The 2012 London Olympics is a little over a month away so it’s hardly surprising that we’re seeing a lot of promo videos coming out hyping up the quadrennial sporting spectacle.
One automaker that has taken this route is MINI and their recently unveiled video called the "Britalian Job."
Produced in the same vein as the 1969 classic "The Italian Job," the video features a number of MINIs trying to chase after a thief who stole gold. Well, if you’ve ever seen the Italian Job, you’ll know how the video ends. The special edition MINIs chase after the thief and relive some of the more iconic scenes from the movie, particularly driving down the Duke of York Steps off the Mall, chasing through through Leadenhall market, and the cars coming out of the same Park Lane basement as the movie. The video even has a couple of British Olympic legends in it, including Daley Thompson and Matthew Pinset, as well as racer and model Jodie Kidd.
"It was great fun making this film and London makes such a brilliant setting for an action sequence like this," said James Cracknell, British rowing champion and double Olympic gold medalist.
Check out the video and see exactly what Mr. Cracknell is talking about.
German automaker MINI is only one of many automakers that are looking to break into the Chinese market. Just like many of its contemporaries, MINI is going the route of presenting a special edition version of the Cooper exclusive to the Chinese market.
The limited run model is being called the China Olympic Special Edition, although the absence of any Olympic logos seem to suggest otherwise. Anyway, that’s what they wanted to call it so, you know, more power to them.
What the car does have is MINI’s now iconic British Racing Green paint finish that’s finely matched by a special five-stripe gold design that runs across the car’s bonnet and white roof, forming what we think is an oval running track. In addition, there are a number of "MINI China" logos on the sides, entrenching its claim as a true China-only vehicle.
Meanwhile, performance modifications were left out, which means that you can expect to see the same 1.6-liter petrol engine that produces 158 horsepower.
It’s a mundane and tedious task that no one likes to do and everyone avoids like the plague, regardless of the fact that we all had to learn it before getting our driver’s license. That’s right; we’re talking about the squeezing your car between the front bumper of one car and the rear bumper of the other, also known as parallel parking.
Some people are really good at this task, especially those that live in larger cities that have primarily street parking (see: New York City) and some of them are really bad. The guys in the above video are definitely in the former category, as they set the Guinness Books record for the tightest parallel parking job multiple times, constantly one-upping each other.
The first driver of the red Mini Cooper manages to perfectly drift this sub-compact ride into a space that is just 21 cm (8.3 inches) longer than his car, which sets the record. He then gets beaten by a second driver that hits 20 cm (7.9-inches). The back and forth continues until the record is finally set in stone at 15 cm (5.9 inches).
Guinness uses the term “parallel parking” pretty loosely in this sense, as there is no attempt to pull the car out of the tight space, which is a part of parallel parking. We definitely think that the record should be set by the person that can get the car into the tightest space then out of it without contacting another car, but we are sticklers for reality.
Enjoy the video as these high-performance parkers slide their way into curb-side-parking fame.
The Mini Cooper is undoubtedly popular due to its stylish setup, but it has somewhat of a "little" problem: Size. The Cooper only comes in a three-door configuration and being that size does indeed matter, many US customers consider it unsafe, uncomfortable, and not very practical. Mini plans to change that with its next generation Cooper and its new five-door configuration. This new version is aimed especially for markets like US.
Aimed especially at markets like the U.S., this five door version will be based on the three-door version, but will get two shortened front doors and two small, conventionally opening doors behind them. This will be a similar layout to the one found in the Countryman, but in a smaller version. On the interior, the rear passengers will get an extra 5cm in legroom, while the front section will be identical to the three-door version.
Adding two more doors will make the 5-Door Mini Cooper an ideal family car and will help American customers overcome their fears of impracticality. It will most likely be offered at the same time the three-door version comes out, so expect to see it by the end of 2013.
Note: Three-door version pictured.
It’s been about a week since we last offered up spy shots of the next generation Mini Cooper testing on public roads, but today we have another set of images, this time with the future Cooper testing at the famous Nurburgring track.
As reported on other occasions, the next Mini Cooper will be built on the same platform as the next generation BMW 1-Series and will be offered in both FWD and AWD versions. It will also grow slightly in its dimensions and will adopt a more modern design, but will still be immediately recognized as a Mini.
Under the hood, there will be the usual four-cylinder turbocharged engines, but BMW is also developing a new three-cylinder unit to drop in the Coop.
Mini has promised that the 2013 Cooper will be offered in up to ten body versions, including a van. We’ll see how that pans out when the new Cooper is launched sometime in 2013.
The next generation Mini Cooper was caught testing for the first time at the end of 2011, and now our spy photographers have captured it yet again, this time cruising on public roads in Europe.
