Sep 17th, 2014
Over the past five years there’s been plenty of speculation on these pages and others about what MINI would be replacing it’s long in the tooth six speed Aisin automatic transmission. The transmission, first seen in the R53 in 2004 has been a work horse for MINI ultimately finding its way (in revised spec) in the new F56. While improvements have made the unit (enough to even find it in BMW’s halo i8 sports car) six speeds doesn’t cut it in terms of performance or efficiency anymore. Enter BMW’s answer: the Aisin 8 speed AWF8F35. continued →
Aug 18th, 2014
The next generation Clubman and Countryman are due in 2015 and 2017 respectively, will represent major milestones for the brand. Designed to right the wrongs of previous larger MINIs, they will address concerns ranging from design to performance. Unlike the previous versions of these cars, MINI won’t be tackling these problems alone.
Aug 7th, 2014
MINI has a busy 24 months ahead of it. With the F56 rolled out and in showrooms, the brand can turn it’s attention to all the associated variants. But what gets released and when? Read on for the detailed list. continued →
Jun 9th, 2014
It’s easy to forget that MINI’s largest market doesn’t actually get the full MINI lineup. In particular, the US has never had access to MINI diesels. For years, MINI USA has attempted to bring a diesel model to the US, but poor fuel standards, engineering challenges and finally economic hardships have undercut the business case for diesel MINIs in America. However, that’s about to change. MotoringFile has received news from our sources that MINI is in the process engineering an entirely new diesel model specifically for the US market.
May 15th, 2014
Behold, our first view of the 2015 F57 MINI convertible, 2015 F55 Five door hatch and the upcoming 2016 F54 Clubman. The photo, taken this week at the Nurburgring where the trio were undergoing suspension evaluation, shows us just how much larger the new Clubman will be next to the standard MINI and the new five door hatch. Also noticeable is the different design of the Clubman S front bumper as compared to the other two cars (both Cooper S models). And those changes are just the start. Lets take a closer look at each car, the changes we’ll see and exactly when we’ll see each in showrooms. continued →
Apr 11th, 2014
Along with signs of spring comes MINI and BMW’s annual Nurburgring testing program. One of the first cars tested this year has been the 2015 MINI Clubman. As you’ve likely read on MF, the 2015 F54 Clubman will feature four doors, a wider chassis and an entirely new interior as compared to the F56. But enough of that, lets check it out in motion around the world’s most dangerous track. continued →
Mar 26th, 2014
A few years ago I rode shotgun in a R55 Clubman and then a BMW 630d with a BMW engineer as he demonstrated something they called “Active Sound”. In the 630d the idea was to make it sound like a 650i. It worked… almost flawlessly.
In the MINI we sampled what they call the “sound machine”. It’s a system that could change (on the fly) the engine note to any one of four settings. The system is tied to the engine speed and accurately reproduced engine notes as they are happened.
Fast forward to 2014 and we now have MINI using Active Sound to subtly enhance the in-cabin engine noise on the Cooper S. The option is only available on the Cooper S with the driving modes option – standard in North America. Let’s look at what the system is and how it works.