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 →
Apr 8th, 2013
Since the debut of the new MINI more than ten years ago, the line-up has grown from one to seven distinct models. As we look toward the next generation MINI hatch, the F56, we can’t help but wonder about the next generation of all those other MINIs as well. What will the next Clubman be like? Will the Coupe and Roadster merge into one product? What about the next Countryman? continued →
Feb 14th, 2013
It was a little more than a year ago that we broke the first viable rumor that MINI might finally be bringing a diesel engine option to the US market. Than in January, there were a number of gems in the interviews we did with Jim McDowell and Dr. Kay Segler at the North American International Auto Show. Even more recently, MINI product manager, Patrick McKenna, has once again confirmed that MINI USA is very interested in bringing a Diesel option to US MINIs. So what do we make of it all?
Dec 3rd, 2012
Currently BMW’s M division is developing a small M car. You can read about that vehicle in detail over at BimmerFile, but in a nutshell both Audi and Mercedes will be offering small, 300+ hp sedans in high performance guise. BMW needs to not only keep up with competition, but they need to lower the barriers of the M Brand. They did that successfully with the 1M. What does this have to do with MINI? Perhaps a lot.
Oct 25th, 2012
Most MINI fans are well aware that BMW Group and PSA partnered on the Prince family of engines found in the current R5X generation of MINIs. BMW did the engineering and handles the manufacturing, and PSA ponied up some development dollars and helps with supply chain logistics. In return, PSA got access to the engines for their own cars and BMW got to develop a more efficient engine for the MINI that didn’t involve Daimler. That relationship worked well for both parties, so BMW and PSA had worked out a separate agreement to develop and share hybrid drivetrains in partnership with PSA. This agreement included a joint-venture manufacturing facility and, like the Prince arrangement, PSA would have access to the systems BMW would develop.
Oct 15th, 2012
The BMW Active Tourer concept shown in Paris was the first glimpse of the forthcoming UKL platform that will underpin the next generation of MINI and front wheel drive products. Next up will be MINI’s turn. Our sources are telling us that MINI will debut a cross-over vehicle similar to the BMW Active Tourer concept (internally known as the MINI Activity Tourer) that is meant to show how different BMW and MINI versions of the same platform can coexist.