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Archive for February 2011

BMW & PSA Give Details on Hybrid Joint Venture

MotoringFile Sections: Official News Feb 28th, 2011 2 Comments

What does this mean for MINI fans? Look for a plugin hybrid version of the Countryman (and or its derivatives) by 2014.

Official Release: The BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën plan to invest 100 million EUR in their intended joint venture on hybrid technology named “BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification”, both companies announced at a press conference in Geneva today. The new company will operate out of two locations – the greater Munich area, Germany and Mulhouse, France. 400 employees are expected to work for the joint venture by the end of 2011. Subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities, the new company is expected to launch its operations in the second quarter of 2011. The new hybrid components will equip both partners’ vehicles from 2014 onwards. continued →

Official Debut: MINI Yours

MotoringFile Sections: MINI Yours, Official News Feb 28th, 2011 15 Comments

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Last Friday we gave you an exclusive look at MINI’s new high-end exclusive options program that includes options, limited edition models and accessories. Today MINI we bring you the official release hot off the presses. But before we get into the release let’s look at a few highlights within the options list:

  • Highclass Grey metallic
  • Laguna Green metallic
  • 17-inch light-alloy wheels in Twin Blade Spoke design
  • Soda Mirrors with hologram effect
  • Lounge Leather seats in Satellite Grey with Highclass Grey and crown pattern
  • Full Walknappa leather trim for instrument panel (upper section of the panel is black and – depending on the seat upholstery – the centre section is Polar Beige or Satellite Grey)
  • Leather gearshift lever gaiter with contrasting stitching in Polar Beige or Satellite Grey and a two-tone leather steering wheel with matching colour scheme for the hub.

Look for even more options this summer and a new special edition that’s even more ‘bespoke’.

Official Release: As a pioneer and one-off in the premium small car segment, MINI offers an options range unmatched in its variety to allow customers to configure their car exactly how they desire. Buyers can choose from a large selection of exterior paint finishes, light-alloy wheels, upholstery variants, interior trim and Colour Lines, MINI-specific options such as mirror caps and graphics, and numerous other optional extras and accessories, to make every MINI a one-off creation designed in detail to reflect their own individual style. From spring 2011 MINI will open up another new avenue for the ultra-stylish customisation of the brand’s cars. The MINI Yours range of products will feature exclusive design options delivered from the factory for the exterior and interior of the current range of MINI models. Among the features of the MINI Yours range are unusual paint finishes, upholstery variants and interior colours, stylishly configured equipment packages and limited editions based on the now four model series in the MINI family. continued →

Inside the MINI House: A Conversation With MINI Executives About the Brand

MotoringFile Sections: MF Feature Feb 27th, 2011 18 Comments

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Friday MINI invited MotoringFile for rare glimpse inside their corporate headquarters in Munich. Known as the ‘MINI House’ inside BMW, the building is a nondescript in almost every way except for the MINI type and black facade on the front. We were invited here (along with a couple other handpicked journalists (Edmunds, Autoweek and Cool Hunting) as the first outsiders to see the inside the building – the inside of MINI.

The day before we had wondered throughout the basement corridors of BMW with seemingly light security. New 1 and 3 series models were parking and driving around and there seemed to be a relaxed attitude to us being there. At MINI things were different. The first step? I was told I had to surrender my passport. Clearly there will be no snapping a few pics and running for it. So cameras and mobile phones away I reluctantly gave it up and headed inside. As we talked around the corner and into the building I noticed one empty spot for the head of MINI Dr. Armbretch – undoubtedly doing important things elsewhere in the BMW empire.

Walking into the building we quickly turned left and headed down a hallway. It’s probably a lot like the hallway in your office except conference rooms had names like Clubman and Traveller. Inside each of the conference rooms were nothing but large tables, polycoms and white boards. You can just imagine the discussions and decisions made here.

Once we got to the end we entered the a large room that spanned the entire width of the building. In it were prototype dealer layouts (a new bar-like layout that mimics a kitchen setting), a bar prominently featuring Red Bull, ambient lighting, new accessories, apparel, and at one end, a long table. This was the place where strategic brand and product decisions are made. The journey had ended – I was is the heart of MINI. continued →

MINI at the 81st Geneva Motor Show

MotoringFile Sections: Official News Feb 27th, 2011 1 Comment

Here’s the full rundown of what MINI has in store for the Geneva Motor Show this week. You can also download the full press release in PDF (for hours of enjoyment) after the break.

Official Release: With its unmistakable brand identity, clear commitment to driving fun combined with exceptional efficiency, and unquenchable creativity in the development of groundbreaking vehicle concepts, MINI has secured its position as a pioneering one-off among premium small car makers into 2011. At the 81st International Geneva Motor Show 2011, the British brand is presenting not only the most diverse model line-up in its history, a further expanded range of engines and new, stylish personalisation options, but also another fascinating response to the challenges of urban mobility in the 21st century. The MINI Rocketman Concept fuses traditional values with innovative technology to redefine the brand’s core principle of the creative use of space. The new study car – which boasts a unique space utilisation concept is a 3+1-seater with 3 doors and an exterior length of 3.3 metres (10 ft. 11 in.), and is due to be unveiled to the global public on 3 March 2011 – delivers an exciting promise of personalised driving fun in major urban areas. continued →


MINI Yours: The Ultimate Way to Design a MINI

MotoringFile Sections: MINI Yours Feb 25th, 2011 14 Comments

While at MINI headquarters today we learned that MINI will be launching a new initiative called MINI Yours. The idea behind Yours is to take factory options and dealer accessories to the next level and allow for an entirely new range of customization. Think of this as BMW Individual for MINI but with a lot less black and silver. continued →

Cool Hunting Interviews Adrian van Hooydonk re: Rocketman

MotoringFile Sections: MINI Concept Cars, R?? MINI City Car, Rocketman Feb 25th, 2011 8 Comments

We’re big fans of Cool Hunting. What follows is an interview between Cool Hunting’s Ami Kealoha and BMW Design lead Adrian van Hooydonk. You can find the original interview here.

Is there a danger of being too cute with Mini?
The lines are more crisp and taut on this concept, because we feel that a Mini should always be like a friend, let’s say. But if it becomes too cute, than maybe people will see it like a toy, a teddy bear. Of course we like to appeal to young customers, but Mini traditionally is a car that appealed to people of all ages, cross-gender and all around the world.

The elements in this car, we believe are elements that could do that: keep Mini exciting, interesting fun, endearing, but also something to be reckoned with, also serious. Almost like a British bulldog—a small dog, but people take it seriously. continued →


MINI Roadster Spied From All Angles

MotoringFile Sections: R59 (Roadster) Feb 25th, 2011 24 Comments

The chaps over at WorldCarFans.com have a fresh crop of MINI Roadster spy shots. These manage to catch the new soft top from almost every possible angle. The yellow swirlies are so minimal now that we’re wondering whey they’re even bothering at this point. (Full gallery after the break) 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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