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 →
With MINI adding the Recaro seating option along with the Roadster to the production line at Oxford, we’ll be seeing availability of some options ending with March production. Specifically Laguna Green (just introduced in September) and Laser Blue will be ending production. In addition Hot Chocolate will become unavailable on the convertible. But colors are just the start. continued →
With the release of the Coupe and the introduction of the Roadster, it’s a great time to step back and look at the MINI family. And with that, we can’t help but wonder which we’d have if given the chance. While we love the Countryman All4 in our driveway, a Coupe or even a roadster would look great in the MF garage. Then there’s the incredible utility of the Clubman or even the classic hatch. But enough about what we think. What’s your favorite MINI of the moment?
Which Current MINI Interests You Most?
R56 Hatch - the smallest MINI and the closest to the original. (30%, 585 Votes)
R55 Clubman - give me utility and agility! (14%, 266 Votes)
R57 Convertible - a droptop with four seats, what could be better? (4%, 71 Votes)
R58 Coupe - two seats, a huge boot and the best driving MINI yet. (15%, 291 Votes)
R59 Roadster - because it's the best looking MINI ever. (22%, 425 Votes)
R60 Countryman - four doors and plenty of space while still being MINI (15%, 328 Votes)
When MINI released the R56 JCW we all groaned at the lack of visual differentiation. And while MINI has eventually fixed that issue with the 2012 models, there are still three years of JCW out there that, for all intents and purposes, don’t look any different than a Cooper S. This is particularly an issue when trying to find one used. I recently had a senior editor of a very large automotive website ask me for help in the JCW quest and I was blown away at how hard the process had become. I told him not to give up because the JCW was definitely the one you’ll want. But it takes patience and just the right amount of arcane MINI knowledge to find a real JCW.
As enthusiasts know, it’s not always easy to look for used cars on the web due to misleading descriptions. Often I leave it up to the photos to tell me the real story about the car. When it comes to the JCW, even that can be tricky. So what’s the secret? continued →
First it was the hatch. Then the convertible. Fast-forward ten years and we have what you see above; an entire family of MINI options. With the launch of the last R56 variant MINI thought it was appropriate to get them all together for one big family photo. We can’t blame them. But we also thought it was time to celebrate just a bit. So we’re offering you an ultra hi-res version of the photo above as the ultimate MINI desktop wallpaper. Now the real question: which is your favorite MINI?
Check it out (along with more photos) after the break continued →
The current MINI convertible was introduced in early 2009 just after the Clubman. Immediately it was a sales success quickly surpassing the R52 1st generation convertible in both favorable reviews and sales. However as it customary with cars that have limited functionality (ie toys for many people) sales have dropped off dramatically as the years have passed by. In fact for 2011, the R57 MINI convertible is down over 25% as compared to 2010.
To make matters worse for the R57 MINI will be bringing to market the new Roadster. A sleeker and sportier looking iteration of the convertible, the R59 Roadster is destined to steal even more sales away from the R57. So case closed right? MINI will just end R57 production surely? Read on to find out. continued →
MINI will be releasing a special edition MINI Convertible known as the Highgate later this year. The car will follow along the lines of the recently released MINI Hampton. Created by MINI Yours, the Highgate will feature a new color – Ice Chocolate Metallic. According to our sources the color looks to be a cross between Hot Chocolate and Astro Black. continued →
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 F55: Clubman F56: Hatch F57: Convertible F60: MINI Crossover F62: Traveller
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