Oct 7th, 2014
By next summer three of MINI’s then eight models will have four doors. And if the Countryman’s success is anything to go by, its this segment that will be critical to the brand’s success in the years ahead. And there in lies the problem. The brand was built on unconventional. A finger in the air aimed at authority, the brand has been built on thinking differently and making less do more. And yet MINI is becoming quite established with utility vehicles, all wheel drive and an increasing size across every product. We applaud the success of the brand and understand the importance of financial viability, but there is something missing in all of this. You know it, we know it and by some accounts MINI knows it as well. It’s called the Rocketman. And we at MotoringFile want it built.
Sep 30th, 2014
The MINI Countryman has been a massive success for the brand. However MINI is determined to maximize both it’s utility and performance in its second generation. The F60 Countryman will grow in size, seats and utility with a larger chassis to be shared with the 2017 BMW X1. Click through for all the details.
Sep 27th, 2014
Over the past 12 months the Paceman has moved from dead in the water to firmly part of MINI’s future plans. However MINI intends to make a key change to the car in help ensure more success – four doors. The F61 Paceman will be based on an extended UKL platform that will be shared with the Countryman, BMW X1 and (crucially) the BMW X2. What’s the X2? For lack of a better term it’s BMW’s version of a crossover coupe and key reason that the Paceman will continue into its second generation. continued →
Sep 17th, 2014
Over the past five years there’s been plenty of speculation on these pages and others about what MINI would be replacing it’s long in the tooth six speed Aisin automatic transmission. The transmission, first seen in the R53 in 2004 has been a work horse for MINI ultimately finding its way (in revised spec) in the new F56. While improvements have made the unit (enough to even find it in BMW’s halo i8 sports car) six speeds doesn’t cut it in terms of performance or efficiency anymore. Enter BMW’s answer: the Aisin 8 speed AWF8F35. continued →
Sep 16th, 2014
Much has been written on the Rocketman on these pages. Earlier this year our sources had told us that the car was undergoing feasibility studies with an eye to bring it to market on the back of a Toyota platform. Ever since MINI Design head Gert Hildebrand and Exterior Design head Marcus Syring dreamt up the idea of the Rocketman while waiting for a delayed flight at a New York airport, there’s been a powerful movement within the company to get it built. While the initial design study was seen as a major success, it died on the vine due to BMW not wanting to invest in a city car version of the forthcoming UKL platform. More specifically BMW didn’t believe the sales volume would ever make up the initial investment unless they sold the car for the same price as the F56 – which to many would be unacceptable.
But lucky for us that didn’t stop the enthusiasm inside MINI for making a city car. And now we have our first promising public quote from MINI Design Chief Anders Warming on the topic. continued →
Sep 6th, 2014
Apples to oranges for sure but it’s worth noting that BMW i3 sales are picking up steam. Enough as it were to outsell the venerable Model S by 70% last month. In fact the i3 moved into the second spot in terms of electric vehicle sales in the US in total. As capacity and perhaps even incentives increase, it’ll be interesting to see where sales go. All good but what does this early success mean for the chances of a fully electric MINI?
Aug 18th, 2014
The next generation Clubman and Countryman are due in 2015 and 2017 respectively, will represent major milestones for the brand. Designed to right the wrongs of previous larger MINIs, they will address concerns ranging from design to performance. Unlike the previous versions of these cars, MINI won’t be tackling these problems alone.