Apr 30th, 2010
Here we go! Get out the calendars and mark the dates! The rally will begin in San Fransisco, Southern California, Chicago, New York and Atlanta and head to Denver. From the West, the rally heads south from San Fransisco to meet up with the Southern California Rally. From the east, all Rallies will meet up in Indy before heading west. Full details after the jump.
MINI Takes the States Release On Your Mark! Get Set! RALLY! The 2010 MINI TAKES THE STATES route is official. After motoring across the country and leaving no stone unturned and no road untraveled, we are pleased to announce the official rally route to Denver for MINI TAKES THE STATES 2010.
Apr 30th, 2010
Our friends at Bigblogg managed to be in the right place at the right time. They’ve had a peak under the hood of a Countryman with the much rumored (and definitely coming) BMW 2.0 diesel engine. While BMW has many flavors of 2.0L diesel we expect MINI to launch with the mill out of the BMW 316 which should give the new MINI D around 115 hp and well north 60 mpg combined that the 316 gets.
We expect this to be the first of several BMW diesel engines shoehorned into the MINI over the years culminating in a Cooper S D with power similar to the current MCS.
Apr 29th, 2010
It’s a complex story but the long and short of it is that the local Ontario MINI Club has a spring a fall charity rally around a road called the “Rattler”. Apparently as is customary in the area, the club let the police know that there would be a large group of MINI’s driving the road as part of a charity event. Apparently the police (known locally as the OPP) took it upon themselves to not only use the opportunity as a speed trap but they also notified the local television channel to make sure it was fully covered in the media.
So with the MINI club having notified the OPP of the charity event cruise, the route, the timings and the number involved, the police were ready with all the information they needed to execute one of the most unnecessary stings we’ve ever heard of.
Apr 27th, 2010
This week’s Ask MF comes from reader Bryan Hinkle and is related to MINI graphics. Bryan writes:
I am wondering how the various decals are holding up on MINIs. The other day I saw a very faded Union Jack roof decal. I have gone back and forth about ordering bonnet stripes, and wonder how those have been aging age over time. And, I wonder if those who ordered bonnet stripes or other decals would do so again.”
I’ve been applying automotive graphics professionally for nearly 20 years. I’ve applied stripes and roof flags to more than 2,000 MINIs since 2003, and logos and other graphics to thousands of other vehicles since 1992. I have seen vinyl graphics on MINIs that still look good after six years. I have also seen vinyl graphics on MINIs that look like they need to be replaced after only two to three years. There is no hard and fast rule for longevity because there are too many factors that can affect the lifespan of vinyl graphics.
First, all vinyl is not created equal. There are two main types of vinyl on the market today â€” high performance and intermediate. High performance vinyl is generally rated to last five to nine years, intermediate vinyl is generally rated to last three to five. From what I’ve seen, the MINI factory graphics use high performance material and should last around five to seven years before they start to severely fade or chip. However, the original MINI factory Classic-style stripes â€”Â black with white pinstripes or white with black pinstripes â€” were created by uncoated, printed black ink on white vinyl. On those type of stripes, any small rock chip can chip the black ink off the stripe and leave a small white mark. I’ve seen black factory stripes that needed to be replaced within a couple of years because of excessive chipping. Laminated stripes â€” where the printing is top coated with a thin layer of clear vinyl â€” aren’t as prone to chipping because of the topcoat.
Apr 26th, 2010
We’ve noticed quite a few questions in our comments over the last few months from those trying to make sense of all the new models and refreshes coming from MINI. While we’ve spelled it out in various reports over the past few years we thought we’d re-post some of that here in quick-guide form for future reference.
So with that said let’s take a look at what each year will bring.
Apr 23rd, 2010
The MINI E is really nothing more than a test bed for BMW. But it’s a rolling test bed that performs at a level above almost any electric car on the road. Yes it’s no Tesla. I can personally verify that the insanity of putting your foot down in the Tesla is nowhere to be found in the MINI E. Neither is the range with only 100 miles full topped up with electricity (vs almost 200 for the Tesla). But what the MINI E does do is bring electricity to the masses.
It may be hard to see that now since they are simply leased vehicles ($850 a month) but if you look at the cost of the Tesla it’s apparent that the MINI E is coming to market at a lower price-point while offering a similar zero emissions experience.