Codenamed "F56," the third generation Mini Cooper will share a chassis with the next-generation BMW 1-Series and will be offered in both FWD and AWD versions. Aside from the usual four-cylinder, turbocharged engines, BMW will also be adding a three-cylinder option.
These recent spy shots reveal that the new Cooper will grow slightly, adding a bit of width and length. The front grille, however, will be a bit shorter, while the hood and the front overhang appear to be longer than the current model. The front and rear windshields also appear to be more raked than the current Mini.
The new Mini Cooper will be unveiled in the first quarter of 2013, with the convertible following one year later.
Just a couple of weeks, MINI released a series of special edition Ray Line models for Italy. We’ve barely had time to digest those models and the German automaker is at it again with a pair of special edition models dedicated, strangely enough, to two parks in London.
The first of these models is the MINI Cooper Green Park Edition, a model that distinguishes itself with its Pepper White paint finish that’s complemented by the company’s traditional British Racing Green finish on the roof. Aside from the fancy two-tone color, the Green Park Edition also features an interior dressed in the same Pepper White color with seats that can come in either black or Polar Beige.
The MINI Cooper Green Park Edition will be made available with powertrain options ranging from the 1.6-liter gas engine that produces 122 horsepower, the 1.6-liter diesel engine that produces 112 horsepower, the 1.6-liter turbo engine from the Cooper S that produces 184 horsepower, and last but certainly not least, the 2.0-liter that develops 143 horsepower from the Cooper SD.
Likewise, the Green Park Edition is also available to the MINI Clubman.
German automaker MINI has essentially turned special edition models into an art form. These guys have done special edition models so much in the past that they’ve pretty much got the whole set-up down pat.
For their latest offering, MINI is releasing a special line of exclusive vehicles, called the Ray Line, which will only be available in Italy. Why they chose Italy, we don’t know. But what we do know is that these models are pretty cool dressed in touches of neon garb.
The Cooper Hatchback Ray Line features a sporty profile that is enhanced by the rear LED lights that gives the car a more dynamic stance. Add that to the plethora of exterior modifications and you have a car that’s itching to stand out from the rest of the pack. As part of the Ray Line, this special edition model will come with fluorescent staining on the bonnet, roof, side mirrors, and hubcaps. Customers have a choice on what kind of neon shade they’d want, ranging from Alien Green, Lemon Yellow, Flash White, Energy Pink, Vitamin Orange and Shocking Blue.
Not done with all that neon, MINI is also offering special badging, and a new set of 17" MINI Yours Soda Spoke Twin Blade wheels in two different styling options.
MINI’s new Ray Line of models, which are exclusive to Italy, offers customers a fresh new option to enjoy the open-air feel of the Cooper Cabriolet.
Not only does the Cabrio Ray Line come with unique aesthetic modifications, but MINI also went ahead and gave minor tweaks to the interior, particularly the aluminum roll bar that has been deliberately lowered behind the headrests to give drivers an enhanced feeling of freedom as they breeze along the open roads.
But the most important modification done on the Cooper Cabrio Ray Line is giving the car even more visual depth, thanks in large part to the fluorescent staining that allows customers to choose from six different shades of neon. The colors range from Alien Green, Lemon Yellow, Flash White, Energy Pink, Vitamin Orange and Shocking Blue, each of provides even more spunk to a car already brimming with attitude.
In addition, MINI also added a new special badge on the car signifying its special edition designation, as well as a number of options and accessories, including chrome surrounds, a fluorescent hub cover, bonnet stripes with fluorescent piping, black caps on the bi-xenon headlamps, and a new set of 17” wheels that come in two different styles.
Just when you think that you’ve figured out how MINI’s mind works, they come out with something that reminds you just how unpredictable these guys are when it comes to their vehicles.
Say you’re taking a long road trip and you’re eyes are starting to become as heavy as sand bags. The prudent thing to do is to find the nearest inn or just park on the side of the road to catch a brief nap. In the case of the Swindon Roof Top Tent Edition, you can actually do the latter by climbing up to the car’s roof-top tent to get some shut eye.
You read that right; this special MINI Cooper model has a tent set-up on where the roof rack was once located.
Unbelievable as that sounds, it’s even more ridiculous to think that the tent actually has space for two people with a working ladder that allows you access to the roof of your car and inside your tent. And if that wasn’t enough, the roof tent has its own "tent box" that you can use to stow away your tent when you’re not using it. Add some pillows, some blankets, and some stuffed teddy bears, and you’re all set for nice and relaxing sleep inside your tent.
Then again, we’re not naive enough to think that this wasn’t just an elaborate - and brilliant - April Fool’s Day joke from the German automaker. If it was, then consider us buying it hook, line, and sinker. To be honest, with all of their special edition models, we’d truly believe this would be something they were capable of.