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MotoringFile at the 2011 MINI Launch (We Need Your Questions)

MINI USA has invited us down to Austin Texas today and tomorrow to drive the entire 2011 MINI model range. We’ll be getting more seat-time in the Countryman as well as another look a the updated R55, R56 and R57 models. And there’s even a rumor that Countryman pricing will make an appearance at the event. You’ll see updates via our twitter account and photos at MotoringFile’s Flickr page

Regardless we’ll talk to MINI designers and execs about the cars and of course will be bringing your questions to them. Oh but first we need your questions. And while we can’t promise to get all of them answered, we want to be armed with them nonetheless.

So ask away…

Written By: Gabe

  • spaner

    Hi Gabe

    1 when will JCW engine package be released if not at launch

    2.When will JCW suspension package be released (again if not at launch

    3.Will there be a factory toe hitch and is this how the factory carrier attaches

    4 Mini connect does not show as selectable item on dealers first cars – why?

    5 Dealers first cars show build in mid novemeber which would put delivery in jan – is mini going to hold before sale

    6 It seems there are multiple white and black wheel options can this be clarified – also any chance to order the 19″ jcw in white

    Sorry for the cruddy format posted from a dumb phone

  • http://www.facebook.com/sal.salerno Sal Salerno

    The obvious question for many whose lease is up in October & November, is when will Mini Connected be available. We have heard November builds, December builds and january builds. My dealership is also clueless. i don’t understand why they don’t just sell the Nav package and have the Mini Connected activated when ready especially as they keep saying it’s a software issue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1499630442 Don Hopings

    As the JCW MINI is currently at 208hp, what’s a good target for the future, given front wheel drive and available tire sizes?

  • Jeff

    My question isn’t for the designers or execs, but for Gabe. Are the 2011 MINIs going to be at MINI of Austin today? I’d love to see the Countryman and refreshed R56 in person, so may need to pop over there if so. Thanks, and have fun! Hopefully you’re staying through the weekend for the ACL Music Festival…at least to see LCD Soundsystem.

  • Jas

    How will mission control work, if not in the SD card format anymore? Also any developments on the ETA of MINI Connected for US? I hope Nov/Dec builds. Im waiting for it to order.

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    Are the 2011 MINIs going to be at MINI of Austin today? I’d love to see the Countryman and refreshed R56 in person, so may need to pop over there if so. Thanks, and have fun! Hopefully you’re staying through the weekend for the ACL Music Festival…at least to see LCD Soundsystem.

    The event will be centered around the Lost Pines resort which is in hill country (so I’m told) west of Austin. I doubt a MINI dealer will be involved.

    Would love to stay through the weekend but can’t due to work. Oh and I’m seeing LCD later this month in Chicago.

  • DaCera

    When will a JCW with Valvetronic be released?

  • Jim C

    To what extent will existing accessories / mods work with the Countryman? I’ve invested in several roof-mounted accessories. Will existing crossbars work with the standard rail system?

  • lasersailor

    Request – please try to drive and comment on Cooper and Cooper Clubman (manual transmission) for those of use who can’t swing the expense of purchasing an S. Fun-to-drive, performance compared with non-Valvetronic predecessors, etc.

  • Robby

    For us non AT&T folks that are interested in MINI Connected. Using the mobile wi-fi hotspot of my Droid, can I use my ipod touch to get the same functionality?

  • Paul

    As regards the Countryman specifically, I would like to know the following:

    1) What are it’s true off-road abilities and/or actual ground clearance? Our family has a cabin down down a rocky, rutted dirt road, so this might be the first Mini that can actually get me there.

    2) As others have inquired, when will we see the JCW package and of what will it consist? I think we saw hints of it on the orange Countryman shown in Paris, but we need details!

  • Paul

    My next question… what can be done to stop there from being a Mini minivan? (And other than trying to appeal to every possible driver type known to man, what on earth are they thinking?)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jake.sherwood Jake Sherwood

    Will there be a factory JCW Countryman?

  • Borinot

    When will I must choose between the Valvetronic JCW and Mini D with BMW engine over 200hp (DS,JCWD,or…)?

    Can you give some details of this cars? Will it happen before my retirement? Was it worth to save money and convince my wife?

    Thanks Gabe

  • MatthewW

    @Paul, just saw that concept image. The expression, “Can’t be all things to all people” sprung to mind.

