Tag Archives : MINI Cooper

MINI Cooper engine on Ward’s 10 Best Engines 2015 list

Ward's 10 Best - MINI Cooper Engine

MINI has won another award for the new 1.5 liter turbocharged engine in the third-generation MINI Cooper.  Ward’s has chosen this engine as one if its 10 Best Engines for 2015.

To be eligible for the Ward’s 10 Best Engines competition, an engine or propulsion system must be all-new or significantly re-engineered and available in the U.S. market with a base price not exceeding $60,000. This year’s pool of 37 nominees includes last year’s 10 winners and 27 new entries. Eight WardsAuto editors drove the vehicles in October and November in their routine daily commutes around metro Detroit. Editors scored each engine based on power, torque, technology, observed fuel economy, relative competitiveness and noise, vibration and harshness characteristics.

Here’s the entire list:

  • 127-kW Electric Motor (BMW i3 electric vehicle)
  • 6.2L OHV V-8 (Chevrolet Corvette Stingray)
  • 6.2L Supercharged OHV V-8 (Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat)
  • 1.0L Turbocharged DOHC 3-cyl. (Ford Fiesta)
  • 100-kW Fuel Cell (Hyundai Tucson FCV)
  • 1.5L Turbocharged DOHC 3-cyl. (Mini Cooper)
  • 3.0L Turbodiesel DOHC V-6 (Ram 1500 EcoDiesel)
  • 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC H-4 (Subaru WRX)
  • 1.8L Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Volkswagen Jetta)
  • 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. (Volvo S60)

Mini has won two Ward’s 10 Best Engines trophies over the past 21 years for boosted high-output 4-cyl. engines, but this year the brand returns with an authoritative interpretation of the 3-cyl., another powertrain destined to achieve high volumes in the U.S. as efficiency demands rise.


Mini’s 1.5L churns out 134 hp and makes the all-new Cooper highly entertaining, while enabling every WardsAuto editor to achieve at least 30 mpg (7.8 L/100 km) in spirited driving. One editor said he couldn’t imagine buying a Mini with any other engine.


There was a time when people bought underpowered 3-cyl. engines out of economic necessity. Mini turns that legacy on its ear by demonstrating a base engine can totally sell a vehicle. With a starting price under $20,000, the Mini 3-cyl. is the smart choice.

Read the press release Variety Distinguishes 2015 Ward’s 10 Best Engines.

MINI Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Delayed

2002 MINI Cooper

If you are a MINI owner waiting for compensation from several class action lawsuits, you’ll be waiting a little longer.  The cases involved are Aarons v. BMW of North America LLCBourne-Miller v. BMW of North America LLC, and Bonomo v. BMW of North America LLC.  They involve owners of 2002-2006 MINI Cooper Hardtops and 2005-2008 MINI Cooper Convertibles with the automatic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

A prior objection to the terms of the settlement was lost before the judgement was made.  However, it contained no new objection that wasn’t already addressed and the settlement is expected to go forward.

According to the settlement, MINI owners who joined the class action lawsuit and who had their CVT repaired or replaced by BMW or MINI will get a 3 year/500,000 mile parts and labor warranty from the date/mileage of the repair or replacement.  Those who who sold their MINI for $4,000 or less without repairing the CVT could receive $1,000 to $2,000 in compensation.

MINI 10 Years Anniversary model debuts

MINI 10 Years Anniversary special edition

In the press release before the New York International Auto Show, MINI announced a US-only special edition model to commemorate the ten years MINI has been in the United States.  It will come as a Cooper only.

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

Special model for the USA: MINI 10 Years Anniversary.

The second world premiere at the Auto Show in New York is dedicated to the tenth anniversary of MINI on the US automobile market. The MINI 10 Years Anniversary was designed especially for customers in the USA. Based on the MINI Cooper, the 121 hp 4-cylinder anniversary model expresses the pioneering spirit of the first premium small car as it set out to take the USA by storm. “As you would expect, it is available in three paint finishes: red, white and blue – the three colors which make up the national flag of the USA,” says Dr. Kay Segler.

The Chili Red version on display features chrome driving lamps, 16″ R90 Cross Spoke Alloy wheels, larger rear spoiler, striped side graphics, and special “MINI 10 Years in America” grille badge and rear badge.

Read the entire press release MINI at the New York International Auto Show 2012.

Grassroots Motorsports: MINI Cooper Buyer’s Guide

The December 2011 issue of Grassroots Motorosports December 2011Grassroots Motorsports magazine is out now and it contains a complete MINI Cooper buyer’s guide.  The article begins with a brief history of BMW’s acquisition of Mini to create the MINI brand.  It covers the early years of the MINI in the US.  One table lists the year-by-year changes from 2002 to 2006.

