Feb 28th, 2013
When we took possession of our long term JCW Roadster we told you we wanted to find out if the soft-top could indeed be an everyday, all year car. In the sun of California or other warm climates, it’s easy for the Roadster to make sense. Yet what happens when you throw it at the upper midwest? After six months of time with the car we’re starting to get a good answer to that. continued →
Feb 25th, 2013
MINI is a car brand that means a lot of different things to a great many people. For some, it’s about economy. For others, it’s style. For many, MINI is about performance. Thing is, they’re all right. MINI is a brand and a range of cars intended to live in a variety of sweet spots at the intersections of these often conflicting areas of focus. As I left the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, behind the wheel of a Starlight Blue MINI Paceman Cooper S ALL4, I wondered just where on that multi-axis spectrum of MINI-ness this particular car would land. For MotoringFile, this would be our second time behind the wheel of MINI’s larger 2-door. Gabe drove the R61 back in November of last year. You can find his thoughts here, but this time around it was up to me and the beautiful island of Puerto Rico to see what MINI’s new slope-backed 2-door was all about. continued →
Feb 8th, 2013
This week I had the opportunity to not just drive the 2013 MINI John Cooper Works GP, but drive it on real, imperfect roads. Specifically, I was able to put the car through its paces on the narrow, rough mountain roads outside Ponce, in Puerto Rico. Gabe drove this limited edition car for the first time in Spain a few months back as part of the international product launch, but that was on the track (check out the video and written reviews). Impressive as the car was in that context, we both wondered what the car would be like in the wild. So we went to the twisting roads of Puerto Rico to find out.
Dec 26th, 2012
MotoringFile is about as marque specific as they come. We unapologetically focus on MINIs and only MINIs. However once in awhile we dip our toe in the water with other cars as something particularly interesting or relevant comes along. The all electric Tesla probably fits into the former category more than the latter. So today we present you our latest review of the Tesla Roadster. Original posted over two years ago this was our second review of the Roadster and the last as it has now officially gone out of production. What does it mean for MINI fans? BMWi is the BMW Group’s answer to all electric cars like Tesla and they will be launching a small two and four door rear wheel drive hatch in the next 18 months. But until then this is the closest thing we have to a pure electric car with sport potential.
A huge thanks to Tesla Chicago for not only giving us time with the Roadster Sport but pretty much carte blanche for the time we had it. If you’re in Chicago be sure to check them out. If you’re not you can find an entire list of Tesla Stores worldwide here.
It was the smell. More specifically, the smell of melting rubber that caught my attention. So like you will do, I began to slow and was on alert. And there it was, around a blind corner â€” a tanker truck that had just locked up the rear to avoid an unexpected traffic tie-up. It was an accident waiting to happen and I smelled it.
The Tesla does many incredible things. But none more than amazing what it doesn’t do. perhaps More specifically, what it doesn’t make you live with. Thereâ€™s no smell of fossil fuel burning. No sound (except a subtle Jetson’s like woosh on take-off) No pings, no vibrations and nothing to ever worry about other than the road ahead and the remaining range in the batteries. People talk about range anxiety, but consider that a tradeoff for all the other typical driving concerns a Tesla lacks. continued →
Dec 24th, 2012
2012 was a busy year for MINI and MotoringFile. The Coupe and Roadster were brought to market, the GP and Paceman made their debuts, and the Countryman continued to sell well. So in an effort to recap some of our favorite moments of the year, we’re bringing you our favorite reviews of the year. The JCW Coupe vs the Abarth, the Roadster, our long-term Countryman and even the GP at the track, we’ve got it all after the break. continued →
Nov 14th, 2012
When the BMW X6 was introduced there was no one clamoring for a less functional, sportier version of the X5. Yet sales followed at a pace that made BMW look like geniuses, and other automakers took note. Now MINI has introduced its own crossover coupe in the MINI Paceman. Is the Paceman another answer to a question no one was asking? Or is it another brilliant move?
This was the question I kept asking myself from behind the wheel of the Paceman, and I got my answer. It came around mid-day, climbing into the Spanish mountains with the Mediterranean in full view. Corner after corner, our Cooper S test car made the case that the Countryman never quite proved — that a 3,000 lbs crossover has a right to wear the MINI badge.
Nov 11th, 2012
Our time on the test track with the GP was brief in the grand scheme of things. Ten laps. But you can learn a lot about a car (especially a car designed for the track) in ten hard laps on a tight well designed course. If you haven’t read our full review of the car, certainly check it out. However if you want a quick, seat of the pants look at the GP as I enjoyed my second stint behind the wheel at Circuito Mallorca RennArena, check out the video after the break.