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Section: Ask MotoringFile

Ask MF: The Best New Hood Scoop

MotoringFile Sections: Accessories, Ask MotoringFile Feb 21st, 2012 19 Comments

It’s been too long since we featured some of the many questions we get here at MF. So this week we’re going to dust off the Ask MF feature and bring a few of them to you.

Today’s question comes from David in Texas:

“Yesterday a large rock/missile hit my hood scoop and broke it clean off! The pieces flew over my windshield, but at least the rock did not hit any other part of my 2009 S.  The little plastic pins that held the scoop are gone too!  Any ideas on replacements?  If I were to get a replacement would it come with the little plastic pins that hold the scoop on? I like the M7 Vortex scoop, but it is pricey. continued →

We Need Your Questions on the Future of Mobility

MotoringFile Sections: Ask MotoringFile Mar 28th, 2011 9 Comments

We got an email from the clever folks who created the the BMW Documentaries series Wherever You Want to Go. They’ve asked MotoringFile and BimmerFile to submit questions for the experts featured in the film. The answers to some of these questions will be featured as part of an extension to the documentary. These experts include:

Graham Hill, from Treehugger
Robin Chase, from ZipCar
Way Cheng, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
George Whitesides, from Virgin Galactic

What they’re looking for are questions surrounding the issues brought up in the documentary so far. Mobility, sustainability, technology, etc. The comments will be open until Monday, April 11th. So if you’ve ever wanted to pick the brains of some rather clever transportation experts, now’s your chance. If you missed the excerpts, we’ve embedded them after the break. Have a look and give us your questions in the comments. continued →

Polls: Do You Wave at Other MINIs?

MotoringFile Sections: Ask MotoringFile Mar 23rd, 2011 132 Comments

MTTS 2010 (Dodge City to Denver)

MotoringFile reader David Bromberg sent us this question the other day.


Does anyone wave anymore?

When I got my R53 in early 2005, one of the great things about owning the car was the sense of community. If you saw another MINI on the road, you knew how much fun they were having and would share a wave, a peace-sign, or some other gesture. There was even a manual of sorts from MINI exploring the different gestures. I’ve noticed that this acknowledgement has been decreasing lately, especially near where I live (metro-Atlanta).

Is this not a “thing” anymore?

So let’s ask you the readers. Do you wave? Do people wave back? Take our poll after the break. continued →

MF Interviews At NAIAS, We Want Your Questions

MotoringFile Sections: Ask MotoringFile, Events, Opinion Jan 8th, 2011 22 Comments

Next week we’ll be at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and have access to a number of key people within MINI. We’ll be talking Paceman and certainly trying to get as much teaser info as we can about the upcoming city car, but what do you want to know? Leave your questions in the comments. Also, we’ll have our cameras at the ready, so let us know what you want to see.


Ask MINI USA Product Manager: The Answers

MotoringFile Sections: Accessories, Ask MotoringFile, Countryman WRC, JCW, R57 (Conv.), R58 (Coupe), R59 (Roadster), R60 (Countryman) Sep 6th, 2010 39 Comments

Last week we asked you to give us your questions to MINI USA Product manager Vinnie Kung. This week we have your answers. First a big thanks to Vinnie who’s been quite busy driving in the 24 Hours of Lemons recently. Oh and then there’s the little task of getting the entire refreshed MINI model line-up (not to mention the new Countryman) ready for the 2011 model year. So with all that said, let’s jump right in to it.

MotoringFile: Vinnie, great to see you again. Let’s get straight to the most important question. How was the 24 Hours of Lemons?

Vinnie: Oh, you mean the coolest race ever to happen? Yeah, things went great, thanks. I only hit the guardrail once with our D-Day themed Impala. We came in 32nd, but who cares when you’re having fun.

mini autox

MF: Ok, not that that’s out of the way, we’ve got a few questions about a little thing called the 2011 MINI refresh. For starters we’ve had a ton of people wanting to know about MINI Connected’s availability.

Vinnie: MINI Connected has been one of the most fascinating projects. But like any technology offer, there are challenges when it’s time to get things onto the streets. As of now, it looks like December production is when we will see it.

Engineering suspensions, engines and other cool mechanical technologies takes about 54 to 60 months to develop. When it comes to electronics, we have only a fraction of the time in order for it to be relevant in the market. I can design a control arm today and it will work for a real long time. But a new app? I have only a few months. I mean, would you want a Friendster App in 2011? I didn’t think so. So, sometimes extra time is all we need to finalize it. I’ve tried the latest version and it’s awesome. continued →

MINI Q&A: The Runner Up Questions Answered

MotoringFile Sections: Ask MotoringFile Aug 21st, 2010 25 Comments

MINI Connected

A couple weeks back we invited you to submit questions to MINI USA Product Manager VInnie Kung. And while we got some great questions we also had quite a few that had been answered either previously on the site by MF staff or by Vinnie himself in our previous Q&A. For the second group we thought we’d take it upon ourselves to give you the answers straightaway and save the rest for Vinnie himself. Look for Vinnie’s answers next week. Until then, here are ours for the questions that didn’t quite make the cut…

Question: Will the new MINI Connected feature in any way have the potential to be retrofitted to R56 models? If not, will the upcoming Nav update have a similar map interface as the MINI Connected, or any similarities to the MINI Connected system?

MF: There is absolutely no way save for completely replacing the computer control unit in the car to retrofit the updated Navigation system or MINI Connect. How much does a computer control system cost? If you have to ask, you don’t want to know.

Question: When will we get clean diesel engines?

MF: We’ve detailed the answer to this question many times over the years. The quick answer is there are no plans for MINI’s just released BMW derived diesel. Instead look for equally (if not more efficiency) petrol 3 cylinder engines in the next MINI range debuting in 2013.

Question: Will the 2011 mini jcw have the valvetronic system??? how can there be an issue of CO2 emissions, when in 2006 the mini jcw GP already had it… thanks

MF: No the 2011 JCW does not have Valvetronic. However neither did the GP. continued →


Ask Vinnie: Your Chance to Talk Directly to MINIUSA’s Product Manager

MotoringFile Sections: Ask MotoringFile Jul 28th, 2010 77 Comments

MINI Countryman

Over the past couple of years we’ve found some of the most popular stories on MF have been our “Ask MINI” features. They continue to be a rare opportunity to ask questions and get answers from MINI USA’s product manager; Vinnie Kung. So with the 2011 MINI’s about to be released and the Countryman and Coupé both hitting US shores next year, we thought it would be an ideal time to continue the tradition.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Post your question in the comment section below by Friday July 30th 11:59 pm.
  2. We’ll go through and pick the very best, combine them with a few of ours and interview Vinnie.
  3. Finally we’ll post the full Q&A interview right here next week.

    continued →

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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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Reviews:
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range


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