Apr 11th, 2014
While the automotive world is focused on the new MINI, the upcoming four door and Clubman, MINI is quietly working on what will be the largest MINI yet, the F60 Countryman. Expected in the summer of 2017 MINI is already using focus groups to help get feedback on early concepts for the car.
Why is MINI making these changes? Consumer response to the Countryman has been good over the past three years since launch with sales that have exceeded expectations. However it’s clear that those same consumers want a car with slightly more room and less trade-offs. What does that mean?
Mar 19th, 2014
Earlier today BMW uber source Scott26 (or Herr26 on BF) officially confirmed that they will bring to market an X2 sport activity coupe based on the second generation X1 and Countryman in 2017. According to BMW the model will be more upmarket than the X1 and only offered with xDrive. It is expected to come in both five and three door formats and will follow the typical crossover coupe design BMW initiated with the X6.
As expected the car will share a stretched version of the UKL platform with the next generation Countryman and Paceman. Yes the Paceman.
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.
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.