Mini Superleggera patent renderings suggest production prospects
Filed under: Convertible, Mini, Design/Style
Mini impressed us all when it revealed the Superleggera Vision concept at the Paris Motor Show a couple of months ago. But even before the little roadster concept debuted, there were already rumors of its production potential. And those rumors are only being further entrenched by the emergence of a series of patent renderings.
Bearing much more than a passing resemblance to the concept, these images show what could be a revised, production version of the Superleggera, though not without its concessions to reality. For one thing, it looks like it's got a proper framed windshield, but it's hard to tell with the roof in place - something we never saw on the concept, either. It's also got more substantial wing mirrors, but the fin on the rear deck is still there, as are the extractor vents on the hood. We also note that the grille openings are the same shape as the concept's.
Of course, the emergence of these images and their filing with the relevant authorities doesn't necessarily mean that Mini is moving ahead with the roadster's production. But if it did, it would likely ditch the concept's electric powertrain, and could stand to fill the void left by the discontinuation of the maligned, outgoing Mini Roadster that was essentially a scrunched Cabriolet with a cowling where the rear seats and stacked roof would be. Parent company BMW is likely taking into account that its rival Daimler didn't have much luck when it slotted a unique roadster of its own into the Smart lineup, so here's hoping that if it does give the Superleggera the green light, it'll have more success in the marketplace.
Continue reading Mini Superleggera patent renderings suggest production prospects
Mini Superleggera patent renderings suggest production prospects originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 11 Dec 2014 15:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mini JCW arrives suitably early thanks to Aussie leak [UPDATE]
Filed under: Detroit Auto Show, Performance, Hatchback, Mini
UPDATE: Mini has released official photos and details of the new John Cooper Works, which we've added above and below, respectively.
Mini is set to reveal its most powerful model yet in the new John Cooper Works hot hatch, but before the Anglo-Saxon automaker has gotten the chance, the first images and details have leaked out, courtesy of CarAdvice.com.au.
According to the Australian website, the new JCW packs a 2.0-liter turbo four with 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque - outstripping even the previous John Cooper Works GP hot hatch, which produced 211 hp and 207 lb-ft. That's said to be good for a 0-62 time of 6.1 seconds.
Of course there's more to the new JCW than engine output, and the latest Mini hot hatch - previewed in concept form almost a year ago at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show and spied undergoing testing mere weeks ago - also packs an upgraded version of the suspension in the Cooper S, with optional adaptive dampers, Brembo brakes, upgraded rolling stock and an electronic differential.
A full aero kit sets it apart visually, keep the greasy bits cool and the nimble little pocket rocket glued to the tarmac, while the cockpit has also appears to have been made over to provide a suitable environment from which to unleash the new JCW's performance potential.
With these details and images spreading like wildfire across the interwebs, we'd imagine it's only a matter of time before Mini releases the full monte itself, so watch this space for more.
Continue reading Mini JCW arrives suitably early thanks to Aussie leak [UPDATE]
Mini JCW arrives suitably early thanks to Aussie leak [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 10 Dec 2014 10:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mini phasing out Coupe, Roadster next year
Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Mini
With its previous generation, Mini went for a maximalist strategy, expanding its lineup to include seven derivatives. But with the new generation, BMW's retro Anglo-Saxon brand is shifting gears to a "superhero strategy" focusing on core models with volume sales potential rather than small niches.
That, according to the latest reports, will spell the end of the Coupe and Roadster models introduced in the outgoing generation. Speaking with AutoGuide at the LA Auto Show last week, Mini USA product planning chief Patrick McKenna confirmed that both the two-seat models "will actually go out of production next year" and that "they've run their life cycle."
Though we've yet to receive word on the future of the Paceman, we wouldn't hold our breath for its long-term prospects either. Under the new strategy, Mini is expected to focus more on models like the base Hardtop (now available with three or five doors) and the Countryman - which, between the two of them, account for roughly 75 percent of Mini sales, the other models slicing up the remaining quarter of the pie.
Will you miss them? Will these short-lived Minis become future collectibles, or will they be soon forgotten? Have your say in Comments.
