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  • Mini Rocketman back on the table, might go aluminum

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    Mini Rocketman Concept

    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.

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  • Mini Cooper Hardtop 4-Door configurator is open for all

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    Mini Cooper S Four Door Hardtop configurator

    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.

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  • The original Mini Cooper still has universal appeal

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    Petrolicious Classic 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.

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  • Mini Oxford gives birth to 3-millionth car [w/video]

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    Mini Cooper number 3 million at Oxford

    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.

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  • Next Mini Countryman spotted with swirls

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    Mini Countryman spy shots

    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.

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  • Mini Cooper Countryman only small car to earn good grade in latest IIHS crash tests [w/video]

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    Competitors in the small-car segment didn't do nearly as well. Four vehicles earned "poor" grades.

    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.

    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.

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  • Mini bringing new 230-hp John Cooper Works to Detroit

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    2016 Mini John Cooper Works

    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.

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  • Street Glory Mappers turning cars into dynamic billboards like this

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    Street Glory Mappers

    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.

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  • 2014 Mini Cooper S

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    2014 Mini Cooper S

    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.

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  • Remember that world-record jump crash? Here's every angle, including the human one

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    world record attempt crash

    Guerlain Chicherit is about to crashWhile there are those who watch automotive exploits hoping (secretly or otherwise) for a spectacular crash, most of us are happy when everything goes smoothly. But at the end of the day, a daring stunt wouldn't be a daring stunt if there weren't some element of danger. And make no mistake about it, Guerlain Chicherit's recent long-jump record attempt was a daring stunt if ever there was one.

    Chicherit, for those unfamiliar, is a French athlete who made the rare transition from "conventional" sports to motor sports. An accomplished professional skier, these days Guerlain drives a specially-prepared Mini Countryman in off-road events like the Dakar Rally and in death-defying stunts. Last year he managed to backflip his Mini and land in the record books, and this past winter he went after Tanner Foust's record by attempting a 360-foot jump at a ski resort in the French Alps. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned.

    Despite several practice jumps at closer distances, the final attempt ended in a massive cartwheel crash in front of the gathered crowds. Several spectators published footage of the crash soon after it happened, but now GoPro has released a more comprehensive compilation showing the lead-up to the event and the jump itself from every angle - inside, outside and away from the vehicle. It's guaranteed to make you cringe, but remember that Guerlain miraculously escaped with minimal injury and will live not only to tell the tale, but likely to take another crack at it. Whether you're the kind to gawk at such a crash or not, the video below is worth watching.

    Continue reading Remember that world-record jump crash? Here's every angle, including the human one

    Remember that world-record jump crash? Here's every angle, including the human one originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 22 Jun 2014 19:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • BMW and Mini getting GoPro integration

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    BMW GoPro app

    The small, high-quality and relatively inexpensive GoPro camera has been revolutionary for Internet video, especially of cars. Imagine how much awesomeness and hilarity we would have missed without them. Finding ways to integrate the cams into performance cars is becoming increasingly popular among automakers, as well. For example, the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette has its Performance Data Recorder, and Volkswagen is giving GoPros to early buyers of the 2015 GTI. BMW Group is going straight to the source for its rendition, though, with a new app that allows drivers to control a GoPro from inside of some BMW and Mini vehicles.

    In July, owners with 2012 or later models equipped with BMW Apps or Mini Connected can download the new app. There are a few hurdles to jump over, though. Not only do users need a model with the infotainment system, a WiFi-equipped GoPro camera is also required. The app also must be installed on an iPhone connected to the vehicle.

    Once all of those stipulations are met, the app can configure and control the GoPro through iDrive and display a nearly live image on the infotainment system. Menus are simplified on-screen but still allow users to select among six camera modes, aim it and start and stop recording. While filming, it shows recording time, battery life and signal strength. While BMW's approach isn't quite as nicely integrated as the Corvette's solution, it's interesting to see automakers working to make filming easier. Scroll down to read the full announcement.

    Continue reading BMW and Mini getting GoPro integration

    BMW and Mini getting GoPro integration originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 13 Jun 2014 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Mini stretches out with new Hardtop 4 door [w/video] [UPDATE]

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    2015 Mini Cooper S 5 door

    UPDATE: Information on US availability, specification and nomenclature added to the updated text below.

