Jul 14th, 2014
Editors note: As part of the MotoringTern program MotoringFile has added two new authors to our roster. This piece is from one of those authors – Kurt Heiden. And as part of our desire to remain faithful to all sides of the MINI we also want to broaden the voice of the site and tell more varied stories that offer differing opinions. Having two new writers on the site will give us those different viewpoints that we’ve always strived for but haven’t always had the time to fulfill. Join us in welcoming Kurt and feel free to respectfully give your take in the comments below. And remember, this opinion doesn’t necessary reflect what all of us at MF believe. Or does it?
Anytime one tries to pick the best from a group of phenomenal choices it’s bound to ruffle some feathers, so apologies up front to those who disagree. That said if you like opinions (and don’t mind respectfully disagreeing), read on…
Jul 10th, 2014
For the first time ever, this weekend Minis of all eras will gather for the Oulton Park Festival to celebrate the Mini brand and its history with a full day of festivities. The fun starts in Oulton Park, U.K. just southeast of Liverpool Saturday, July 12 and runs all day.
Jul 10th, 2014
The 2016 JCW was recently spotted by a reader undergoing hot weather testing in the US. Through his time hands-on with the car we were able to gather a few new details on the car. The test mule (which you’ll surely see photos of around the web soon) is almost identical to the NAIAS concept car we saw this past January. However there are a few key differences and interesting additions worth pointing out. continued →
Jul 8th, 2014
Fresh off of the light refresh of the Countryman MINI has turned its attention to the Paceman. But lets cut straight to what you want to know. Every part of the Countryman’s refresh is seen in the Paceman (detailed below). New trim, colors, grille design and sound deadening. The only exception is that the Paceman doesn’t get the Countryman’s silver trim seen on the All4 model of the Countryman. The refreshed Paceman should hit showrooms in July or August depending on where you are in the world.
Click through for the very detail official release (PDF format) and a massive gallery of photos. continued →
Jul 7th, 2014
The internet is an interesting place when it comes to news and information. What’s new to some sites isn’t actually new in the grand scheme of things. For example, I saw a post on Facebook a couple days ago sharing how the next generation of the MINI JCW Hardtop Hatch would have 230 hp. Obviously that’s pretty exciting news for JCW fans who were looking for bigger power numbers. Only trouble is, this is actually old news. Following that link led to another link, which led to another, and where did the trail end? It ended at our exclusive back in February.
So to celebrate the other outlets from catching up, we’re re-running our story from seven months ago in case a few of you missed it.
(Originally published February 15th 2014) For the past few years we’ve been told by insiders that the next generation JCW power plant would be shared with a BMW. First we thought that might be the i8 with it’s 225 hp three cylinder. Then we were tipped off it would instead be based on a 2.0L four cylinder making more power than today’s car. Finally a few months ago we got a code-name for the new engine: B48B20O0. And after some digging we discovered it matched a code-name used for the (at the time) soon to be released BMW 225i Active Tourer – also based on the MINI platform of course. Finally with the release of the new BMW 225i we finally saw a power figure for the B48B20O0. continued →
Jul 7th, 2014
As expected, BMW announced last week that it would build a new production facility in Mexico to handle assembly of key models destined of the North American market. What those models are won’t be known for some time. However you can guess that it won’t be X models since the massive Spartanburg South Carolina plant has that handled. That leaves the 3 and 5 series as volume sellers in the US market – perfect candidates in our minds. But perhaps more interesting is the MINI brand which counts the US as it’s largest market. Surely there’s a chance that BMW is looking at this possibility as well. That of course begs the questions – would you care of your next MINI was made in Mexico rather than the UK?
Here are the key facts on this week’s announcement:
- Investment of roughly one billion US dollars
- Capacity of around 150,000 units per year
- Start of production planned for 2019
- Harald Krueger: Decision underscores commitment to the NAFTA region
Official Release: The BMW Group will build a new plant in Mexico in close proximity to the city of San Luis Potosí in the state of the same name. This move is in line with the company’s clear strategic policy of ensuring globally-balanced growth.
Jul 6th, 2014
The MINI Countryman has been a massive success for BMW and MINI since its release in 2011. For it’s forth year of production MINI is giving it the typical visual and mechanical refresh. However unlike MINI’s past refreshes, the Countryman has received what has to be the subtlest nip and tuck imaginable.
We’ve detailed the revised Countryman previously on MF (both in the official release and hands-on) but it’s worth revisiting here. continued →