Monthly Archives: September 2011

MINI JCW Coupe vs. Audi TT Coupe


Audi TT Coupe

Since the MINI Coupé Concept was first shown in 2009, many people have compared the MINI Coupe, at least visually, with the Audi TT Coupe.  Both are undoubtedly sporty, but the MINI Coupe is a smaller and less expensive car than the more luxurious Audi TT Coupe.  However, we can still compare the specifications and see just how they match up.  Although the Audi is more than 18″ longer than the MINI, the MINI’s wheelbase is nearly equal (97.1″ vs. the Audi’s 97.2″).  Whereas the MINI Coupe is strictly a two-seater, the Audi TT is a 2+2.  The Audi has about 0.4 liter (386 cm³) greater engine displacement, yet produces only 3 hp more power than the JCW Coupe (although the Audi does have a much larger amount of torque).  The Audi TT Coupe is quicker from 0-60 mph but the MINI JCW Coupe has a much higher top speed.

The base price of the cheapest Audi TT Coupe is over $7,000 more than the starting price of the top-of-the-line MINI JCW Coupe, but Audi includes many more items as standard such as Xenon headlights, heated mirrors and windshield washers, leather seats, alarm system, automatic air-conditioning, auto-dimming mirror, Bluetooth connectivity, and an armrest.

2012 MINI JCW Coupe 2012 Audi TT Coupe
Length 147.0″ (3,734 mm) 165.5″ (4,178 mm)
Width 66.3″ (1,683 mm) 72.5″ (1,842 mm)
Height 54.5″ (1,384 mm) 53.2″ (1,345 mm)
Wheelbase 97.1″ (2,466 mm) 97.2″ (2,468 mm)
Weight 2,701 lb (1,225 kg) 3,153 lb (1,430 kg)
Drag Coefficient 0.35 0.30
Engine and Transmission
Type and Displacement Inline 4 Cylinder 1,598 cm³ Inline 4 cylinder 1,984 cm³
Power 208 hp @ 6,000 rpm 211 hp @ 4,300-6,000 rpm
Torque 192 lb-ft @ 1,850-5,600 rpm 258 lb-ft @ 1,600-4,200 rpm
Transmission 6-Speed Manual,
front-wheel drive
6-Speed S tronic,
quattro all-wheel drive
Front MacPherson MacPherson
Rear Multi-Link Four-link
Front 12.4″ Ventilated Disc 12.3″ Ventilated Disc
Rear 11.0″ Ventilated Disc 11.3″ Ventilated Disc
Wheels and Tires
Wheels 17″ x 7″ Alloy 18″ x 9″ Alloy
Tires 205/45-R17 Performance Runflat 245/40-R18 Performance
Base Price (MSRP) $31,900 (Includes $700 Destination) $39,175 (Includes $875 Destination)
Similarly Equipped $38,000 $39,175
Top Speed 149 mph (240 km/h) 130 mph (209 km/h)
Acceleration (0-60 mph) 6.1 seconds 5.3 seconds
Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined) 25/33/28 mpg (est.) 22/31/26 mpg

[Sources: Audi USA website, MINI USA website, MINI USA News.]

MINI returns for the 10th annual Targa Newfoundland

MINI for the Targa Newfoundland 2011

We have long followed the success of Jim Kenzie who brought MINI back to rallying long before the new MINI WRC Team.  He is back with MINI for the 10th annual Targa Newfoundland which will run from September 10-17, 2011.  Kenzie does not drive a MINI Countryman like the WRC team; he drives a rally-prepared version of the MINI CHALLENGE John Cooper Works (R56).

From the Team Octane press release:

History, tradition, speed part of MINI winning legacy at Targa Newfoundland!

 ST. JOHN’S  (September 5, 2011) – A little history, a strong tradition and a big helping of speed will help MINI Canada build on its winning record when a spectacular red MINI Cooper Works Challenge car pulls up to the start of the 10th annual Targa Newfoundland international rally here.

It will be the ninth start for a MINI Canada entry in the event, a record no other manufacturer can touch. And if driver Jim Kenzie and co-driver Brian Bourbonniere can pull off a fourth victory in the tough Open Division competition, it will be the best performance by far for any manufacturer in the event’s 10-year history.

