Ask MINI USA Execs Anything You Want

This is that time of the year again! In less than a month, MotoringFile and White Roof Radio will rendez-vous at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This will give us a chance to sit down with MINI USA Executives (David Duncan – Vice President, Chris Potgieter – Product Manager, Lee Nadler – Marketing Communication Manager) and getting up to speed on all things MINI for the US market, but more specifically on anything related to the F56 John Cooper Works. So we’re opening it up to you. Have questions about the new JCW? Want to know the status of the upcoming Clubman and Convertible? How about suggestions for the current range? Diesels? Hybrids? Superleggera? Rocketman? Let’s hear all the questions you want us to ask in the comments below.

  • Brandon Rucker

    Will Bright Highways Grey from the JCW Concept be a option to Order? I love that color.

  • RakSiam

    When can I buy a Rocketman? Or a similar small MINI rather than an ever-bigger MINI.

  • Any news regarding the iPhone 6/6 Plus Snapin and future support for Apple’s CarPlay.

  • John McLauchlan

    How/when will you respond to the feedback received from the automotive press and MINI owners on the new F56/F55 front-end design?

    • Eric

      The best answer is the sales, and it seems that the silent majority buys the F56…

      • fishbert

        F56 = 3-door F55 = 5-door Nothing to do with front-end design.

        If what you meant was F56 Cooper S vs F56 Cooper (non-S), i.e., the “underbite”: Sales alone don’t tell the whole story because there’s a lot of other reasons John Q Public might go for the more powerful, 4-cyl Cooper S than the less powerful, 3-cyl Cooper (non-S).

        If what you meant was F56 vs R56, i.e., the “surprised goldfish”: Well, in addition to a whole host of other differences/upgrades unrelated to the front-end design, one of those isn’t really being made anymore, so…

  • Creed Cate

    Please fix the JCW cloth interior on the F55/56, the stitching/design does not reflect JCW in any way, stitching should not be gray/tan/green

  • eEighty8

    VAG has become a major threat to BMW/MINI. Are there plans to break away from the traditional “retro” classic MINI styling to offer something more mainstream appealing (volume sellers) to compete with the lower cost VW’s?

  • other Jason

    Cloth seat option for Countryman?

  • fishbert

    How much would it take to reverse the decision to not bring the Roadster/Coupe forward onto the F56 platform? I’ve only got a couple 20s in my wallet right now… but I can hit an ATM if need be.

  • Mark @ MINI of the Main Line

    Does MINI have any plans for a small pick-up truck?

  • planeguy96

    Clubman? Clubman? Clubman?

  • Eric

    What will be the new Chronopack like ? (oil pressure/temperature, turbo )

  • Can MINI provide an accurate timeline for ordering the F54 here in the states? Can they verify the release date of the diesel F54 and or will this happen for us here? I’m hoping that the camo production version we’ve seen here on MF will have the air inlets and outlets that the prototype has.

  • HVYWGHT

    Will there be another interior color option besides black and satellite grey? Is the F54 still on track for on sale spring 2016 here in the states? When will they remove the horrible lower fascia of the Cooper S variant of the F56 for something more like the F54 concept and the standard Cooper? Will the JCW be available from launch for the F54? If not, same one year from launch most likely?

  • LC

    When will MINI come out with an all electric version? BMW has, and it looks great, but may not be the driver’s car like the MINI.

  • Larry Simpson

    Any plans to increase the fuel tank size in the F56 ? Range on the F56 is by far less then its predecessor the R56

  • CooperB

    Why update the interior of the F56 so much but include a gas gauge that belongs on a Toyota Tercel?

  • dpcompt

    While I really enjoy my ’15S, I have one pet peeve. I wish the central speedo was an analog tach with a digital speedometer.

    • MINIAC

      It’s sad that the gas gauge in the 3rd Gen MINI has more presence than the tach.

  • jcwcoupe

    Questions For the new JCW:

    Will there be a factory mechanical LSD option? Is the ELSD offered just brakes only? (The Borg Warner unit on GTIs would be awesome in the mini) Will the most aggressive JCW suspension option be available as a factory option? Will all of the JCW options for this car at least be port installed? (a nice to have for stock autox classes) Will you pay me top dollar to trade my ’15 JCW coupe so I can get this car? (Haha thought I would try) What is the ring lap time vs the last GP? Can I borrow one for a few months? Will you please please please offer a non runflat no charge option? Can you please convince my wife I need one?

    Also a general suggestion: When journalists do reviews of the F56 JCW PLEASE provide them with the most sport oriented options (Suspension, seats, LSD, summer tired etc) so it compares favorably with the inevitable GTI/Fiesta ST comparos. MINIs are great cars more often than not journos don’t get the top sport spec for comparison.

    Will you please also Give the top spec car to Chris Harris, Matt Farah, and the guys at Everyday Driver Todd Deeken and Paul Schmucker? I want to see some good YouTube reviews 😉

    That’s about it!

    • Awesome list. But the most important review will be the MF review naturally 😉

      • jcwcoupe

        Oh but of course. I know they will give you one!

        I also thought of another question:

        What is the least to most aggressive suspension setup on the JCW? I know before you said for the F56 S it was Standard->DDC->Sport->(Aftermarket OEM JCW coilovers) I wonder if that is the same for the JCW.

        I am really screwed. I am getting excited about this car but I just bought my R58 haha.

      • jcwcoupe

        Any word on these Ask the MINI USA exec answers?

        • We actually have a post coming up soon. Thanks for your patience!

  • MichaelB

    Just what is MINI’s plans with MINI Connected? When MINI rolled it out the promise was that MINI could easily roll out updates to it in order to improve device connectivity and add or improve functionality…

    MINI hasn’t pushed a software update for MINI Connected since January 2013. The Office functionality of Connected has been broken on iPhones since IOS7 was released, there’s been no “official” support of Thunderbolt based devices since they were released.

    The MINI Connected App has been updated infrequently, and even it’s updates have been mostly superficial – Spotify and GoPro support added, Mog dropped… Yet nothing appears to have been done to improve connectivity let alone add or fix functionality that has stopped working since the introduction of new phones and OSs from Apple, Google, and Samsung.

    • Best question asked here.

    • jcwcoupe

      Yep also I’m getting horrible sound quality out of my MINI connected with the iphone 6 and MINI Y cable. I have no explanation for why that is other than it being a software issue (or perhaps the Y cable being to blame)

  • emulajavi
    1. If one of MINI’s best known design cues was having the four wheels on the edges, why on the F56 is there a longer front overhang than on the R56? Has sharing the ULK platform with BMW become more important than keeping the MINI’s brand identity?

    2. Are there any plans to make the infotainment systems upgradable for one or two years after the time of purchase? It is annoying to buy a car that one year later has an obsolete non-upgradable system.

    3. Are there plans to make the fuel tanks bigger? 60liter would be a great improvement. 10kg more of weight but a lot more vehicle range.

    4. Why is the floor on the rear seats is not flat? MINIs are FWD, so there’s no transmission tunnel…

    Thanks. Hope they can answer them

      1. We’ve dealt with quite a lot. The overhang is dictated by EU regulations concerning pedestrian impact standards.
      • emulajavi

        Thanks. I hope they keep the wheels as near the corners as they can….

  • Phillip Franklin

    I personally think my 2 2014 MCSs are almost perfect in size, style and power. Only improvement would be to make the lid on the storage pack standard in all the coopers. Oh, and definitely make the Bright Highways Grey an available color.