Monthly Archives: February 2012


MINI range comprises 41 variants

2012 MINI family

With the launch of the MINI Roadster last weekend, the MINI family expanded to six models.  Each family member comes in various model levels.  In a recent press release, BMW gave a figure for the total number of MINI variants:

The latest developments in the model range, which now comprises a total of 41 variants, create even greater scope for customers to experience the hallmark MINI style and unsurpassed driving fun of the brand’s cars in their own individual way.

In the US—because we don’t get the MINI First, MINI One, or any diesel models such as the One D, Cooper D, or Cooper SD—there are currently only 19 variants on sale.

BMW didn’t list the 41 variants, so below is our attempt to list them all.

MINI Variants

# Model Model Code – US Availability, and Notes
1 MINI First R56 – UK only.
2 MINI One R56 – Not available in the US. Special Edition: Baker Street.
3 MINI One MINIMALISM  55 kW R56 – Not available in the US.
4 MINI One MINIMALISM  72 kW R56 – Not available in the US.
5 MINI One D R56 – Not available in the US. Special Edition: Baker Street.
6 MINI Cooper R56 – Special Editions: Baker Street and Bayswater.
7 MINI Cooper D R56 – Not available in the US. Special Editions: Baker Street and Bayswater.
8 MINI Cooper S R56 – Special Editions: Bayswater and INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD (1,000).
9 MINI Cooper SD R56 – Not available in the US. Special Edition: Bayswater.
10 MINI One Convertible R57 – Not available in the US.
11 MINI Cooper Convertible R57 – Special Edition: Highgate.
12 MINI Cooper D Convertible R57 – Not available in the US. Special Edition: Highgate.
13 MINI Cooper S Convertible R57 – Special Edition: Highgate.
14 MINI Cooper SD Convertible R57 – Not available in the US. Special Edition: Highgate.
15 MINI One Clubman R55 – Not available in the US.
16 MINI One D Clubman R55 – Not available in the US. Special Edition: Hampton.
17 MINI Cooper Clubman R55 – Special Edition: Hampton.
18 MINI Cooper D Clubman R55 – Not available in the US. Special Edition: Hampton.
19 MINI Cooper S Clubman R55 – Special Edition: Hampton.
20 MINI Cooper SD Clubman R55 – Not available in the US. Special Edition: Hampton.
21 MINI One Countryman R60 – Not available in the US.
22 MINI One D Countryman R60 – Not available in the US.
23 MINI Cooper Countryman R60
24 MINI Cooper D Countryman R60 – Not available in the US.
25 MINI Cooper D Countryman ALL4 R60 – Not available in the US.
26 MINI Cooper S Countryman R60
27 MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 R60
28 MINI Cooper SD Countryman R60 – Not available in the US.
29 MINI Cooper SD Countryman ALL4 R60 – Not available in the US.
30 MINI Cooper Coupe R58
31 MINI Cooper S Coupe R58
32 MINI Cooper SD Coupe R58 – Not available in the US.
33 MINI Cooper Roadster R59
34 MINI Cooper S Roadster R59
35 MINI Cooper SD Roadster R59 – Not available in the US.
36 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop R56
37 MINI John Cooper Works Convertible R57
38 MINI John Cooper Works Clubman R55
39 MINI John Cooper Works Countryman R60
40 MINI John Cooper Works Coupe R58
41 MINI John Cooper Works Roadster R59

Important variants in the past were the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit (based on the R53) and the MINI E an all-electric MINI field-tested by BMW over the past few years.  The non-street-legal MINI CHALLENGE was for race use only.


MINI John Cooper Works Countryman debut

MINI John Cooper Works Countryman

We knew it was coming and today MINI debuted the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman.  The Countryman was the lone model without a JCW version, but no more.  The JCW Countryman comes with the new VALVETRONIC engine but only manages 211 hp.

From BMW Group PressClub:

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – February 28, 2012… MINI The MINI family is constantly expanding, and new additions have also been made to the range of John Cooper Works models available to customers. For the first time, MINI racing-inspired thrills can be experienced in combination with all-wheel drive. The global introduction of the MINI John Cooper Works will get under way in autumn 2012.

The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman, will be fitted as standard with the all-wheel-drive system known as ALL4, and powered by a newly developed four-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 211 hp. This new combination assures the driver of extreme driving fun on any terrain. The John Cooper Works Countryman is also the first John Cooper Works model available for order with a six-speed automatic gearbox as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual.

With powertrain and chassis technology developed calling on the brand’s vast motor sport expertise built into the first MINI with five doors and four/five seats, MINI will deliver its John Cooper Works presence in another new segment… complete with all of the customary handling characteristics and sporty appearance the brand is known for.

