Official Release: Youth may be wasted on the young, but the charms of the new MINI Hatch won’t be. MINI has further strengthened its relationship with MotorSport Vision by supplying 11 new MINI Cooper D Hatch models for its YoungDrive! programme.
The YoungDrive! scheme offers children as young as 11 years old (and a minimum of 4 feet 8 inches tall) the chance to have their first taste of motoring. It’s intended to allow eager pre-teens the opportunity to experience driving in a safe and controlled environment.
The test is more difficult than either the head-on crashes conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the IIHS moderate overlap test. In the small overlap test, the main structures of the vehicle’s front-end crush zone are bypassed, making it hard for the vehicle to manage crash energy. The occupant compartment can collapse as a result.
Read on for the full details and to see it all go down on video. continued →
Distracted driving is one of the most significant safety issues facing modern drivers today. From taking phone calls, to texting, to browsing the web, doing other things while we drive is a constant hazard to those around us. Yet forgetting about the morality of being a safe driver, think of all the damage you’d do to your favorite MINI if you’re not paying attention.
Apparently, there’s a significant issue in Mexico of women applying makeup while they drive and getting into accidents. So the clever kids over at MINI Mexico decided to put together an environmental campaign targeting that particular group. No one wants an airbag going off in their face while they put on makeup, now do they?
[UPDATE] We’ve reached out to our sources at MINI and received clarification on BMW’s announcement last week concerning what appeared to be an update to the ALL4 system. We reported on BMW’s description of the system sending 100% of the power to the rear wheels. However, we also expressed skepticism that perhaps this was an example of MINI and BMW having trouble consistently communicating the details of this system. Our sources are telling us that in actual fact, it’s a little of both.
So let’s clear this up. The ALL4 system can split power 50/50 between the front and rear wheels. It can also put 100% of power to the front wheels. In the case of no traction to the front wheels, it can send all of its available power to the rear wheels, but MINI is saying explicitly that this is still only 50% of the car’s total power. So what BMW described is, in a sense, correct (in that the car will be RWD for that instant); but the chosen language did not account for this nuance.
Descriptions notwithstanding, MINI has also confirmed explicitly that the ALL4 system has not changed for 2013. It’s the same system the Countryman shipped with in 2010. I repeat, it has not been updated. This post, on the other hand, now has.
Safety is of huge importance in automobiles, there is no arguing that. Over the past few decades, the work of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has held auto manufacturers to a higher standard for protecting occupants in a crash situation. The caveat to all this increased safety is additional weight and technology infiltrating cars. The fact is safety sells, and cars that can tout being a “Top Pick” usually see the benefit in increased sales so car companies are building to these tests. Today, the IIHS introduced the world to its first additional test since its original offset test, the small overlap frontal test. What is the test and how is it relevant to MINI? Read on.
The Detroit News is reporting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the ’07-’08 R56 Cooper S after 12 complaints were filed, including five vehicle fires. At this point we can only speculate as to the cause of these incidents (as to whether or not they’re turbo-related), but it’s important to keep in mind that we’re talking about five cars in approximately 36,000 vehicles, with no injuries or crashes reported. So we’re pretty sure it’s safe to go ahead and drive your Cooper S to the office this morning. While only preliminary at this point, we’ll keep you posted on any findings this investigation turns up. Full story excerpt after the break. continued →
The MINI Countryman just knocked it out of the park with a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This is the highest score a car can get. Here’s a direct quote from the IIHS’ site:
The Mini Cooper Countryman, a 4-door small car, earns the Institute’s top safety accolade after achieving good ratings for front, side, rollover, and rear impact protection. It is the first Mini to win, and the second model from BMW to achieve top results since the Institute tightened the criteria to include good performance for roof strength in rollover crashes [the other is the 2011 BMW 5 series]. The roof of the Countryman withstood a force equal to nearly 5 times the car’s weight. By comparison, the current federal standard is 1.5 times weight. continued →
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