Feb 8th, 2008
Recently I got some quiet time with the new MINI Clubman and immediately started studying some of the more interesting aspects of the vehicle. The first thing I spent time on was the rear barn doors.
Since the Clubman debuts on MotoringFile last August people have been asking the question – do I really have to get the black or silver trim on the back? While the official answer is yes, we found that it’s surprisingly easy to remove each piece of trim. As you can see in the photo above, the plastic tail-light trim is simply held on by a couple of screws. This opens up a world of possibilities, one of which is to buy an unpainted version and simply have it painted body color at your local dealer. continued →
Jan 24th, 2008
After last week’s Ask MotoringFile marathon, we realized we still have a couple more that needed to be answered. However for today’s edition, we’ve got some professional help. The question comes courtesy of Dustin:
Is the R53 JCW kit a good idea to refresh your higher milage stock MCS? Providing that the R53 JCW engine kit still available at dealers (which I don’t know if it is or not, or how long MINI plans on producing them if they are) It would seem that the new head and SC fitted to a MINI at say the 100K mark would make the mechanicals sound for the next 100k (since the expected life of the SC is only 150k), plus the new HP would breathe new life into a car for a loyal owner.
Great question Dustin. While we like the JCW upgrade for the R53 quite a bit (and the R56 for that matter) we’re not sure if it’s the best solution if the car isn’t under the factory warranty at this point. Especially considering the cost. So in order to give you a good picture of your aftermarket options, we’d like to turn over this question to Eric Savage, owner of the renowned MINI tuner Helix and longtime friend and supporter of MF. He also knows a thing or two about brewing beer, but that’s a story from another time. Anyway, to the Eric’s answer…
The John Cooper Works package has always been a popular option for new MINI buyers for a couple of reasons: it has the prestige of a factory tuned car, and it carries the factory warranty. As far as I know, retrofitting the JCW kit on an high-mileage car does not extend the warranty on the car (or the new parts, for that matter) which makes it less attractive for the high-mileage MINI owner. The big knock on the JCW package has been its nearly $6000 price tag once installed. It is for that reason that companies such as Helix Minisports has made a living tuning our favorite cars. We can do what the JCW package does–and much more–for substantially less money. continued →
Dec 28th, 2007
After posting the R56 instructions yesterday, it occurred to us that we had never officially offered the first generation MINI’s grille badge instructions on the site. So if you have an R50, R52 or R53 and a few favorite magnetic MotoringBadge’s in mind, here’s your official DIY PDF straight from MINI.
[ R50/R52/R53 Grille Badge Holder ] Official MINI PDF
Dec 27th, 2007
So you just bought an R56 and want to get a few of MotoringBadge’s magnetic badges for the grille. Up until today you’d have to buy aftermarket holder or modify the previous version that fit the first generation MINI. Finally after what seemed like an enternal wait for some owners, MINI has released an badge holder for the R56 and (as you guessed it) we have the official PDF instructions.
[ R56 Grille Badge Holder ] Official MINI PDF
Dec 24th, 2007
One of our favorite upgrades to the R56 is the JCW Aerokit. And not only does it give the car a more aggressive look, but it’s actually somewhat functional in helping keep the car planted at very high speeds.
But it can also be a bit costly. So to give MotoringFile readers a helping DIY hand, we present you the official install guide PDF. While you’ll still need to order it and have it painted at a MINI dealer, the install is possible in the confines of your own garage.
[ JCW Aerokit ] Official MINI PDF (for Euro and US models)
Dec 21st, 2007
You’ve heard the rumors, seen the photos, and read the reviews and even our recent comparison test. Now (as is tradition on MotoringFile) it’s time to pour over the official PDF installation instructions.
[ Dealer Installed JCW Engine Kit ] Official MINI PDF (for Euro and US models)
Dec 7th, 2007
Babies and MINIs are indeed compatible. For years now a good number of young families have found that the standard MINI Coupe works just fine with a baby seat in the back. But did you know MINI has one of it’s own? We’re guessing it’s a little pricier than the competition (that pesky Dollar vs Euro probably doesn’t help) but it may be worth a look.
[ MINI Baby Seat Install Guide ] Official MINI PDF
Not available for the US market.