Archive for November 2010

First US Ad For the Fiat 500

MotoringFile Sections: Marketing, MINI Competitors, Opinion Nov 30th, 2010 65 Comments

The Fiat 500 is not a new car. At least, it’s not a new car elsewhere in the world. You can buy one in Vietnam, in fact. But by many estimations, the reborn Cinquecento’s US debut is aimed squarely at MINI in its largest market. The actual threat from Fiat’s throwback-mobile is a discussion for another post. What we have here is the first bit of advertising for Fiat’s foray back onto American soil, and it’s hardly threatening. Frankly, it’s a bit of a mess. continued →

Coupé Update: Get Ready For the Ultimate MINI

MotoringFile Sections: R58 (Coupe) Nov 29th, 2010 30 Comments

So the R60 has launched. We’ve reviewed it and will have a (very special) long term review coming. But we want to give you a break in the coverage and talk about another car that is probably near and dear to many of you: the R58 MINI Coupé.


The Coupé and Roadster projects have been executed at lightening speed for the automotive industry. Work started in early 2009 and culminated in what we saw at the Frankfurt and LA motor shows. Since that time MINI has gone into engineering and design mode putting the finishing touches on both cars. First up will of course be the coupe. It’s currently undergoing initial prototype work around Germany. While in the past we’d expect to see test mules in places such as death valley and the arctic, BMW now has their new Environmental Test Center (ETC) to simulate conditions ranging from -30c to +45c. Due to this we don’t expect much in the way of sneak peaks of the car outside of a random shot near Munich and at the Nurburgring early this spring. continued →

MINI USA Demonstrates MINI Connected

MotoringFile Sections: Technology, Video Nov 28th, 2010 17 Comments

Last month we gave you our own walk through of MINI Connected. Today we bring you MINI’s own look at the new technology. We start with the video above which features MINI USA VP talking about MINI Connected and introducing the technology at a high level. But for those of you who know about Connected (likely most readers of MF) the video after the break is likely the one you’re after. It features Rob Passaro (Senior Engineer, BMW Group Technology Office, Palo Alto) demonstrating select features of the system during the recent LA Auto Show – most notably iPod-out. continued →

Australian MINI Challenge to End in 2010

MotoringFile Sections: MINI Challenge, Official News Nov 26th, 2010 7 Comments

In sad news it would appear that MINI is pulling all corporate support on Australia’s MINI Challenge series. The lack of official support likely means the series will race for the last time next weekend in Sydney. It’s unclear what (if anything) this means for the European series.(Courtesy of Ausmotive)

Official Release: BMW Group Australia today announced that after three highly successful years, the MINI Challenge race series would not be continued in 2011.

continued →

Countryman Earns EURO 5-Star Crash Rating

MotoringFile Sections: R60 (Countryman), Safety Nov 24th, 2010 6 Comments

Interesting news today out of EURO ENCAP, a vehicle safety testing organization similar to the IIHS here in the states. They did some rather unpleasant things to a MINI Countryman to test its crash worthiness and the results were fantastic. The R60 received an overall score of five stars, with a front seat (adult) occupant score of 84%. More details and full results PDF after the break. continued →

White Roof Radio #358

MotoringFile Sections: Podcast Nov 24th, 2010 No Comments

Here we go! Last show before Thanksgiving with Todd, Chad and db clearing out the MotoringFile news queue and the AskChad inbox.

Have an R50 and want to do a little something special to jazz things up a bit after all this time? Todd has the lead on a JCW Sound Kit for a fantastic price! You can hear the full review he did here. At the price it’s being offered for it would be worth it for the exhaust alone. This one won’t last long, so contact us right away! This is definitely a first come first serve. continued →

Dynamic Stability Control: Explained

MotoringFile Sections: Technology Nov 24th, 2010 13 Comments

Now that snow, ice and other winter messes are showing up all over the world we have received many question about the functions of Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). The following information is a brief synopsis of each of its functions and the basics behind it all. We hope that this information is useful and provides you with some answers to your questions. The information here is for the newer generation of cars equipped with DSC.

DSC is ON by default, there is no need to press any buttons on start up. DSC uses a series of sensors to detect wheel spin, yaw rate of the car and other properties. Using sensors and other electronics it can apply the brakes as needed, cut engine power and with Active Steering it can make small steering corrections to better keep the car under control. In layman terms, all the nannies are on by default and help to keep the car from spinning out. When DSC is intervening a caution light will flash in the instrument cluster. continued →

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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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