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Archive for April 2012

Unofficial Rendering: Former BMW Designer Pens MINI Zero Concept

MotoringFile Sections: Best of the Web, Design, F56 Hatch Apr 30th, 2012 57 Comments

Soon we’ll start to see test mules and leaked photos of the F56, the third generation of the new MINI. These will lead up to an official online debut of the car before we see it make the auto show circuit. The F56 will signal a major sea change for MINI. Not only will it feature three and four cylinder versions of the next generation Prince engine, the F56 will share its underpinnings with BMW’s upcoming FWD 1-series. This has everyone interested in the brand scratching their heads wondering just what MINI has up their sleeve for the next generation. Will it be the Rocketman scaled up? Will it push back toward the venerable and well-loved R53? These are the burning questions many are asking, and the possibilities have inspired former BMW designer Sonny Lim to venture his own guess at what the next generation MINI could look like. continued →

MINI at the Auto China Beijing 2012

MotoringFile Sections: Auto Shows, Official News Apr 27th, 2012 No Comments

[Official Release] Intoxicating driving fun, ground-breaking efficiency, uncompromising quality and an unmistakable personality have provided the building blocks for the global success of the MINI brand. The one-off premium small car maker is also enjoying increasing popularity in the Chinese market among contemporary, trend-conscious and highly demanding target groups. The diversity of the brand’s model range also helps to enhance its appeal, and the complete MINI family – now comprising six models – is on display at the Auto China 2012 international car show taking place in Beijing from 27 April to 2 May 2012. Auto China 2012 is also the venue for the world premiere of the MINI Clubman Hyde Park. Like the three other takes on the MINI character celebrating their Asian premieres at the Auto China show, this design model vividly showcases the hallmark attributes and values of the MINI brand. continued →

Rumor: Next Generation MINIs to Offer 8 or 9 Speed Auto

MotoringFile Sections: F55 Five Door Hatch, F56 Hatch, F57 Convertible, F58 Spacebox, F6X Countryman, Rumor Apr 27th, 2012 41 Comments

Ever since the six speed Aisin automatic was introduced in the Cooper for the 2005 model year, MINI fans have been waiting for something better. We can now confirm that something better is coming.

With BMW co-developing the next generation MINI alongside a new family of small, front wheel drive BMWs, MINI’s component offerings are about to get substantially better and more technically impressive. One of the more important things on that list will be a new automatic optional across the range. Through sources close to the development of the new MINI, we’ve heard rumors of two different transmissions under consideration. The first rumor points to an Getrag sourced 8-speed dual clutch transmission. The second points towards ZF sourced 9 speed conventional automatic. Either option would be a huge improvement. But there’s on that stands above the other in our opinion. Read on to find out. continued →

MF Review: Countryman Cooper S Auto

MotoringFile Sections: Reviews Apr 27th, 2012 12 Comments

“How is it possible that I’m enjoying this automatic Countryman Cooper S more than our manual All4?” That was what I was asking myself as I wound around Sheridan Rd just north of Chicago. Behind the wheel of our True Red front-wheel-drive automatic Countryman test car, I had a revelation. It’s not like I’ve never driven the auto before, and we here at MF have always preferred the manual for more control of the car and a generally more engaging drive. But somehow this felt different. continued →


From the Bavarian Allgäu to Azerbaijan in a classic Mini.

MotoringFile Sections: Classic Mini, Motorsports Apr 23rd, 2012 No Comments

[Official Release] The classic Mini won the Monte Carlo Rally and thrilled millions of enthusiasts in everyday driving. Even today it is one of those cars that attract affectionate glances on the road and, time and again, it sets itself new challenges. Now it is making its debut in the Allgäu-Orient Rally. Five classic Minis are joining 44 venerable BMWs to take part for the first time in the alternative competition for classic and near-classic cars, which will be flagged off on 28 April 2012 in the tourist village of Oberstaufen in southwestern Bavaria. Together with 207 other cars, they will be making for Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, more than 5,000 kilometres away. There, on 12 May 2012, two weeks before the European Song Contest, the city will celebrate the arrival of the four-wheeled “Stars for Baku”. All the vehicles that reached their destination will subsequently be auctioned for a charitable cause. continued →

At Auction: The World’s Oldest Unrestored Mini

MotoringFile Sections: Classic Mini Apr 23rd, 2012 5 Comments

Many of us in the MINI community also appreciate the classic cars. There are plenty of enthusiasts out there that have both a MINI and a Mini in their garage and have become experts in tuning restoration. For those who are truly hard core, they could have a chance to own the world’s oldest unrestored Mini. continued →


Exclusive: MINI’s GP Line-up Revealed

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, R56 (Hatch), R58 (Coupe), R60 (Countryman), R61 (Paceman) Apr 23rd, 2012 27 Comments

Last week we broke the news that MINI is planning on turning the GP name into a high performance sub-brand for MINI and to a lesser degree JCW. But what does this mean and when should we expect it? Read on for the details on the full range of GPs and when we should see them on dealer lots. 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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Reviews:
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range


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