    Few automakers have managed to spin off as many variants of essentially one vehicle as Mini has. The second generation produced even more versions than the first, and now that the third generation is upon us, the process is starting all over again. The jury may still be out on whether parent company BMW will roll out as many body-styles of this latest Mini as it did with the last, but here's our first indication.

    Following the introduction of the new three-door Mini hatchback at the LA Auto Show, the Anglo-Saxon marque has introduced a new five-door model. Or four-door, depending on which Mini office you're speaking to: while this new model - an addition to the lineup and not a direct replacement for anything previously offered - is called the Mini 5 door by the factory, here in the US it's called the Mini Hardtop 4 door. Whatever you call it, though, this new Mini is essentially the same as the three-door model (or two-door model with a tailgate), only with - you guessed it - two extra doors. The new Clubman will be a separate model altogether.

    To fit in the extra portals, Mini has stretched the hatchback's wheelbase by 2.8 inches, all to the benefit of rear-seat leg room, along with more head- and elbow-room in the back and a bigger luggage compartment. At 157 inches from bow to stern, the five-door is 6.3 inches longer than the existing three-door, and the suspension has been revised accordingly.

    Engine options carry over, and once again, they're all turbocharged. The base Mini Cooper packs a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine with 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque and the Cooper S gets a 2.0-liter four with 189 hp and 207 lb-ft. Those two engines should constitute the choices for US customers, at least until the JCW performance model comes along. (While no bare-bones Mini One model is being offered, European customers will also be able to opt for the Cooper D powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo diesel with 114 hp and 199 lb-ft or the Cooper SD with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel offering 167 hp and 265 lb-ft.) Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are on offer, and the quickest model - the Cooper S automatic - will hustle to 60 in 6.5 seconds.

    The Mini with the extra doors is set to arrive at US dealers towards the end of the year with deliveries set to begin in the new year at a $1,000 premium over the equivalent two/three-door. Scope out the details in the press release from Mini USA, along with a couple videos, below, and the very extensive image gallery above for a closer look.

    Continue reading Mini stretches out with new Hardtop 4 door [w/video] [UPDATE]

    Mini stretches out with new Hardtop 4 door [w/video] [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Jun 2014 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Lego Mini Cooper coming in August [w/video]

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    Lego Mini Cooper

    Lego isn't just for kids anymore. A while back, the company cleverly realized that adults liked its connecting blocks as much as kids but wanted a more sophisticated project to take on. It offers a whole set of Expert models, including a wickedly cool Volkswagen Bus from a few years ago. Now, it's taking aim at automotive enthusiasts again with the recently announced classic Mini Cooper set due to go on sale on August 1 for $99.99.

    This is a seriously cool Lego model. At nine inches long, five inches wide and four inches tall, the car is certainly compact (as a Mini should be), but it contains 1,077 pieces. It's finished in the classic Mini look with a British Racing Green body with white roof, hood stripes and mirror caps. The doors, hood and trunk all open up, and there's even a little, simulated engine. The interior includes features like a turning steering wheel and movable gearshift and handbrake. In the boot, there is a cute picnic set, and even a spare tire hidden under the floor. If you want to show off your handiwork after it's built, the roof is removable to peer inside.

    Expect dads around the world to be unwrapping these when the holidays roll around. Scroll down to watch one of Lego's designers detailing its latest set and read the full release about it, below. The gallery shows the Mini off from all of its blocky angles, as well.

    Continue reading Lego Mini Cooper coming in August [w/video]

    Lego Mini Cooper coming in August [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Jun 2014 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Mini's Superleggera concept could see production; here's what it might look like

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    Mini Superleggera Rendering

    We fell in love with the Mini Superleggera Vision Concept from the moment we laid eyes on it. The little convertible blends retro and modern together better than any Mini in years. There is even more good news about the roadster as well because the company is considering actually building it. We even have some renders of what the production version could look like.

