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.
Sep 30th, 2013
What automatic will MINI use in the F56? That’s the question I asked MINI USA Head of Product Pat McKenna last week when MINI USA brought MotoringFile to its US Headquarters to discuss the F56′s technology. The response was unexpected; the current 6 Speed Aisin automatic. The immediate follow-up was, why would MINI stick with the six speed when competitors are moving to 8 and 9 speed quick-shifting automatics?
The answer was straightforwart. According to Mr. McKenna, MINI is happy with the performance of the Aisin unit for the time being. With some mechanical revisions and totally revamped software, MINI believes the updated transmission will keep pace with the industry – including the VW GTI’s six speed DSG (which is a DTC or dual clutch transmission). continued →
Jul 25th, 2013
A few weeks ago MINI’s carefully planned launch for the 3rd generation MINI (aka the F56) was rudely taken off script. Over 25 photos were taken of the F56 in various states of undress during a marketing photoshoot. And the reaction to what was seen wasn’t good. Due to the angle, lighting and the fact that the photos we’re taken using extremely long zoom lenses from far away the F56 did not come out looking good.
From what we know of the car the photos didn’t do the overall shape and design justice. And apparently MINI agreed immediately releasing a rather cheeky PR response. But today MINI is giving us much more on not just the new F56 MINI but the entire future of MINI design. Make no mistake this is a concept car. But the overall shape and many of the design features here are lightly disguised versions of what we’ll see on the F56.
With Anders Warming now fully leading the design team there’s never been a better time to take a step back and look at the future of the brand. From what we see here and what we know, it looks pretty bright to us. But we’ll let you be the ultimate judge after seeing the gallery, reading the interview and watching video after the break. continued →
May 31st, 2013
And the shift knob for all MINIs for the next 7-10 years. Discuss.
May 4th, 2013
It’s all theoretical of course but when asked about BMW’s new 1.5L three cylinder architecture the head of BMW M was unusually candid about the possibilities. According to an interview Dr. Friedrich Nitschke gave to Car and Driver the new engine is capable of more than we initially thought. Quite a bit more. continued →
Apr 25th, 2013
For years we’ve been reporting that MINI’s line-up will expanding. And as you know it has, going from one model to seven models in as many years. But recent comments by MINIUSA head Jim McDowel and several BMW Board members have underlined the fact that more changes are foot. continued →
Nov 24th, 2012
This post is also featured over on our sister site, BimmerFile.com.
In various interviews over the past few months, BMW executives have hinted at grand plans for the UKL platform. Reported by both MotoringFile and BimmerFile, the UKL platform will spawn an onslaught of FWD models. This will make MINI more long-term viable and will drive the BMW Group to greater economies of scale. Yet just how far BMW is willing to go with FWD, and how big the MINI brand will get hasn’t really been understood until recently.