The Countryman, MINI’s first five-seater, already shares the racing genes which define the character of every MINI, and now the John Cooper Works polishes these inherent talents to really shine. The new engine brings another hike in output, transferred onto the road with impressive style by the MINI ALL4 all-wheel-drive system. The John Cooper Works suspension ensures every change in direction is imbued with addictive agility. The MINI John Cooper Works sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 7.1 seconds. While U.S. fuel economy figures are not yet available, average fuel consumption of 7.2 liters per 100 kilometers / 39.2 mpg imp in the EU test cycle represents an outstanding return when you consider the performance on offer (automatic transmission: 8.0 liters/100 km and 35.3 mpg imp).

Note: performance and fuel consumption figures are provisional.

The distinctive style of the sixth John Cooper Works model in the MINI line-up is also expressed through the car’s design, including the exclusive selection of paint finishes, light-alloy wheels and interior materials available for order. The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is equipped as standard with an aerodynamic kit, 18-inch light-alloy wheels, a sports exhaust system with chrome tailpipes and door sills bearing the John Cooper Works logo. The color Chili Red can be specified as a contrasting paint finish for the roof and exterior mirrors. And Chili Red flourishes for the interior, such as in the exclusive design of the sports seats, also add a distinctive flavor to the sports car ambience carried over from the other John Cooper Works models.

The most powerful member of a new generation: the engine in the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman.

The motor sport roots of John Cooper Works are reflected in a constant thirst for new performance benchmarks. This ambition has inspired even more power from the new four-cylinder engine in the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman, as well as ensuring further gains in efficiency. The latest generation of the twin-scroll turbocharged engines benefit from both direct injection and a variable valve control system based on the BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC technology. This throttle-free load control development significantly improves both the engine’s responsiveness and its efficiency. Reinforced pistons and intake valves, and further optimization of the cooling, air supply and exhaust gas discharge system, enable further increases in output and torque. Added to which, the 1.6-liter engine’s turbocharger is given a particularly large intercooler.

The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman’s engine reaches its maximum output of 211 hp at 6,000 rpm and generates peak torque of 207 lb-ft between 2,000 and 5,600 rpm. The Overboost function briefly pushes this figure up to 221 lb-ft between 2,100 and 5,200 rpm. The sports exhaust system – its slanting tailpipe embellishers providing an extra dose of the hallmark John Cooper Works design – gives this outstanding power delivery the one-of-a-kind soundtrack it deserves.

All-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox are both offered for a John Cooper Works model for the first time in this vehicle. The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is the first model to send the extreme output from its motor sport-inspired engine through all four wheels.

The new car’s ALL4 all-wheel-drive system uses an electromagnetic center differential to distribute drive seamlessly between the front and rear axles. This ensures the engine’s power always finds its way to where it can be converted most effectively into forward motion. In normal driving conditions, the MINI’s intelligent ALL4 system directs all of the engine’s power to the front tires, and up to 50 percent of its power can be diverted automatically to the rear wheels when driving conditions require it. This provides a traction-led expression of the handling talents for which MINI is famed, ensuring maximum directional stability and dynamic performance whatever the weather and road conditions. Together, the engine’s imposing power and the added John Cooper Works technology employ to harness it lay on a full-blooded brand of driving fun.

The market launch of the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is complemented by another MINI powertrain premiere, the introduction of an optional six-speed automatic gearbox for John Cooper Works customers as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual. Detailed tweaks have been made to both the gearboxes themselves and the clutch for the manual variant to take into account the extra engine power, and ensure outstanding performance and efficiency. The manual and automatic versions of the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 7.1 and 7.5 seconds respectively on the way to a top speed of 127 mph.

Sporting flair, John Cooper Works style: chassis, aerodynamics, design and interior.

Chassis technology including a front axle with MacPherson struts, central-arm rear axle, Electric Power Steering and a model-specific, exceptionally high-performance braking system is also in keeping with the sporty character of the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman. The standard sports suspension includes particularly stiff spring and damper settings, strengthened anti-roll bars and a 10-millimeter drop in ride height. The standard-fitted DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) includes DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) mode.

Pressing the likewise standard Sport Button tweaks the engine responses, the character of its soundtrack and adjusts the power assistance provided by the steering. 18-inch Twin Spoke light-alloy wheels with polished spoke fronts and black rim wells are fitted as standard. 19-inch light-alloy wheels – also designed exclusively for the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman – can be ordered as an option.

The muscular front and rear aprons and bespoke side skirts of the standard specification aerodynamic kit ensure visual impact and optimized airflow. Customers can choose from seven colors for the exterior paintwork. A contrasting paint finish can be specified for the roof and exterior mirror caps – in the Chili Red shade exclusive to John Cooper Works models, as well as Light White and Jet Black. Also available as an option are Sport Stripes in the same colors. The John Cooper Works logo on the radiator grille, tailgate and door sill strips and near the side indicators highlight the car’s identity even more clearly.

The interior of the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman also comes with additional sporting touches as standard. Sports seats in Diagonal Track Carbon Black cloth trim with red contrast stitching have been designed specifically for the new model; while options such as the similarly exclusive sports seats with Lounge Leather trim in Carbon Black Championship Red can also be ordered. The trim strips around the cockpit, door panels and center console come in Piano Black as standard. The optional Chili Red trim elements, meanwhile, are exclusive to the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman and include red flourishes for the cockpit and doors, and red stripes for the black trim elements on the center console. Added to this are the sports steering wheel with red contrast stitching and John Cooper Works logo, the dark speedometer and rev counter dials, anthracite-colored roof liner, gearshift lever with red shift pattern lettering, red contrast stitching for the gearshift lever gaiter and floor mats with red stitching add further depth to the sports car ambience.


MINI Takes the States 2012 route announced

MINI Takes the States 2012 route

MINI USA just released the official MINI Takes the States 2012 route.  Here are the specific dates and cities along the route:

MINI Takes the States 2012

Date City
7/4 New York, NY
7/4 Washington, DC (Autocross in Philadelphia, PA)
7/5 Charlotte, NC
7/6 Nashville, TN (Autocross)
7/7 Louisville, KY
7/8 Chicago, IL (Autocross)
7/9 Des Moines, IA
7/10 Lincoln, NE
7/11 Denver, CO
7/12 Albuquerque, NM
7/13 Phoenix, AZ
7/14 – 7/15 Los Angeles, CA (Autocross)

Watch for the official details on the MINI Takes the States website.


MINI Roadster reviews

MINI Roadster

The MINI Roadster launches today, February 25th.  To mark the occasion, we bring you the most comprehensive list of the major automotive magazine and website reviews of the new MINI Roadster.  Browse the list and read the reviews from the sources you trust most.

Auto Express: MINI Cooper S Roadster review [January 31, 2012]

Auto Express: MINI Roadster video review [February 3, 2012]

Autoblog: First Drive: 2012 Mini Cooper S Roadster [February 1, 2012]

Autocar.co.uk: Mini Roadster Cooper S review [January 26, 2012]

Automobile: First Drive: 2012 Mini Cooper Roadster [February 1, 2012]

Car and Driver: 2012 Mini Cooper S Roadster First Drive [January 2012]

Cars.com: 2012 Mini Roadster: Up Close / 2012 Mini Cooper Roadster: Photo Gallery [January 10, 2012]

Detroit Free Press: 2013 Mini Cooper roadster [January 12, 2012]

evo: Driven: Mini Roadster Cooper S [February 2012]

Motor Trend: First Drive: 2012 Mini Cooper S Roadster [February 9, 2012]

Popular Mechanics: 2012 Mini Roadster Test Drive [February 9, 2012]

Road & Track: 2012 Mini Roadster – First Drive [January 31, 2012]

The Sun: The Mini Roadster [February 3, 2012]

USA Today – New Mini Roadster promises topless fun [January 6, 2012]

What Car?: Mini Roadster review [January 30, 2012]


MINI Takes the States 2012 update

MINI Takes the States 2012 update

MINI USA has added a bit more information to the MINI Takes the States 2012 webpage.

July 4th is the kickoff of our cross-country road rally, MINI TAKES THE STATES 2012 (MTTS, for short). From July 4-15, a caravan of MINIs will traverse the country, stopping to eat, sleep and have a blast at stops along the way. With special events such as MINI Autocross courses in Philadelphia, Nashville, Chicago and Los Angeles, this will be no ordinary road trip.

Visit the official MINI Takes the States 2012 website.


MINI Clubvan Concept debut

Austin Mini Van MINI Clubvan Concept

After the unprecedented MINI Coupe and MINI Roadster, MINI has gone back to its roots for its next concept vehicle.  The MINI Clubvan Concept is an update of the Austin Mini Van and Morris Mini Van.  Like those vans, the Clubman’s rear windows are replaced by sheet-metal.

Limiting the car to two seats creates the capacity its owners will need on a day-to-day basis, as well as opening up a whole new world of customization potential. The load compartment of the MINI Clubvan Concept embodies the car’s fresh and rigorous interpretation of the principle used in the classic Mini – of providing the maximum amount of interior space on the smallest possible footprint. The load area reaches from the split rear doors right up to the partition grille behind the two seats. The totally level floor makes full use of the interior’s depth, and that allows the concept car’s load capacity to exceed the maximum achieved by the MINI Clubman.

Six attachment loops recessed into the load compartment floor use elasticized straps to hold items of varying lengths, heights and widths in place – without the risk of them sliding around. The partition grille, which is fixed securely to the car body, ensures that items stowed in the load compartment are kept safely away from the front seats. The lower section of the partition is made from solid aluminum, while the upper section consists of a silver-colored stainless steel honeycomb grating. The side walls and floor of the load compartment are trimmed in high-quality anthracite-colored cloth. The anthracite roof liner, meanwhile, extends along the full length of the interior. This uniform color scheme emphasizes the pure-bred, practicality-oriented character of the MINI Clubvan Concept.

Like the MINI Clubman, the MINI Clubvan Concept is a five-door car with a twist. Two front doors for the driver and front passenger, two side-hinged doors at the rear and the rear-hinged Clubdoor on the right-hand side create comfortable access to the interior. The Clubdoor gives owners the option of loading or unloading smaller items from the side of the car as well as the rear.

The generous levels of space on board the concept car can be exploited in a variety of ways. Commercial users will be particularly pleased to discover the scope for configuring the load compartment to personal requirements. For example, tools and goods can be stored neatly and securely in made-to-measure drawers or shelving units. 12-volt plug sockets in the rear area of the load compartment provide additional practicality.

The MINI Clubvan Concept will be displayed at the Geneva International Auto Show next month.

More information and photos at MINI USA NEWS.

MINI Clubvan Concept (rear)


MINI Takes the States 2012 route

MINI Takes the States 2012 route (unofficial)
MINI USA is about to release the route for MINI Takes the States but we have the route for you today.  As previously reported, MTTS 2012 will run from July 4th to July 15th and the cross-country rally will go from the East Coast to West Coast.  Here are the specific dates and cities along the route:

MINI Takes the States 2012

Date City
7/4 New York, NY
7/4 Washington, DC
7/5 Charlotte, NC
7/6 Nashville, TN
7/7 Louisville, KY
7/8 Chicago, IL
7/9 Omaha, NE
7/10 Denver, CO
7/11 Santa Fe, NM
7/12 Phoenix, AZ
7/13 San Diego, CA
7/14 – 7/15 Los Angeles, CA

Watch for the official details on the MINI Takes the States website.

Update: There’s word that the route is subject to change.  We’ll have updates if and when we get any.

Update 2: The official MINI Takes the States 2012 route announced.

 


MINI WRC lineup for Rally Sweden

With the shake-up of MINI and Prodrive, there has been a realignment of MINI teams in the World Rally Championship.  Dani Sordo now drives the MINI John Cooper Works WRC No. 37 for Prodrive’s private team.  For Sweden he is joined by Patrik Sandell in the No. 52 MINI.  MINI has formed a new team for manufacturer points called WRC Team MINI Portugal.  Its two drivers are back from Rallye Monte-Carlo: Armindo Araújo in the No. 12 MINI and Paulo Nobre in No. 14.  A fifth MINI driver is Richard Göransson from Sweden who will pilot the No. 19 MINI WRC.

Today is the start of Rally Sweden with a single stage.  Richard Göransson will get things started in the first heat.  The rally’s longest day is Friday with nine stages, then Saturday with eight, and finally concludes on Sunday with six stages.

Follow updates on the MINI Motorsport website and Twitter feed or on the World Rally Championship website.  Listen to World Rally Radio.

WRC Team MINI Portugal No. 12

12 – WRC Team MINI Portugal

Armindo ARAÚJO (P)
Miguel RAMALHO (P)

Armindo Araújo WRC page, website, Facebook page.

WRC Team MINI Portugal No. 14

14 – WRC Team MINI Portugal

Paulo NOBRE (BR)
Edu PAULA (BR)

Paulo Nobre WRC page and website.

Team Richard Göransson No. 19

19 – Team Richard Göransson

Richard GÖRANSSON (S)
Anders FREDRIKSSON (S)

Richard Göransson website.

WRC Team Dani Sordo

37 – WRC Team Dani Sordo

Dani SORDO (E)
Carlos DEL BARRIO (E)

Dani Sordo WRC page, website, and Facebook page.

Sweden World Rally Team MINI WRC

52 – Sweden World Rally Team

Patrik SANDELL (S)
Staffan PARMANDER (S)

Sweden World Rally Team website.

Patrik Sandell website.


worldwide MINI sales for January 2012

From BMW Group PressClub USA:

MINI makes a strong start to the year

The MINI brand also remained on its successful course worldwide. A total of 15,768 (prev. yr. 14,125) vehicles were delivered to customers – an increase of 11.6%. The MINI Countryman was among the models to post significant growth, with sales rising 59.0% to 5,575 (prev. yr. 3,506) units.

January 2012 January 2011 change year-to-date 2012 year-to-date 2011 change
15,768 14,125 11.6% 15,768 14,125 11.6%

See all MINI sales worldwide by month.