collectibles: A Motorer’s Guide to Waiting activity book

A Motorer's Guide to Waiting activity book Build Your Own MINI. insert

A MOTORER’S GUIDE TO WAITING.

An activity book for the kid in you.

This 8-page booklet measures 8.5″ x 11″ and contains various activities for kids, presumably to keep them occupied while waiting at a MINI dealership.

Activities are:

  • MINI Libs.
  • MINI Maze.
  • Design Your Own MINI and Roof Graphic.
  • Color Your Own Road Trip.
  • Tic-Tac-Go.
  • MINI Libs.
  • [Connect-the-Dots]

There is a separate BUILD YOUR OWN MINI. insert which allows one to design, punch out, and fold up a MINI Cooper S Hardtop.


collectibles: MINI Accessories / JCW Tuning 2015 catalog

KEEP IT MINI. KEEP IT WILD.

KEEP IT MINI. / KEEP IT WILD.

The first Original MINI Accessories catalog has been released for the third-generation MINI Hardtop.  The 22 page flip brochure is filled with 17 pages of MINI accessories and 5 pages of John Cooper Works Tuning accessories.

The MINI USA catalog number is 8/14 MMA-F56.


worldwide MINI sales for January 2015

2015 MINI Hardtop and MINI 4 Door

MINI has its best January of global sales with sales up 12.0% from January 2014.

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

Overall sales of MINI brand vehicles were also higher than ever before in January, with the brand achieving double-digit growth of 12.0% compared with the same period last year (17,373 / prev. yr. 15.510). “Following on from our core model change last year, MINI is aiming for sustainable growth in 2015,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for MINI, BMW Motorrad and Rolls-Royce. “The strong sales of the new MINI 3 door and 5 door models we saw in the fourth quarter have continued into the new year and I am confident that these and other new upcoming models will see MINI building on this momentum throughout the year,” Schwarzenbauer added. Sales of the new MINI 3 door are up 33.6% on the same period last year, totalling 7,502 units (prev. yr. 5,616) and the new MINI 5 door model was delivered to a total of 3,876 customers worldwide.

January 2015 January 2014 change year-to-date 2015 year-to-date 2014 change
17,373 15,510 12.0% 17,373 15,510 12.0%

See all MINI sales worldwide by month.


MINI events calendar 2015

MINI events calendar 2015

Now that Winter has passed its halfway point, the major Mini and MINI events season will begin.  There is no MINI TAKES THE STATES this year, but all of the regular regional meets are back for 2015.  There will be another Guinness World Record attempt for the largest number of MINIs in a single parade at MINI on the Mack.  After a year hiatus, A MINI Vacation in Vegas returns with AMVIV 11.

Major Mini and MINI Meets

Date(s) Event Location Description
2/15 MINI Thunder VI Willows, CA MINI and Mini track day at Thunderhill Raceway Park.
2/26 – 2/28 Helenblitz 2015 Helen, GA Annual gathering of MINIs in the small German town of Helen.
4/29 – 5/3 MINIs on the Dragon 13 Fontana, NC Large annual meet at the “Tail of the Dragon”, aka MOTD.
5/28 – 5/31 A MINI Vacation in Vegas 11 Las Vegas, NV Largest Southwest event returns for 2015, aka AMVIV.
6/19 – 6/21 Mini Meet North 2015 Bowmanville, ON, Canada Largest meet in Canada at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
6/19 – 6/20 MINIs on Top 2015 Bartlett, NH Annual rally to the top of Mount Washington, aka MOT.
6/29 – 7/2 Mini Meet East 2015 St. Michaels, MD Annual Mini and MINI meet in Eastern North America.
6/29 – 7/2 Mini Meet West 2015 Abbotsford, BC, Canada Annual Mini and MINI meet in Western North America.
7/26 – 7/28 The Great Ice Cream Run 5 Staunton, VA to
Mackinaw City, MI
Motor to MINI on the Mack with the Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club.
8/1 MINI on the Mack Grand Rapids, MI Trying for the Guinness World Record for MINIs in a single parade.
8/5 – 8/9 MINIs in the Mountains Snowmass Village, CO Annual meet in the Rocky Mountains, aka MITM.
Fall (TBA) MINIpalooza Asheville, NC A meet with scenic drives through the roads of the Asheville area.
9/25 – 9/27 Mickey & MINI 11 Orlando, FL Annual meet near Walt Disney World by Sunshine MINIs.
10/1 – 10/4 MINIs in Foliage 2015 Stratton, VT Annual meet in New England for the fall foliage season.
10/22 – 10/25 MINIs in the Ozarks Eureka Springs, AR “The premiere gathering of MINIs in Middle America.”

MINI USA sales for January 2015

2015 MINI lineup

MINI USA released sales figures which show strong sales for the first month of 2015, up 26.9%.  Unfortunately, for the first time MINI USA did not publish the sales figures by model.

From BMW Group PressClub USA:

MINI Brand Sales

For January, MINI USA reports 3,228 automobiles sold, an increase of 26.9 percent from the 2,543 sold in the same month a year ago.

