be launched this year, but that has also been postponed until either next year’s Geneva or Paris motorshow next year. AUTOSPORT sources indicate the World Rally Car would be likely to be launched at the Paris show. Prodrive has been working on a theoretical new generation World Rally Car for much of this year, developing the parts required without actually working on a base model. continued →

MINI Product Roadmap Revealed (Updated)

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Two-Door Hardtop, F58 Spacebox, R58 (Coupe), R59 (Roadster), R60 (Countryman) Oct 28th, 2009 28 Comments

We know that BMW has grand plans for its smallest brand. MINI has gone from one shape and three models to three cars and well over a dozen models worldwide.

In 2001 BMW debuted the R50 MINI Cooper and MINI One to great acclaim. However tucked away in much of the press coverage of the launch was the fact that BMW didn’t expect to even break even on the development and launch costs over the course of the models life-cycle. The problem were economies of scale and the fact that the MINI was a bespoke platform designed from the ground up to be shared with nothing else on the market (save for the Chrysler developed engine). The writing was on the wall even then. BMW needed multiple variants of the MINI to make the brand stand on its own financially.

Fast forward eight years. MINI has successfully launched it’s second generation hatchback and along the way added a convertible and the long wheel base clubman – all based on the core R56 platform (itself based on the R50). But BMW is just getting started.

The 2010 MINI Countryman Crossover

The next MINI will indeed be the R60 crossover. While the debut has been pushed back slightly we still expect this car product to appear in the first part of 2010 with European and US sales starting in early spring. Without going into too much detail (you can naturally find that in our R60 section) look for MINI’s first all-wheel drive system, a range of familiar and not-so-familiar engines powering the crossover. Four doors and optional five seats will make this the largest MINI ever produced. continued →

PSA Looking to Strengthen Ties with BMW/MINI

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Two-Door Hardtop Oct 27th, 2009 10 Comments

Automotive News is reporting that PSA is looking at deepening it’s ties with the German company. As it stands now PSA produces engines blocks for the BMW design 1.6L engines found in the current MINI range. However the idea is that this new round of cooperation could return the favor so to speak with PSA offering BMW it’s upcoming 3 cylinder engines. However we’re not entirely sure this makes sense with BMW set to produce it’s own range of highly efficient 3 cylinders destined for both BMW and MINI products. Here’s an excerpt:

CEO Phillipe Varin said he is talking with BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer about cooperation in areas such as purchasing and components including transmissions and climate control systems. “We have set up groups of experts to work on deepening our cooperation on gasoline engines,” the German business daily Handelsblatt quoted Varin as saying.

+ PSA Plans Deeper Ties with BMW / Autonews

Center for Companies that Care is Giving Away a MINI

MotoringFile Sections: MF Feature Oct 25th, 2009 1 Comment

Long time Friend of MF Francis Macasieb asked us to spread the word on a raffle involving a new MINI Cooper. Here’s the info…

The Center for Companies that Care is a national not-for-profit organization whose main goal is to educate and inspire employers to incorporate business practices that will support the needs of society as well as the profitability of the business (click here for more info: http://www.companies-that-care.org/index.php). continued →

The R60 MINI Crossover Gets an Official Name & a Revised Debut

MotoringFile Sections: R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch), R57 (Conv.), R60 (Countryman) Oct 23rd, 2009 46 Comments

[pictobrowser motoringfile 72157613255924808]

Official photos and details will be released in a few months but we have a few bits and pieces to finally reveal. For one we’ve confirmed (for the 3rd time now) that MINI will name the R60 “Countryman”. For those who have been following MotoringFile for awhile this shouldn’t be news, but another high-level confirmation was worth a mention.

However what is news is that MINI will be branding the new all-wheel drive system that comes optional on the Countryman. Like Audi does with Quattro and BMW does with Xdrive, MINI wants to create a sub-brand that will be recognizable with consumers. Therefore the system will launch with the name “All4″ tied to it.

While marketing is getting underway on the new MINI, pre-production is lagging behind. First off the X3 is still being produced. And as BMW’s most profitable vehicle per unit, they are very sensitive to the time it will take to stop production in Austria and start production of the new X3 in the US. So the Countryman is certainly a secondary thought as compared to an already established vehicle like the X3. 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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