Oct 28th, 2012
Top down. Exterior temp: 53F. This was the beginning of what I was billing as a “Weekend for Men.” A glorified guys weekend of brewery visits, football and cars. And I was determined to make it the full three hours from Chicago with the top down.
Oct 8th, 2012
Our JCW Roadster arrived just in time for Todd, DB and Axel to bask in
the sun during MINI Takes the States earlier this year. But our real
test wouldn’t begin until late August, starting with a call that the
car was in Chicago and ready for it’s day-to-day duty.
2,000 miles later it’s safe to say the Roadster has been one of the
best MINI experiences we’ve ever had. Until we literally hit some
issues earlier this week.
Sep 3rd, 2012
Our first 12 days with MotoringFile’s long term JCW Roadster have been nothing but eventful. The first two trips (both to Road America) were spent top down and fully packed. From there it was daily commuting duty into and out of Chicago. Then just days later, we were off to western Michigan for a long weekend. Again, top down 100% of the time. In all, we’ve gotten to know our Roadster better and quicker than almost any other car we’ve tested. All of it. The exceptional? The not so exceptional? The questionable? What’s what? Read on.
Aug 26th, 2012
So you’re curious about the MINI Roadster but a little concerned about the apparent lack of space? We were until we got to drive the car at the launch event last January and we got a glimpse at the trunk. And then the space behind the rear seats. When pressed for luggage duty at the Portugal launch, we were genuinely surprised at how versatile the car was. But it’s one thing to experience it once with a few bags of luggage; it’s another to make it your daily driver. This past weekend we started that process with a road-trip to ALMS at Road America. But the real first test was packing for our entry into the 24 Hours of LeMons the day after (at the same track). And as many of you likely know, racing requires stuff. Stuff that needed to somehow fit into our little JCW.
Aug 21st, 2012
It’s early but the car is packed and the top is down. It’s the day after the ALMS race at Road America, and we’re heading three hours back north to prepare for the 24 Hours of LeMons at the same track. Pulling our trusty $500 ’86 Toyota MR2 is a Toureg. Carrying me and my luggage is our new long-term JCW Roadster. Did I mention the top is down?
We’re going to be bringing you the ins and outs of Roadster ownership over the next year with this car. The idea is simple; we want to find out if the MINI Roadster can be an every day car in a city like Chicago. From sunshine to rain and snow, our Black and Red JCW will be subject to the daily grind and all the highs and lows that go with it.
Aug 6th, 2012
It’s been one year and 13,000 miles since we first took the
keys fob of the MINI Countryman Cooper S All4. This is a car more than a few MINI fans thought would destroy the brand. A car that we publicly criticized for existing before it even existed. And a car that earned our respect day after day while carrying passengers, groceries, luggage and MINI-like speeds through corners.
But lets back up. Along with all the initial opinions on the Countryman we had questions. In order to better understand a car that’s created so much debate, we thought a long term review was in order. So did MINI USA. Fast forward a few months and our 2011 Countryman Cooper S All4 was ordered and on track for a mid-summer delivery. A year later we have some answers. continued →
Jul 23rd, 2012
We’re days away from getting the MotoringFile’s longterm JCW Roadster to the HQ and we already have some initial thoughts on the car. How’s it possible? The first tour of duty for the JCW just happened to be transportation for a couple of us on MTTS across the US. And 4,400 miles behind the wheel of anything tends to generate some impressions. So with that said we hand it over to Todd, the lucky man who diligently observed all break-in procedures and drove as cautiously as possible in order to get the Roadster back to Chicago in one piece.
Twelve days, 4,482 miles, 17 states, 6,000 MINI friends and 46 and a half hours of top down motoring in a JCW Roadster. Those are just some of the numbers from my two week adventure on MINI Takes the States. There will be lots of reviews of the trip to come but, for now, I’m going to focus on my time in the Roadster.
In normal, day to day motoring, driving a JCW Roadster will get tons of looks and cause a lot of head-turns because it’s stunning in person. On MTTS, it’s hard to stand out in a sea of well appointed MINIs but the JCW Roadster did just that. Upon entering it, the first thing you want to do in put the top down. The, now standard, semi-automatic top is fantastic. A simple turn of the release handle and a slight push up is all it takes to get started. Press the toggle and the top goes down in just a few seconds with an audible chime alerting you when the process is complete and you’re ready to get moving.