  • alpinamike

    They should have had it at Nemacolin, I could have set the hole thing up, and better hills. People sure did like it on MTTS 2010.

    http://www.nemacolin.com

    But I am sure they will have fun down in austin, just not the big hills.

  • Borinot

    Mini Connect: Is there life beyond the iPhone? Or is a love story just for two?

  • LC

    Will the Countryman have a towing option?

  • Brian

    MINI has invited the local Austin MINI Cooper Car Club to lunch and unveiling – we feel quite priveledged. The new MINI dealership in Austin is on on it and a party is planned for Friday night as well with the new cars on display.

  • Chilly

    Hi Gabe,

    We’ve heard lots of news about the Countryman and the MCS but I’d like to hear a hands-on review of the refreshed Cooper if possible. I imagine the updates are relatively minor but, never the less, I’d still like to hear.

    Oh, and if you can get any more information on the ‘twins’, that would be great.

    Thanks!

  • Midnight Blue

    To reiterate an earlier question regarding MINI Connected and the Countryman:

    When will Mini Connected be available. I also don’t understand why they don’t just sell the Nav package and have Mini Connected activated when it is ready.

    I already have given my heavily optioned Cooper S All4 order to my dealer and they can not even enter the 7L5 option yet.

    I would be ok with NAV without Connected, especially since I don’t have an iPhone or have intentions of getting one. Why won’t MINI sell it that way?

  • Midnight Blue

    Also, can you find out exactly what option 4UL Float Load Floor provides?

  • rosvick

    I doubt this one will be answerable but: when is MINI Connected becoming available for Canadian-ordered vehicles?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000326387071 Anthony Buglio

    Will the Mini Connected fully work with an Ipod Touch? Is an android app in the pipeline for use with phones like the Droid Incredible?

  • Midnight Blue

    Is Blackberry support on the roadmap for MINI Connected?

  • theTonus

    @ Gabe

    This event is THE training event for the launch of the Countryman. All Sales Managers, almost all Motoring advisors, and even some service advisors will be attending this event.

    The first US production Countryman (at least for the West coast) is going in to production week 44 (end of October). So there will be a load of Countryman built before the car is officially launced in the US and before the configurator, or even price is announced.

    I work closely with MINI National training (Vinnie and Tina) and would be more than happy to get to the bottom of these questions if some of them aren’t answered in Austin.

  • http://www.motoringfile.com/ Gabe

    This event is THE training event for the launch of the Countryman. All Sales Managers, almost all Motoring advisors, and even some service advisors will be attending this event.

    No I’m actually at the press event which happens a few days before the training event.

  • theTonus

    I figured it was something press-only when you said there was going to be the 2011 full lineup on hand. If there’s anything new in the training they don’t cover for the press I’ll let you know. Have fun in big ‘ol Texas.

  • http://motoringfile.com early

    When will the black reflecting headlights be available in the JCW hardtop?

  • BananasRUS

    I know this has been addressed before, but is there ANY WAY that the three-seat option for the second row in the Countryman will EVER be made available in the US? I know I speak for more than just myself when I say that is the ONLY factor that prevents me from ordering one TODAY!

  • Ernest

    Regarding the Cooper S Countryman, if cars are on hand featuring both the standard and lowered “sport” suspension, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the latter. Basically, I’m wondering if the Countryman’s ride will be overly harsh with the lowered suspension.

    Thanks, and I know I don’t need to say this, but have fun!

  • mfeidler

    Ask if the cars with Visual boost systems will be upgradeable to MINI connected. And when will MINI connected by available.

  • that.guy

    Given the whole WRC/Prodrive thing, will MINI go after the STI/Evo market with a “rally bred” version of the Countryman? If so, when? Specs?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=583828258 Morgan Moore

    I second the “rally bred” Countryman question…

    I want to be first on the list for the Countryman “GP” if such a thing comes to pass. I’d gladly pay the upcharge to do a “special” delivery event like they did at Laguna Seca for the GP…

  • Dusty

    When will MINIUSA have the configurator updated so we can start building our Countryman’s?

  • Mike

    Will a full sized human fit in the drivers seat with a rear facing baby carseat behind him/her?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000326387071 Anthony Buglio

    Since it is obvious Mini is partnered with Apple, can you ask when/if they will transform the Mini USA web site so it will work on an iPad or other non flash enabled product?


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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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