During August production MINI made a major mistake with a handful of cars destined for the US. The cars were built with a display, but without MINI Connected. These cars were supposed to receive standard Boost CD radio system, but instead they were equipped with a high-resolution “MINI Visual Boost” screen, Combox Controller, Comfort Bluetooth, Smartphone Integration and a Center Arm rest. The best part? Because the option isn’t really an option it’s listed as no cost on the vehicle sticker. continued →
Outside the US MINI Connected has been available for over a month now. The hardware is out there and the iPhone app is downloadable from the European and UK iTunes store. As we’ve reported the hold-up in the US revolves around further refining the software for a US specific version of the app. At this point MINI USA is telling us that December production (January deliveries) will be the first time the US sees it.
So we thought we’d whet your appetite another sneak peak at the hardware and software with this official Euro market MINI Connected guide. Now it’s worth noting that the US release will feature more functionality than is listed in this PDF. We’ve already gone over the option in details but we’ve got a full rundown of features after the break.
Official Release: With the presentation of the latest and most wide-ranging model line-up since its relaunch in 2001, the MINI brand is beginning a new chapter in its successful history as the originator of the premium small car segment. The market introduction of the new MINI family will be joined on 18 September 2010 by the sales launch of the brandâ€™s fourth model, the MINI Countryman. The updated versions of the MINI, MINI Clubman and MINI Convertible cut a more stylish figure than ever, boast unsurpassed agility and achieve even higher levels of efficiency than before. With its four doors and large tailgate, extra space and â€“ as an option â€“ all-wheel drive, the MINI Countryman delivers totally new ways of experiencing the driving fun typical of the brand.
All of which takes the diversity of the MINI model range into a new dimension. For example, the MINI can now be ordered with a choice of five petrol and two diesel engines developing between 55 kW/75 hp and 155 kW/211 hp. Three petrol units and two diesel variants are available for the MINI Countryman, and two of the engines can also be combined with the MINI ALL4 all-wheel-drive system. Meanwhile, the further extended range of optional extras and the selection of exterior paint finishes, interior colours, upholstery variants, trim elements and Colour Lines â€“ which allow every MINI to become a personally configured one-off â€“ set new standards in the segment once again.
In the tenth year since the brand was relaunched, MINI has been able to further strengthen its position as the original premium small car. MINI broke new ground as the first ever maker of premium small cars, and its lasting impact can be seen in the current trends in this segment of the market. The underlying principle that helps give every MINI its authentic character is still unique. MINI remains the only maker of premium small cars whose models are based on independently developed concepts exclusive to the brand. The stand-alone identity of the MINI defines both the charisma and product substance of all MINI models, constituting a major factor in the success of the brand â€“ as reflected by global sales of more than 1.7 million cars since 2001. continued →
MINI’s got a completely revised line-up for 2011 and the want people to know about it. So today they’re rolling out the new 2011 campaign with the first commercial “The Last Spot”. (Full Print Campaign gallery after the break) continued →
Sometimes we’re happy to say we got it wrong. Yesterday we wrote that MINI had decided to drop the JCW engine kit for the 2011 model year because it would raise power figures too close to the 208 hp factory JCW car. Apparently between the time we had heard the info and yesterday there was a change of heart and the JCW engine kit is back. In fact it’s not only back but it’s been upgraded for the N18 engine (the code-name for the refreshed MCS powerplant). The upgrade lies solely in the engine management software and it will be paired with the same JCW components from the original version of the kit (air filter, exhaust, exhaust tips and badges). continued →
Updated: We just had someone leak us a bit of info that indicates that MINI may have changed their mind regarding the JCW Engine kit on the 2011 MCS. We will have full details soon.
In the summer of 2007 MINI introduced the first drivetrain upgrade for the R56 – the JCW Engine Kit. The kit consisted of a free flowing exhaust, a JCW air intake and more aggressive engine software. The result was 192bhp and 200 ft lbs of torque on overboost. At the time it was arguably as fast as the previous 208 hp JCW factory car (thanks to that torque figure of course). But remember those figures for a second. They appropriately split the difference rather well from the 175 hp MCS and the factory JCW car with 211 bhp (released in 2008).
Now fast forward to 2011 and MINI has upgraded the MCS engine to include variable valve timing and a host of other improvements that add up to 181 hp. So MINI was faced with a decision. Do they upgrade the JCW Engine Kit or simplify the product offering and kill it. And according to sources MINI has made the decision and will not be upgrading the engine kit for the refreshed MCS (2011 onward).
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 F55: Clubman F56: Hatch F57: Convertible F60: MINI Crossover F62: Traveller
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