Getting to the actual buyer’s guide, the advice covers the first-generation Cooper (R50) and Cooper S (R53) models.  The author enlists the help of MINI aftermarket vendors including Sneed’s Speed Shop, Mini Mania, and Way Motor Works.  For example, here’s Way Hunsucker on engine mounts:

Hunsucker recommends examining the engine mounts on any used MINI. “The passenger-side mounts on all years go bad. The later ones, anything mid-’04 and on, has basically a metal can, and the fluid will leak out—that’s how you tell if it’s bad. The earlier ones are rubber but still fluid-filled. They get short as they age and that tears the other mounts.” Polyurethane replacements are available.

The guide covers:

  • Body and Interior
  • Engine and Drivetrain
  • Suspension and Brakes


MINI Cooper vs. FIAT 500 Sport

2011 MINI Cooper

2012 Fiat 500 Sport

As the FIAT 500 arrives in the United States soon, some comparisons to the MINI Cooper have been made.  For our comparison, we chose the two models closest in performance: the MINI Cooper versus the FIAT 500 Sport.  FIAT does have a high-performance model, the FIAT 500 Abarth, but that version will not be coming to the US until 2012 or 2013.

Similarities between MINI and FIAT are plenty.  Both cars are modern updates to their classic versions which had long, relatively unchanged production runs.  The original MINI Cooper from 2001 and the current FIAT 500 were both designed by Frank Stephenson.  Both brands entered the US market with a single model.  And the “Car of the Year” award was won by both.

One interesting note: MINI has just over 100 dealerships in the US after nine years.  FIAT plans to open 130 dealerships at launch.

2011 MINI Cooper 2012 FIAT 500 Sport
Length 146.6″ (3,723 mm) 139.6″ (3,547 mm)
Width 66.3″ (1,683 mm) 64.1″ (1,627 mm)
Height 55.4″ (1,407 mm) 59.8″ (1,520 mm)
Wheelbase 97.1″ (2,466 mm) 90.6″ (2,300 mm)
Weight (Manual) 2,535 lb (1,150 kg) 2,350 lb (1,068 kg)
Weight (Automatic) 2,612 lb (1,190 kg) 2,430 lb (1,105 kg)
Drag Coefficient 0.33 0.35
Engine and Transmission
Type and Displacement Inline 4 Cylinder 1,598 cm³ Inline 4 cylinder 1,368 cm³
Power 121 hp (90 kw) @ 6,000 rpm 101 hp (75 kw) @ 6,900 rpm
Torque 114 lb-ft (160 N-m) @ 4,250 rpm 98 lb-ft (133 N-m) @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission 6-Speed Manual/6-Speed Auto 5-Speed Manual/6-Speed Auto
Front MacPherson MacPherson
Rear Multi-Link Twist-Beam Axle
Wheels and Tires
Wheels 15″ x 5.5 Aluminum Alloy 16″ x 6.5 Cast Aluminum
Tires 175/65-R15 All-Season 195/45-R16 All-Season
Price (MSRP) $19,400 (Excludes Destination) $17,500 (Excludes Destination)
Top Speed 126 mph (203 km/h) 100 mph (160 km/h)
Acceleration (0-62 mph) 9.1 seconds 10.5 seconds
CO2 Emissions 127 g/km 149 g/km

Penguin Books sells autographed MINI Cooper

Penguin Books autographed MINI Cooper

Penguin Books has listed a 2010 MINI Cooper “SD” on AutoTrader.com.  The custom orange MINI is listed at $30,000 which also includes the top 75 books sold by Penguin Books over the last 75 years.  The listing from AutoTrader.com:

Are you or a friend or family member the ultimate literary fan? Then AutoTrader.com has posted for sale the ultimate gift for you or that special someone: a 2010 Mini Cooper SD with a dashboard signed by 18 Penguin authors, including Garrison Keillor of Lake Wobegon fame, Pulitzer Prize winning authors William Kennedy and Geraldine Brooks as well as New York Times bestselling authors Michael Pollan, Sue Monk Kidd, Jan Karon, Rosanne Cash and many more! The price reflects the unique nature of the vehicle, its excellent condition and an additional bonus: the car comes with the top 75 titles published by Penguin Books over the past 75 years, a collection of books worth about $1,200. Proceeds from the sale of the car will be donated to the New York Public Library. The vehicle comes with AM/FM/CD, MP3 player jack, air conditioning, automatic transmission, black cloth seats, orange and black exterior paint (freshly painted) and, of course, those 18 autographs in silver pen along the dashboard, doors and steering wheel. The car has about 15,750 miles on it and is currently located in New York City.

collectible of the day: MINI Press Information (2001)

MINI One MINI Cooper Press Information (2001)Today we have one of the most collectible items in the Library of Motoring collection.  Shown is one of the earliest MINI press kits in English.  The MINI One MINI Cooper Press Information (2001) is a glossy folder containing MINI information, a book, color photographs, and a CD.

