Jan 23rd, 2013
If you want to know the current and future state of MINI, you go to the top. And that’s what we did at NAIAS in talking with Dr. Kay Segler. We spoke to Dr. Segler about everything – there was no subject off limits. We started with JCW and the proliferation of the brand throughout the MINI range. As it stands now there’s a JCW model for every MINI model. But Dr. Segler was quick to point out that that won’t always be the case and they want to build a strong sub-brand by keeping it perhaps a little more exclusive moving forward. Yet they also want to broaden the sales of the JCW style packages across the range – much like M has done so successfully for BMW. There’s also a hint of something interesting to come if you listen carefully.
Jan 3rd, 2013
As we reported almost a year ago, several of our sources have indicated that MINI USA is currently planning to bring at least one diesel model to the US. We believe this model incorporate the “SD” version of the BMW Group 2.0L diesel engine that produces 143hp and a healthy 225 lf-ft of torque in EU spec. What does that translate into? In the current R56 hatch it means 8.1 seconds 0-60 and efficiency anywhere from 57-65 mpg on the Euro cycle. That translates into something likely close to 50 mpg on the highway for the R56 and, likely 5-7 mpg less for the Countryman. All told pretty astounding efficiency with very respectable performance.
But if it comes, it will at a price. We’d expect the premium over the standard Cooper S to be anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 – at least. And we also expect it to be available on the Countryman and Paceman exclusively with the 3 cylinder petrol powered F56 Cooper returning similar efficiency figures.
So with those numbers in mind, is a diesel MINI something you’d consider if you’re in the US? Would you pay for more efficiency with added torque?
Mar 1st, 2012
Over the years we’ve brought you many articles on MINI design. From dissecting current and upcoming models to talking about MINI design historically, the design section of MF has a good deal of content for the design conscious. And now we can add to that a definition of MINI icons from MINI themselves. The following icons are the very basic structure of MINI’s design DNA that has been carried from the original and will be front and center in the 3rd generation new MINI (the F56).
Official Release: Over the years, the styling of MINI cars has produced a host of design icons which have become synonymous with the brand as a whole and, in some cases, signature features of individual models. Collectively, these iconic elements have helped shape the identity of the brand and its cars. continued →
Jan 12th, 2012
Exclusive: Thanks to our partners over at BimmerFile we have the first viable rumor regarding a diesel powered MINI coming to the US. Since the moment the first MINI diesel was released in Europe, US MINI enthusiasts have been wondering when they could share in the diesel love. It would now appear that the answer is 2013. However, before we get to the details of the engine and the model, let’s take a look at how MINI was able to avoid the huge costs of certifying a new diesel engine in the US. continued →
May 14th, 2011
One of our intrepid readers saw this last week on the Pacific California Highway and thought we should have a look. It would appear that MINI is testing some new Countryman variety in California. But with the R60 freshly dropped on dealer lots, what could MINI already be testing behind a BMW X1? The only apparent clue is the fact it has one small tailpipe.
We’ve have a couple theories but the one that seems by far most plausible is that this is one of the first looks at the forthcoming Countryman hybrid destined for a 2013-2014 introduction. The new hybrid has been hinted at before and our sources have dropped some pretty straightforward references to it. Based on our information it will be a plugin hybrid that will pack lithium ion batteries and the naturally aspirated MINI engine. Power figures are pretty foggy at this time but we’d guess it’ll be between the Cooper and Cooper S with an all electric propulsion below certain speeds.
(Full gallery after the break) continued →
Apr 22nd, 2011
We don’t get the brilliant MINI diesel engines here in the colonies, but what do the europeans think of them? One of our favorite automotive magazines, Evo, did a quick rundown on the SD engine in each of the MINI models. continued →
Jan 23rd, 2011
You likely read last week in our interview with MINI USA Product Manager Vinnie Kung. But we wanted to go over the decision and talk about what the broader picture of MINI’s engine line-up in the US.
First off MINI will clearly be without a diesel in the line-up in the US. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be alternatives. But before we get to that let’s recap what was said in the interview. MINI USA had planned on bringing over the Cooper D for the 2010 model year as early as 2007. The plan was to use the engine without urea injection until 2015 when new EPA rules would go into effect. However the 2008 worldwide economic collapse brought some unfortunately realities to BMW and all non-essential projects were cancelled.
Fast forward to 2009 and MINI USA was once again ready to get started selling diesels. However a new problem emerged when the EPA moved up a key date for cleaner emissions and thus urea injection became a mandatory. MINI USA investigated the idea and talked to everyone with the design and manufacturing process. The answer wasn’t pretty. The cost would be staggering considering the body in white would have to be altered to make room for the urea injection system. Once again the plan was shelved.
As we enter 2011 MINI USA is offering two petrol powered 1.6L engines with solid efficiency and good performance. But we all know that the MPG numbers both achieve will look antiquated in a few years. MINI and BMW knows this and engineers are busy within Germany working on the next generation of MINI powerplants. continued →
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