Archive for June 2010

MINI Refresh in Motion (Video)

MotoringFile Sections: 2011 LCI, R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch), R57 (Conv.), Video Jun 30th, 2010 13 Comments

Earlier this week was the world debut of the MINI refresh on MF. We gave you seven pages of photos and all kinds of details. However today it’s all about the videos. We’ve got eight different videos that give you every angle of all three MINI models (sans the JCW).

We’ll have much more specific information on options and models in the coming days.


R56 Hatch

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Sneak Peek at MINI’s New Interior Trim Options

MotoringFile Sections: 2011 LCI, R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch), R57 (Conv.) Jun 28th, 2010 22 Comments


We’ll have a full rundown on new colors an trim in a few days but until then we’ve compiled information from several sources that give us a glimpse into the updated interior trim options on the 2011 MINIs.


  • Tuscan Biege: Replaced by Arctic World
  • (New) Crosscheck Toffy (R56 only)
  • (New) Satellite Lounge Grey (R57 only)
  • (New) Cross Check Polar Beige (R55 only)
  • (New) Ice Blue Cross Check (R57 only)
  • (New) Gravity Polar Beige Leather
  • (New) Classic Green Lounge Leather
  • (New and JCW only) Carbon Black Lounge Leather with Red Piping (Previously unique to the WC50)

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World Debut: The New (Refreshed) MINI

MotoringFile Sections: 2011 LCI, R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch), R57 (Conv.), Video Jun 27th, 2010 70 Comments


(Photo and video gallery can be viewed after the break) The 2011 MINI is here and it’s refreshed and completely both inside and out. All existing MINI models – Hatch, Clubman and Convertible – benefit from design refresh to both exterior and interior. At the front, a new bumper with a lower air intake serves not only to update MINI’s face but also to improve pedestrian protection courtesy of larger deformation zones. New style fog lamps adorn either side of the air intake which on MINI One and Cooper features a black cross bar to emphasize the car’s low, wide stance. On the Cooper S two purposeful air intakes help cool the brakes in extreme situations (something MINI enthusiasts have been asking for since 2002).

Digging deeper into the updates you’ll notice both the front and rear lights are new. The optional Xenon lights now feature adaptive control that follows the angle of the steering wheel (effectively lighting around corners). The side indicator has a distinctive design of concentric circles and sits in the redesigned side gill housings.


At the rear, a new bumper the tail and brake lights are now LEDs while the brake lights use dynamic intensity lighting that varies according to the deceleration force applied. Pulsating light affords following drivers an opportunity to gauge the urgency of the braking. The LED (finally) design also gives a distinctive look at night. Integrated reversing and rear fog lamps are also new and are housed in the rear bumper.

Along with five new paint colors and five new wheel designs the 2011 MINI models are subtlely different, yet decidedly refreshed.



The interior of all MINI models has undergone a significant makeover as well. The centre console, the steering wheel and the air conditioning and audio controls have all been modified with higher quality plastics and a new matte black finish. They also serve to add functionality and improve ergonomics – something long sought by many of us. Apart from the practical benefits of the new interiors, the ambience is further enhanced by new materials and color options. In total there are six new upholstery choices, three new fascia options and two new interior colour lines for door and side panels.


The New JCW: Now with more Red

While the 2011 JCW doesn’t feature any increase in power, they are some new unique options offered for the first time. Specifically the JCW will be offered with an Inverse color option. It is Chili red with a contrasting colour for the roof and door mirrors. Complementing this unique treatment will be the option of Black Challenge alloy wheels, while inside the standard equipment includes anthracite instruments, a Chili red fascia, black lounge leather seats with red piping, red stitching on the gear-and hand-brake lever and red trim on the ignition key. At this time it’s unclear if MINI is throwing in the lounge leather seats for free. We’d guess not but it’s certainly not a bad idea when it comes to increasing the value of the pricey JCW.


One very interesting decision by MINI regards the lights. For 2011 every MINI model will have black headlights as an option. That is of course with one exception; the JCW model. This is exactly the opposite that we would expect and in fact the opposite of what we’ve told MINI to do for the past two years on these pages.

A final note on the US spec JCW. There is a rumor (obviously unconfirmed) that the US market will be joining the UK is offering the JCW aerokit as standard on all JCWs from 2011 on. We have our doubts but we’ll know more soon.

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MINI vs Porsche 2010 Showdown Wrapup

MotoringFile Sections: Marketing, Motorsports Jun 27th, 2010 11 Comments

On June 7th, MINI USA threw down the gauntlet. Publishing a one-page ad in The New York Times at the same time as publishing a video on YouTube and their Facebook page, MINI USA CEO Jim McDowell set down the ground rules: MINI brings a 2010 Cooper S and their own driver, Porsche likewise but with a Carrera S. The track at Road Atlanta was booked for June 21st. The two makers would be racing for bragging rights (and valet parking spaces).

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2011 JCW Revealed Early

MotoringFile Sections: 2011 LCI, JCW, R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch), R57 (Conv.) Jun 25th, 2010 21 Comments

Next week we’ll be seeing the 2011 MINi range in its entirety. However today we get (another) sneak peak at the new red-roofed JCW.

What’s changing? For JCW it’s actually not that much. That means no JCW suspension, no JCW aero-kit and no unique exterior styling. However to make the model more unique MINI is offering a Chili Red Roof (potentially in place of the current black option) black and red stripes along with a black version of the 17″ JCW wheel.

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MINI’s Updated Interior Revealed

MotoringFile Sections: 2011 LCI, R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch), R57 (Conv.) Jun 25th, 2010 38 Comments

Here it is folks, the revision everyone has been waiting to see. This is our first glimpse at the updated interior that will launch as part of the 2011 refresh. MINI hasn’t completely rethought the interface but they have tweaked it while also using high-grade matte black materials as touch points. The big change (and the one we don’t see here) is the totally redesigned navigation system. The new nav will be hard drive based, feature MINI Connect and will be much (much) faster.

We’ll have much much more early next week with the official details drop.

Image courtesy of our friends at Bigblogg

MINI USA Launches Completely Redesigned Configurator

MotoringFile Sections: Official News Jun 25th, 2010 20 Comments

MINI USA has launched an entirely new configurator today with a completely refine experience. The new experience includes the following key enhancements:

  • Larger images
  • Three different views of your car
  • More option and product information
  • Simple model selection with ability to carry-over options when switching from model to model (where applicable)
  • Ability to configure a car in any order
  • Access to payment estimator at any time
  • Printed brochures now include options codes

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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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