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Section: Reviews

BimmerFile Review: The BMW i8

MotoringFile Sections: BMW i, Reviews Jul 24th, 2014 18 Comments

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Editors note: Normally we don’t bring you BMW news from our sister site, BimmerFile. However the new BMW i8 represents the best of the BMW Group’s technology in one awe-inspiring vehicle. Vast utilization of carbon fiber, intelligent power management and beautiful design make the i8 one of the most important cars released this year and perhaps even this decade. Perhaps even more salient, at the heart of the i8’s drivetrain is MINI’s 1.5L three-cylinder engine (coupled with the familiar Asin 6 speed auto) delivering an astounding 230 hp. We think the application of that power train, along with the usage of carbon fiber (BMW is the first automaker to begin using CF for mass production) make this a particularly interesting car for MINI fans.

With the key fob in my hand, I raised the door and properly maneuvered over the carbon sill and into the low seat of the BMW i8. I glance at the controls, check the mirrors and press of the start button to begin a test drive I’ve been waiting seemingly forever for.

The first thing you notice is nothing. But the lack of noise is punctuated by a glowing display that has confirmed the i8’s readiness. Pulling back the lever and slotting it into the D the i8 responds with an electric idle that belies what this car hides beneath. continued →

Autoblog Reviews the 2014 MINI Cooper S

MotoringFile Sections: Best of the Web, F56 Hatch, Reviews Jun 29th, 2014 21 Comments

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MINI owner and self-described MINI enthusiast, Brandon Turkus, has penned a comprehensive review of the 2014 MINI Cooper S for Autoblog. Brandon’s is an interesting perspective, since he’s both part of the automotive press, and also a MINI fan. As such, he’s asking a lot of the same questions I’ve had on my mind:

Before the third-generation of the reborn Mini Cooper S landed in my driveway, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the model would continue its slide towards mass appeal, or if it would re-embrace the enthusiast realm with a stronger driver-focused mission. As I found out during my week with the car, it was a bit of both.

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MF Review: 800 Miles in Seven Days with the F56 MINI Cooper

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Hatch, Reviews Jun 24th, 2014 49 Comments

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We’ve reviewed the manual F56 Cooper previously but never have had a chance to live with it and experience it so thoroughly. Does it hold up? continued →

Battle of the 3 Cylinders: MINI vs. Ford

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Hatch, In the Press, Reviews Jun 19th, 2014 56 Comments

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The idea of a gas powered three cylinder engine was crazy talk (for those who liked SMART) only a few years ago but now there are two new models featuring such power plants on American shores. Enter the all new for 2014 MINI Cooper and The Ford Fiesta EcoBoost 1.0l. Two cars with small engines targeting very different customers but both dreaming of high fuel economy. Autoguide put these two head to head.

The MINI is expensive for a subcompact, but you can see the point of paying the premium as soon as you step into the car.

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MotoringFile Review: The 2014 MINI Cooper Manual

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Hatch, Reviews Apr 7th, 2014 30 Comments

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Making a Case for the Cooper.

MINI has a unique problem with the Cooper. Traditionally it’s been this swiss army knife within the MINI model range. Sure it’s never been near as fast as the Cooper S, but through every generation, MINI has allowed potential owners the opportunity to spec a Cooper to essentially the same levels of handling. However as the years have gone by and new generations have been released, MINI’s customer base has expanded into a broader segment of the populace. Because of this MINI has wisely made the base (i.e. non-sport suspension) Cooper a little more compliant and perhaps inline with the expectations of a typical consumer. Naturally it’s still more go-kart in feel than other small cars (and certainly more premium) but there’s a little more room between the Cooper and Cooper S with every generation.

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MotoringFile Video Review: 2014 F56 MINI Cooper & Cooper S

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Hatch, Reviews, Video Feb 5th, 2014 41 Comments

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Last week we had a day to spend with the all new 2014 F56 MINI Cooper and Cooper S. During that time we roamed the mountain passes and ocean front roads to bring you our first thoughts on MINI’s most important car since the launch of the R50 in 2001. But we also wanted to bring you more than just written words and photos from the launch.

So one take, no script, 20 minutes and a GoPro camera, we had our first video review of the F56 MINI Cooper and Cooper S. Check it out after the break.

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MotoringFile Review: The 2014 MINI Cooper & Cooper S

MotoringFile Sections: F56 Hatch, Reviews Jan 31st, 2014 93 Comments

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The thing about driving in Puerto Rico is that there are a lot of stray dogs littering the roads. Relaxed and seemingly unaware of any potential danger, they roam the countryside with a casual authority. Their reign on the roadside wreaked havoc on my nerves as I put mile after island mile on the next generation MINI Cooper and Cooper S.

Then there are Puerto Rico’s roads. They’re twisty and feature plenty of elevation changes. They challenged me like any foreign twisty road will. However these roads are about the width of a typical American driveway — often with significant drop-offs on each side. Remember those dogs? They’re right on the edge of the road with what seems like supreme confidence that, no matter the situation, you’ll figure out how to avoid them and oncoming traffic, all while not having a heart attack.

Luckily, I was in the right car.

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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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R50 ('02-'06 MC) Buyers Guide
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MotoringFile Reviews

Reviews:
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
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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