Archive for October 2010

Poll: What Future MINI Are You Most Interested In?

MotoringFile Sections: MF Poll Oct 29th, 2010 37 Comments

MINI has a lot of interesting things in development right now. Some of them, like “the twins” we’ve seen. Some, like the City Car, we’ve only got bits and pieces of information for. That had us wondering. What do you, the illustrious readers of MotoringFile, get excited for?

[poll id=”21″]

MINI Diesels Avoid London Congestion Charges

MotoringFile Sections: Efficiency, MINI E, Official News Oct 28th, 2010 7 Comments

For the unfamiliar on this side of the Atlantic, the city of London tries to keep traffic congestion down in the heart of the city by charging certain kinds of vehicles a Congestion Charge of as much as £10 a day to be in certain areas of the city. However, if you drive a high-efficiency or zero-emission vehicle such as a hybrid or a MINI E, the charge is waived. The good news for MINI One D and Cooper D owners is that London mayor Boris Johnson has just announced revamped Congestion Charge regulations that now count these high-efficiency MINIs as exempt from Congestion Charges starting in January 2011. Given the numbers, it’s not surprising why. continued →

BMW Recalls Fuel Pumps. MINI Does Not.

MotoringFile Sections: Faults & Fixes, R56 (Hatch), Recalls/Campaigns Oct 27th, 2010 30 Comments

Recently an owner outcry over engine issues caused BMW to recall the high-pressure fuel pumps used in some 130,000 turbocharged ultimate driving machines. With similar systems and similar complaints from some MINI owners, some expected the same action from MINI. According to Jalopnik, the word from MINI spokeswoman Nathalie Bauters is that there will be no similar MINI fuel pump recall because the turbocharged R56 Cooper S actually uses a different fuel pump than the one recalled by BMW.

Still worried? In July, MINI extended the warranty on these high-pressure fuel pumps to 10 years or 120,000 miles for ’07-’09 models. That, according to Bauters, is why there will be no MINI recall at this point. Though that may be cold comfort for folks experiencing issues. Is this a widespread problem? It’s discussed here on NAM. Any MF readers having fuel pump issues?

MINI Countryman Center Rail Ideas Made Into Prototypes

MotoringFile Sections: Accessories, Design, R60 (Countryman) Oct 27th, 2010 24 Comments

Readers of MotoringFile and listeners to White Roof Radio may remember that a few months back MINI extended an invitation to this community to come up with product ideas for the Countryman’s innovative center rail. The winner, as you may recall, was an ingenious idea bringing LEGOs into the back seat. The brains behind that little slice of genius received an autographed book about MINI design. What you may not have realized is that the contest that ran here on MF and on WRR was actually part of a larger international accessory competition. The prizes included a trip to the Paris Motor Show, and a pair of Apple MacBook Pro laptops. Those ideas were also rendered as prototypes and displayed at the Paris Motor Show itself. continued →

BMW Considering Two-Cylinder Engines?

MotoringFile Sections: Efficiency, Rumor Oct 26th, 2010 29 Comments

Dr. Klaus Draeger is the man in charge of development at BMW. We’re filing this under rumor for now, but in a recent interview with the German magazine Auto, Motor und Sport he eluded to the possibility of two-cylinder engines in small BMWs and even future MINIs. First the what, then the why. According to Dr. Draeger, the sweet spot for a small power plant of this type would be about 500cc per cylinder with a target horsepower of 80-100 hp. That’s not a particularly tall order given what BMW can do with motorcycles. For example, a BMW F 800 ST sport touring bike is squeezing 85 reliable horsepower out of just .798 liters of opposed twin. At the other end of the performance spectrum, the .999 liter BMW S 1000 RR four-cylinder is blasting an amazing 193 hp. continued →

White Roof Radio #355

MotoringFile Sections: Podcast Oct 26th, 2010 3 Comments

Here we go gang! We finally get Gabe back to talk about the Countryman, and, as expected, hilarity ensues. Hence the Monkey with Fez. Once we get the silliness out of our system we spend more than a few minutes talking about the R60, MINI Connected and the 350lb monkey in Kansas City.

Once that is behind us, we spend the content portion of the show actually talking about MINI stuff. We think you will enjoy it. Oh yea, go and listen to Bimmercast 34 to find out what happens when you put E15 in your tank.

We run a bit long. Why not, while you listen, take a few minutes to cruise through some of the sponsor sites? You need a hat, or an oil change kit, possibly a new MINI or maybe an stylish iPhone 4 wrap to keep the back of your iPhone safe and scratch free.

Woofcast 355:

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Download | WRR @ iTunes | 57:52 | 26.5MB

What Should MINI Make: Beachcomber vs Countryman Coupe

MotoringFile Sections: R61 (Paceman), R?? Beachcomber Concept Oct 24th, 2010 37 Comments

So MINI has a decision to make. In order to leverage the Countryman platform, they’re considering green-lighting either the MINI Beachcomber concept (seen last year in Detroit) or a two (or four) door coupe version of the Countryman (internally known as the Canyon). While they may end up making both, there’s a good chance that there will be just one produced at the Magna Steyr plant where the Countryman is currently made. So our question to you; which one do you want.

[poll id=”20″]

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