May 3rd, 2013
Since the release of the 2nd generation JCW GP we’ve been debating how it compares to the original. And while we’ve found that the new GP runs rings around the first generation on the road and track, the jury is still out on which actually looks better. So we wanted to take another look at both with back to back photos comparing details of both cars. Which one wins out? Lets hear it in the comments. continued →
May 2nd, 2013
Official Release: The BMW Group continued to perform well in the first quarter of 2013. Group revenues totalled € 17,546 million (2012: € 18,293 million; -4.1%). Despite higher expenditure on new technologies, increased personnel expenses and challenging market conditions worldwide, the profit before financial result (EBIT) for the three-month period totalled € 2,039 million (2012: € 2,134 million; -4.5%), the second highest result ever achieved by the Group in a first quarter. The EBIT margin for the Group was 11.6%. continued →
May 1st, 2013
MINI USA reported small sales growth for April, with sales only rising 1% over April of 2012. Year-to-date sales are also flat, actually down slightly at -0.4%. MINI’s official statement and sales chart follow after the jump, but one word of clarification: BMW has transposed the Hardtop and Clubman numbers.
Apr 29th, 2013
In Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, the narrator takes the reader on a journey that explores the nature of “Quality” as a thing we all instinctually understand, but none of us can adequately define. His conclusion [SPOILER ALERT] is that what we perceive (if only peripherally) as quality is itself the source of all existence, and that quality is achieved when a person takes care to do, or build, or fix something well. That’s a rather inadequate summary of a book full of interesting ideas, but that concept of quality, and especially its definition, has me thinking about the word and its relationship to the next generation MINI, the F56. In fact it has me thinking about what the real secret sauce is when it comes to making a MINI a MINI. Hint – it’s not a central speedometer.
Apr 25th, 2013
For years we’ve been reporting that MINI’s line-up will expanding. And as you know it has, going from one model to seven models in as many years. But recent comments by MINIUSA head Jim McDowel and several BMW Board members have underlined the fact that more changes are foot. continued →
Apr 24th, 2013
While we’re used to seeing MINIs compete in the World Rally Championship at this point, the WRC isn’t the only venue where MINIs compete against the clock. From privateer teams running Targa events around the world to this race, the Allgäu-Orient Rally in Oberstaufen, Germany that starts at the end of this week. A couple of key things set the Allgäu-Orient Rally apart. First, it’s one-way. There’s no return route or looped course. Secondly and most interestingly, the race cars are auctioned off for charity at the end of the race. Pretty cool, eh? Get the official details from the MINI press release (and a gallery of race livery photos) after the jump.
Apr 23rd, 2013
Bold claim for sure. But the recent warm and sunny weather in Chicago has me thinking the JCW Roadster may just represent the best every day car money can buy. Obviously, a statement like that should be filled with asterisks and qualifiers. But before we get into all that, lets back up and talk about why. First off, I’m specifically referring to urban commuting. Small parking spots and lots of tight streets. What the Roadster offers is a tidy package that provides plenty of thrills while being efficient in both its use of fuel and space. In terms of raw numbers consider this; I’m seeing (with a very heavy right foot) close to 30 mpg (US) in the stop and go commuting duty.
There’s also the simple thrill of driving a small MINI. A quick steering rack and all the visceral thrill you can stand in a day to day car. In short, stepping foot into any MINI every day should put a smile on your face. continued →