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Section: F56 Hatch

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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MINI Commercial: Chain Reaction

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Hatch, Marketing, Video Mar 26th, 2014 6 Comments

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With MINI’s international roll-out comes more video. Check out this latest F56 commercial. continued →

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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World Debut: 2014 F56 MINI Accessories (Full Gallery)

MotoringFile Sections: Accessories, F55 Five Door Hatch, F56 Hatch Mar 23rd, 2014 28 Comments

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MINI has released the first images of it’s F56 accessory line-up. As expected MINI is focusing on the simpler items out of the gate, stickers, mirror caps, matts and a couple of wheels. But there is on item that could be particularly interesting and a bit of a game-changer for some owners. Check out it and the full gallery of accessories after the break and note not all will be available in North America initially. continued →


Exclusive: 2014 F56 MINI Official US MPG Figures

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Hatch Mar 22nd, 2014 29 Comments

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Next week the EPA will officially release final MPG figures on the 2014 F56 MINI manual and preliminary ones for automatic models. As we could see with MINI’s estimated figures back in January, these final figures paint an interesting picture of how MINI has attempted to further differentiate the Cooper and Cooper S and the results that has had on efficiency. Let’s take a look at the rundown. continued →

XCar Drives and Reviews the F56 Cooper S

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Hatch, Video Mar 19th, 2014 22 Comments

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XCar, a UK based video review program found solely on Youtube had a chance to drive the new F56 Cooper S manual – something we have yet to do. Results seem positive – with quality, engine responsiveness and shifting being called out specifically.

While they don’t believe it’s as focused (no pun intended) as the Fiesta ST, it’s clearly a better car in their eyes. We haven’t driven the ST yet but we’d expect it to out sport the new Cooper S by the nature of what the Cooper S is and what the ST is trying to be. And after all that’s what the JCW will be for.

Check out the full video after the break. continued →


The F56 MINI UK Launch Gallery

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Hatch Mar 14th, 2014 32 Comments

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The F56 is officially growing on us. We will be the first to admit the extended front overhang was disappointing to see when we first laid eyes on the car back in September. Especially given MINI”s history of wheels on the corners philosophy. But given the added pedestrian safety and the fact that all front wheel drive cars with transversely mounted engines either have or will have the same proportions, we’re quickly getting used to it.

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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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'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
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
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
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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