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Section: R53 (Coupe)

A Twin-Engine R53 Race Car for Thunder Hill

MotoringFile Sections: Motorsports, R53 (Coupe) Jul 7th, 2013 4 Comments

TWINI Racing Car

When we got an email from Jerry Bradbury, the team manager for the TWINI racing effort, we couldn’t quite believe what he was telling us. He and his team have put together an R53 race car to compete in the 25 hours of Thunderhill this coming December. While every MINI race car is something great, Team TWINI gets special credit for building a twin engine MINI. Not one, but two supercharged 1.6L JCW engines power this unique racing machine. For all of you who’ve always wanted an AWD, 400 hp MINI, this is one way to do it! Most entertaining of all, they got the idea from a twin engine Mini built back in the day by John Cooper himself.

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R50/R53 MINI Power Steering Warranty Extension

MotoringFile Sections: Faults & Fixes, R50 (Coupe), R52 (Conv.), R53 (Coupe) Jun 1st, 2013 75 Comments

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Do you own a ’02 – ’05 MINI Cooper, MINI Cooper S or MINI Cooper Convertible in the US? Have you had to replace your power steering pump at your cost? Did you get the letter?

In the interest of customer satisfaction, we are extending the warranty coverage for the power-assist steering pump and associated cooling fan on your vehicle to 13 years/150,000 miles, whichever occurs first, starting from the date of first retail sale or the date the vehicle was first placed in service as a demonstrator or company vehicle, whichever is earlier.

If you have not had to replace yours, and if it should fail before your MINI is 13 years old or has 150K miles, the repair will be covered. If you have replaced yours out of warranty and at your own expense, you have a very good chance of getting reimbursed. I received an email from MINIUSA earlier this week and that was indicated. continued →

A Look Back at the Three Generation of the MINI Cooper & Cooper S

MotoringFile Sections: Classic Mini, Official News, R50 (Coupe), R53 (Coupe) Feb 19th, 2013 18 Comments

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As MINI gears up to release the entirely new MINI Cooper and Cooper S in early autumn it’s time for a look back and where the model has come from. The idea, hatched by brilliant Formula One designer John Cooper, to fuel the agile small car with an extra hit of performance and a car for the road and track has lost none of its appeal. But the Cooper has never been about horsepower, as a comparison between the classic Mini and its two successors resoundingly proves. The key here is the basic principle of the creative use of space, combined with the inimitable go-kart feeling that runs like a thread through the three generations.

Whether your a classic, R50/53 or a R56 fan, it’s hard to argue with the incredible success of the little car from the UK or the experience behind the wheel.

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Ask MF: Used R53 GP or a Used R56 JCW?

MotoringFile Sections: Ask MotoringFile, JCW GP, R53 (Coupe), R56 (Hatch) Nov 16th, 2012 16 Comments

As aptly pointed out by a reader both the first GP and early R56 JCWs are priced similarly in the mid-20s these days. So which one to get? The first question we’d have to ask – is this a daily driver? If so the more modern R56 (presumably with some options and nice to haves) would be the easy logical choice. However things get much more interesting when this isn’t about solving the problem of finding a daily driver. continued →


Red Roof Radio Episode #1: R53 vs R56, R60 Debate, Countryman Coupe & Why a 9 Speed Auto Doesn’t Tempt Us

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, Podcast, R50 (Coupe), R53 (Coupe), R56 (Hatch), R58 (Coupe), R60 (Countryman) May 4th, 2012 15 Comments

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download (36 MB MP3)

This show will not automatically download if you subscribe to WRR. To listen you’ll either need to hit play above or download the MP3 (also above) and move to iTunes.

What is Red Roof Radio? It’s when a few of us get together when we’re not suppose to be doing a podcast this week and just talk. Consider this a behind the scenes show without the normal production values or even sound quality you might get from WWR (although it’s not half bad). But what you get are unbiased opinions. Sort of like Black Roof Radio but something we can actually post. continued →

MF Vault: JCW GP Road Trip

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, JCW GP, MF Vault, R53 (Coupe) Dec 11th, 2011 4 Comments

First we gave you another look at our full review of the JCW GP. Then we took you back to our last drive in the R53 JCW. Today, for MF’s month long celebration of JCW, we give you one of our most memorable drives in the GP – from St Louis to Indy during MTTS. We pick up the story just as our bags hit the ground at home after the trip.

I had just one day – St Louis to Indy. And I was dedicated to making it one to remember. So early this morning Todd and I (up way too early) shook off the cobwebs and headed out to the official MTTS meeting point – the St Louis Arch. At this point the GP was starting to sink in as a real live car and I must say that it was getting better looking the more I saw it.

After our Arch photo opp was over I was handed the keys to a GP courtesy of MINI USA. I might add that this particular car was broken in by none other than Fireball Tim and Hubie (the men responsible for the fastest MINI drag-car in the world). So I got some quality time to the tune of about four hours with the GP. First impressions: better than wow. This car is a complete package like nothing we’ve ever seen before. It’s not the fastest MINI out there, just the most complete MINI I’ve ever drive. MINI and BMW did a great job inside and out with the small details. The look of the car really makes sense in the real world as compared to the 2D world as seen on this site or countless magazines. In other words, don’t make your mind on this car’s looks until you’ve seen it in the flesh.

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MF Vault: 2006 JCW Review

MotoringFile Sections: JCW, MF Vault, R53 (Coupe) Dec 7th, 2011 13 Comments

Last week we kicked off JCW month with a look back at the JCW GP five years later. This week we take a look at the other JCW of the time, the MINI Cooper S factory JCW. This was a time of transition for the JCW brand as it moved from a dealer installed kit to a factory installed package. It also represents the pinnacle of the factory R53 (not counting the special edition GP).

Over the last week or so my respect for the Cooper S JCW kit has grown immeasurably. Driving almost 1,500 miles in seven days is a great way to find a car’s potential and its faults. Yet with the JCW MCS, the latter was almost impossible.

But before I get to my final thoughts on the car let me recap a bit. MINI USA gave me the keys to a 2006 MINI Cooper S with the JCW package and basically said, have at it and let the world know what you think. As the owner of a Cooper S with a pulley and a number of other modifications, this was a chance to do a direct comparison between the two cars and see what it was like to actually live with the JCW MCS. The test car was lightly specced. Chili Red/White roof, Sport package, JCW package and 18″ Matte Black JCW wheels. From a performance standpoint one couldn’t ask for anything more save for the JCW suspension or a full-on GP.

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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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'12 JCW Coupe
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'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
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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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