Mini phasing out Coupe, Roadster next year originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Nov 2014 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Watch this Chinese stunt driver parallel park with only 3 inches to spare
Filed under: China, Hatchback, Mini, Videos
Whenever this writer thinks of fancy parking jobs, we go straight to Buddy Love singing Strokin' in a red Dodge Viper he slides into a tiny space in The Nutty Professor. But after watching the video above, we might have to start thinking about Han Yue, who broke the world record for getting into the tightest parallel parking space. The previous record was set in July 2013 by Alastair Moffatt, who had 3.4 inches to spare between his car and those around. Yue used a Mini Cooper at the China Drift Championship in Chongqing, China, to shrink that gap to 3.15 inches.
That gave Yue two world records at the same event: the day before, he used a BMW M4 to set the world record for doing the most donuts around a car driving on two wheels. Which, frankly, we didn't even know was a competitive thing...
Continue reading Watch this Chinese stunt driver parallel park with only 3 inches to spare
Watch this Chinese stunt driver parallel park with only 3 inches to spare originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 23 Nov 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mini forgets to bring car to LA, shows Citysurfer concept scooter
Filed under: LA Auto Show, Mini, Motorcycle, Electric
See that red thing? It's the Mini Citysurfer Concept. It is not, in case you were wondering, an automobile. Yet despite this apparent shortcoming, Mini has placed it on a plinth at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.
The electric scooter weighs in at 40 pounds, can hit 15 miles per hour, cover 10 to 15 miles and can be folded up and charged in the trunk of a Mini Cooper (or any other vehicle with a 12-volt outlet and a roomy enough cargo area). According to the British marque, these qualities will give the scooter's owner the "spontaneous and convenient mobility even in those sections of an urban area not accessible to motorized vehicles."
It's not terribly difficult to see the appeal, as Mini explains it. With urban congestion becoming an increasingly serious problem - and some cities beginning to ban cars outright - the idea of an easy to charge and easy to stow runabout is extremely attractive. That's doubly true in the case of the Citysurfer, which is rather well equipped, as far as scooters go.
It rides on pneumatic tires with a disc brake on each end, while the vital electrical bits are protected from dirt and rain by the scooter's trim. In terms of rider comfort, the Citysurfer features a height-adjustable steering shaft and smartphone holder, so riders can navigate over the last mile of the trip.
Take a look below for the official press release on the Citysurfer Concept from Mini, and then head into Comments if you'd be interested in this sort of solution for urban driving.
Continue reading Mini forgets to bring car to LA, shows Citysurfer concept scooter
Mini forgets to bring car to LA, shows Citysurfer concept scooter originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mini John Cooper Works gets ready to rumble
Filed under: Detroit Auto Show, Performance, Hatchback, Mini, Spy Photos
Mini gave us our first taste of its next-generation John Cooper Works Hardtop in concept form at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. And in fact, we already know that the production version will make its debut at the 2015 Detroit show in January. Fitting, then, that this most recent round of spy shots shows a JCW that's pretty much ready to roll - peel back that yellow swirly paper, and you've pretty much got the final deal.
It's easy to make out the final design for the revised front and rear fascias, and we can clearly see a more robust brake package nestled behind those alloy wheels. Speaking of, we must admit, the wheels here look rather pedestrian for a JCW model, but they could just be prototype rollers and not indicative of the final rolling stock. We expect the flashy red decals of the concept to be offered on the production model, as well, though they could be optional kit.
As reported earlier, power is expected to come from a 230-horsepower turbo-four - a modest increase over the 208 hp from the outgoing Mini JCW. Expect that to route through a six-speed manual transmission, sending turbocharged oomph to the front wheels.
We'll know more when the final product is revealed in Detroit.
Mini John Cooper Works gets ready to rumble originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 14 Nov 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mini battling sales slump again, is it becoming cliché?
Filed under: Car Buying, Marketing/Advertising, Hatchback, Mini, Earnings/Financials
Things aren't looking good for Mini this year. The diminutive BMW brand has shown falling sales every month in 2014 in our By the Numbers wrap-ups. If that weren't bad enough, the latest Cooper Hardtop suffered fuel economy issues upon arriving to the US. First, there was a delay getting some versions certified, and then several models had to have their miles-per-gallon ratings revised.
According to Automotive News, the brand's sales are down about 20 percent for the year through October, despite hitting a record 66,502 vehicles in the US for 2013. For their part, Mini execs attribute much of that drop due to constricted supply. However, with the new-generation three-door Cooper finally on sale and the five-door coming at the end of the year, there might be room to bounce back some in the final months of 2014. "We are starting to claw back our way a little bit. It will be an uphill battle," said David Duncan, vice president of Mini of the Americas, to Automotive News. "We will not get back to where we would be even year over year. It should be a lower decrease than it is so far."
