Apr 1st, 2013
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 →
Sep 4th, 2012
MINI USA reported the best August ever with sales of 5,718 automobiles, an increase of 83.9 percent from the 3,109 sold in August, 2011. What’s driving this increase? The volume leaders are (as expected) the R56 hardtop and the R60 Countryman. In fact the Countryman broke the 2,000 unit barrier for a month in August which would have normally surpassed hardtop sales if it wasn’t for an almost 50% increase of sales for MINI’s stalwart model.
Jun 18th, 2012
MINI USA has just lifted the covers on 2013 pricing across the line-up. Lots to talk about and take in but first some highlights:
- Bluetooth will be standard on every 2013 MY vehicle (formerly a $500 option), replacing Sirius Satellite Radio.
- Sirius will now be an option ($250) and includes a one-year subscription.
- The Technology package now includes Sirius Satellite radio, Comfort Access in addition to the existing MINI Connected feature. A center armrest (with integrated iPhone adapter pre-wiring) is also included.
- A new Premium package ($1,250) has been added for the MINI Hardtop and Clubman that includes the three most-popular options—a Dual-pane panoramic sunroof, Automatic wipers and Automatic climate control. Bundled together, they offer a $500 discount.
- The JCW now comes with what MINI is calling “the JCW steering wheel”. However this could just be the standard wheel with a JCW logo on the button spoke – we’re awaiting confirmation.
- Kite blue is now available as a JCW option – as we indadvertedly alluded to in our Roadster speccing article a few months ago.
- MINI Roadster – The semi-automatic roof and rear wind deflector are now standard on all MY 2013 Roadster variants.
What about timing of all these change? Here’s the run-down:
- Model year 2013 production of MINI Hardtop, Convertible, Clubman, Coupe and Roadster will begin in July 2012.
- Model year 2013 production of MINI Countryman will begin in November 2012.
- Model year 2013 production of MINI Clubvan will begin in September 2012.
- Model year 2013 production of the John Cooper Works GP will begin in the fall (exact timing to be confirmed.)
Full pricing after the break. continued →
May 18th, 2012
The 2013 JCWs have been announced with the new valvtronic engine. Surprisingly, outside of the Countryman, the JCW range will not have higher output. The HP figure will remain at 211 hp (208 for the US) for the R5X range of JCW cars. Furthermore we’ve heard rumors from well placed sources that the US spec JCW Countryman may also end up with 208 hp rather than the higher 218hp figure seen in Europe. The upside is that the 2013 JCW will be the most efficient JCW ever and on par with the substantially less powerful Cooper S thanks to technologies such as Brake Energy Regeneration.
Also new for 2013 is the option of the six speed Aisin automatic across the entire JCW range.
Official Release: In keeping with the times, MINI will inject the ultra-sporty performance characteristics of its John Cooper Works models with even greater efficiency from July 2012 with the introduction of a new-generation engine and other far-reaching powertrain innovations. Fresh from an intensive course of further development, the twin-scroll turbo engine develops the same levels of output and torque as its predecessor, but will make drivers’ hearts beat faster with its even quicker responses and stoke their admiration with substantially reduced fuel consumption and emissions. A much broader spread of MINIMALISM technology helps to enhance the efficiency of the John Cooper Works models, and all members of the sub-brand’s line-up can now be fitted as an option with a six-speed automatic gearbox. Added to which, the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman comes with the MINI ALL4 all-wheel-drive system as standard. continued →
Feb 14th, 2012
As is customary, MINI will be rolling out a handful of key changes for production starting this March. As is typical they call into three categories: color and trim, new and/or updated options and restrictions. Let’s take a look at all of them after the break. continued →
Jan 15th, 2012
(Updated with detailed information) In perhaps the largest recall ever announced, MINI USA is recalling every Cooper S and JCW model sold from 2007 to 2011. The recall effects almost all 2007 – 2011 R55, R56, R57 and R60 models with the turbocharged Cooper S engine. For a full list of the cars affected and the specifics behind the problem, read on… continued →
Nov 21st, 2011
Download | 16.7MB | 34:36
Last week Todd and I sat down virtually with Vinnie Kung, MINI USA Product Manager on the occasion of the LA Autoshow. As usual when we sit down with Vinnie, we talked about everything MINI. From the new Roadster to the B Spec race car to clutch feel in the Countryman. And even why some Americans want MINI’s largest vehicle even bigger. As usual Vinnie was candid and eager to answer almost everything we threw at him. You can see a quick list of what we discussed after the break. continued →