Open the press kit folder left and right (see photo below left) to reveal two pockets.  The left side holds the stapled, 30 page press information packet.  The cover date is July 2001.  The text content includes: MINI; Exterior; Interior; Safety; Drivetrain; Suspension and Steering; Electrics and Electronics; Sales, Package and Pricing; Options; Manufacturing; The MINI Brand; Data Sheets; External and Internal Dimensions; and Performance and Torque Diagrams.

The right side holds 16 photographs: six of an Indi Blue MINI One, nine of a Chili Red and White MINI Cooper, and one of a Pure Silver MINI Cooper with accessories.  All of the photos are dated 06/01.

Lift up the middle flap with the MINI logo (see photo below right) to reveal a CD attached to the inside of the flap and a hardcover book set into the middle of the folder.

The CD contains a 43 page PDF file of the information in the paper press packet and lots of color images.

Finally, the press kit includes a limited edition (2,500 copies) commemorative book titled MINI Cooper: The Modern Interpretation of an Immortal Legend.  The small book measures only about 5.5″ wide by 5″ high, but contains 80 full-color, glossy pages.  Attached inside the book’s back cover is yet another CD, this one holds 16 press photos of an Indi Blue and White MINI Cooper and one image of the MINI logo, all in both high resolution and low resolution.

Download the MINI One MINI Cooper Press Information (2001) file from the CD on the flap.

MINI One MINI Cooper Press Information (2001) (open 1)

MINI One MINI Cooper Press Information (2001) (open 2)

collectible of the day: MINI ONE. MINI COOPER. brochure (2001)

MINI One. MINI Cooper. (2001)Today we feature what might be the most collectible MINI brochure of all time.  One of the earliest brochures from the UK is this MINI ONE. MINI COOPER. brochure from 2001.

The glossy spiral-bound brochure has a clear plastic front cover and a thicker translucent back cover.  The seven sections of the booklet are a different shape and size and were created by a different prominent designer:


The MINI ONE. MINI COOPER. brochure features a Silk Green MINI One and a Chili Red MINI Cooper in its storyline (see pages 14-15 below, left).  The photos were taken in New South Wales, Australia.

Colors shown are Chili Red, Black, Liquid Yellow, British Racing Green, Cosmos Black, Indi Blue, Pure Silver, and Silk Green.  Inside this section is a detachable plastic “Matchcard” (see below, right) which you can place over the color blocks to “see what your car could look like!”.

The EQUIPMENT section includes the usual Exterior Features, Interior Features, Option Packages, and Safety.

MINI ONE. MINI COOPER. brochure (2001) (page 14)MINI ONE. MINI COOPER. brochure (2001) (page 15)

MINI ONE. MINI COOPER. brochure (2001) (Matchcard)

The MINI catalog number is 1 11 50 02 21 1 2001 GM. Printed in Germany 2001.

collectible of the day: IMAG-A-MINI ad


Probably one of the most expensive ad inserts created for MINI is the IMAG-A-MINI ad.  The insert consists of a plastic template for drawing a custom MINI Cooper (R50).

The ad insert can be found in the following magazine issues:

  • Blender. November 2005.
  • Metropolis. December 2005.
  • Premiere. December 2005.
  • Surface. Issue 56.

Car Talk MINI test drives

Car Talk
Listeners of National Public Radio (NPR) on weekends are familiar with the program “Car Talk” featuring “Click and Clack”, or Tom and Ray Magliozzi.  On the program the brothers review cars and attempt to solve the car problems of callers.

They have reviewed two MINI models:

The 2002 MINI Cooper review is very thorough with a rating of “Awesome!” by Ray and “Pretty Good!” by Tom.

As you might expect from a car developed by BMW, the driving experience in the Mini Cooper is pretty damn sporty. The car is fun to drive. The handling is exceptionally good. When you turn the Mini into corners it digs in, in the way a good-handling car does. In other words, if you make a left turn, you don’t feel yourself falling out the right passenger window. Why? Several reasons.

The Mini has a low center of gravity. It’s wheels are pushed all the way out to the corners, like the original Mini (if they were pushed any further, they’d be on someone else’s car). Finally, the Mini has good, tight suspension components throughout.

The 2009 MINI Cooper Clubman review consists of lists of “Pros” and “Cons” with a few photos.

MINI Cooper and Ray and Tom