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Section: F54 Clubman

MINI’s Top Secret 300 HP All Wheel Drive Plans

MotoringFile Sections: F54 Clubman, F56 Hatch, F6X Countryman, JCW, JCW GP, Rumor Aug 18th, 2014 No Comments

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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.

The genius of BMW shared UKL platform and engine strategy is becoming more evident as the months pass since the introduction of the F56. The first wave of component sharing spans everything imaginable:

  • The UKL chassis itself – a stronger and lighter chassis than what preceded it in the R56 (which itself was a modified version of the R50)
  • Advanced electronics – this has allowed the F56 to leap-frog the competition with advanced options and the industry’s best infotainment system
  • Powertrain – at launch this means a range of highly efficient 3 and 4 cylinder engines that are meant to help mini better compete with rivals. However it’s what happens after launch that is particularly interesting.

All good you say but why is MINI only getting 189hp out of a 2.0 four cylinder? The interesting thing about BMW is that they are an organization that obsessively looks at the full picture. Every metric matters – sometimes to the detriment of power figures (look at the new M4 vs it’s competition). However they also design and engineer for the future..

Based on sources, here’s what we know. MINI is planning several new versions of the B48 2 liter found in the current Cooper S.

In late 2014 BMW will release a 231 hp version destined for a number of products including the 2015 MINI JCW – this engine is known internally as the B48A20O0. Expect the JCW F56 to arrive to showrooms sometime in the spring of 2015.

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Enter the High Output Version of the B48

Beyond the B48A20O0, we believe BMW and MINI are working on a much higher performance variant of the B48 with a target output as high as 300 hp. The engine is rumored to be destined for use in the BMW high spec versions of the X1, X2 and future FWD versions of the 1 and 2 series hitting dealers later this decade.

MINI also has plans for this engine In it’s larger all wheel drive UKL based vehicles – the next generation F54 Clubman and the F60 Countryman. We believe that this engine will form a the basis of a high output all-wheel drive JCW variant of both cars released as early as 2017.

While nothing has been confirmed at this time, this approach would make a lot of sense from a product and marketing perspective. MINIs are increasingly cross shopped with larger more expensive alternatives on one end. On the other are an increasingly impressive list of rivals with products designed to encroach on MINIs market.

If we see such a high performance MINI how will it be marketed? There’s no question in our mind that this would be a JCW product through and through. Having different power plants to solve for difference JCW cars makes sense when you look at how BMW M approaches it’s models. But then of course that begs the question, why not throw the high output 2.0L in the smallest car you have – the F56 hatch? We expect BMW and MINI won’t want to put that much power through the front wheels only and they’ve already commented to us several times that the F56 will not be available in AWD. Yet it remains an attractive idea. Even if the engine is detuned a bit it could make for one hell of a JCW model. Perhaps a GP? Keep in mind we’ve heard no rumblings of that happening but as always, watch this space.

MINI’s 2015 & 2016 Product Launches Revealed

MotoringFile Sections: F54 Clubman, F54 Clubman Hybrid, F55 Five Door Hatch, F57 Convertible, F59 Roadster/Coupe, F6X Countryman, Rumor Aug 7th, 2014 21 Comments

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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 →

Exclusive: MINIUSA to Launch Diesel Clubman in 2017

MotoringFile Sections: Diesel, F54 Clubman, F54 Clubman Hybrid Jun 9th, 2014 31 Comments

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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.

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MF Exclusive: Photos & Details on the 2015 MINI Convertible, 2015 Five Door Hatch & 2016 Clubman

MotoringFile Sections: F54 Clubman, F55 Five Door Hatch, F57 Convertible May 15th, 2014 37 Comments

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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 →


The 2015 MINI Clubman Hits the ‘Ring

MotoringFile Sections: F54 Clubman, Video Apr 11th, 2014 15 Comments

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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 →

Exclusive: F56 MINI Cooper S Uses Active Sound to Enhance Engine Noise

MotoringFile Sections: F54 Clubman, F56 Hatch Mar 26th, 2014 74 Comments

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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.

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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.

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Behind the Concept: The Next MINI Clubman Revealed

MotoringFile Sections: F54 Clubman, F55 Five Door Hatch, F56 Hatch Mar 25th, 2014 35 Comments

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It likely won’t surprise you to know that the MINI Clubman concept that debuted in Geneva is really not a concept at all. But the similarity between the concept and the final production vehicle is perhaps closer than we originally thought.

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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
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JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
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1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
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Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
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Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range


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