Jan 11th, 2011
Todd and I sat down with head of MINI Engineering Oliver Friedman and MINI USA Product Manager Vinnie Kung today at NAIAS 2011. We hit all the topics as requested:
- JCW (lack and standard equippment
- Hot turbos and engine issues
- 3 Cylinders
- Stop/Start tech
- Clean diesels
In short we didn’t hold back on the tough questions. But we also had a great time chatting with two people that are clearly passionate about the MINI brand. continued →
Nov 12th, 2010
New figures from the EPA confirm that the MINI Cooper remains one of the most fuel-efficient cars you can own. It’s tops in its class and right in there with the best performers from its surrounding car classes as well. See the numbers and get the full PDF after the break. continued →
Oct 28th, 2010
For the unfamiliar on this side of the Atlantic, the city of London tries to keep traffic congestion down in the heart of the city by charging certain kinds of vehicles a Congestion Charge of as much as Â£10 a day to be in certain areas of the city. However, if you drive a high-efficiency or zero-emission vehicle such as a hybrid or a MINI E, the charge is waived. The good news for MINI One D and Cooper D owners is that London mayor Boris Johnson has just announced revamped Congestion Charge regulations that now count these high-efficiency MINIs as exempt from Congestion Charges starting in January 2011. Given the numbers, it’s not surprising why. continued →
Oct 26th, 2010
Dr. Klaus Draeger is the man in charge of development at BMW. We’re filing this under rumor for now, but in a recent interview with the German magazine Auto, Motor und Sport he eluded to the possibility of two-cylinder engines in small BMWs and even future MINIs. First the what, then the why. According to Dr. Draeger, the sweet spot for a small power plant of this type would be about 500cc per cylinder with a target horsepower of 80-100 hp. That’s not a particularly tall order given what BMW can do with motorcycles. For example, a BMW F 800 ST sport touring bike is squeezing 85 reliable horsepower out of just .798 liters of opposed twin. At the other end of the performance spectrum, the .999 liter BMW S 1000 RR four-cylinder is blasting an amazing 193 hp. continued →
Oct 18th, 2010
BMW has seen the (near) future and it includes hybrids. After working on various fuel saving technologies for decades BMW recently made the decision to invest heavily in hybrid technology. The first fruits of that labor were the X6 and 7 Series ActiveHybrids released in the last 18 months. But the real mass market products are on their way and they include hybrid MINIs.
This all means there’s more life left in the Prince family of engines. Developed by BMW and shared with PSA to spread costs, the Prince engines debuted in 2007 with the R56 MINI and remain MINI’s only engine architecture.
The hybrid system is being developed in cooperation with Getrag and Bosch and will feature a torque-split and axel split integrated into the same drivetrain. This would allow for all sorts of variations of electric and petrol power at any time.
We believe that the hybrid system is being designed to debut in the Countryman and could potentially find its way to a front wheel drive 1 Series variant. While we’re not 100% sure of this, it would make sense given the platforms longevity and the intended market. After that we’d expect it to show up any potential new Countryman variant (such as the just discussed next generation Clubman). (official press release after the break) continued →
Oct 8th, 2010
Naturally the most gaudy of the numbers belongs to the Cooper hatch at 37 mpg on the highway. But in our minds the MCS hatch is even more impressive at 36 mpg. That’s up 2 mpg while getting a 9 hp boost. Here’s the rundown (full stats after the break): continued →
Oct 8th, 2010
We’ve gotten an early look at a few EPA figures for the US spec MINI Countryman. As we expect the new Valvatronic engine in the Cooper S variants has created an impressive power to mpg figure.
The 181 hp Countryman Cooper S (FWD) will get 32 mpg on the highway while the Cooper S with ALL4 gets 31. For the Countryman Cooper the figures is even better at 35 highway. continued →