Nov 18th, 2013
Good news for Android users. With the launch of the F56, MINI has finally integrated Android support into its MINI Connected infotainment system. On the F56, the MINI Connected option will be available in conjunction with the “Visual Boost Radio” and the MINI navigation system.
Jul 31st, 2013
Since the advent of the iPhone 5, MINI owners with MINI Connected have had one consistent question for us here at MotoringFile: when will MINI update the center armrest dock to fit the taller iPhone 5? Well we finally have an answer. We’d heard unofficially that “late summer” would see a new dock adapter available for the MINI. We’ve now received confirmation that the planned release date is in late August of this year. Your local MINI dealer parts desk should be able to order in the parts even now. Let us know how your install goes.
Jun 3rd, 2013
[UPDATE: We've received official confirmation from MINI USA that the Cooper ALL4 version of the Paceman and Countryman will not be coming to the US Market at present.]
Previously, MINI’s exceptional all-wheel-drive system, ALL4, has only been available as an option on the Cooper S, and (where available) diesel versions of the Countryman and Paceman. It comes standard on the JCW version of both cars. That’s changing, however. Starting in July, the Cooper versions of both the Countryman and the Paceman will also be available with optional ALL4, extending this popular option to a new place in the model range. On the one hand, this provides a more affordable, more fuel-efficient AWD option in the MINI lineup — maximizing traction for people who feel the need for extra grip.
Apr 1st, 2013
April 1st 2013, Munich. Official Release: Now for something a little more romantic. The latest version of the MINI Connected App is playing cupid to make MINI fans’ dreams of finding the perfect partner come true. Connect Us is like nothing else out there on planet dating – and can only be used in a MINI. This is not just the world’s speediest dating service, it is also the most reliable. Here, at last, is a matchmaker that goes beyond personal interests, favourite activities and how you like to spend your free time – and gets down to the nitty-gritty: driving style. Connect Us compares how drivers like to treat their accelerator, steering wheel and brakes (as deduced by the MINI Driving Excitement Analyser) in the search for a compatible co-driver on the journey of love. Only if it detects a meeting of minds on the matter of driving fun will the app oil the wheels of romance between MINI fans. The Driving Excitement Analyser function of the MINI Connected App has been available for several weeks as a free download from the Apple App Store. But make sure you don’t take your eyes off the road just when things are getting interesting; the Connect Us, ahem, “update” can be downloaded on one day only: 1 April 2013. continued →
Mar 4th, 2013
The MINI Connected system is old news to MINI fans and MotoringFile readers, but for the tech world at large, people are just starting to realize what MINI is up to in this regard. Criticism abound, like they do for any tech system, but at its foundation MINI Connected is a particularly innovative system in the automotive infotainment world. Specifically, that it’s scalable and extensible with new apps and updates delivered right through your iPhone. Has MINI gotten every detail right? Of course not, but the fact that the system can be updated in a matter of months, rather than years, is a huge leap forward in automotive tech.
Online tech magazine Engadget was on hand for the Paceman launch a few weeks ago, but in their review they chose to focus on the technological aspects of MINI’s new two door:
Mar 1st, 2013
Official News from MINI: MINI provides the perfect stage for show-stealing driving fun, but it is down to the driver to deliver the perfect performance. And now the Driving Excitement Analyser from MINI Connected is on hand to highlight just how skilfully and safely drivers are exploiting the potential of their new MINI. This innovative and globally unique function assesses how safely drivers can accelerate and steer the car, and how well planned their gear changes and braking can be. The results are displayed on the onboard monitor, with Experience Points (XP) awarded for sporty but safe driving. The Driving Excitement Analyser is another addition to the existing Driving Excitement suite of features and therefore included in the MINI Connected App update, which drivers can access in their MINI via their iPhone. The free update will be available from March 2013 from the Apple App Store and can be uploaded into the car via an iPhone.
Dec 19th, 2012
[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.
Original story after the jump. continued →