Archive for August 2010
Aug 31st, 2010
Updated: We just had someone leak us a bit of info that indicates that MINI may have changed their mind regarding the JCW Engine kit on the 2011 MCS. We will have full details soon.
In the summer of 2007 MINI introduced the first drivetrain upgrade for the R56 – the JCW Engine Kit. The kit consisted of a free flowing exhaust, a JCW air intake and more aggressive engine software. The result was 192bhp and 200 ft lbs of torque on overboost. At the time it was arguably as fast as the previous 208 hp JCW factory car (thanks to that torque figure of course). But remember those figures for a second. They appropriately split the difference rather well from the 175 hp MCS and the factory JCW car with 211 bhp (released in 2008).
Now fast forward to 2011 and MINI has upgraded the MCS engine to include variable valve timing and a host of other improvements that add up to 181 hp. So MINI was faced with a decision. Do they upgrade the JCW Engine Kit or simplify the product offering and kill it. And according to sources MINI has made the decision and will not be upgrading the engine kit for the refreshed MCS (2011 onward).
Aug 30th, 2010
Our friends at Bigblogg have scooped the first technical info of the upcoming BMW diesel that will power the Cooper S D. While we’ve reported (along with a few other outlets) that the engine was coming, this is the first confirmed power figure.
Aug 27th, 2010
For years long development cycles for cars have meant that technology was often much slower to find it’s way on a dashboard than in your living room. The simple fact that car companies spend years working on a car’s electronics before if even reaches the marketplace has historically put the industry behind when it comes to integrating modern technology. But that is slowly changing. And now MINI has thrown down the gauntlet with something called MINI Connected.
For those BMW fans out there don’t confuse this with BMW Connected. MINI Connected isn’t just an edge connection with a terrible in dash web browser attached. MINI Connected is an app on your iPhone that simply takes over the MINI entertainment system remotely. But better yet you can control the app from the MINI joystick located in the center console area (traditionally the input for the Navigation on all MINIs sine 2007).
But why is MINI Connected is not just cool but brilliant? Because the features live on the device side (your iPhone) in the for of an App updates can be made at any time and pushed to the user over the air. That moves new entertainment features from the product side to the software side and that means it’s cheaper and easier for everyone. For instance lets say MINI has a killer new feature that it wants to release on the 2012 MINI. In the past that would mean that 2011 owners would be out of luck. Now it means they simply need to update their iPhone app. continued →
Aug 27th, 2010
As we have done for the past three years, MINI of Manhattan is offering hospitality on Monday the 6th for MINI & Mini owners and families, complete with MINI Corral parking, a shady tent and a sweet spot next to the track to watch the racing.
Weâ€™ll also have raffles, refreshments, a MINI Challenge car driving simulator, and a chance to get on to the race track for Parade Laps! (The first 50 cars into the corral will be allowed to participate)
Aug 26th, 2010
Earlier today BMW of North America announced that Jack Pitney, Vice President of marketing, was killed “in a tragic accident while on vacation at his farm.” It is believed that he was working on his tractor when the tragedy occurred.
Mr. Pitney, 47, lived in Ridgewood, NJ with his wife, Quincy, and their five children. According to The Star Ledger
Jack was a passionate man who was an enthusiast through and through. His passion was evident at this past years NY Autoshow when he rode a BMW S1000RR out in front of a packed hall; not many execs would dare do that.
One of his many accomplishments was helping launch MINI in the states back in 2001 as the brand’s general manager and vice president. In fact he was one of a handful of people within BMW who created the internal grassroots campaign to bring the car to the US as BMW had originally not intended for it to be sold in North America.
Aug 26th, 2010
A few weeks ago we broke the bad news that MINI’s most highly anticipated option for 2011, MINI Connected, will be delayed in the North American market. Our sources have told us that the reason rests with the iPhone app and making sure it’s perfect for the recently updated iOS4 (the UK/Euro version was released a few weeks ago with a slightly different set of features). But the big question has been time-frame – when can we actually expect it? We now have some answers.
Our sources are telling us to expect MINI Connected to be available for September orders and November builds. That means we should start to see cars with the option showing up at dealers around the November or December time-frame (depending on how long it takes to ship a MINI from Oxford to where you are).
From my brief time playing with MINI Connected I can tell you this will be incredible. And as more features are added the iPhone app will simply be updated within iTunes. It’s a smart delivery method and one that takes advantage of much quicker development cycles than what we normally see in automotive electronics.
A Closer Look at MINI Connected
The option adds a new 6.5â€ hi-resolution screen (the same as on the 2011 Nav system), Comfort Bluetooth (6NE) with Smartphone prep (6NF), a Combox control box (interface the iPhone with the car), Voice recognition (620), and a joystick controller to access all features just as the MINI Navigation uses. Currently, only the iPhone is supported, but the Android and Blackberry Smartphones are being planned as well for a later launch.
Despite what some reports have indicated you don’t need tethering. Instead all music plays directly on your iPhone and and is then sent to your MINI via tue cable or Bluetooth.
Aug 26th, 2010
Official Release: Whether embarking on a business trip or heading off on holiday, every frequent traveller needs a reliable companion by their side. So luckily MINI cars give people on the move all the support they need. The new MINI Countryman crossover model sees the cult car maker once again displaying its expertise in all things mobility-related. And the central theme of the Creative Use of Space also lies at the heart of the practical luggage solutions available from the MINI Lifestyle Collection. The items in the Collection are designed to meet the full range of travel requirements. Functionality and stylishness are guaranteed, in customary MINI fashion.
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