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Section: R59 (Roadster)

MF Garage: Open Top Showdown. Roadster vs. Moto

MotoringFile Sections: MotoringFile Garage, Opinion, R59 (Roadster), Reviews Aug 14th, 2013 20 Comments

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It’s no secret that our MotoringFile long-term review car, a MINI JCW Roadster, has won us over to open top motoring. Between the grunt of the turbo, the overall refinement of the options we chose, and the infinite sky above our heads, driving the Roadster is a MINI motoring experience unlike any we’ve experienced before. Gabe has likened this visceral, out-in-the-world experience to riding a motorcycle. That’s his estimation, anyway. Gabe’s never actually ridden a motorcycle through the open countryside.

I, on the other hand, have a running motorcycle for every day of the week. I’ve been riding since 2007, and that open air riding experience is a big part of the lasting appeal. So in short, I can confirm Gabe’s assertion that driving the JCW Roadster has many motorcycle-like qualities. Yet it wasn’t until I spent a week with the Roadster myself that I understood just where those overlaps are.

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MF Garage: The JCW Roadster Road-trips North and Into Our Hearts

MotoringFile Sections: MotoringFile Garage, R59 (Roadster), Reviews Jul 10th, 2013 9 Comments

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Heading north on Michigan’s famous M22, I realized something about our little JCW Roadster. In all my years of driving all sorts of cars, I can’t remember bonding with a car more than I’ve bonded with this one in just a year. Sure, I’ve driven better cars that I’ve probably enjoyed more (my BMW 1M comes to mind), but never has one car slotted so comfortably and happily into my daily life. Heading into northern Michigan on one of the best chains of roads in the country seemed like a good way to bond further.

As a vehicle, the MINI Roadster is built perfectly for one or two people. The car has a decently sized boot with a pass-through, and driving capabilities fit for any weather. Dry, wet, hot or cold; the Roadster can handle it with comfort and style. Mostly the past ten thousand miles have proven the Roadster as a brilliant everyday car. Yet it’s on these sorts of driver’s roads, on this kind of perfect summer day, that the Roadster is truly in its element. continued →

MINI USA Announces 2014 Pricing

MotoringFile Sections: Official News, R55 (Clubman), R56 (Hatch), R57 (Conv.), R58 (Coupe), R59 (Roadster), R60 (Countryman), R61 (Paceman) Jun 12th, 2013 8 Comments

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2014 Model year pricing is in and things are looking good. In fact the only price increase is to the Paceman and Countryman and there MINI is only raising the price $100. With that $100 2014 R60 and R61s will now come standard with heated mirrors and washer jets – options technically worth more than $100.

Why no increase elsewhere? Simply put MINI is gearing up for the F56 and will be holding the line on pricing until it hits this next February/March as a 2014 model. That means that there will be no 2014 R56 models unlike the rest of the MINI range.

Production of 2014 models begins on July 1st 2013. Here’s the full release.

Official Release: The only models that will have a price increase for the MY2014 are Paceman and Countryman; however, for the $100 increase, all variants of those two models will come equipped standard with heated mirrors and washer jets.

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MF Garage: Is the MINI JCW Roadster the Best Commuter Car Ever?

MotoringFile Sections: MotoringFile Garage, Opinion, R59 (Roadster) Apr 23rd, 2013 28 Comments

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Bold claim for sure. But the recent warm and sunny weather in Chicago has me thinking the JCW Roadster may just represent the best every day car money can buy. Obviously, a statement like that should be filled with asterisks and qualifiers. But before we get into all that, lets back up and talk about why. First off, I’m specifically referring to urban commuting. Small parking spots and lots of tight streets. What the Roadster offers is a tidy package that provides plenty of thrills while being efficient in both its use of fuel and space. In terms of raw numbers consider this; I’m seeing (with a very heavy right foot) close to 30 mpg (US) in the stop and go commuting duty.

There’s also the simple thrill of driving a small MINI. A quick steering rack and all the visceral thrill you can stand in a day to day car. In short, stepping foot into any MINI every day should put a smile on your face. continued →


MF Garage: Our Roadster’s First Spring Road-trip

MotoringFile Sections: MotoringFile Garage, R59 (Roadster), Reviews Apr 15th, 2013 12 Comments

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With a quickly packed bag in the trunk and the Valentine 1 mounted on the windshield, the MINI Roadster and its first spring road trip gets underway just as the sun begins to climb into the morning sky. Our little JCW Roadster has done countless miles on this kind of road trip already but it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to go on one with weather worthy of top-down motoring. If all goes according to plan, that should happen today.

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New MINI App “Connect Us” Creates MINI Centric Dating Service

MotoringFile Sections: Official News, R56 (Hatch), R57 (Conv.), R58 (Coupe), R59 (Roadster), R60 (Countryman), R61 (Paceman), Technology Apr 1st, 2013 14 Comments

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April 1st 2013, Munich. Official Release: Now for something a little more romantic. The latest version of the MINI Connected App is playing cupid to make MINI fans’ dreams of finding the perfect partner come true. Connect Us is like nothing else out there on planet dating – and can only be used in a MINI. This is not just the world’s speediest dating service, it is also the most reliable. Here, at last, is a matchmaker that goes beyond personal interests, favourite activities and how you like to spend your free time – and gets down to the nitty-gritty: driving style. Connect Us compares how drivers like to treat their accelerator, steering wheel and brakes (as deduced by the MINI Driving Excitement Analyser) in the search for a compatible co-driver on the journey of love. Only if it detects a meeting of minds on the matter of driving fun will the app oil the wheels of romance between MINI fans. The Driving Excitement Analyser function of the MINI Connected App has been available for several weeks as a free download from the Apple App Store. But make sure you don’t take your eyes off the road just when things are getting interesting; the Connect Us, ahem, “update” can be downloaded on one day only: 1 April 2013. continued →


MF Garage: The JCW Roadster Tackles Winter

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, MotoringFile Garage, R59 (Roadster), Reviews Feb 28th, 2013 14 Comments

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When we took possession of our long term JCW Roadster we told you we wanted to find out if the soft-top could indeed be an everyday, all year car. In the sun of California or other warm climates, it’s easy for the Roadster to make sense. Yet what happens when you throw it at the upper midwest? After six months of time with the car we’re starting to get a good answer to that. 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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JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
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'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
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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
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'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range


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