AutoTrader Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs reminds Autoblog that external factors aren't helping the brand's sales either. For one, there's "a direct correlation exists between falling gas prices and lower small car sales," she said, and the average price per gallon is now $2.94, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Also, the booming popularity of small crossovers is eating into the compact car market. Mini has its Countryman model, but the trend could be hurting the rest of its lineup. "Mini was fresh, new, unique and stylish, but fashions change and fashion-conscious buyers are fickle. They move on to the next thing," Krebs said.
In the future, Mini might be a little less quirky to gain mainstream appeal. Slow-selling niche models like the Coupe and Roadster might not get new versions on BMW's latest front-wheel drive platform. Also, according to Duncan, the company is retooling its marketing budget for a greater focus on TV advertising in 2015. Any sales boost in next year is undoubtedly welcome after such disappointing results for 2014.
Continue reading Mini battling sales slump again, is it becoming cliché?
Mini battling sales slump again, is it becoming cliché? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 11 Nov 2014 17:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Five awesome Lego car creations [UPDATE]
Filed under: Performance, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Mini, Ferrari, Toys/Games, Design/Style
Update: Check out our reader submission at the end.
Lego cars are among our favorite toys. They're fun for play, and if built properly, great to display. With that in mind, we've crafted a list of some of the best creations we've seen. Some are on sale now, while others are merely the work of fanciful enthusiasts. There are even a couple that you definitely cannot buy (we'll explain).
Our choices are diverse, including everything from a diminutive 1969 Chevy Corvette to a fullsize Ferrari Formula One racecar. These are just five projects that caught our eye - there are many more out there - so if you don't see your favorite Lego car on the list (or if you have your own creation), please tell us about it, in Comments.
Continue reading Five awesome Lego car creations [UPDATE]
Five awesome Lego car creations [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
New Mini Cooper only just now being delivered due to EPA certification
Filed under: Government/Legal, Hatchback, Mini
The Mini brand and its products have typically been a runaway success for BMW, but sales of the retro hatchback dropped a drastic 20.5 percent last month, and have been doing such pretty much all year.
The reason, according to Jalopnik, is that the new model has been held up due to EPA certification. Mini told our compatriots, "Sales have dropped because our supply has been so limited. MY 2015 Mini Hardtops have also not been able to go on sale pending the final results of federal fuel economy certification."
Mini goes on to clarify that "as of October 1st, three out of the four 2015 Mini Hardtop 2 door models, the Cooper with manual transmission, the Cooper with automatic transmission, and the Cooper S with manual transmission, have been released for retail sales and deliveries."
So there you have it. Mini sales slumped because, while the new Cooper hardtop launched last year, it wasn't actually ready for sale in the US until a few days ago. In the meantime, supply of the old model was evidently constricted while the Anglo-Saxon automaker geared up for the new model. Now that it's arrived, we can expect sales to return or even exceed their previous levels... or so Mini hopes.
New Mini Cooper only just now being delivered due to EPA certification originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 06 Oct 2014 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mini Superleggera Vision Concept keeps us hangin' on [w/video]
Filed under: Concept Cars, Convertible, Performance, Paris Motor Show, Mini, Design/Style, Electric
Mini's Superleggera Vision Concept may not be a Paris Motor Show debut, but this is the first time we've seen this stunning all-electric roadster in the metal, having been first shown on the tony shores of Lake Como at Villa D'Este in May. While it's small in stature, it's still big on both presence and detail, from its overall stubby yet sleek proportions to its Union Jack taillamps, Jaguar-esque rear fin and elegant rearview mirrors.
We still don't know much more about what powers this Touring Superleggera coachbuilt showcar, as any powertrain specifics are conspicuous by their absence, but we'd welcome both a pure electric version and something powered by the BMW/Mini turbocharged three-cylinder currently making the rounds in the new Mini Cooper.
Last we heard in September, any decisions on a production future for the Superleggera Vision have been tabled, with word being that a further six months of study is planned before Mini decides to greenlight or nix the project. We'd love to tell you that the fact that it's here in Paris is a great sign, but we wouldn't believe us, either.
