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Friday, 30 May 2014


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Thursday, 29 May 2014

MINI Cooper Vertigo-Director's Cut

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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

MINI Delays Production of the JCW Exterior Pack

This just in from MINI USA. We’ve got news that the JCW Exterior Package will be delayed. Originally scheduled to be part of the various production changes scheduled for July 2014, the exterior package is set to include wheels, badging and most importantly the JCW aero-kit.

MINI is now telling us to expect production to begin in November. Interestingly MINI’s original plan was to release the full JCW model via the internet in December, publicly debut it January and start production in March. There’s no word on whether that will also be delayed.
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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

MINI Superleggera Vision retro concept car revealed

MINI has unveiled the Superleggera Vision at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como. This sports car concept was produced in conjunction with Italian coachbuilders, Touring Superleggera, and adds weight to our exclusive story that MINI is planning to ditch the Coupe and Roadster models in favour of a sports car with unique styling.
The Superleggera clearly features a design inspired by the latest MINI hatch, including the LED-ringed headlights, gaping grille and short overhangs. Even the bonnet stripes are present and accounted for – though here they’re subtly embossed in to the metal, flowing in to polished aluminium on the nose.
But there are plenty of sports car flourishes to distinguish this as a model that’s separate from the rest of the MINI line-up, such as the raked windscreen, the low-slung body and the flowing ‘Touring’ line that runs from ahead of the front wheels all the way to the rears. The body was handcrafted from sheets of aluminium by stylists at Touring Superleggera, allowing for crisp lines that MINI says would be virtually impossible using machines.
At the rear, the elegant fin is a sports car throwback, while the Union Jack-inspired rear lights have the air of classic MINI quirkiness about them. Despite the retro styling cues the side sills and rear diffuser are built from the same hi-tech carbon fibre-reinforced plastic used in BMW’s all-electric and hybrid i3 and i8 models.

There’s a definite link to those futuristic BMWs, too, thanks to the Superleggera’s all-electric powertrain. MINI has already experimented with battery power, in the MINI E prototype and its return in this concept reveals it’s still on the table for future models. The UKL1 platform that will underpin all members of the MINI family can definitely take plug-in hybrid technology and MINI believes that all-electric tech is also a great fit for the brand.
MINI bosses have previously told Auto Express that there are between eight and ten potential members of the MINI family. That’s the three and five-door hatches, the Convertible, the two SUVs and the Clubman plus up to four more. The sports car – available as a soft-top and a hardtop – is expected to account for two of them as it replaces the slow-selling Coupe and Roadster models. A MINI insider told Auto Express: “If we are only going to sell 15,000 a year of a certain model, we should make more of an effort to ensure it jumps off the road as something different, but still identifiably a MINI.”
As for what will complete the rest of the MINI line-up, a saloon for China is possible along with a practical MPV-style model.
We’re expecting the new sports car to be introduced in late 2015, where it will be looking to take on models like the new Mazda MX-5. Engines will be borrowed from the standard MINI line-up, with the 189bhp 2.0-litre turbo from the Cooper S almost certain to feature. Three-cylinder petrols and diesels could also be offered, along with a flagship JCW variant boasting around 220bhp.

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MINI tops list of brands with best residual car values

MINIs are the best cars at holding on to their value, while models made by Chrysler are the worst, Auto Express can exclusively reveal.
Figures analysed by pricing expert Glass’s found cars from Chrysler dropped an average 26.6 per cent every year. They were closely followed by those from another US maker, Chevrolet, with an annual depreciation figure of just 26.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, MINI models lost just 16.4 per cent of their average value annually. In second place was Land Rover, which saw its models fall in value by an average of just 17 per cent per year.
To ensure the values were truly comparable, Glass’s analysed each model at four “milestone” ages (one, three, five and seven years). MINI – which sells cars in a class with traditionally strong residuals – was helped by its desirable image. A strong brand also aided Land Rovers’ resistance to depreciation, as did the increasing refinement of luxury off-roaders in general, plus improved fuel efficiency.
Glass’s blamed the poor performance by the US manufacturers on a number of things, including their public perception. It put Chrysler’s poor peformance down to a disjointed model line-up, containing a mixture of large, inefficient saloons and smaller cars, such as the Ypsilon, that haven’t sold well.
At the supermini and hatchback ends of the market, Glass’s found that Volkswagen was the best performing manufacturer. Its Polo and Golf were found to have lost just 16.3 and 17.8 per cent of their values respectively each year. Despite its desirable name, Jaguar placed in the bottom 10.

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Thursday, 2 January 2014

2014 MINI Cooper

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Bigger and better: BMW reveals all-new Mini

The 2014 Mini has been revealed and is the most high-tech incarnation yet

The all-new Mini has been unveiled on what would have been the 107th birthday of Sir Alec Issigonis, creator of the original Mini. The latest Mini is based on an all-new platform, adopts a range of new technology and, like the current car, will be built at Mini’s Oxford factory. It will go on sale in spring 2014.
At 385cm long, the new Mini is 10cm longer than the current car, and 77cm longer than the original Mini. It’s also 4cm wider and 7mm taller than the existing Mini.

The Mini has an all-new body, but retains many of the design cues of the current car, including large round headlights, contrasting roof colour, hexagonal front grille and upright rear lights. The sides are more sculpted, however, and there’s a wider tailgate and more tapered side window line.
Five new exterior colours are available and roof rails will be offered as an option for the first time on BMW’s Mini.

Mini claims that the car’s increased dimensions make it much more practical. As well as its increased overall size, the wheelbase is 28mm longer than the current car’s, while the front seat bases are also 23mm longer for improved comfort. Boot space has increased by more than 30 per cent to 211 litres.

The all-new interior includes the latest interpretation of Mini’s familiar large central speedo and information display. There are also circular dials behind the steering wheel, while higher-spec cars gain new “controller” devices on the centre console to operate the satnav and entertainment systems.

At launch three models will be available. The Cooper is powered by a new 134bhp three-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine that replaces the current model’s four-cylinder unit. The Cooper S has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops 189bhp, while the Cooper D has a three-cylinder turbodiesel engine that develops 114bhp.

All versions have a six-speed manual gearbox as standard; a six-speed automatic gearbox is an option for all three. Fuel economy has improved and CO2 emissions have been reduced; EU fuel economy for the Cooper rises from 52.3mpg to 62.8mpg, while CO2 emissions drop from 127g/km to 105g/km.

CO2 emissions for the Cooper S have dropped from 136g/km to 133g/km, while EU Combined fuel consumption for the Cooper D has risen from 74.3mpg to 80.7mpg and CO2 emissions have dropped from 99g/km to 92g/km.
Mini says the car’s new suspension system is aimed at “intensifying the Mini’s handling responses”; Variable Damper Control is a new option that allows the driver to choose between suspension settings biased towards either comfort or sportiness.

New features available for the car include a head-up display, a Driving Assistant option that uses car-mounted cameras to control the distance to the car in front and warn of an imminent collision, a rear-view parking camera and a self-parking function.
Prices start at £15,300 for the Mini Cooper, a 2.61 (£400) per cent increase over the current model. Cheaper models are expected to be introduced later in 2014. A Cooper S Works high-performance model is also likely to join the range.
Mini is also expected to expand the new Mini family. Spy shots suggest that a five-door version of the hatchback is due, along with a longer estate version that will replace the Clubman.

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