It looks like it’s press release day at MINI USA. Here’s the official release on the news we reported earlier in the week about MINI being named an “Allstar” by Automobile Magazine:

>The editors of Automobile Magazine have bestowed the MINI Cooper with honors as an Automobile Magazine All-Stars winner in the January 2006 issue. This award makes it the third time MINI has won a spot on the prestigious All-Stars list in the last four years.

>Automobile Magazine awards its All-Stars following a week-long test drive of the most innovative and important cars, taking into account criteria that includes excellent value and performance exceptional design and pure driving enjoyment. After the 1000-mile road trip, the award winners are not determined through an instrumented test process, but by a round-table discussion that results in a vote for the winners.

>”The automotive industry this year has continued to raise the bar with new designs, new vehicles, and simply more surprises,” said Jean Jennings, editor-in-chief of Automobile Magazine. “This year we went back to basics and chose vehicles that were simply the best, no categories to take into account or pricing or even points–the goal this year was to assemble the perfect fleet.”

>The editors commented that the MINI Cooper performs like an exotic sports car while masquerading as sensible transportation. They praised the car’s modest pricing, impressive fuel economy along with its ‘aggressive style’ and above all a package that delivers a sports car experience. The editors said, “This is a compact, lightweight package and it darts into corners without hesitation, the signature of sports car performance.”

>”We are thrilled that MINI has achieved such recognition with a group of experts who know and appreciate great driving cars.” said Jim McDowell, Vice President of MINI USA. “This award not only highlights MINI’s ideal blend of performance style and value, but also underscores how much fun one can really have behind the wheel of a MINI.”