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White Roof Radio #523

MotoringFile Sections: Podcast Sep 16th, 2014 4 Comments

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Gabe joins us this week and start with a little Shuttle Cast. Note to the affiliates, we do go long. Once we finish talking tech, of course we go right into news from MotoringFile, including the new configurator and the 5 Door 4 Door Hardtop and the F56 engine revisions. Another great show, you should listen!

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Subscribe |1:07:24| Download |WRR @ iTunes | Show Notes

Auto Express Loves MINI

MotoringFile Sections: F55 Five Door Hatch | GXX MINI City Car | In the Press Sep 16th, 2014 7 Comments

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And that is not an understatement. Following the official launch of the F55 and its subsequent review by a number of outlets, Auto Express editor-in-chief Steve Fowler shares his thoughts on the status of the MINI brand:

Think of it this way: if the original Mini was built by a company that had the wherewithal and finances to continually develop it, 911-style, as it should’ve been, I suspect it would be a very similar car – and model range – to what it is today. Whether you like BMW owning MINI or not, the German company has done brilliant things with the brand, and will continue to do so.

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Rumor: The Rocketman is Back

MotoringFile Sections: GXX MINI City Car | Rocketman | Rumor Sep 16th, 2014 18 Comments

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Much has been written on the Rocketman on these pages. Earlier this year our sources had told us that the car was undergoing feasibility studies with an eye to bring it to market on the back of a Toyota platform. Ever since MINI Design head Gert Hildebrand and Exterior Design head Marcus Syring dreamt up the idea of the Rocketman while waiting for a delayed flight at a New York airport, there’s been a powerful movement within the company to get it built. While the initial design study was seen as a major success, it died on the vine due to BMW not wanting to invest in a city car version of the forthcoming UKL platform. More specifically BMW didn’t believe the sales volume would ever make up the initial investment unless they sold the car for the same price as the F56 – which to many would be unacceptable.

But lucky for us that didn’t stop the enthusiasm inside MINI for making a city car. And now we have our first promising public quote from MINI Design Chief Anders Warming on the topic. continued →

MF (Pre)Review: Automatic

MotoringFile Sections: Efficiency | Reviews | Technology Sep 16th, 2014 11 Comments

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For those of you who listened to recent episodes of White Roof Radio, you probably heard that we are currently testing Automatic. This accessory acts as a smart driving assistant that communicates with a car’s on-board computer and uses a smartphone’s capabilities to provide insights and data points on how to improve your driving style. Additionally, Automatic partners with car manufacturers to have their platform integrated into infotainment systems. continued →


The New MINI Four Door Officially Launches

MotoringFile Sections: F55 Five Door Hatch | Official News Sep 14th, 2014 17 Comments

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The four door MINI. Or is it the five door MINI? It depends on which side of the pond you’re from it seems. But the bigger question is, just how big is this thing? We’ve seen publications (who have yet to see it in person) devote entire articles to it being too big and at least one that has driven it write about it being too small. Which is it?

While we won’t be driving it for another month, we can now give you plenty of detail on MINI’s latest four door five seater. For one it’s 4005 mm long, 105 mm less than the Countryman. The wheelbase has been extended in the MINI 5 door by 72 millimetres to 2 567 millimetres, while the track is identical to that of the 3-door model. Unlike the Countryman, MINI has created a four door that should handle for the most part like a MINI. Consider this more inline with the R55 Clubman in the way it had 95% of the R56’s gokart feel.

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Interior comfort has been enhanced due to the longer wheelbase. Rear passengers now have 72 millimetres foot space and legroom available to them, while the increased space also provides for a third seat in the back row as well as more comfortable access. The increased vehicle height can be felt in an additional 15 mm of headroom. Meanwhile the car’s interior width at elbow height is now increased by 61 millimetres. The luggage compartment has a volume of 278 litres – an increase of 67 litres or around 30 per cent as compared to the 3-door model.

From a packaging stand-point the F55 isn’t going to be MINI’s family hauler. That honor will go to the redesigned (and noticeably larger and wider) Clubman that starts production next June. Instead this is MINI’s answer to those who’ve wanted just a little more utility out of the standard MINI without resorting to something like the Countryman.

We’ll have much more on the new F55 Four Door MINI including a massive 340 photo gallery and videos shortly. In the meantime click through for the full press release and our best look at the new MINI.

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MINI F55 Four Door – Photo Gallery

MotoringFile Sections: F55 Five Door Hatch Sep 14th, 2014 No Comments

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The MINI F55 Four door is a new take on the classic MINI shape. Thusly it’s going to take a little getting use to for eyes long used to the more classic shape of the MINI hatch. Nevertheless the F55 is here to stay so it’s time to take a close look at the car that MINI has high hopes for. How high? They won’t say but there seems to a quiet optimism on the new car and what follows it, the 2016 F54 Clubman.

Click-through for our massive 337 photo gallery. continued →


The First MINI Four Door Reviews Hit the Web

MotoringFile Sections: F55 Five Door Hatch | In the Press Sep 14th, 2014 10 Comments

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Last week MINI invited European journalists to drive the new five door for the first time. While we won’t be driving the car until later this fall, these reviews give us our first real look and MINI’s latest five seater. The early verdict? Read on.

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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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