We’ve given you the news from MINI, the photos of the show and even our impressions. Now let’s turn to the MINI press conference itself hosted by BMW board member Ian Robertson.

Official Release: “Bonjour et bienvenue chez MINI! Can you believe it was two years ago that we introduced the MINI Countryman right here in Geneva? It began as an idea to give fans even more MINI and the Countryman turned into a global sensation.

Switzerland, of course, is no exception to this success. The Countryman’s 4 wheel-drive craves those mountain-road hairpin turns en route to the next winter adventure. And for many of us, nothing says winter adventure like snowboarding. It’s all about creativity, individuality, and freedom of expression, making Burton Snowboards and MINI a natural fit.

This year, MINI continued as a partner of the Burton European Open snowboarding competition, which wrapped up just a few days ago. Mother Nature brought the snow. MINI brought the fun. And the world-class snowboarders at the Swiss resort of Laax brought it all together.

Even though there’s snow on the mountains, you know MINI keeps warm by cooking up new and clever ideas for our fans. What have we been up to?
Here for their world premiere are three design models, inspired by MINI’s UK roots: just behind you are the

– MINI Baker Street,
– MINI Bayswater, and
– MINI Convertible Highgate.

All three models are named after famous areas of London. Since the BMW Group is the official mobility partner of the London 2012 Games, they’re right on time for the action.

Of course, being on time is important. But just as important is making sure all of your gear arrives with you. For those with a lot to move about, MINI has an answer. Making its world premiere: the MINI Clubvan Concept. It has two seats; two compartments; and it’s twice as much fun as any transport vehicle out there!

For business or leisure, the Clubvan Concept is the world’s first transport vehicle based on a premium small car. And the Clubvan is quintessential MINI. It’s fresh. It’s unique. And its roots are deeply connected to the brand’s heritage: from the original to the original.
Inspiration for the Clubvan comes from the 1960 Morris Mini Van. The idea behind the Morris Mini Van was simple. Offer people running a business all the benefits of a Classic Mini with increased functionality and storage space. Holding true to its roots, the MINI Clubvan Concept was also designed with day-to-day usability in mind.

The Clubvan builds on the functionality of the original, adding MINI’s premium character and individuality to the mix. And I’m thrilled to announce, for the first time, the MINI Clubvan will go into series production. We’ll launch the Clubvan in the second half of this year.

There’s boundless creativity at MINI, putting unique cars like the Clubvan on the road. Because of this, we currently offer fans over 40 variants. And these MINIs have carried last year’s record success into 2012.

We’ll announce our February sales results tomorrow. But I can tell you that MINI had double-digit, worldwide growth in February. MINI is keeping the pedal to the metal, ready to make 2012 another record-breaking year. But this isn’t surprising. After all, MINI is the premium small car brand that keeps setting the pace right across the globe.

And when it comes to pace, MINI is always ready to run. MINI’s deep roots in motorsports go back over half a century to the Classic Mini Cooper. That car was named, of course, after John Cooper, the legendary racing engineer who brought it to life. Ever since, John Cooper’s name has been synonymous with excitement, performance, and extreme driving fun.

And the latest additions to the MINI John Cooper Works Family of high performance cars carry this heritage forward. Who are the newest members of this brawny club?

First up, the MINI John Cooper Works Coupe. John Cooper Works takes the Coupe’s untamed driving excitement one step further. Joining in on the action, of course, is the MINI John Cooper Works Roadster.

The Roadster was already the easiest way to enjoy open driving on the open road. As the John Cooper Works model, the Roadster is more irresistible than ever. Both of these MINIs are itching to bury the needle with 211 horsepower apiece.

Rounding out this trio, making its world premiere: the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman!

The Countryman with ALL4 is the first ever John Cooper Works model with all-wheel drive. It’s also the first to offer an automatic gearbox. Coming as standard, it has a new 4-cylinder engine with twin-scroll turbocharger and 1.6-litre displacement.

All of these numbers add up to 218 horsepower and 300 Newton metres of torque with overboost. This will launch you from standstill to 100 kilometres an hour in 7 seconds flat.

You can feel the pure power for yourself starting this autumn when the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman will be available worldwide. Now, ladies and gentlemen, please join me and take a closer look at the newest additions to the MINI Family.

Merci and thank you!”

[Source: MINI]