Apr 11th, 2014
While the automotive world is focused on the new MINI, the upcoming four door and Clubman, MINI is quietly working on what will be the largest MINI yet, the F60 Countryman. Expected in the summer of 2017 MINI is already using focus groups to help get feedback on early concepts for the car.
Why is MINI making these changes? Consumer response to the Countryman has been good over the past three years since launch with sales that have exceeded expectations. However it’s clear that those same consumers want a car with slightly more room and less trade-offs. What does that mean?
Mar 19th, 2014
Earlier today BMW uber source Scott26 (or Herr26 on BF) officially confirmed that they will bring to market an X2 sport activity coupe based on the second generation X1 and Countryman in 2017. According to BMW the model will be more upmarket than the X1 and only offered with xDrive. It is expected to come in both five and three door formats and will follow the typical crossover coupe design BMW initiated with the X6.
As expected the car will share a stretched version of the UKL platform with the next generation Countryman and Paceman. Yes the Paceman.
Mar 10th, 2014
MINI and BMW executives keep dropping more and more indicators that several current MINI models don’t have a future in this new generation of cars. This latest round of revelations came via Oliver Friedmann, head of MINI brand management, in a conversation with Auto News. Instead of a wide cross-section of model variants, Friedmann says MINI’s new strategy is to focus on three “pillar” cars to ground the product lineup in what MINI is all about. Those models? The F56 hardtop hatch, the next generation Countryman, and the next generation Clubman which we saw in concept at Geneva.
Feb 11th, 2014
Bookmark this post. Because in 7-8 years we’ll be talking about this as a reality.
According to Autocar, BMW plans to reduce the number of models within the MINI range with the introduction of the fourth generation car. Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW board member for Mini and Rolls-Royce suggested that MINI focus on it’s core “hero” models rather than create many derivatives. While it’s not necessarily something we haven’t heard before, this is the first time a BMW Board member has gotten into the strategy behind the move.
Jan 22nd, 2014
Lets start with the basics – timeline. MINI is planning to debut the 2015 JCW on the internet in December of 2014. This means we should see a production debut at the 2015 Detroit Autoshow in early January of 2015. Production should start in March of 2015 with the first cars hitting dealers in April throughout Europe and May in the US.
Read on for the details on power and design.
Dec 3rd, 2013
For the past year we’ve seen the F55 roaming the streets of Germany testing in various states of camouflage. And as each layer has been slowly stripped away ahead of its fall of 2014 reveal, we’ve started to get a grasp on its size and its four doors. Then a few weeks ago the first 2015 F54 Clubman was spotted in advanced prototype form outside of Munich. It was immediately obvious that MINI had re-thought the Clubman as a longer and wider vehicle with four doors (six including both rear “club doors”).
That’s two four doors from MINI set to be released over the next 18-24 months. What are the differences and why did MINI go this direction? Read on.
Sep 5th, 2013
According to Automotive News Europe and “sources” BMW will let the current agreement to produce the “Prince” family of engines lapse in 2016. While this isn’t a surprise (we’ve known for many years that BMW intended to go it alone for 3 and 4 cylinder engine production) this is the first time we’ve seen a semi official mention of it. The Prince has had an up and down life (that we’ll go into more in-depth later) but can be considered a success for both BMW and PSA in terms of performance, efficiency and number produced.
So what will replace the venerable Prince engine range? Late this year BMW will be introducing the B38 and B48 series of three and four cylinder engines destined for all front wheel drive MINIs and BMWs. The engines will be more powerful, burn less fuel and weigh less than their predecessor.
The timing of Prince production ending in 2016 makes a lot of sense for MINI. The last of the R56 based models will be at the end of their life by then and BMW will be gearing up to release an updated version of the B37 and B48. But it’s the details of the engine range that are so interesting. continued →