Section: Ask MotoringFile

Ask MF: Obsessed With MINIs, But Can’t Buy Yet

MotoringFile Sections: Ask MotoringFile May 10th, 2012 23 Comments

This question comes to us from MotoringFile reader Shawn Brandt.

What do you recommend for someone who is hopelessly obsessed with MINI’s but one is currently out of financial reach — even a decent used one?

Like many Americans of my generation, my first exposure to MINI was the remake of the film “The Italian Job”. From that point on I was hooked. The more I learned, the more I desired. Not every car can appeal to, and sync up with, a personality in a way that MINIs do. continued →

Ask MF: Used MINI or Leased MINI?

MotoringFile Sections: Ask MotoringFile Feb 23rd, 2012 42 Comments

Today we have another great question from the MotoringFile inbox that we’d like to pose to the community. Tim is wondering which path to go down: buy a used MINI or lease a new one? It’s a question I know I’ve wrestled with myself, and while I have my own suggestions for Tim, we want to know what you think. Click through the break to see Tim’s full question and then leave your comments below. continued →

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 →

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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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