Mar 31st, 2015
Premium does not equal high cost. Nor does a move further upscale mean MINI will turn its back on the style and performance that has made the brand such a success over the years. Now with that out let’s get to the why, how and when.
BMW held onto MINI after the Rover debacle for a few reasons. The ability to lower corporate MPG numbers was certainly one. Another was about placing a smart bet that dipping its corporate toe in a front wheel drive small car brand would be a good idea for the future. And what better brand to do that with than the one that invented the segment.
Fast forward 15 years later and MINI has been full integrated into the BMW family. Not only every generation but every year since that 2001 R50 launch, MINIs have become more integrated into the BMW family. Some would say they’ve become small BMWs. Or you could look at it as BMW has allowed MINI to make better MINIs. Either way the level of refinement and sophistication (not to mention performance and efficiency) has risen dramatically.
But there’s a problem. MINI isn’t making enough money for BMW. The cars are small front wheel drive BMWs being sold for $20,000 USD. Profits are razor thin on moderately specced cars and likely non-existent on stripped down base models. BMW has had two three choices over the past few years. Partner with another automaker (which they’ve tried), abandon the brand (which some have recommended), or simply double down and go it alone. continued →
Feb 2nd, 2015
Say what you will about the technical deficiencies that led to the ConnectedDrive hack, BMW & MINI have turned around a fix very quickly. They’ve also used a worldwide over the air update to eliminate the problem – the first time we’ve heard of an international update like that ever.
Due to the nature of the security flaw it’s only found in vehicles with integrated cellular connections. Therefore the only MINIs that are affected are the 2015 F55 and 2014-2015 F56.
Official Release: As the leading manufacturer in the networking of driver, vehicle and the surrounding environment, the BMW Group is increasing the security of data transmission in its vehicles. This is the company’s response to reports from the German Automobile Association (ADAC). The motorist’s association had identified a potential security gap when data is transmitted. The BMW Group has already closed this gap with a new configuration. continued →
Jan 28th, 2015
MINI USA is often tweaking the online configurator to make small improvements, but we recently spotted a few surprise additions including the JCW Exterior Package, Chili Red paint and additional wheel options for the two and four door Hardtop models. continued →
Jan 21st, 2015
The most basic family transportation MINI has ever created, the MINI One First Five door is only available in markets that normally get such entry level MINIs. As you’d expect North America is excluded.
Official Release: Five doors and a new basic engine type now make entry into the world of MINI even more convenient and highly economical at the same time. As of March 2015, the model program of the latest generation of the original in the premium segment of small cars will be expanded to include the MINI One First 5 door. As for the new MINI 3 door, this means that the five-door body variant will also offer a range of seven engine types to choose from. continued →
Dec 28th, 2014
2015 will be a huge year for MINI. With the F56 launch out of the way the brand will turn it’s attention to debuting the F56 JCW, F54 Clubman and F57 Convertible. Of course this is on top of launching the F56 JCW race car and further rolling out the F55 five door. And that’s just part of the story. To help make some sense of it we pulled together the top five things we’re looking forward to in 2015. continued →
Dec 14th, 2014
For your weeekend to be complete, MotoringFile recommends watching at least one MINI related video. Fortunately for you, we’ve got you covered. Our colleagues at EVO recently reviewed the F55 Cooper S and similar to the F56, the verdict is quite positive. continued →
Nov 27th, 2014
Unfortunately, we don’t have the details of MINI’s strategy in that regard, but words from Peter Schwarzenbauer – left on this picture and BMW AG Board Member – reported yesterday by Automotive News revealed interesting facts about the future of our favorite brand. While the Five Superhero Cars plan isn’t news to avid MotoringFile readers, we have yet to find out what exactly those five cars will be. However, these new tidbits can help us make an educated guess and they seem to indicate that an all-electric MINI might be part of the pack. continued →