Aug 8th, 2014
The longterm MotoringFile JCW Roadster won the hearts of all who drove it until it recently left the MotoringFile Garage to make way for its new big brother, the 2014 Cooper S hardtop. As much adoration as has been heaped onto the niche Roadster/Coupe pair, sales have waned slightly in 2014 with the pair being down 52.9%/54.4% YTD compared to 2013. But yet even in the shadow of the F56 launch, there is still much to love about of the Roadster and Coupe to the point that MotorTrend just named the Coupe one of the “Top 16 Hottest New Coupes on the Market”. continued →
Aug 7th, 2014
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 →
Jun 3rd, 2014
Love the MINI Superleggera concept? You’re not alone. We’re fans here at MotoringFile, and for obvious reasons. The concept is an exciting view of what else a MINI can be when it reaches beyond its hatch roots. Yet concept cars can be fickle lovers. When a car is as conceptual as it is beautiful, it often simply passes in the current of a car company’s forward progress.
May 28th, 2014
The Superleggera has taken the world by storm as much as a MINI concept could. It’s been widely praised by critics and enthusiasts alike for its beauty and interpretation of MINI’s classic design principles and dose of British style. As as much as our recent hands-on photos illustrated the details of the concept, seeing it in motion really brings it to life in a way still photography cannot.
May 26th, 2014
When BMW uses the term Vision with a concept, it typically references a vehicle that is a true vision of the future rather than a lightly disguised new model. Given our hands-on time with the concept at the Concours D’Elegance in Italy we’d say the name fits this concept well. The hand-formed aluminum body is exceptionally detailed and features a shoulder line running the length of the car that is a new piece of the MINI design language. The interior, while sparse in its overall design abounds in small touches that speak to the hand-made nature of it all. continued →
May 23rd, 2014
Today MINI takes the wraps off of its latest concept the Superleggera Vision just in time for it’s world premiere at this weekend’s Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este. The concept takes the chassis from the upcoming MINI convertible (which should debut early next year) and adds a beautifully designed and handcrafted exterior. But beyond the beauty what does this tell us (if anything) about the next generation MINI Convertible or even Roadster let alone MINI’s future design direction? For one it reminds us how wonderful open top motoring can be. There are also some interesting design flourishes here that deserve to be made mention of. For one this is a beautifully clean version of the F56′s front facia that we’d love to see in production some day. Then there’s the gorgeous cockpit with an interesting mix or digital and analog gauges that feels much more restrained and (dare we say) modern than even the F56′s hugely improved interior. Also look for the fully digital tachometer seen in the concept to make be introduced as an optional extra in future MINIs.
Taken as a whole the concept clearly represents what MINI Design Head Anders Warming has been prepping us for – a progression of MINI’s design language into something more modern yet with clear links to the past. In many ways this is the boldest change we’ve seen from MINI design since the R50 debuted in 2001. Look for subtle adoptions of this more refined yet retro design philosophy to find its way into future MINIs in the coming years.
What does this mean about the future of the MINI Roadster? Based on sources within MINI, the Superleggera concept hints that a decision has been made. We believe MINI will ultimately green light an F56 based roadster and coupe with BMW siblings in the form of the Z1 and Z2. Those vehicles would likely sit atop of the MINI model range as the halo vehicle for the entire brand.
One final note before you dive into the gallery below. In some ways, this is the closest MINI has ever come to creating a traditional British roadster a la a Triumph. A brand name that BMW coincidentally also owns. Is there a connection? Doubtful but the genre and that brand in particular has clearly been a source of inspiration for MINI designers in this concept.
Official Release: The BMW Group celebrates the meeting of the time-honoured and the contemporary at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2014 with a very special concept: the MINI Superleggera Vision. This exclusive interpretation of an open-top two-seater was created by MINI and Touring Superleggera, the tradition-steeped design and coach building house based in Milan. The MINI Superleggera Vision is on the one hand a classic roadster, a compact and agile two-seater, expressing the most minimalist and emotional style of motoring; and on the other hand its electric drivetrain gives the car distinctly modern driving dynamics. In collaboration with MINI, Touring Superleggera has designed and built an elaborately crafted, unique model which blends the tradition of classic coachwork construction with the MINI’s authentic British styling to create timeless aesthetic appeal.
Mar 10th, 2014
MINI and BMW executives keep dropping more and more indicators that several current MINI models don’t have a future in this new generation of cars. This latest round of revelations came via Oliver Friedmann, head of MINI brand management, in a conversation with Auto News. Instead of a wide cross-section of model variants, Friedmann says MINI’s new strategy is to focus on three “pillar” cars to ground the product lineup in what MINI is all about. Those models? The F56 hardtop hatch, the next generation Countryman, and the next generation Clubman which we saw in concept at Geneva.