Continue reading Mini Superleggera Vision Concept keeps us hangin' on [w/video]
Mini Superleggera Vision Concept keeps us hangin' on [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 03 Oct 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
2015 Mini Hardtop 5-Door isn't for the country, man [w/video]
Filed under: Paris Motor Show, Hatchback, Mini
We've seen it in super high-res glory, and we can even build one on the automaker's website, but the Paris Motor Show marks the official coming out party for the new Mini Hardtop 4 Door (which is what it's called in the US, despite this Euro car having "5 Door" badging). It's a stretched version of the third-generation Mini Hardtop, but with an extra set of doors for rear seat passengers. Think of it as a more useful Clubman, but with a lower ride height and less rugged-ness than the Countryman. Got it? Good.
Engine options carry over from the normal Mini Hardtop range, with a 1.5-liter turbo-three and a 2.0-liter turbo-four offering 134 and 189 horsepower, respectively. The rest of the car is everything else you know and love from the Mini range, just with a more spacious rear bench. And as you'd expect, there's a nearly endless pallet of customization options.
The Hardtop 4 Door arrives at US dealerships just before the end of the year, commanding a roughly $1,000 premium over its three-door kin. Scope out our new live shots in the gallery above, and take in the extensive press blast, below.
Continue reading 2015 Mini Hardtop 5-Door isn't for the country, man [w/video]
2015 Mini Hardtop 5-Door isn't for the country, man [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Oct 2014 08:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mini Rocketman back on the table, might go aluminum
Filed under: Concept Cars, Hatchback, Mini, Design/Style
Mini just doesn't want its Rocketman concept to die. It unveiled the truly mini model at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, and since then, there have been countless on-again, off-again rumors about the possibility of it going into production. If the latest talk proves true, a smaller vehicle like the Rocketman might make it into the automaker's lineup after all, as competitor to other stylish city cars like the Smart ForTwo.
According to the company's head of design, Anders Warming, speaking to Auto Express, Mini likes the idea of having a smaller model in its lineup, but it has to figure out a way of actually making it work. Warming is clear that the next iteration of the Rocketman concept (or whatever it's called then) won't be seen until a design is ready.
There are still plenty of challenges keeping a production Rocketman off of the city streets of the world, and chief among them continues to be finding a platform. But Mini is at least considering it. "At the moment, we don't have the right tech solutions, but we are working on it. We don't yet have a final solution, you could say," said Warming to Auto Express. He also thinks the final version would drop the concept's carbon fiber in favor of more aluminum components.
The other key is getting the interior just right, and Warming's plan is to keep things simple. "Driving in the city is stressful enough, so we need a reduction in the number of elements," he said to Auto Express.
If Mini can jump these hurdles, then a city car like the Rocketman might make sense in the lineup. After all, the standard Mini Cooper is growing with every new generation. But with no platform or design ready, it might be a few years before we see a production version, if at all.
Mini Rocketman back on the table, might go aluminum originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Sep 2014 09:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mini Cooper Hardtop 4-Door configurator is open for all
Filed under: Car Buying, Hatchback, Mini
The Mini Cooper five-door hatchback, which the company insists on calling the Mini Hardtop 4 Door, doesn't start arriving at US dealers until January 2015. However, if you dig the latest model's styling but can't live without the two extra doors, you can start speccing one right now in the recently launched configurator.
The new five-door hatch isn't just the standard model with extra doors squished in. It rides on a 2.8-inch longer wheelbase and is 6.3-inches longer overall. That means more room for rear passengers and extra space to haul stuff in the boot. The engine options are shared though with a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder with 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque for the Cooper or a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with 189 hp and 207 lb-ft in the Cooper S. Both are available with a six-speed manual or automatic.
Prices (including destination) for that extra space starts at $21,450 for the Cooper or $25,100 for the Cooper S, which is $1,000 more than the three-door in both cases. However, like any modern Mini, these guys are extremely customizable from the factory. There are an array of colors, 10 option packages and a ton of other add-ons to choose from.
We were pretty indiscriminate when checking the configurator out and didn't have much problem getting a Cooper S to over $36,000 and could have gone further. If you want to see what your own would cost, check out the Cooper Hardtop 4 Door here and the Cooper S Hardtop 4 Door here.