 

MINI Pre-Owned Vehicles
In January, MINI used automobiles (including MINI NEXT certified pre-owned) reported sales of 1,824 automobiles, a decrease of 3.0 percent from the 1,881 sold in January, 2014.

 

January 2015 January 2014 change year-to-date 2015 year-to-date 2014 change
3,228 2,543 26.9% 3,228 2,543 26.9%

See MINI sales in the USA by month.


MINI USA Configurator updated with JCW Exterior Package

MINI USA Configurator Hardtop with JCW Exterior PackageAlthough already available at MINI dealerships, MINI USA recently updated its Configurator to add the John Cooper Works Exterior Package which includes the option of a Chili Red body color.

MINI USA Configurator JCW Exterior Package IncludesThe description from the Configurator for the JCW Exterior Package reads:

If you love the sporty look of the John Cooper Works line, but don’t need the extra horsepower, the John Cooper Works Exterior Package is just what you need. It even includes a no-cost sports suspension option, for a more John Cooper Works-like ride.

The JCW Exterior Package includes:

  • Performance Control
  • JCW Aero Kit
  • Spoiler
  • White Turn Signals
  • 17″ Silver JCW Track Spoke Wheels (also in Black)
  • Chili Red Paint
  • Sports Suspension ($0 option)

A third wheel choice is the 18″ Two-Tone JCW Cup Spoke Wheel for an additional $500.

The JCW Exterior Package costs $3,250 for the MINI Cooper Hardtop and $2,500 for the MINI Cooper S Hardtop.

Build a 2015 MINI at MINIUSA.com.


Sebastian Mackensen to head MINI

Sebastian Mackensen

MINI is getting a new head.  Sebastian Mackensen, current Senior Vice President of MINI, will take over on March 1st.

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

From 1 March 2015, Sebastian Mackensen will take on responsibility for the MINI brand. Mr Mackensen (43) joined the BMW Group in October 2013 as Head of MINI Sales. Before that and following his studies in Business Administration, Mr Mackensen gained a broad range of sales experience in the premium automotive industry both in Germany and abroad.

Read the entire press release Personnel changes at MINI and BMW Group sales.


MINI wins Dakar 2015

dakar2015-806

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

Munich (DE). The MINI brand has achieved further success at the Dakar Rally. After covering more than 9,000 kilometres spanning Argentina, Chile and Bolivia, MINI won the world’s toughest rally for the fourth time in a row. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel (QT/FR) crossed the finishing line in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires (AR) as the overall winners, having won five of the 13 legs in their MINI ALL4 Racing.

“I promised last year when I was on the podium that I’d be back to win, and now I’m here,” said Al-Attiyah. “It was very hard to lead the race from the very beginning and to continue keeping this position on the long distance. Also because the race was really hard. I’m very happy about this great result and I want to thank and congratulate all mechanics and the team for the great job they have done during the two weeks. The MINI ALL4 Racing is an incredible car and it was again very nice to drive.”

“Nasser Al-Attiyah winning the 2015 Dakar Rally in the MINI ALL4 Racing is continuing the success story of MINI at one of the toughest races in motorsport,” said Senior Vice President MINI, Jochen Goller. “I would like to congratulate him and his team to this fantastic achievement, which the worldwide MINI community is obviously delighted about.”

“We always knew there would be many unforeseeable challenges on this 9,000+ kilometer adventure across South America and that the final result remains unpredictable till the very last days of the rally,“ said Goller. “On the other hand we also knew that the x-raid team, the MINI ALL4 Racing and of course all MINI drivers entered the competition extremely well-prepared and for this I want to personally thank the x-raid team head Sven Quandt.“

The “Dakar” entrants faced numerous unforeseeable challenges on the demanding route from Buenos Aires in Argentina via Iquique in Chile and Uyuni in Bolivia. From classic gravel rallying in Argentina and winding mountain roads through the Andes at altitudes of up to 4,500 metres in Bolivia to the extremely dry and hot Atacama Desert in Chile with its towering dunes and fine sand, the “Dakar” tested both man and machine to their limits. The drivers and co-drivers had to remain absolutely focused throughout the event.

The MINI ALL4 Racing provided further impressive evidence of its speed and reliability at the 2015 Dakar Rally. Once again, it proved to be a great all-rounder. “With now four Dakar victories in a row to its name from 2012 to 2015, the MINI ALL4 Racing proved once more to be the car to beat confirming its reliability, strength and agility in a convincing manner,” Goller said. “Our goal this year was to achieve another great overall team result and, with five MINI ALL4 Racing finishing the 2015 Dakar Rally in the top ten, nine MINI ALL4 Racing reaching the finish line, eleven stage victories with four different drivers and Nasser winning the world’s toughest marathon rally, we have successfully met all our targets. During the 2015 Dakar Rally, we have certainly seen the best MINI ALL4 Racing ever, and I am already looking forward to seeing it compete in the 2015 long-distance World Cup in preparation for the 2016 Dakar Rally.”

All in all, the MINI ALL4 Racing won eleven of the 13 legs at this year’s “Dakar”. Five of these were double victories for MINI. No fewer than four MINI ALL4 Racing cars ranked among the top five cars in the overall standings.