    Mini Superleggera rearMini boss Peter Schwarzenbauer tells Automotive News at the 2014 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, that the Superleggera might have a life beyond its debut. "We wanted to test how Mini enthusiasts worldwide were reacting to such a different type of Mini. So far, it has received overwhelming appreciation," he said to AN. But here's the bad news. All of the unique elements of the droptop wouldn't be cheap to build. Pricing would likely be around 35,000 euros if BMW gives it the green light, according to Schwarzenbauer. It's too early to know whether the road car would use the electric motor from the concept or something more conventional.

    The Superleggera Vision concept comes from the creative minds at Touring Superleggera who are also responsible for the gorgeous, modernized Disco Volante. The wonderful thing about the design is that it's still obviously a Mini but somehow adds a sprinkle of Aston Martin.

    The rendering above comes from Theophilus Chin, allowing us to visualize what the roadster might like if production is granted. It tones down the shape at the front and adds an actual grille. At the back (right), Chin makes the rear end a little more curvaceous but also shrinks the car's fin. In all, even if pricey, we think it's a car that could find some takers if built.

    Mini's Superleggera concept could see production; here's what it might look like originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 May 2014 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Mini testing new JCW on the Nürburgring Nordschleife

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    2015 Mini John Cooper Works

    Mini fans have had plenty to chew on lately. In the past month alone, the Anglo-Saxon automaker revealed its quirky, one-off Paceman Adventure pickup and dazzled showgoers over the weekend at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este with the Superleggera Vision concept. But what enthusiasts (to say nothing of dealers) have been really waiting for since the debut of the new Mini hatchback late last year has been the new John Cooper Works performance model. And that's just what we have here.

    Spied undergoing testing at the Nürburgring, this JCW prototype looks about ready for production, but is still keeping its front end under wraps. We can still discern the larger front intakes and bigger brakes with red calipers front and rear, and while the rear bumper is still stock, the wheels are definitely JCW: similar to those worn by the John Cooper Works Concept unveiled in Detroit a few months ago, they look more like five-spoke versions of the outgoing GP model's four-spoke units than the BBS-style alloys of the last John Cooper Works hatchback.

    The new JCW is still probably a few months away from debut, but we're expecting around 230 horsepower under the hood when it does arrive.

    Mini testing new JCW on the Nürburgring Nordschleife originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 May 2014 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Tony Hawk jumps a moving Mini

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    Tony Hawk jumps over a moving Mini Cooper

    Remember a couple of years ago when Tony Hawk jumped over a Lexus LFA on his skateboard? Well that was nothing compared to what he's done here.

    Sure the LFA is a more impressive car than a Mini hatchback, but that Japanese supercar was sitting still when the world's most famous skater jumped over it. And it was parked sideways. This time Tony's jumped a moving car, front to back. It gets even more impressive than that when you see what happens to the ramp after he's done with it, but we don't want to ruin the surprise.

    The stunt was performed in celebration of the partnership between Mini USA and Hawk's Birdhouse Skateboards Tour, details of which you can read in the press release under the video below.

    Continue reading Tony Hawk jumps a moving Mini

    Tony Hawk jumps a moving Mini originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 25 May 2014 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Mini Superleggera Vision is the all-electric roadster Mini needs to make

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    Mini Superleggera Vision

    Mini Superleggera VisionIt could be argued that Mini has not built a pretty car since the R53, the first of the reborn Minis, was put out to pasture at the end of 2006. I've owned two R53s, so yes, I'm horribly biased. The styling situation in Oxford hasn't improved much for 2014, either, as the bigger, more frightened-looking Mini begins to arrive in dealerships, boasting a very un-Mini-like front overhang. This, though... this works.

    It's called the Superleggera Vision, and straight away, we should point out that it's not designed by Mini. It's a product of Touring Superleggera, whose other creations include the stunning Disco Volante. It's a darn nice piece of design, and we're especially fond of its tiny, Jaguar D-type-like rear fin. It's also perfectly designed for its debut location - the Concours d'Elegance at Italy's Villa d'Este.

    Despite being a Mini, the Superleggera still boasts a traditional roadster layout, with a long hood and a shorter rear deck. The front end boasts a pair of traditionally styled Mini headlamps, which sit above a version of the new Cooper's gaping grille. The profile is brightened by a pair of character lines, the most noticeable of which runs from ahead and over the front wheel wells toward the back of the diminutive droptop. Of course, we can't not mention that amazing fin. It should be fitted to every Mini Roadster posthaste. The rear of the car, meanwhile, almost reminds us of an old Aston Martin Vanquish, thanks to the shape of its taillights and their rounded rectangular enclosure. And yes, those are Union Jacks inside the taillights. God save the queen.

