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.
Mar 26th, 2014
With MINI’s international roll-out comes more video. Check out this latest F56 commercial. continued →
Mar 25th, 2014
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.
Mar 23rd, 2014
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 →
Mar 22nd, 2014
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 →
Mar 19th, 2014
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 →
Mar 14th, 2014
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.