[Official Release] KISS, the most iconic band in the history of rock, isnâ€™t just taking the show on the road this summer. Theyâ€™re also taking it to eBay (www.eBay.com) for a ten-day Fatherâ€™s Day Charity Auction, starting May 29 at 4 pm PST. Auction participants can bid on any of the four MINI Countryman vehicles, each autographed by the entire band and custom-painted with the iconic makeup for each band member. All of the proceeds will benefit UNICEF to help children in Japan and other emergency relief efforts worldwide.
â€œHelping others is a gift we can give ourselves, but hereâ€™s a four wheel bonus!â€ said KISS co-founder Paul Stanley. â€œThe KISS MINIâ€™s are the ultimate way to show your KISS Army colors while helping our friends in Japan who have been devastated by the recent earthquake and floods. Weâ€™re asking everyone to open their wallets to help UNICEF raise money for children who are still coping with the effects of these disasters.â€
The custom-painted vehicles are the all-new 2011 MINI Countryman, and feature the iconic makeup and costume association of one KISS member including co-founder and rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley (Starchild), co-founder and bassist Gene Simmons (The Demon), lead guitarist Tommy Thayer (Spaceman) and drummer Eric Singer (Catman).
All of the MINIs will also be autographed by all four members of KISS (www.KISSonline.com).
â€œThe KISS MINIs are the perfect Fatherâ€™s Day gift for the man who has everything,â€ said KISS co-founder Gene Simmons, â€œBut this ainâ€™t your fatherâ€™s car. Itâ€™s bigger, better and the very best for the man who has the rest. Itâ€™s KISS, baby. The custom-painted MINI Countryman would be the ultimate collectorâ€™s item for a KISS fan or curator of rock band memorabilia, and would be the perfect addition to a car collectorâ€™s garage; plus the new owner will have the satisfaction of knowing theyâ€™ve supported a great cause.â€ continued →
The Nissan Juke one of the more obvious cross-shop vehicles for the MINI Countryman. It’s small. It’s sportish. It’s funky. It’s got a turbocharged engine. It’s got all-wheel-drive. So it’s inevitable that the two cars would go head-to-head in the automotive press. John Leblanc of the Toronto Star gives the edge to the Juke, but upon reading his review, I almost can’t tell why. continued →
CNET has a very interesting piece this morning highlighting the different technologies used by auto manufactures to put power down through all four wheels. Featuring everything from MINI’s All4 system, to Mazda’s Active Torque system, to Hybrid on-demand systems found on Lexus vehicles. Somehow though, they’ve managed to flub the All4 system’s specifications, saying that 100% of the Countryman’s power can be sent to the rear wheels. MINI’s own documentation has the power split at only 50/50. Errors notwithstanding, it’s still a very interesting look at the cross section of technologies out there to keep the rubber on the road. Check out the full article over at CNET.
Like Jaguar and Mercedes BMW is planning on introducing full LCD gauges on it’s higher priced models. According our friends at Autoblog the new technology will be introduced in the 5 and 7 Series during their mid life-cycle refresh in the next 2-3 years.
What does this mean for MINI? BMW is consistent with it’s approach of introducing new technology in higher-end models about 3-5 years before proliferating it throughout it’s line-up. We believe this could put this technology into the fourth generation MINI near 2020 in a worst case scenario and possibly even sooner. continued →
MINI’s been busy on the ‘Ring lately. This time they’re back with the upcoming Coupe – in JCW flavor no less – doing final suspension testing. It’s also killing birds. Yes that’s a dead bird flying through the ‘Ring wedged in the Coupe’s grille.
Look for the JCW Coupe to debut shortly after the standard Cooper and Cooper S this fall (dead bird optional).
Based on several exclusive sources the forthcoming MINI Roadster will feature a fully manual top. Unlike the MINI Convertible the Roadster will go old-school with a top that’s operated simply by unlatching and folding down by hand. continued →
As MINI gears up for the Coupe launch late this summer the engineers in Munich are turning their attention to the Roadster. The MINI Roadster (like the coupe based on the R57 Convertible platform) is in the suspension testing stage and will soon move to final engineering. continued →
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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