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Section: Opinion

Why BMW is Moving MINI Further Upscale (And Why We’re Not Worried)

MotoringFile Sections: F54 Clubman, F55 Four-Door Hardtop, F56 Two-Door Hardtop, F57 Convertible, F60 Countryman, Opinion Apr 3rd, 2015 23 Comments

F55 Design Sketch

Premium does not equal high cost. Nor does a move further upscale mean MINI will turn its back on the style and performance that has made the brand such a success over the years. Now with that out let’s get to the why, how and when. continued →

Opinion: Coupe Confessional

MotoringFile Sections: MotoringFile Garage, Opinion, R58 (Coupe) Mar 24th, 2015 18 Comments

Oswin side 1280x720Owning a MINI Coupe has been quite an experience so far, and the news that the Coupe and Roadster are finished this month leaves this Coupe owner looking back, and confessing that he is feeling good about the future.  continued →

MINI USA Marketing and Pixels

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Two-Door Hardtop, Marketing, Official News, Opinion Mar 23rd, 2015 35 Comments

mini-pacman-ghostsBack in December, we wrote a review of MINI’s activity in the U.S. for 2014. One of the sections of this post, “Don Draper and a VP of Devil’s Advocacy,” reflected on MINI USA’s marketing efforts for the past year. The key takeaway on this topic was that MINI USA needed to name a VP of Devil’s Advocacy to think with the assumption that everyone else is wrong when projects like the Final Test Test Drive and the Motoring Tag are put on the table. Based on Adam Sandler’s latest movie trailer, Pixels, it appears that MINI USA has yet to find this VP. Or worse, they haven’t even started looking for one. continued →

Opinion: How Could MINI Innovate?

MotoringFile Sections: Design, Opinion, Sales, Technology Mar 17th, 2015 8 Comments

MINI-Core-Design-Concept-6In short, we have no idea. There are many things that we would like to see MINI do better, but none of those things are truly innovative and should be the standard for any premium brand anyway. You are probably wondering where we think MINI should do better, so here is a quick list: sales experience, service experience, product quality, and marketing. Because of the types of products MINI sells (i.e. combustion engines) and because of the way BMW North America, and by extension MINI USA, is currently set-up (i.e. dealer network), it is actually difficult to truly innovate in most of the areas mentioned above. So what else is there? continued →


Chris Harris’s Neo-Manualism

MotoringFile Sections: In the Press, Opinion, Video Mar 14th, 2015 23 Comments

wallpaper-2Unlike the U.S., most automobiles in Europe sport a manual gearbox. Historically I’m not sure why this is the case, but it may have something to do with the price of gas and the fact that auto trannies used to be less fuel efficient than manuals. Or perhaps, it’s an item on the option list that European consumers always overlooked because they mostly get bottom-level cars with minimal features. If anyone knows, please enlighten me. continued →

Is the Auto Industry and Car Culture Dying?

MotoringFile Sections: Opinion Mar 6th, 2015 10 Comments

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That’s the opinion of more than a few these days. With millennials and younger generations more interested in technology than transportation, the future of the industry and the very shape of cars is ripe for reinvention. Throw autonomous driving cars into the mix and you have either a utopian or nightmare scenario depending on your view point. That scenario has been described a lot lately, but no more thought provokingly than by Zack Kanter:

Most people – experts included – seem to think that the transition to driverless vehicles will come slowly over the coming few decades, and that large hurdles exist for widespread adoption. I believe that this is significant underestimation. Autonomous cars will be commonplace by 2025 and have a near monopoly by 2030, and the sweeping change they bring will eclipse every other innovation our society has experienced.

What could this mean for MINI? For the automotive industry? The car culture so many of us identify with love? continued →


Silvercar and the End of the Car Rental Nightmare

MotoringFile Sections: Opinion, Technology Feb 27th, 2015 11 Comments

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My work forces me to travel on a regular basis. And because most car service drivers drive like madmen, I always rent a car for my trips between the airport and my clients. Unfortunately, my experience with car services has been far from great. In fact, it’s probably my second worst customer experience after air travel. That was until I discovered Silvercar. continued →

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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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'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
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JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
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'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
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Podcast: Cooper S Auto
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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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