Al-Attiyah/Baumel were joined at the top of the table by Krzysztof Holowczyc/Xavier Panseri (PL/FR) in third place overall, while Erik van Loon/Wouter Rosegaar (NL/NL) came in a strong fourth after entering the “Dakar” in the MINI ALL4 Racing for the first time. Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RU/RU) – overall winners of the 2014 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country-Rallies in the  MINI ALL4 Racing – finished fifth. Aidyn Rakhimbayev/Anton Nikolaev (KZ/RU) also ranked among the top ten, securing ninth place overall. Nine of the ten MINI ALL4 Racing cars that started the race made it across the finishing line in Buenos Aires.

Results 2015 Dakar Rally.

01 Al-Attiyah/Baumel – MINI ALL4 Racing – 40:32:25h
02 De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz – 41:07:59h
03 Holowczyc/Panseri – MINI ALL4 Racing – 42:04:26h
04 Van Loon/Rosegaar – MINI ALL4 Racing – 43:34:17h
05 Vasilyev/Zhiltsov – MINI ALL4 Racing – 43:45:06h
09 Rakhimbayev/Nikolaev – MINI ALL4 Racing – 44:41:09h
12 Garafulic/Palmeiro – MINI ALL4 Racing – 46:00:34h
13 Zhou/Schulz – MINI ALL4 Racing – 46:07:49h
17 Terranova/Graue – MINI ALL4 Racing – 47:39:19h
21 Schott/Schmidt – MINI ALL4 Racing – 49:51:23h

 

MINI ALL4 Racing 2015 Dakar Rally Lineup.

Monster Energy Rally Raid Team.

#300  Nani Roma/Michel Périn (ES/FR)
#305  Orlando Terranova/Bernardo „Ronnie“ Graue (AR/AR)
#306  Krzysztof Holowczyc/Xavier Panseri (PL/FR)

X-raid Team.

#310 Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RU/RU)
#314 Erik van Loon/Wouter Rosegaar (NL/NL)
#319 Boris Garafulic/Filipe Palmeiro (CL/PT)
#329 Aidyn Rakhimbayev/Anton Nikolaev (KZ/RU)
#332 Zhou Yong/Andreas Schulz (CN/DE)
#334 Stephan Schott/Holm Schmidt (DE/DE)

Qatar Rally Team.

#301  Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel (QT/FR)


collectibles: 2014 Matchbox ’65 Austin Mini Van

2015 Matchbox ’65 Austin Mini Van

We continue with our collectibles series with this 2014 Matchbox ’65 Austin Mini Van.  The die-cast Mini is painted in metallic silver with “PLUMBING Services” and splashing water graphics on the sides.  This item was only available in the City Works 5-pack.  It is Matchbox model number MB713.


MINI returns to Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series

2015 MINI John Cooper Works HardtopAfter a few years’ absence from the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series (formerly GRAND-AM) when RSR Motorsports stopped racing MINIs, MINI USA announced that MINI is returning to compete once again in the Series’ ST class.

LAP Motorsports in partnership with MINI USA, will enter the forthcoming MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop later in the season.

From MINI USA NEWS:

Woodcliff Lake, NJ, January 12, 2015. The new 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop will make its World Premiere today at the North American International Auto Show, featuring the most powerful engine ever installed in a MINI production model. The latest high performance addition to the MINI line up will be priced at $30,600 plus $850 Destination & Handling in the U.S. and will go on sale in the spring.

 

The 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop will make its much-anticipated World Premiere with a grand introduction by none other than rally legend Rauno Aaltonen at MINI’s press conference in Hall D of the COBO Center, at 1:20 pm ET. Aaltonen will take the stage in a Classic Mini similar to the 1966 Mini Cooper S that he drove to victory in the famed Monte Carlo Rally in 1967.

 

With Aaltonen on hand and the new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop in the spotlight, MINI proudly announced a new motorsports partnership with LAP Motorsports to compete in the Street Tuner (ST) class of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. The Indianapolis-based team owned and operated by racing veteran Luis Perocarpi will begin running the MINI John Cooper Works cars in the series later this year.

 

MINI’s long history of rally-car racing has always been reflected in the brand’s John Cooper Works performance series, and the newest Hardtop further extends that tradition. The latest edition in the premium line, the 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop offers the most powerful engine ever installed in the brand’s production models, delivering optimal performance to the premium small-car segment.

 

“This is undoubtedly an exciting time at MINI as we relaunch the John Cooper Works sub-brand as a true model in itself and with the most powerful engine we’ve ever had in a production model MINI,” said David Duncan, Vice President MINI of the Americas. “The new MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop will be an important part of our business moving forward, offering customers a premium high performance vehicle in a small package.”

 

Specially tuned for high performance on the track and on the road, the first John Cooper Works model to be built on the shared front wheel drive global architecture with BMW Group will be powered by the latest generation MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology four-cylinder engine. The car also features a sports exhaust, refined suspension technology and model-specific design features which not only optimize the car’s aerodynamic features, but also guarantee a fun and efficient ride with an irresistible temperament.

Read the entire pres release MINI Brings Motorsports Heritage to Detroit for John Cooper Works Hardtop World Premiere.