Last spring (April 1st no less) we told you about MINI’s plans for using BMW’s 2.0L diesel powerplant in some models. In BMW trim the 2 liter makes as much as 200 bhp and an astonishing 295 ft lb. of torque. While we’d expect MINI to tune down those numbers, the engine mated with MINI’s relatively low weight would create one of the quickest small diesels in the world. In fact we had one of our inside sources confirm the first pre-production date (April 30th) when BMW first mated the engine with a prototype Clubman.
Fast forward seven months and just yesterday we saw our first glimpse of a mysterious diesel prototype R56 on the roads around Munich. It seems obvious to us that what we’re seeing are the first road worthy prototypes of MINI’s first performance diesel model. What remains to be seen is if this is an uprated version of the current 1.6L diesel or the 2.0L BMW diesel we reported on last spring. It’s conceivable that we could see both an “S” and a JCW model based on the 2.0L should BMW decided to go that route. It’s easily tunable to “S” and JCW performance levels awhile being surprisingly efficient (in BMW 123d trim it gets 45 mpg combined). However leveraging the existing 1.6L diesel may be a smarter move for the short term with the 2.0L being saved for the Countryman and a more potent JCW D. continued →
Recently Michael from BimmerFile had a chance to spend some extended time with the new MINI E. Since neither Todd, DB or myself has had an opportunity to get behind the wheel, Michael was kind enough to take a break from his BF editor duties and write a full review – Gabe
With greenhouse gas emissions on the rise and society as a whole looking for ways to combat that seemingly endless trend, lawmakers will be introducing more stringent emissions standards within the next few years. This will greatly impact auto manufacturers and the beloved internal combustion engine. We have already seen the first phases of the BMW Groupâ€™s Efficient Dynamics program, which is designed to combat emissions with the introduction of newer technologies such as direct/forced induction and Advanced Diesels. The next phase, hybrids, are coming with the recently released X6 and soon to launch 7 Series. BMWNA president Jim Oâ€™Donnell has openly stated to us that they are currently exploring turbo charged four cylinder options for BMW in the US, (6 cylinders have been the smallest BMW engines here since 1999) but that the BMW Group will not sacrifice dynamics or performance while striving to improve emissions. With that said; the basic idea is that a BMW Group product must drive well, offer performance all while being efficient. continued →
The BMW Group Technology Office in Palo Alto is working on extending MINI entertainment in ways that were hardly imaginable 3-4 years ago. We’ve talked about MINI Connected on MF before but we didn’t have a full understanding of what the program ultimately could produce.
The current idea is that MINI Connected will not only connect to the web for entertainment but will leverage an iPhone app to connect to the following content:
There is nothing like seeing MINIs on the track. Unless of course you can watch Minis. This year the Good Revival featured Mini as its “featured marque” and held a very special race that was televised on itv in the UK. While the overall video (around 5 minutes long) is impressive enough, the in car footage after the jump are even more fascinating. continued →
We’ve heard the notion before that, with the MINI, BMW brought premium to the small car segment. While that could be argued with a number of earlier products (all available outside the US) it’s hard to argue anyone has ever done it better. This video of MINI USA Vice President Jim McDowell is an update to that ideology with some ties into the 2009/2010 world economy and a renewed emphasis on efficiency.
But more importantly there are a couple of recent exclusive MF reports that McDowell confirms in this video:
Confirmation that the MINI Countryman has been delayed to an early 2011 launch in the US
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 F55: Clubman F56: Hatch F57: Convertible F60: MINI Crossover F62: Traveller
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