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Archive for January 2010

MINI Australia Releases JCW Challenge Edition

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch), R57 (Conv.) Jan 28th, 2010 11 Comments

MINI of Australia this week released the JCW Challenge Edition meant to bring the factory JCW car a little closer in visual apparel to the JCW Challenge race cars. There’s no word on if we’ll ever see something like this in other markets but we do know that MINI USA (among other markets) will be tinkering with the JCW factory spec for 2011. Full release below.

Official Release (Australia): More performance. More customisation. More MINI. Introducing the new and exclusive race-inspired MINI John Cooper Works Challenge Edition – bringing the MINI John Cooper Works even closer to the track.

In recognition of the pure pedigree that underpins MINI, the release of the MINI John Cooper Challenge Edition draws John Cooper Works even closer to the MINI CHALLENGE race car, both in its appearance and performance.

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MINI Publishes First Results from MINI E Trial

MotoringFile Sections: MINI E, Official News Jan 28th, 2010 15 Comments

The BMW Group today announced at the Washington Auto Show the first results from a comprehensive study conducted in cooperation with the University of California (UC Davis) and consumers leasing MINI E electic vehicles as part of a year-long program to acquire real world use patterns. The MINI E program is the first large population field test of current generation electric vehicles and therefore sheds a realistic light on both the opportunities and challenges from this innovative new form of mobility.

The UC Davis study results of 57 drivers, combined with updates continually provided from the log books of all 450 users show the following:

  • The range of about 100 miles is sufficient for most daily needs
  • Charging at home provides enough energy for most daily driving
  • Demand for additional charging is centered on the place of work, or where sufficient time is spent during the day (shopping centers, stadiums, etc.)
  • Driving the MINI E is a delightful experience and there is no sacrifice of “real car” values
  • Unmet demands focus on having enough space for four passengers and more cargo to stimulate even more use of an electric vehicle

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MINI Fixes Sagging MCS & JCW Hood Scoops

MotoringFile Sections: R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch), R57 (Conv.) Jan 27th, 2010 44 Comments

MINI hood scoop System

Due to the design of MINI’s 1.6L turbo engine, much of the heat generated by the engine ends up being emitted from the side closest to the hood/bonnet. One unforeseen consequence has been that the plastic hood scoops on the “S” model have actually warped due to excessive heat. In fact over the years MINI has noticed the issue and even made the non-fuctioning scoop slightly functional by opening a few holes in the black faux mesh. However in the end MINI has decided to change the material the scoops are made from. So from March ’10 buils onward MINI will be producing a new “metalized” plastic scoop (with metal infused into the plastic) that will be standard on the MCS and JCW models.

Update: What does that mean for current owners with saggy scoops? We don’t have 100% confirmation on this yet but MINI will likely be dealing the problem within the normal warranty guidelines (i.e. it’ll be covered). If you’re out of warranty we’d guess that it’ll be handled on a case by case basis.

MotoringFile Switches Servers & Loses a Few Comments

MotoringFile Sections: Site News Jan 27th, 2010 3 Comments

Under the darkness of night we switched servers last-night to something faster and more dedicated. It’s all around good news for us and you. With one little exception; any comments that were made during the two hour transition have been lost. Now back to your regularly scheduled MotoringFile…


MF Exclusive: A Look Inside MINI Design Past Present Future (Part 5)

MotoringFile Sections: Design Jan 26th, 2010 13 Comments

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Today’s look at MINI Design Past Present and Future is all about the Coupé and to some degree the roadster. It’s also the last look we’ll be giving you into what we believe to be the best book yet detailing new MINI design.

MINI faced a lot of possible scenarios with the Coup̩ and seeing what they ended up side by side with the initial sketches is essentially a sneak peak into the design process. Many of the sketches in the images here actually show coupes and roadster based on the R50 platform Рobviously a clue as to how long MINI has been considering a coup̩.

Also of note are the wheels shown in the some of the prototypes and sketches of the final design. Look for them to show-up eventually.

Remember that if you’re interested in an English version of this book, MINI may consider producing an english edition if the feedback on MotoringFile is positive and strong enough. So if you’d be interested in the ultimate coffee table book about MINI design, let us know in the comments section. Otherwise if you’d like the German version seen above, go to Amazon.de .

Countryman Photo & Video Recap

MotoringFile Sections: R60 (Countryman) Jan 26th, 2010 7 Comments

Over the past week we have bombarded you with Countryman with images, video and enormous amounts of information. So in an effort to help you make sense of it all we’re going to go back over the high points over the next few days. Today we’re going to take another look at the video we exclusively debuted here last week. The version above is a bit short (ie more concise) and is higher quality than what we showed you last week.

Next we’re presenting you with our full photo gallery of the Countryman with every exterior and interior MINI has officially released. Enjoy.

Full Gallery

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How Big is the MINI Countryman?

MotoringFile Sections: R56 (Hatch), R60 (Countryman) Jan 25th, 2010 59 Comments

MINI R56 vs R60

The answers; thankfully not so big. The German magazine Auto Bild had chance to get the latest R56 Hatchback in a studio with the just unveiled R60 MINI Countryman to show off the relative size differences. The result? It’s almost shocking how close the two are in overall length and height. While we haven’t had a chance to drive the R60 yet, we’re certainly optimistic knowing the overall size comparison to the R56 and the R55 Clubman. And if it drives as good as it looks, MINI may have a smash hit on their hands.

via bigblogg

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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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'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range


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