Mar 28th, 2011
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 →
Mar 23rd, 2011
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 →
Jan 8th, 2011
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.
Sep 6th, 2010
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 youâ€™re having fun.
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 itâ€™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 didnâ€™t think so. So, sometimes extra time is all we need to finalize it. Iâ€™ve tried the latest version and itâ€™s awesome. continued →
Aug 21st, 2010
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 itâ€¦ thanks
MF: No the 2011 JCW does not have Valvetronic. However neither did the GP. continued →
Jul 28th, 2010
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 CoupÃ© both hitting US shores next year, we thought it would be an ideal time to continue the tradition.
Here’s how it works:
- Post your question in the comment section below by Friday July 30th 11:59 pm.
- We’ll go through and pick the very best, combine them with a few of ours and interview Vinnie.
Finally we’ll post the full Q&A interview right here next week.
Jul 12th, 2010
We’ve had a number of emails asking about the possibility of retrofitting various parts of the 2011 MINI refresh. Specifically the interior.MF reader Houshmand Moarefi from Denver, CO wrote in earlier this week wanting to know what many of you have asked over the last few days. Is it possible to retrofit some if not all of the refreshed MINI interior?
Would I be able to retrofit my 2009 Clubman S with the new speedo/radio andblack finish packages? Has MINI ever offered such upgrades for earlier models?
The answer is yes and no. Yes you swap parts but each component comes with a set of different issues. On the steering wheel for instance the updated part is tied to the airbag which is extremely expensive and likely not worth replacing to get the new chrome trim. The radio face can be swapped out but the lower portion (where the buttons are) may be difficult considering that the volume knob has now moved into this module.