    The cabin is awash in aluminum and leather trim, but it's a generally minimalist design. The overall theme blends more classic roadster characteristics with traditional Mini touches, and is most notable when looking at the large, thin-rimmed, three-spoke steering wheel harkens back to old British roadsters. That's accented by the centrally mounted speedometer and the column-mounted tachometer, both classic Mini features.

    Under hood, there's an electric drivetrain, although we're completely absent of any details on it. Still, we should point out what a 180 this has been for BMW - at last year's Villa d'Este, it showed a V12-powered, ultra-luxury coupe. Now, it's showing a tiny, convertible EV.

    Take a look up top for our full gallery of images provided by BMW. Then, hop below and have a look at the official press release on this striking, eco-friendly concept.

    Continue reading Mini Superleggera Vision is the all-electric roadster Mini needs to make

    Mini Superleggera Vision is the all-electric roadster Mini needs to make originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 May 2014 16:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Mini five-door spotted alongside next Clubman

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    Mini 5-door

    Is Mini constricting its staggering array of model variants or expanding it? That depends largely on which way you look at it. Because while some models may not make the cut as the second-generation family is gradually replaced with the third, others appear to be joining the fold. They just might not bear different model names.

    Take, for example, the vehicle pictured here. It's a five-door version of the latest Mini hatchback, but won't necessarily replace the Clubman wagon - particularly since that's precisely what appears to be pictured alongside it. While the five-door hatch appears to simply add an extra set of portals - full-size ones, from the look of it, not backwards-opening half-doors - to the existing three-door version, the new Clubman appears not only longer but also wider, giving it that much more interior space.

    Of course that could all be an optical illusion generated by swirly camouflage designed to do just that, but from the apparent readiness of both models, we'll find out one way or another soon enough - whatever they're called.

    Mini five-door spotted alongside next Clubman originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 14 May 2014 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Mini Paceman Adventure photos arrive by the trucklette-load

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    Mini Paceman

    Yesterday, we brought you the news of the existence of this Mini Paceman Adventure tiny truck, and the story of how it came to be. Long story short: it was a lighthearted collaboration between apprentices and instructors at parent BMW plants in Germany. The mini-sized pickup bed and off-road kit may not make the Paceman All4 actually practical, but we'd argue that they do make the one-off fairly loveable.

    Apparently the Mini photographers agree with that "loveable" part. We'd heard that there were some better, higher-resolution images of the Paceman Adventure on the way, but we didn't expect there to be hundreds of them. But as you can see, the shooters went out and thoroughly documented the pickup, shooting it in several locations, still and moving, and documenting some of its construction as well. Find your favorite in the massive gallery of images, above.

    Continue reading Mini Paceman Adventure photos arrive by the trucklette-load

    Mini Paceman Adventure photos arrive by the trucklette-load originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Apr 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Mini interns turn Paceman into Adventure pickup

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    Mini Paceman Adventure

    With coupes and convertibles, hatchbacks and crossovers, Mini has done just about every bodystyle we could think of, and then a few more as concepts. But it hasn't done a pickup. At least it hadn't until now.

    What we have here is a Mini Paceman (that, of course, being the coupe version of the Countryman) which has been transformed into a pickup by a group of BMW interns. It's called the Mini Paceman Adventure, and it's currently on display at the Mini dealership in Munich. According to BimmerToday.de, the project involved not only chopping the roof and installing a makeshift pickup bed, but also reinforcing the body, reforming the underbody and B-pillar, fitting off-road tires (including a spare fitted to a roof rack) and a handful of other minor modifications.

    The photos are a little sketchy (although the dealership tells us a better set will be available soon), but from what we can see, it looks like a pretty solid project - one that makes us wonder if the apprentices' bosses might be paying attention. Because next to the Mini Coupe with its oddball backwards-hat roof treatment, this one-off looks as sensible as you'd expect from a group of German interns.

    Mini interns turn Paceman into Adventure pickup originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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