We’re reposting this Ask MF originally from last year due to a number of similar questions we’ve gotten over the last few weeks.
This week’s “Ask MotoringFile” comes from Dave M and is quickly becoming a very common question:
I have a 2008 MCS on order and am relatively new to the MINI world. I couldn’t help but notice everyone using these code names for different models of MINIs. What does it all mean?
MINI models follow a similar system to the (seemingly ancient) BMW model internal naming convention. Since we often talk about different models (sometimes in the same story, paragraph or even sentence), using the internal model code-names is often the easiest way to quickly identify what model of MINI we’re referring to.
The first generation of BMW MINI’s started with the R50 which was meant to be the coupe version of the car. However once that model number was established BMW decided to produced a higher power version called the Cooper S. Because the development work was started later it was given a different code-name – the R53. The R52 was actually conceived before the Cooper S and thus has the code-name R52. And for those wondering, the R51 was a concept that never made it past the conception stages.
A very interesting story over at BBC sent into us recently concerning Power Steering issues on R50/R53 MINIs.
BMW’s customer service told Heather this wasn’t a common fault, which is surprising because we’ve heard from dozens of other Mini owners who’ve told us they’ve had exactly the same problem, and have had to fork out anything up to Â£800 for the repair.
Not a common fault? Show of hands to those of you that have had power steering problems. As it turns out, we are not alone.
Matt Pike is an independent Mini mechanic, and a supplier of spare parts. He says he can barely keep up with demand for replacement power steering pumps: “At least 60 per cent of our regular customers have all had pumps changed. And we’re getting at least two calls a day from people after power steering pumps because they’re such a big failure. I’d say it’s the most common problem we have with the Minis.”
A sad ending to a great car. Here’s what happened courtesy of AUSmotive.com:
Ever wondered what happens if you drive your car over a mattress and just keep on driving? Well, wonder no more, as a thoughtful MINI Cooper S Cabrio owner has done the experiment for you.
As you can see from the pictures the result is not pretty (thereâ€™s two more pics after the jump). The owner had not long collected the car from a western Sydney dealer when she reportedly drove over a mattress of some description. Not realising something was wrong she kept on motoring. Soon enough, though, there was a distinct smell of smoke. The driver pulled to the side of the road and within minutes her new car was in flames and just as quickly it was a smouldering wreck.
If you have 18″ OEM MINI wheels on your car put on by the dealer, odds are you have the steering stop installed on your car. The reason? Apparently under extreme circumstances MINI found that the tires with this set up will rub the inner fenders slightly. Their solution? To restrict the steering angle enough to prevent it from happening. The downside? Increased turning radius. continued →
Official MINI Release: Style icon, global player, “value master” and now already a classic. Now that around 164,000 units have been produced, the MINI Convertible of the current generation has reached the end of its production period. As planned, the MINI plant in Oxford ceased production of the open-top four-seater. The final specimen – a MINI Cooper S Convertible Sidewalk painted in metallic White Silver has been sold to a MINI fan in the USA. In the land of limousines, the nimble little automobile with the electrically folding soft top has won over a very loyal group of fans. Only on its domestic market of Great Britain and Ireland were more units of the MINI Convertible sold in the past four years than in the USA. continued →
The R50/R52/R53 era is just a few weeks away from being officially over. The current MINI convertible (last of the R5x architecture) will be ending production in late June. That means ordering the last of the Tritec era MINIs will end just a few weeks before that. MINI expects convertible stock to be at near normal levels through the summer but to dwindle quickly through the fall.
The next generation R57 MINI convertible (based on the R56 and featuring a number of convertible specific improvements detailed in previous articles) will begin production this winter with sales to start in March of 2009.
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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