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.
Sep 25th, 2012
Frequent MotoringFile commenter and known BMW insider, Herr26, left us a interesting comment yesterday on our recent post regarding upcoming MINI models. As with all of his comments (here or BimmerFile) don’t take it as fact but perhaps great insight about a moment in time within BMW. In the past we’ve seen many of his proven right but also some proven wrong simply because plans changed within the company.
All that said its well worth a read, so we’re reposting it here. In it, there’s lots of interesting tidbits regarding future MINIs:
- The MINI Spacebox aka the Traveller that will be essentially a larger version of the Clubman based on the recently announced BMW Active Tourer pictured above
- MINI four door sedan
- MINI Activity Tourer which could be something of a larger four door Pacemen with an extremely raked look
- MINI Sports car aka the next generation coupe and roadster which could seeing more variation from the look o the standard MINI
Catch the full comment after the break.
Sep 21st, 2012
The internet is abuzz with talk from MINI board member Harald Kreuger’s comments to Inside Line regarding the continued expansion of the MINI lineup. We reported back in January that MINI plans to grow the MINI family to as many as ten members, and Kreuger’s latest comments appear to back that up futher. The story from Inside Line, however, adds new fuel to the fires of speculation.
Aug 13th, 2012
According to sources inside MINI familiar with future product features, the US market will finally see an auto start/stop system for both manual and automatic transmissions. The first version of auto start/stop made a European debut in 2007 and since then MINI USA has been interested in adding the feature to US bound cars.
The reason for the delay is two fold; there’s been little incentive since the EPA doesn’t recognize such systems in an overall efficiency index and the bigger concern is that the system isn’t free. Again, according to those same sources it adds over $200 per car, thanks to the beefier starter motor, the added electronics and programming. MINI USA couldn’t absorb that cost and didn’t want to pass it on to the consumer. But as BMW has moved to add the technology to almost it’s entire fleet, that price is rapidly decreasing as volume of the system is increasing. Likewise things are changing in the US that make the technology more relevant to the way the EPA measures efficiency- there is an added benefit to automatic transmissions with the current EPA test procedure. This makes a much stronger argument for bringing the system stateside.
Jul 10th, 2012
The secret has been out for years now that MINI and BMW will be introducing a new family if 1.5L three cylinder engines destined for small front wheel drive cars. But would MINI be replacing all four cylinders with equivalent 3 bangers? Our sources are now telling us that looks unlikely for at least the first iteration of the next generation MINI family. Instead we now believe that MINI will likely continue to use an updated version of the four cylinder “Prince” engine for Cooper S and JCW models through at least 2015.
So one new car and two radically different engines. In fact one source has told us that spotting the differences is quite easy – even under the yellow and black swirled camouflage. If you see a MINI prototype with one exhaust pipe it has a three cylinder engine. If it has two in the center, it’s a MCS or JCW with a four.
So what about the 3 cylinders, what should we expect? Read on for the details. continued →
Jun 29th, 2012
Big news out of Munich today as BMW announces a deeper strategic partnership with Toyota. Specifically, this strategic partnership will focus on four major areas:
- Fuel Cell Systems
- A “future sports vehicle” platform
- Powertrain electrification
- Lightweight materials and manufacturing
While these areas of focus could have a wide range of applications throughout BMW Group, they could also point to one particular exciting possibility for MINI fans: a production version of the MINI Rocketman concept. We’ve been hearing rumblings from sources for awhile that, in order for MINI to profitably build the Rocketman they’ll need a partner. It’s possible that this Toyota/BMW partnership could include BMW collaborating heavily with Toyota on the next generation platform for the Toyota iQ. This platform could then underpin a production version of what we now know as the MINI Rocketman — a car that would deliver a MINI in nearly its classic footprint.
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