Nov 26th, 2013
“At the moment we don’t see a need.” That was the answer that Oliver Friedman, head of MINI product worldwide, gave to me when I asked him about all-wheel drive in the new MINI hatch. He went on to say that MINI will not offer all-wheel drive in any of its smaller platform lineup.
Nov 15th, 2013
The folks at Gmotors have the best look yet at the new five door F55 MINI. Seeing some of the first full running prototypes on the road means it probably a good time to give you a re-cap of what we know about the car.
The Release Schedule
The 2015 MINI five door (the name is still TBD) will debut in the fall of 2014. Details have yet to be worked out but expect a roll-out to be slightly compressed in compared to the F56 – meaning it should hit the US before the spring of 2015. This should help give the Convertible room to launch that spring.
The new MINI five door will allow MINI to compete in the four door market without buyers giving up the typically MINI attributes. Despite it being a core brand attribute, many potential buyers can’t get past the size of the standard MINI hatch. Getting someone who is used to four door sedans to believe that a MINI hatch can be practical for them is harder to do. So MINI is developing a secret weapon for the next generation hardtop aimed squarely at markets such as the US. The internal code-name is F55 and, if it is received as hoped, it could make a MINI seem practical for an entirely new group of potential owners.
But what exactly has MINI done to the dimensions to create more space? Read on. continued →
Nov 6th, 2013
Throughout 2013 we’ve been talking a lot about the F56 – the next generation MINI hatch. And while we’ve reported on other variants we’ve never put the full picture together in terms of what models we’ll see and when we’ll see them. Today we’re doing just that. After the break is a full run-down of MINI’s release schedule for it’s next generation F5X models (excluding any Countryman related models). continued →
Oct 30th, 2013
Time marches on and in 20 days MINI will enter into a new phase of the brand’s existence with the F56. There will be lots of debate on these pages but one thing that’s pretty clear is that we’re on the verge of a new era for MINI. New engines, an evolution of the design and a revolution of the technology inside, the F56 represents the first clean-sheet design of the car since the R50 was conceived and designed under the cloud of BMW owning and selling Rover.
What are you looking forward to? Or do you want to simply look away? Let us know in the comments section below. continued →
Oct 26th, 2013
MINI’s F56 is a car that is not only aimed at MINI faithful but a younger demographic that sees cars less as objects of performance and more of hubs of technology. The interior of the F56 and the technology throughout the car is the result of this focus. However MINI was very careful in not only what was added but what technology was eliminated. And with the increased focus on digital media over traditional physical varieties, the in-dash CD player was an easy item to cut.
Oct 23rd, 2013
Last week we gave you a sneak peek at MINI’s new driver assistance technology that will be found in the F56. Today we want to focus on one piece of technology that was displayed in photos but not talked about in that official release.
MINI has moved the speedometer from its previous, controversial position at the center of the dash and placed behind the steering wheel as expected. However, in its place, MINI designers have kept that center location as key focal point of the interior by replaced the speedo with something much easier to live with. While the “Light Ring” is nothing more than a handful of LEDs, MINI hopes it can successfully become one of those character details for which the MINI is so well known? A fine goal, but can a screen and a strip of lighting successfully replace that iconic MINI speedometer? continued →
Oct 12th, 2013
The F56 MINI scheduled to debut on November 18th on MF and at the Oxford Plant is just the tip of the Iceberg. We’ve known for quite some time that the UKL platform would spawn as many as a dozen new MINI models. However now we have a bit more information on MINI’s future thanks to Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW’s board member in charge of the brand. Automotive News Europe interviewed Mr. Schwarzenbauer about the brand and came away with a few interesting nuggets.
Here's a rundown of the more interesting things in things mentioned:
- At this point it's unclear if MINI will stick with the current models entirely or kill a few off to re-align the mix. For instance - will we see a follow-up to niche products such as the coupe or Paceman?
- For years we've known MINI was developing a plugin hybrid - now we have proof it's coming to market.
- Since 2011 we've reported that MINI would be bringing diesels to the US in conjunction with the UKL platform. Now we have confirmation that they're coming.
Read more at Automotive News EuropeAutomotive News Europe.