Mini Cooper Hardtop 4-Door configurator is open for all originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 11 Sep 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The original Mini Cooper still has universal appeal
Filed under: Classics, Budget, Performance, Videos, Hatchback, Mini
It sold over five million units. It was voted the second most influential car of the last century, bested only by the pioneering Ford Model T. It counted among its owners Steve McQueen, Enzo Ferrari and Peter Sellers. It is the classic Mini.
The tiny, two-box, four-seat hatch is an automotive icon of the first order and it's high time it featured in an episode of Petrolicious. Of course, the video gurus did it right, filming this handsome 1971 Mini, which has been modified to accommodate the 1,275-cc four-cylinder from the Mini Cooper S of the time.
Its owner, Sumner Norman, describes life with his right-hand-drive, UK-spec Mini. Naturally, he points out some of the idiosyncrasies inherent with a car built under the guise of British Leyland, including some of well known reliability woes, which he says is the car "going British." Mostly, though, he just seems to have a good time with the little hatch.
Take a look at the latest from Petrolicious and this plucky British import.
Continue reading The original Mini Cooper still has universal appeal
The original Mini Cooper still has universal appeal originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 10 Sep 2014 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mini Oxford gives birth to 3-millionth car [w/video]
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing, Hatchback, Mini, UK
With the latest generation of Minis having only recently launched a few months ago, the company's Plant Oxford has found another reason to celebrate as it reached two major milestones almost simultaneously. Since production of the new, BMW-revived version began there in 2001, the factory has produced 3 million of the retro-looking models and 2 million vehicles exported outside of the UK. Just four years ago, it was celebrating building 1.5 million of them.
The three-millionth model was a Mini Cooper S five-door hatchback with a special Union Jack paint job. At about the same time, the factory hit its two-millionth exported Mini to leave there, as well. It was a standard Mini hatchback in Volcanic Orange heading for a buyer in Japan.
UK Transport Minister Baroness Kramer attended the ceremony and said: "I congratulate the workers at Mini Plant Oxford on reaching this remarkable milestone. The Mini is a British icon and is a major part of a thriving automotive industry spearheading the growing British economy."
Mini is hardly slowing down with its investment in UK manufacturing with an ongoing 750-million-pound ($1.2 billion) investment going into them. Oxford is receiving a new, 1,000-robot body shop, and the Plant Swindon is getting laser-welding machines for body manufacturing. The Hams Hall plant is also getting updates to build components for the latest generation of engines. Scroll down to read the full announcement from Mini about the production milestones. True Mini geeks will also be thrilled to see a cool time-lapse video of a car being built at the Oxford facility.
Continue reading Mini Oxford gives birth to 3-millionth car [w/video]
Mini Oxford gives birth to 3-millionth car [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Sep 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Next Mini Countryman spotted with swirls
Filed under: Spy Photos, Crossover, Mini
Mini is continuing to update its models onto its latest UKL front-wheel-drive platform that it shares with parent BMW. Here, our spies caught an early glimpse of the next-gen Countryman testing on the new chassis.
Like the rest of the updated Mini lineup, the latest Countryman doesn't exactly show a huge shift in styling from the current version. The front end appears to be slightly more blunt, and the headlights have a redesigned shape. However, behind the A-pillar the differences seem to be pretty subtle. At the rear, the new Countryman also looks to adopt the brand's rounded rectangle taillights protruding into the hatch like on the standard Cooper Hardtop range. While not shown here, our spies claim that Mini is also aiming for a roomier interior for the upcoming crossover so that it can be more competitive in its class.
At least for now, the Countryman is going to be the largest vehicle in the Mini range, according to an earlier statement from chief designer Anders Warming. The CUV is rumored to debut around 2016 with some assembly possibly done at Mini's plant in the Netherlands. Until then, have a look at these spy shots and tell us what you think.
Next Mini Countryman spotted with swirls originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 03 Sep 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mini Cooper Countryman only small car to earn good grade in latest IIHS crash tests [w/video]
Filed under: Budget, Safety, Videos, Hatchback, Mazda, Mini
Only one small car out of 12 tested earned a good grade in the latest round of crash-test results compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Mini Cooper Countryman received a "good" ranking on the organization's small-front overlap test.
Competitors in the small-car segment didn't do nearly as well. Four vehicles earned "poor" grades.
Its competitors in the small-car segment didn't do nearly as well. Four vehicles earned "poor" grades, including the all-electric Nissan Leaf and Juke, the Mazda5 and the Fiat 500L, and two more earned marginal scores.
