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Section: Opinion

Opinion: MINI Must Get Smaller to Get Bigger

MotoringFile Sections: GXX MINI City Car, Opinion, Rumor Oct 7th, 2014 49 Comments

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By next summer three of MINI’s then eight models will have four doors. And if the Countryman’s success is anything to go by, its this segment that will be critical to the brand’s success in the years ahead. And there in lies the problem. The brand was built on unconventional. A finger in the air aimed at authority, the brand has been built on thinking differently and making less do more. And yet MINI is becoming quite established with utility vehicles, all wheel drive and an increasing size across every product. We applaud the success of the brand and understand the importance of financial viability, but there is something missing in all of this. You know it, we know it and by some accounts MINI knows it as well. It’s called the Rocketman. And we at MotoringFile want it built.

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5,142 Miles Aboard The 2014 F56 S

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Hatch, MF Feature, MTTS, Opinion, Reviews Aug 25th, 2014 35 Comments

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Photo Credit: Eileen Dugan

Preston Thomas Tucker. Most people know him as the car manufacturer Jeff Bridges portrayed in the critically acclaimed film Tucker: The Man and His Dream. Others know him as one of those formidable entrepreneurs that only the United State seems to have the recipe for. Following the end of World War II, Tucker strongly believed the US car market was ripe for disruption and that unprecedented car designs would bring people back into the dealerships. With that in mind, he started the Tucker Corporation with the ambition of building the car of tomorrow. Even though it would never fully reached production status it would be revolutionary in its form and function by boasting a fuel-injected engine, disc brakes, side impact protections and adaptive headlights. While one can argue about the relative success of Mr. Tucker’s venture, he was, by any measure, a visionary; he saw the future and acted to change the world regardless of the obstacles he faced. Though we must remain objective in evaluating what the Tucker Corporation achieved and what MINI is doing today, our favorite car brand had to overcome serious challenges to remain the undisputed contender in the premium small-car category. After a 5,142 miles MTTS rally, not only has our F56 surpassed these challenges, but moreover MINI might have a serious sales hit on their hands, especially with the soon-to-be-released F55.  continued →

Opinion: the Best MINI / Mini Model Ever

MotoringFile Sections: Opinion, R53 (Coupe) Jul 14th, 2014 23 Comments

MINI on the Dragon Group Shot

Editors note: As part of the MotoringTern program MotoringFile has added two new authors to our roster. This piece is from one of those authors – Kurt Heiden. And as part of our desire to remain faithful to all sides of the MINI we also want to broaden the voice of the site and tell more varied stories that offer differing opinions. Having two new writers on the site will give us those different viewpoints that we’ve always strived for but haven’t always had the time to fulfill. Join us in welcoming Kurt and feel free to respectfully give your take in the comments below. And remember, this opinion doesn’t necessary reflect what all of us at MF believe. Or does it?

Anytime one tries to pick the best from a group of phenomenal choices it’s bound to ruffle some feathers, so apologies up front to those who disagree. That said if you like opinions (and don’t mind respectfully disagreeing), read on…

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Why Are MINI’s Sales Down in the US?

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Hatch, Opinion, Sales Jul 4th, 2014 102 Comments

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MINI USA’s sales are off pace by over 25% for the year and 18% for the month of June. However if you look at the figures the problem isn’t as simple as it might seem. continued →


2014 Playboy Playmate of the Year Receives Roadster as Prize

MotoringFile Sections: In the Press, Opinion May 19th, 2014 11 Comments

2014 Playboy Playmate of the Year wins MINI Roadster

They say it’s an honor just to be nominated, but apparently if you make Playmate of the Year for Playboy magazine, you also get a car. This year Kennedy Summers takes that honor and according to Jalopnik, also takes home a 2014 MINI Roadster JCW.

I have to say, I did a bit of a double-take when I saw the car. It sure does look an awful lot like our most recent long-term test car. The Jalopnik piece says it’s a 2014 MINI, so seems unlikely they’ve just bought her a used MINI:

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Is the Manual a Dying Breed?

MotoringFile Sections: Opinion Mar 17th, 2014 34 Comments

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Is the manual a dying breed? According to Road & Track who looked at the numbers, the answer isn’t what you might expect.

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Opinion: Why the New GP is MINI’s First real JCW Product

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Hatch, JCW, JCW GP, Opinion, R56 (Hatch) Dec 30th, 2013 33 Comments

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There is little question the original JCW GP is a special car — an incredibly special car. It was thrown together at break-neck speed with off-the-shelf parts and yet it’s one of the most satisfying cars I’ve ever driven at any price. Sure, MINI had some trouble selling all of them at the time, as they have with the GP2, but since then it’s become a classic with ever-slowing depreciation. That original MINI JCW GP will surely be a classic.

In contrast, the new GP is a much more serious car. Road testing and development took place primarily at the Nurburgring, led primarily by a MINI race car driver. Instead of a few months, the second generation JCW GP was two years in the making. In those two years, MINI JCW fitted an entirely new, bespoke suspension. MINI spec’d unique tires and a specially-matched six-pot braking system that was designed to stop cars almost 1,000 lbs heavier. The result was nothing short of phenomenal. Whether on the track or on the road, the 2013 JCW GP is astonishing in its ability to change direction, stop, and go. Yet it’s not just the quickness of the new GP that exhilarates. It’s the car’s feedback at every touch-point.

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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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Reviews:
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
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'09 JCW Hatch
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JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range


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