Kenzie, of Milton, Ontario, and Bourbonniere, of Lawrencetown, N.S., are back to defend the Division title after a win in 2010. They already have three wins, a second and a third in Canada’s longest and toughest motorsport event. Kenzie is one of just a handful of competitors who have contested every Targa Newfoundland for the past 10 years.

The team’s history at Targa includes the first win for MINI in an international rally since its re-introduction in 2002, and the brand’s long association with the sport going back to victory in the Monte Carlo rally in the 1960s has made the popular MINI a fan favourite as well as a regular contender in Newfoundland. And with the company committed to a campaign in the World Rally Championship beginning next year, the strong, fast and nimble cars are closely associated with a sport that tests durability and reliability as well as outright speed.

The team will be managed by 2007 and 2009 Canadian Touring Car Champion – Team Octane. The Targa team is supported by Yokohama Tire (Canada) Inc. Team Octane is supported by GENUINE MINI PARTS, Castrol, Simone Performance Imports, Carrosserie Touchette, Lettrage Raoul and

The MINI Challenge car is a purpose-built competition car, created by the company as the basis of a one-marque road race series in places like the U.K., Australia and continental Europe. Race suspension, improved brakes, an on-board air-jack system and dazzling aerodynamic kit including front splitter, rear diffuser, and high-downforce adjustable rear wing make the little red rocket a serious contender.

“The MINI and the team delight fans everywhere they go. Jim and Brian have made friends and fans all across the province, and they continue to post results that are the envy of every team here,” enthuses Targa organizer Robert Giannou. “They are terrific ambassadors for MINI and we’re delighted to have them back.”

Owned and operated by Newfoundland International Motorsports Limited, Targa Newfoundland is one of three internationally recognized Targa motorsports events in the world. The 10th annual Targa Newfoundland will start in St. John’s on Saturday, September 10, 2011, and end back in the capital Saturday, September 17. The competition will cover more than 2,000 kilometres of the challenging, twisty roads of the central and eastern portion of Newfoundland, including up to 450 kilometres of closed-road, flat-out Targa stages.

We’ll be following the rally and reporting on Team Octane’s progress.

Collectibles: Hot Wheels 2011 Morris Mini

Hot Wheels 2011 Morris Mini
Last month we featured the Hot Wheels 2011 MINI CHALLENGE die-cast car.  Now Hot Wheels has released a classic Mini for 2011.

Hot Wheels has released its 2011 Track Stars series and it includes this Morris Mini die-cast model.  The Morris Mini model is teal with a red roof and wheels and with the number 3 and graphics on the sides.

The Morris Mini is number 10/15.  It comes on collector card number 75/244 in both long (shown) and short card size.

See other Hot Wheels and other die-cast MINIs and Minis.

MINI USA sales for August 2011

From BMW Group PressClub USA:

MINI Brand Sales

MINI USA reported sales of 3,109 automobiles in August. The August 2011 sales are down 29.7% from the 4,425 sold in August, 2010.

“Lack of inventory slowed MINI sales in August due to our annual model year change over in July,” said Jim McDowell, Vice President – MINI USA. “MINI has been fortunate to maintain a tight supply of inventory and many customers submitted specifications for custom MINIs in August so we are confident this will be reflected in September and October sales continuing our momentum this year.”

Year-to-date, MINI sales in the U.S. are up 26.7% on volume of 37,636 compared to 29,704 in the first eight months of 2010.

August 2011 August 2010 change year-to-date 2011 year-to-date 2010 change
3,109 4,425 -29.7% 37,636 29,704 26.7%

This month’s sales put MINI USA’s total sales since launch over the 400,000 mark at 401,250.

See MINI sales in the USA by month.

two-millionth MINI produced

Two-Millionth MINI

On August 31, 2011 MINI produced the two-millionth MINI since the new car launched in 2001.  British Prime Minister David Cameron was in Plant Oxford to drive the milestone vehicle off the assembly line.

The two-millionth MINI is a MINI Cooper Convertible in White Silver with a Denim Blue roof.  It also has the MINI Yours Soda package including MINI Yours Soda options: side scuttles, mirror caps, 17″ Twin Blade Spoke wheels, steering wheel, Black/Satellite Gray dash panel, Satellite Gray Color Line, and Satellite Gray seats.

See our table of all MINI sales worldwide by month.