Oct 9th, 2013
MINI’s decision to keep the six speed Aisin automatic for the next generation F56 was seen as a surprise when announced last week. While MINI promises some mechanical improvements along with completely revamped software, it’s still seen as rather long in the tooth as compared to some of the more advanced offerings in the marketplace. What’s MINI thinking with this?
BMW has a long history with ZF Friedrichshafen also known simply as ZF. They’ve been producing transmissions for BMW for years and are particularly well known for their recent automatics. The current de rigueur transmission of the rear wheel drive automotive world is the ZF 8HP found in all non M brand BWWs. So good is this transmission in terms of performance and efficiency that it’s made its way into everything from Ram trucks to Bentleys. continued →
Sep 16th, 2013
Tired of all the chrome lettering on the new Countryman and Paceman? Apparently someone at MINI is as well. Starting with fall production both cars will be available with Option Code 320 (aka Stealth Mode) which debadges the cars. continued →
Jul 18th, 2013
The Paceman lies in a space between expectations. Too large to be a proper MINI and too small to be a truly utility-focused vehicle. That’s what I heard time and time again from friends and bystanders during my week with the R61 MINI. It’s got two doors in the space of four and it’s got mass in places that MINI’s historically haven’t had it. Yet why do I like it so much?
In my first two drives in the car I’ve come away impressed with its MINI-like performance characteristics, interior accommodations and surprising boot space. In many ways this is the car that rights some of the Countryman’s wrongs. The Paceman sports improved handling characteristics, thanks to subtle suspension tweaks. It has improved looks, thanks to the added dimensionally of the rear flanks and sloping roofline. These improvements, plus interior trim upgrades, all add up to a greater good. continued →
Jun 12th, 2013
Buried in the 2014 pricing update MINI USA has announced that it will no longer be offering the full length rail option for the Countryman. Additionally the only available rear seating will also be the bench killing the once standard split rear seating. As some MF readers may remember we had the option on our longterm Countryman test car. After 12 months and 12,000 miles we had to admit that the split seat and full length rail weren’t a practical options for those who plan on actually using the rear seating often. continued →
Jun 12th, 2013
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.
Jun 10th, 2013
Much like the MINI hatch, Clubman and convertible MINI will be offering JCW themes exterior and interior packages for both the Cooper and Cooper S. It’s a way for MINI to offering a sportier looking car without making the customer pony up for the full JCW vehicles. More specifically that means JCW aero-kit, JCW wheels and a host of other JCW accoutrement.
The following UK release details these these changes along with some specific UK package updates. While much of it will show up in all markets take note that the packages mentioned in the release such as the Chili package will remain UK specific.
Check out the full gallery after the break continued →
Jun 3rd, 2013
[UPDATE: We've received official confirmation from MINI USA that the Cooper ALL4 version of the Paceman and Countryman will not be coming to the US Market at present.]
Previously, MINI’s exceptional all-wheel-drive system, ALL4, has only been available as an option on the Cooper S, and (where available) diesel versions of the Countryman and Paceman. It comes standard on the JCW version of both cars. That’s changing, however. Starting in July, the Cooper versions of both the Countryman and the Paceman will also be available with optional ALL4, extending this popular option to a new place in the model range. On the one hand, this provides a more affordable, more fuel-efficient AWD option in the MINI lineup — maximizing traction for people who feel the need for extra grip.