Jan 30th, 2011
(In part two of our manual vs automatic debate we’re writing about the unyielding march of technology and how that’s actually a good thing â€” even for manual drivers).
The manual is a dying breed. Why? Because of progress. While rowing the gears of a manual can be a great experience, it’s simply time to move on and start experiencing new technology and new kinds of involvement.
But first, let’s talk about how the auto liberated the sports car and made all cars less boring. 40 years ago a sports car or even a sporty car rarely had an auto available. That meant manual transmissions were exclusive to those who knew how to drive them or those who could stomach the left foot shuffle that US traffic made mandatory. But as car makers started realizing that the lowly automatic could indeed be sporty, they started dropping them into everything. While some bemoaned the loss of a few sacred cows, it started to break down walls for many of us. In effect, it democratized sports cars for the masses. continued →
Jan 30th, 2011
It’s the right of passage many of us graduate to early in life that quickly becomes a badge of honor. It’s the subtle cue to another enthusiast that you’re serious about the art of driving and a student of automotive history. In my mind there are cars that require a manual.
The M3s, 911s or even MCS’ of the world just don’t seem as bare-chested with a pair of flappy paddles. And you know the moment. When you peer into either of those cars and see that dreaded auto knob. Your heart drops just a bit. If you’re a manual driver you care about that car. And you know it’s been wronged by someone who chose ease over interaction on the ordering spec (unless of course it’s a dedicated track car). continued →
Jan 28th, 2011
How far would you go to win a MINI? Stand with your hand on it for 12 days? Eat your weight in cherry pie? Well Autoblog is reporting that a german radio station recently gave away a MINI Cooper in a contest of who could come up with the biggest stunt to demonstrate how badly they wanted the car. The winner, Andreas Muller, overcame stiff competition to take the prize by having “MINI” tattooed on his …well, we’ll call it his “Johnson Rod”. That’s right, a live radio audience listened in as Mr. Muller got some custom ink embroidery on his personal shift knob. continued →
Jan 28th, 2011
MINI is officially taking the wraps off of its after-sales accessories with a range of appearance and performance options. We’re going to go through every single one of them in detail with part numbers and prices. But first lets talk about JCW. (Full list and PDF after the break) continued →
Jan 27th, 2011
This fun new MINI ad made its way to our inbox yesterday and we were fortunate enough to get in touch with William Clark, the spot’s director, who provided us with an embeddable version. The ad highlights the wide range of models and accessories now available for MINI through the classic game of the red light fire drill. Great stuff, William. Thanks for making it available. This ad will start running (along with others) at movie theaters across the country and I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw it on the small screen in the near future as well.
You can see more of William’s work at WiliamClarkPhotography.com.
Jan 26th, 2011
Rumors have been swirling for over a year now that MINI has something special planned for the Countryman. We’re hearing it’s a mix of the WRC race car with a dash of Cayenne Turbo thrown in for good measure. The result, while vague at the moment, sounds fantastic to us. Imagine a road going version of the wide-body MINI Countryman WRC with more power (something a little higher than the 211 on the current JCW MINI) and performance oriented all wheel drive. Oh and a wide body kit that will make you drool. continued →
Jan 26th, 2011
We’ve known for some time that the Paceman would be built and in Magna Steyr’s Austrian plant (along side the Countryman). But until today we didn’t know exactly when. The Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung is reporting that BMW development head Klaus Draeger expects the Paceman to hit dealer showrooms in late 2012 as a 2013 model.
BMW expects to move around 20,000 of the “sport activity coupes” or about 20% of what the Countryman does annually. What about changes to the car from the concept? The two big ones we know about will be two suicide doors giving rear passengers excellent access to the two seats in the back. Otherwise expect the Countryman based interior to be largely carried over.
But what about the name? continued →