Apr 1st, 2013
April 1st 2013, Munich. Official Release: Now for something a little more romantic. The latest version of the MINI Connected App is playing cupid to make MINI fans’ dreams of finding the perfect partner come true. Connect Us is like nothing else out there on planet dating – and can only be used in a MINI. This is not just the world’s speediest dating service, it is also the most reliable. Here, at last, is a matchmaker that goes beyond personal interests, favourite activities and how you like to spend your free time – and gets down to the nitty-gritty: driving style. Connect Us compares how drivers like to treat their accelerator, steering wheel and brakes (as deduced by the MINI Driving Excitement Analyser) in the search for a compatible co-driver on the journey of love. Only if it detects a meeting of minds on the matter of driving fun will the app oil the wheels of romance between MINI fans. The Driving Excitement Analyser function of the MINI Connected App has been available for several weeks as a free download from the Apple App Store. But make sure you don’t take your eyes off the road just when things are getting interesting; the Connect Us, ahem, “update” can be downloaded on one day only: 1 April 2013. continued →
Dec 24th, 2012
2012 was a busy year for MINI and MotoringFile. The Coupe and Roadster were brought to market, the GP and Paceman made their debuts, and the Countryman continued to sell well. So in an effort to recap some of our favorite moments of the year, we’re bringing you our favorite reviews of the year. The JCW Coupe vs the Abarth, the Roadster, our long-term Countryman and even the GP at the track, we’ve got it all after the break. continued →
Nov 22nd, 2012
With the new GP, MINI followed a template created with the 2006 original. Crucially that meant starting with the standard MINI hatch as a basis for the new car. Yet we (and a number of our readers) have rightfully asked, why not the coupe? We posed that same question to MINI Design Chief Anders Warming, GP Product Manager Jorg Weidinger and the Head of MINI Marketing Dr. Kay Segler while in Mallorca test driving the car. The answer fell into two categories: expected and surprising.
Sep 4th, 2012
MINI USA reported the best August ever with sales of 5,718 automobiles, an increase of 83.9 percent from the 3,109 sold in August, 2011. What’s driving this increase? The volume leaders are (as expected) the R56 hardtop and the R60 Countryman. In fact the Countryman broke the 2,000 unit barrier for a month in August which would have normally surpassed hardtop sales if it wasn’t for an almost 50% increase of sales for MINI’s stalwart model.
Jul 16th, 2012
Sometimes journalists are wrong. As I sit here at an outdoor table, at a cafe in a particularly stylish spot in Chicago, I’m watching people do double takes as they walk by our black JCW Coupe and its red top. I’m on my second iced coffee and every reaction I’ve seen has been positive. I’ve seen stylish women pointing and little boys taking pictures.
In a neighborhood thick with Ferraris, Porsches and the like, this little car is clearly the most interesting thing on the streets. It’s moments like this that make me realize that jaded journalists should be the last people anointed as the automotive taste-makers. Could the R58 MINI Coupe be on a slow burn like the original BMW Z3 M Coupe? After spending a week with the car, I’m beginning to think so. In fact, I think the car’s production life-cycle will come and go before the grassroots ground swell of positive reaction hits its stride. This is a car that will get popular with time, and by the time this little black and red JCW finds its way into the hands of its second or third owner, the R58 will likely be spoken of in reverential terms. continued →
Jul 12th, 2012
According to sources on both sides of the Atlantic, MINI has cancelled the highly anticipated JCW GP Coupe. Throughout the spring we had seen GP Coupe in prototype form roaming the streets of Bavaria looking ready to launch sometime in 2013. Based on the R56 hatch GP, the Coupe would have been an interesting product. With less weight loss than the R56 hatch based GP (which loses two seats that are already gone in the Coupe), the GP Coupe never quite seemed like it had the clear reason for being that traditional JCW GP does.
But why did MINI go through the trouble of developing the car before simply canceling it? continued →
Jun 18th, 2012
MINI USA has just lifted the covers on 2013 pricing across the line-up. Lots to talk about and take in but first some highlights:
- Bluetooth will be standard on every 2013 MY vehicle (formerly a $500 option), replacing Sirius Satellite Radio.
- Sirius will now be an option ($250) and includes a one-year subscription.
- The Technology package now includes Sirius Satellite radio, Comfort Access in addition to the existing MINI Connected feature. A center armrest (with integrated iPhone adapter pre-wiring) is also included.
- A new Premium package ($1,250) has been added for the MINI Hardtop and Clubman that includes the three most-popular options—a Dual-pane panoramic sunroof, Automatic wipers and Automatic climate control. Bundled together, they offer a $500 discount.
- The JCW now comes with what MINI is calling “the JCW steering wheel”. However this could just be the standard wheel with a JCW logo on the button spoke – we’re awaiting confirmation.
- Kite blue is now available as a JCW option – as we indadvertedly alluded to in our Roadster speccing article a few months ago.
- MINI Roadster – The semi-automatic roof and rear wind deflector are now standard on all MY 2013 Roadster variants.
What about timing of all these change? Here’s the run-down:
- Model year 2013 production of MINI Hardtop, Convertible, Clubman, Coupe and Roadster will begin in July 2012.
- Model year 2013 production of MINI Countryman will begin in November 2012.
- Model year 2013 production of MINI Clubvan will begin in September 2012.
- Model year 2013 production of the John Cooper Works GP will begin in the fall (exact timing to be confirmed.)
Full pricing after the break. continued →