Introduced two years ago, the small front overlap test has been a difficult one for automakers to master, particularly so for small cars, which have less weight to absorb the forces of a car accident. So far, IIHS has tested 32 vehicles in the small-car segment and 13 have earned marginal or poor scores. On the flip side, 19 earned good or acceptable scores.
"Consumers trading the inherent safety of a larger vehicle for the convenience or fuel economy of a small car should focus their search on these vehicles with state-of-the-art safety designs," said Joe Nolan, senior vice president for vehicle research at IIHS.
Continue reading Mini Cooper Countryman only small car to earn good grade in latest IIHS crash tests [w/video]
Mini Cooper Countryman only small car to earn good grade in latest IIHS crash tests [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 Jul 2014 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mini bringing new 230-hp John Cooper Works to Detroit
Filed under: Detroit Auto Show, Performance, Hatchback, Mini
Mini models may keep getting incrementally bigger, but then so do their engines. Or more powerful, anyway - especially when it comes to the John Cooper Works performance models. The JCW version of the first (post-revival) generation R50, which was really more of an upgraded Cooper S than its own model, packed a 1.6-liter supercharged four with 200 horsepower. The following R56 JCW upped that incrementally to 208 hp, but the next Works hatchback is now rumored to pack around 230 horses.
Tipped to be revealed in both three- and five-door body-styles at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show half a year from now, the F56-gen Mini John Cooper Works hatchback is expected to use the same 2.0-liter turbo four as the new Mini Cooper S, but increasing the output from 189 hp to approximately 230. That would mean it would be more powerful than either of the two previous John Cooper Works GP editions to make the new JCW the most powerful road-going Mini to date, backed by 285 pound-feet of torque driving through a six-speed manual or available automatic transmission to deliver what promises to be a blistering pace for the latest retro hatchback.
Mini bringing new 230-hp John Cooper Works to Detroit originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 07 Jul 2014 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Street Glory Mappers turning cars into dynamic billboards like this
Filed under: Europe, Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Hatchback, Mini, Smart, Fiat
A French marketing firm with the impenetrable name of Street Glory Mappers is literally turning cars into billboards. Of course, we've all seen vehicles painted up for promotional use, but this company is taking that concept even further by including video.
Street Glory Mappers equips the vehicles with a large video screen behind the windshield to play whatever is being advertised. According to the company's promo, it may even be possibly to sync up the vehicle's lights with the show, as well. The firm claims that it's a great form of temporary, mobile marketing because the car can arrive at the location, play the video and then go away when the prospective audience leaves.
While it doesn't necessarily seem any more effective than other forms of advertising, the firm's idea is at least unobtrusive. After all, it's easier to ignore a stationary car than a person handing out flyers. However, vehicle flashing its lights and playing video could certainly distract other drivers.
While the promo only shows the video display working on a Smart Fortwo, the company's website also shows it on a Mini Cooper, Fiat 500 and other vehicles. Scroll down to see this new marketing approach in action for yourself.
Continue reading Street Glory Mappers turning cars into dynamic billboards like this
Street Glory Mappers turning cars into dynamic billboards like this originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 04 Jul 2014 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
2014 Mini Cooper S
Filed under: Performance, Hatchback, Mini, New Car Reviews
One of the big challenges as an automotive journalist is reviewing cars that you have a personal connection to. I have a strong passion for Minis. My first new car was a 2004 Cooper S, and I still own a 2006 model. It's this affinity that's left me with a general disdain of the 2007 to 2013 model relative to my first-gen.
The last-generation cars, with their turbocharged engines, softer suspensions, duller steering and homelier looks are, in my mind, inferior to their 2002 to 2006 predecessors. As a car reviewer, though, I couldn't in good conscience argue the same point. The R56, as the last-gen cars were known internally and by enthusiasts, was a better-balanced vehicle that retained the lion's share of the abilities and character of the first-generation, R53 Cooper S, but they were better thought out, better designed, more livable, and felt like more complete products.
Before the third-generation of the reborn Mini Cooper S landed in my driveway, I couldn't help but wonder whether the model would continue its slide towards mass appeal, or if it would re-embrace the enthusiast realm with a stronger driver-focused mission. As I found out during my week with the car, it was a bit of both.
Continue reading 2014 Mini Cooper S
2014 Mini Cooper S originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 27 Jun 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments