Monthly Archives: February 2014


MINI Clubman Concept

MINI Clubman Concept

 

Ahead of the Geneva Motor Show, MINI has debuted the MINI Clubman Concept showing a near-production second-generation MINI Clubman (F54).  You might notice the face of this concept resembles the earlier MINI Vision Concept which was released just before the third-generation MINI Hardtop (F56) debuted.

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

Munich/Geneva. At the 2014 Geneva Motor Show MINI presents the MINI Clubman Concept, showcasing a new brand philosophy for a higher class of automobile. 26 centimeters longer and just under 17 centimeters wider than the current MINI Clubman, the Concept comes over as sophisticated, cool and elegant. The iconic design is supplemented by high-quality details, plenty of space for functional features and selected materials. Refinement of the hallmark MINI styling ensures instant recognition, both on the exterior and the interior. The extensive colour and material concept redefines contemporary elegance and high-end quality in this segment.

  • Four doors and five seats offer plenty of utility space, thereby supporting an active lifestyle.
  • Classic MINI design features such as the hexagonal radiator grille, Side Scuttles, the Black Band, short overhangs and elliptical front and rear headlights ensure high recognition value from every angle.
  • Length: 4223 mm, width: 1844 mm (not incl. mirror), height: 1450 mm.
  • Integrated aerodynamics as an essential part of the exterior design.
  • The interior design interprets typical MINI shapes and colours, presenting an effortless and elegant combination of high-end quality and functionality.
  • An elaborate colour and material concept in the interior with exclusive materials and unexpected details.
  • The Center Instrument with newly conceived user interface creates an event-controlled interaction space with touch operation.

 

A new class for the future of MINI.

“The MINI Clubman Concept shows how the MINI Clubman could be taken a step further: more interior space, a greater sense of high-end quality and yet still clever, bold and distinctive. In short: more car, more MINI,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design, explaining the approach to this model. For over 50 years now, MINI has stood for maximum use of minimum space. 26 centimetres longer and just under 17 centimetres wider than the current MINI Clubman, the MINI Clubman Concept applies this aspiration to a new class of automobile. As Head of MINI Design Anders Warming explains: “With the MINI Clubman Concept we are presenting a car with space, flair and style in a segment where the focus is mainly on function and utility. With clever ideas, emotional design and a cool blend of colours and materials, it offers an overall experience which remains unique in this segment to date.”

 

Supreme, dynamic, elegant – the exterior design.

Even with larger exterior dimensions, the MINI Clubman Concept is instantly recognisable as a typical MINI. With the characteristic agility of the MINI proportions, the prolonged roof line clearly reflects the car’s extensive utility space. It also gives the silhouette a distinctive elegance, underscored by generous surfaces. The powerful, warm Berry Red colour shows surfaces and shapes to optimum effect. The roof in the colour “Blade” – a metallic grey – creates an elegant contrast with the warm red of the corpus.

Classic MINI design icons such as the hexagonal radiator grille, Side Scuttles, Black Band and the typical lights are designed in precise, high-end style. The modern, reduced interpretation of these features gives the MINI Clubman Concept a more sophisticated, charismatic look. The themes of aerodynamics and air ducting are clearly highlighted in the exterior design. All openings and outlets are integrated in the geometry and elegantly shaped. Clearly defined wheel arches and the roof spoiler accentuate the car’s dynamic appearance, underscoring the overall impression of sporty flair.

 

Typical MINI in every detail – the front section.

Seen from the front, the circular headlamps, hexagonal radiator grille and roof with add-on look clearly identify the MINI Clubman Concept as belonging to the MINI family. The radiator grille is strikingly elaborated and incorporates the bumper in the front section. The bumper is finished in Black Chrome, adding a touch of exclusive style to this functional element. Elaborate details such as the three-dimensional structure of the chrome ribs inside the front grille further enhance the front section. The high quality standards of the MINI Clubman Concept even extend to the surface modelling. Fine edges add precision and presence to the generous surfaces.

In the lower area of the front-end design there is a continuous air inlet which highlights the breadth of the MINI Clubman Concept, thereby emphasising its solid standing on the road. Meanwhile a finely wrought chrome rib appears to hover inside the air inlet, giving this sporty detail a touch of exclusive appeal. In the outer section of the front apron there are so-called AirCurtains – an aerodynamic feature that gives the wheel arches an aerodynamically optimised closure. These dynamically surround the lower part of the front section like two brackets.

 

Plenty of space for characteristic dynamism – the side.

Reduced to the essentials, the side view instantly conveys the qualities of the MINI Clubman Concept: a long wheelbase, flatly positioned windows and short overhangs reflect characteristic MINI agility. At the same time, the long roof line and the typical two-box design clearly emphasise the car’s high level of functionality and its generous utility space. Meanwhile the four doors reflect the extended exterior dimensions and increased functionality. Generous surface expanses elongate the side, while at the same time subtle surface modelling and precise lines make the silhouette appear flat and dynamic. Three chrome elements give the side section a sense of exclusivity with modern understatement. At the front, the Side Scuttle incorporates the filigree mirror base and turn indicator in an elongated element whose shape is echoed by the two electrical door openers. Integrated flush with the surface, these draw a line back to the rear which is taken up by the rear door handles. Above this, the surrounding shoulder line in chrome offsets the corpus of the car from the greenhouse and roof in hallmark MINI style. This so-called Waistline Finisher embraces the entire passenger cell, reinforcing the exterior graphics so typical of the brand. The 19″ light alloy rims in bicolour Black Chrome and Chrome finish are the highlight of the side view. A clear cup formation gives the elaborate multi-spoke design a highly dynamic touch. In between, glossy accents are added by non-cupped polished surfaces.

 

Aerodynamic details for optimum air ducting.

The MINI Clubman Concept is the first MINI to be fitted with a so-called AirBreather at the side. The AirBreather echoes the design theme of the AirCurtains in the front apron, cutting dynamically into the surrounding Black Band. The elaborate double roof spoiler at the rear is shown to best advantage from the top view. The third brake light is integrated in between the two wings of the roof spoilers in Formula 1 style. There are also two longitudinal sections of plexiglass which run across the entire length of the roof like rally stripes. In conjunction with the roof spoiler, this means that the distinctive dynamic air typical of MINI is applied to the MINI Clubman Concept from a bird’s-eye perspective, too.

 

Typical MINI Clubman: split doors for increased loading convenience – the rear.

The MINI Clubman Concept is broad and athletic in the rear view. The familiar MINI cascading – a staggering of multiple layers – gives the automobile a very solid standing and a muscular wheel orientation when seen from the rear. The most striking rear elements are the characteristic split doors. The typical continuous door frame is no longer made of sheet metal. The door graphic itself provides the frame surrounding the entire rear section like a discreet bracket. This newly elaborated design gives the whole rear a reduced, modern appearance. The horizontally positioned rear lights have a highly detailed finish. Their shape underscores the car’s broad standing and the dynamic orientation of the rear section. Selected chrome accents such as the “Clubman” inscription, the MINI emblem on the left-hand door and the door handles are specific details which emphasise the high-quality aspiration of the MINI Clubman Concept.

As in the front section, the aerodynamically optimised bumper finishes off the rear to the road.

 

Exclusivity and function interpreted in contemporary style – the interior design.

Along with the exterior, the interior of the MINI Clubman Concept has also grown to larger dimensions. With four doors and five fully-fledged seats, the MINI Clubman Concept offers plenty of space for the pursuit of an active lifestyle.

The new dimensions are brought to life by means of generous surfaces and more sophisticated spatial effect. The underlying design theme in the interior is the characteristic ellipse. Precise and contoured in its shaping, it comes over as more sophisticated while clearly displaying its origins. Around the ellipses, the interaction between several levels and surfaces adds lightness and a three-dimensional feel to the interior.

The unusual materials are especially worthy of mention: nubuck leather in a light Sky Blue, patent leather in rich Berry Red and black soft nappa leather ensure an exclusive interior atmosphere which is highly expressive. In between, elements in patinised silver add high-end accentuations. The patina gives them the character of familiar, fondly used items. Decorative strips in blue limed ash grain convey cool, modern elegance. The two highly expressive fabrics Tweed Grey and Black Twill set an attractive counterpoint to the classic value attributes of wood, leather, silver, thereby creating the familiar MINI interior experience. Small details such as the buttons with Union Jack embossment on the seats and central console, contrast stitching, piping or red accentuation surfaces in the sunblinds which only appear when these are folded down all add a touch of surprise to the mature character of the MINI Clubman Concept.

 

High-end sophistication and presence – the instrument panel.

The interior element of the MINI Clubman Concept with the most powerful presence is the leather-covered instrument panel. With a surround in blue limed ash grain and a white porcelain finish, the black upper section of the instrument panel has a hovering appearance. Indirect rear lighting of the gap reinforces this impression and gives the area in front of the driver and front passenger an extremely high-end ambience. The linear air vents have patinised, silver-plated surrounds. Between the air vents there is an area in Black Chrome which can be back-lit if required that provides additional information for the driver and front passenger. The suggested “Faded Diamonds” rhombus pattern gives the Black Chrome surface a particularly high-quality structure. The lower section of the instrument panel is finished in Berry Red patent leather, providing an extrovert yet sophisticated contrast to the more discreet design of the upper half.

 

Multi-layered and light – the door design.

The newly interpreted ellipse in the side runs dynamically across the two doors to create a visual link between front and rear. The armrests in blue nubuck leather appear to hover in the doors, while behind them there are practical storage compartments. The decorative surfaces in the doors have indirect backlighting to underscore the inviting, contemporary ambience. The side mirrors and roof liner recede discreetly into the background due to use of high-quality fabric Tweed Grey in salt-and-pepper look, while the quality weave of the fabric Black Twill with classic black-and-white contrast on the floor and mats makes for an elegant finish.

The concept of spatial function in the rear is rounded off with clever storage facilities in the split doors as well as a double load floor. The pouches in the doors are elaborately fitted with nubuck leather in Silk White. They are placed within convenient reach and help make optimum use of space in the luggage compartment. The double load floor provides additional storage capacity.

 

Intelligent controls.

The display area in the centre console (160mm x 150mm) adapts according to the content selected or the situation on the road. Three “intelligent” toggles are assigned the relevant content according to selected content or driving functions. Above and beyond this, the three toggles can also be freely programmed and assigned particular functions according preference. The haptic quality of the toggles means that the various functions can be operated during travel without looking. Here the MINI Clubman Concept has taken classic operating elements that have been a part of MINI for 55 years and consistently advanced them.

[Source: Press Release MINI Clubman Concept – a new class in terms of space, function and supreme elegance. World premiere at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.]


Online Mini and MINI magazines

The MINI International app

You may have viewed our Magazines page with its list of the print magazines available for the classic Mini and MINI.  Some of these are hard to find in the US in print form.  Here’s how to access some of the best e-magazines for your mobile device.


The MINI International

The MINI International

The MINI International is MINI’s own global magazine focusing on “the MINI approach to life”.  The iPad app features the top ten stories from the magazine enhanced by short film sequences, game modules, and interesting background information.

Download the MINI International iPad app at iTunes.

Visit the companion MINI Space website at www.minispace.com.

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Modern MINI

Modern MINI

Modern MINI is a bimonthly magazine from the UK.  It’s available to read online or on all mobile devices.  You can purchase a 7-issue digital subscription or single issues.

Access Modern MINI on your PC or mobile device at Pocket Mags.

View their website at www.modernmini.co.uk.

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Mini Magazine

Mini Magazine

Mini Magazine is the magazine for anyone who wants to get the best out of their classic Mini. Rammed with technical features, advice, and inspirational feature cars.  You can purchase a 13-issue digital subscription or single issues.

Access Mini Magazine on your PC or mobile device at Pocket Mags or Zinio.

View Barnes & Noble Mini Magazine [NOOK Magazine].

View their website at www.minimag.co.uk.

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Mini Expert

Mini Expert

Mini Expert was a single issue magazine. In it, Mini Magazine‘s technical editor Keith Calver shares his vast knowledge of the classic Mini’s powertrain, including identifying and rebuilding different A-Series engines, essential gearbox maintenance and repair, road and race clutches, and tuning your engine to get the very best performance for your budget.

Access Mini Expert on your PC or mobile device at Zinio.

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MiniWorld

MiniWorld

MiniWorld is a monthly magazine from the UK.  MiniWorld is the original magazine for the classic Mini. It’s jam-packed with the best modified Minis in the world, from full-on custom cars to beautiful restorations. There’s news, club info and technical features, plus a classified section. It’s available to read online or on all mobile devices.  You can purchase a 13-issue digital subscription or single issues.

Access MiniWorld on your PC or mobile device at Pocket Mags.

View their website at www.miniworld.co.uk.

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love:mini

love:mini

love:mini is a free online-only magazine and resource for the classic Mini and MINI enthusiasts.

Download or read online from the love:mini Issues page.

View their website at www.love-mini.co.uk.

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MC2 Magazine

MC2 Magazine

MC2 had an online magazine in 2011.  You can still read MC2 issues 28-32 for free:

View their website at www.mc2magazine.com.

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MotorWerks MagazineMotorWerks Magazine

MotorWerks Magazine is a new media (online) magazine from Canada covering BMW and MINI motorsport and enthusiast interests.  It is free to read.

Access the current Volume 4, Issue 1 and the entire Archives.

 


VDL Nedcar to build some MINI Hardtops

VDL Nedcar MINI Production

MINI finally announced that VDL Nedcar will begin series production of the MINI Hardtop starting this summer. It was reported back in 2012 that MINI would expand production into the Netherlands plant, but only now do we find out which model. Most MINI Hardtops will still be built in Plant Oxford, but this move gives MINI the ability to expand and also produce other forthcoming models.

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

Born/Munich. The new MINI Hatch, which celebrated its production start at the MINI plant in Oxford in November 2013, will also be built in the Netherlands from summer 2014. The BMW Group confirmed the start of production today during a visit by Harald Krüger, BMW AG’s Board Member Production, and Dr. Klaus Draeger, BMW AG’s Board Member Purchasing and Supplier Network, at the contract manufacturer VDL Nedcar in Born, Netherlands.
MINI will be the only automotive manufacturer that has series production vehicles built through a contract production in the Netherlands. The BMW Group stands to benefit from the favourable location of the VDL Nedcar site in terms of logistics and its proximity to the UK MINI production network with its locations in Oxford, Swindon and Hams Hall. At the same time, the BMW Group will be stepping up its presence in the Netherlands significantly, making the region an integral part of the MINI success story.

 

“Contract production is a vital flexibility tool for us, and our experience gathered over the past ten years has been nothing but positive. Splitting production of the new MINI Hatch between Oxford and Born will give our global production network additional leeway. We appreciate the reliable, open and trustful cooperation with our Dutch partner, VDL Nedcar,” stated Dr. Klaus Draeger during the plant visit in Born.

 

As another important step in the implementation of the global growth strategy with its sales target of over two million vehicles by 2016, the BMW Group is currently expanding its overall production capacity. Head of Production Harald Krüger said: “The MINI brand is showing substantial growth. This is why we need additional, external production capacity on top of the capacity of the MINI plant in Oxford which stands at about 260,000 units per year in the medium term. VDL Nedcar has many years of experience in producing high quality vehicles, so the company is an ideal partner for us. At the same time, the UK production network is and will remain the heart of MINI production. Splitting production of the new MINI Hatch between Oxford and Born will give us greater flexibility for other models.”

 

Preparations for the production launch of the new MINI hatch at the contract manufacturer VDL Nedcar are on target. A workforce of around 1,500 people will be responsible for building the new MINI from summer 2014. This year MINI production volume at VDL Nedcar is anticipated to already reach a five-digit range. The same demanding quality standards apply to MINI production in Oxford and Born. In order to ensure these quality standards, VDL Nedcar staff received in-depth training on the BMW Group production system at the BMW plants in Leipzig, Oxford and Regensburg.
In 2013, 303,177 MINI vehicles were produced. Plant Oxford produced 175,986 MINI Hatch, Convertible, Clubman, Clubvan, Roadster and Coupé models. An additional 125,559 MINI Countryman and MINI Paceman models were built by the contract manufacturer MSF in Graz, Austria plus additional 1,632 units in other plants. Since the relaunch of the brand in 2001, nearly 2.8 million MINI vehicles have been produced.

See the press release BMW Group to build new MINI Hatch also at VDL Nedcar.


worldwide MINI sales for January 2014

 

MINI Clubman Hyde Park
From BMW Group PressClub Global:

Despite the upcoming model change, MINI sales remained stable with 15,510 models (prev. yr.15,864 / -2.2%) delivered worldwide in January. Sales of the MINI Clubman increased 18.9% to 1,247 (prev. yr. 1,049) and the MINI Countryman continues to be in strong demand with 6,425 models delivered since the start of the year (prev. yr. 6,259 / +2.7%). The new MINI model is expected to bring further momentum to sales as of spring.

January 2014 January 2013 change year-to-date 2014 year-to-date 2013 change
15,510 15,864 -2.2% 15,510 15,864 -2.2%

 

See all MINI sales worldwide by month.


MINI pricing from 2002 to 2014

MINI lineup

With MINI moving into its third generation starting with the 2014 MINI Hardtop, we have compiled the MINI model pricing figures in the US since the launch in March 2002. The prices shown are the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) which includes the Destination and Handling Fee shown.

Some interesting notes:

  • There was a mid-year price increase in 2004 (as shown in the table).
  • Since MY2011, the MINI Cooper Hardtop ($20,100) is more expensive than the MY2002 MINI Cooper S Hardtop ($19,850).
  • The only price that went down from the previous year was the 2010 MINI John Cooper Works Convertible (from $34,950 to $34,700).
  • Prices remained the same from 2007 to 2008.
  • The highest ever base price is for the 2013 and 2014 MINI John Cooper Works Roadster at $36,495.

MINI pricing from 2002 to 2004


2014 MINI Hardtop press reviews

2014 MINI Hardtop

MINI recently invited the media to Puerto Rico to test-drive the forthcoming 2014 MINI Cooper Hardtop and MINI Cooper S Hardtop.  And the reviews from the automotive press are coming in.  Read the articles from the sources you trust most.

AOL Autos: AOL Autos Test Drive: 2014 Mini Cooper [February 4, 2014]

Auto Express: MINI Cooper 2014 review [January 30, 2014]

Auto Spies: REVIEW: 2014 MINI-The Most Improved Player So Far In 2014? [February 4, 2014]

Autoblog: 2014 Mini Cooper first drive [February 10, 2014]

Autocar: 2014 Mini Cooper first drive review [January 30, 2014]

Autocar: 2014 Mini Cooper S first drive review [January 30, 2014]

AutoGuide.com: 2014 MINI Cooper S Hardtop Review [January 31, 2014]

Automobile: 2014 Mini Cooper Review [February 3, 2014]

Autoweek: 2014 Mini Cooper and Cooper S first drive [February 20, 2014]

BMWBLOG: 2014 MINI Cooper – BMWBLOG First Drive Review [February 3, 2014]

Car and Driver: 2014 Mini Cooper / Cooper S Hardtop [February 2014]

CAR Magazine: Mini Cooper S (2014) CAR review [February 3, 2014]

cars.com: 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtop First Drive, Photo Gallery [January 31, 2014]

Drive.com.au: Mini Cooper S video review [February 27, 2014]

Edmunds.com: Full 2014 MINI Cooper Review [February 2014]

Jalopnik: The 2014 Mini Cooper Is The Future Of BMW [January 31, 2014]

LeftLane News: First Drive: 2014 MINI Cooper Hardtop [Review] [February 4, 2014]

Motor Trend: First Drive: 2014 Mini Cooper [February 4, 2014]

NBC News: Mini’s new hardtop grows, as do sales [February 3, 2014]

Oxford Mail: Our motoring man gives new Mini a spin + Video [March 13, 2014]

Popular Mechanics: 2014 Mini Hardtop: The Not-So-Mini Mini Grows a Little More [February 26, 2014]

Top Gear: First drive: the brand new Mini [January 30, 2014]

Wheels.ca: Preview: 2014 Mini Hatchback [February 27, 2014]

Yahoo! Autos: 2015 Mini Cooper, the half-size BMW: Motoramic Drives [February 4, 2014]

 

We will add more reviews as we find them.


MINI USA sales for January 2014

MINI USA sales for January 2014

From BMW Group PressClub USA:

 

MINI Brand Sales

 

For January, MINI USA reports 2,543 automobiles, a decrease of 30.9 percent from the 3,682 sold in the same month a year ago. MINI USA is currently in transition from the current hardtop to the new model arriving in the second quarter.

 

MINI Pre-Owned Vehicles – Best January Ever
In January, MINI used automobiles (including MINI NEXT certified pre-owned and pre-owned) reported sales of 1,881 automobiles, an increase of 22 percent from the 1,542 sold in January, 2013.

 

January 2014 January 2013 change year-to-date 2014 year-to-date 2013 change
2,543 3,682 -30.9% 2,543 3,682 -30.9%

See MINI sales in the USA by month.