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Archive for April 2010

WRR/MF Exclusive: MTTS Route Details Released

MotoringFile Sections: MTTS Apr 30th, 2010 18 Comments

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.

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BMW Diesel Spotted in Countryman Engine Bay

MotoringFile Sections: Diesel, R60 (Countryman) Apr 30th, 2010 8 Comments

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.

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Canadian Police Pull Over Entire MINI Convoy

MotoringFile Sections: In the Press Apr 29th, 2010 71 Comments

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.

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The JCW GP at the ‘Ring (Video)

MotoringFile Sections: JCW GP, Video Apr 28th, 2010 16 Comments

If there are two things we can’t get enough of, it’s the Nurburgring and the JCW GP. Thanks to a tip from Florian, we have both in spades. Youtube (and we assume GP owner) frigo1966 has the best collection of GP vs ‘Ring footage we’ve ever seen. They’re all well worth a click.

The first video here is our favorite. Have you ever wanted to see a GP passing multiple Porsche GT3s on the ‘Ring? Look no further (courtesy of frigo1966). Who said the MINI wasn’t a serious track car?

MINI GP vs E46 M3

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Ask MF: The Longevity of Vinyl Graphics on MINIs

MotoringFile Sections: Ask MotoringFile Apr 27th, 2010 27 Comments

vinyl

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.

vinyl

First, all vinyl is not created equal. There are two main types of vinyl on the market today — 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 — black with white pinstripes or white with black pinstripes — 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 — where the printing is top coated with a thin layer of clear vinyl — aren’t as prone to chipping because of the topcoat.

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MINI’s Future Product Roadmap (Updated)

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Hatch, R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch), R57 (Conv.), R58 (Coupe), R59 (Roadster), R60 (Countryman) Apr 26th, 2010 20 Comments

Speedster

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.

2010

2011

  • R60 North American Launch (March)
  • R58 Roadster Worldwide Launch (Late Spring)
  • R59 Coupé Worldwide Launch (Summer)

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MotoringFile Review: The MINI E

MotoringFile Sections: MINI E, Reviews Apr 23rd, 2010 10 Comments

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.

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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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'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
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'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
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'05 MINI Cooper
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'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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