Last month, the Mini Countryman Coupe - or the production version of the Paceman Concept unveiled at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show - was spotted for the first time doing some of its testing. Now the Coupe is back for another round of testing at the Nurburgring race track, this time featuring the future Countryman Coupe in a completely new color.
Minus the two doors giving it a more sporty appeal, the upcoming Countryman Coupe will be similar to its four-door version. We expect to see the same technology and engines as the standard Countryman, which means it will get a 122 HP 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine for the standard model and a turbocharged variant with 184 HP for the S version.
Expect to see the new Mini Countryman Coupe launched at the 2012 Paris Auto Show with sales on the US market to begin as a 2014 model.
Mini has a knack for developing vehicles that are as appealing to the market as donuts are to our boys in blue. This is evident in the fact that all of their models have been well-received by all, production as well as concept versions. Now, the company is adding another ace in the hole with a production version of the Paceman Concept unveiled at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. The model will be sold as a coupe version of the Countryman and has just been caught testing for the first time. The new Countryman Coupe will be making its world debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show and will be sold on the US market as a 2014 model.
The Countryman Coupe will feature the same technologies and engines as the standard Countryman, which means it will get a 122 HP 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine for the standard model and a turbocharged variant with 184 HP for the S version. Customers will be able to choose between both a six-speed manual or an automatic transmission. We just hope that Mini will also bring out a JCW Countryman Coupe.
In case you haven’t noticed over the past couple of years, it’s important to understand that when it comes to MINI, there’s nothing in the realm of imagination that these guys aren’t afraid to pursue.
The BMW-owned company has never been a shy about its quirky approach in their marketing exploits, as well as in building concepts, special editions, and everything else in between. And as if to continue in that trend, MINI has released a couple of new models that are, safe to say, unlike anything else anybody’s ever built.
One of the models is called the MINI Cowley Caravan, a model that was based on the Countryman, and comes with pretty much everything you need to build an impromptu camp site.
There are two welcoming sleeping berths, a twin-burner gas-stove, a water tank with its own pump and dish-washing facility, a solar module to charge the on-board battery, and a 230-volt power connection that serves as the power source for - get this - the refrigerator, the TV/DVD, and hi-fi stereo system.
The words "MINI" and "contemporary" have very few similarities between them, and you don’t need to look further than the Cowley Caravan as proof of that. Despite being a separate apparatus in its own right, the eye-catching trailer is still only 12 centimeters - that’s under five inches - wider than a MINI Clubman and weighs just under 300 kilograms - 661 lb - making it svelte enough to be towed around by the Countryman, thus turning it into a true road companion whenever and wherever you go.
And by the way, we are 100% sure that this was a clever April Fool’s Day joke from the automaker. Well played, Mini.
The first downloadable package for the new Gran Turismo 5 became available back in October, followed by a second upgrade package for December, and now GT5 honchos have come up with a third update to to add to the collection. Think they’re overdoing it a bit? Yeah, so do we, but making money is always at the forefront of these decisions.
Ever since MINI started expanding its line-up a few years ago, the German automaker has made great strides in bringing back its old school charm. In reinventing itself as a company, MINI has become quite a hit in the market and to a certain extent, the tuning market as well.
One aftermarket group that has taken a particular fondness to the MINI Countryman ALL4 is H&R, a Washington-based company.
Packed with its noted suspension components and a slew of aftermarket products, the H&R-tuned Countryman was turned from a mild-mannered crossover into a performance vehicle that exudes plenty of attitude.
The first order of business was lowering the car’s ride height and doing so without affecting the car’s overall drivability. H&R then added TRAK+ wheel spacers to create the perfect offset for the Countryman ALL4’s new set of 18" BE by Breyton GTF2 wheels wrapped in Continental ExtremeContact DWS tires. The wheel-and-tire set-up is complimented by slotted brake rotors and blue Goodridge steel braided steel lines, thus improving the car’s overall braking power.
Not only does the new set-up provide stunning good looks for the car, but it also enhanced its cornering grip. Add that to other pertinent changes done on the Countryman ALL4, including an Alta Performance Front Mount Intercooler and Cold Air Intake package, a Borla stainless steel exhaust system, and Motul lubricants, and you have a program that speaks to the Countryman ALL4’s fun-loving character.
After years of testing and development, the MINI Countryman WRC is finally strutting its stuff on the world rally scene with an eye towards a full WRC schedule for next year.
We’re saying this because it appears that Prodrive, the very same outfit that runs MINI’s WRC outfit, is in the process of developing a completely modded Countryman that includes an extensive body kit that features, among other things, a a large fixed carbon fiber wing and a new set of alloy wheels.
According to Autocar, the Prodrive-tuned Countryman also features an comprehensive performance upgrade, one that includes a Prodrive Militek exhaust system and an engine upgrade courtesy of Superchips. The latter took the crossover’s 1.6-liter turbocharged engine and improved its output from the standard 184 horsepower to an more impressive 230-horsepower output.
Even better is that Superchips is still confident in churning out more ponies than it already has in their dyno tests, so that 230-pony figure could still rise up after more testing. No word yet on when MINI will be unveiling a high-performance Countryman, so it could very well be that this is the one that we’ve all been waiting for.
Season 17 of Top Gear has finally arrived and as expected, there’s been a lot of buzz as to what the troika of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May have in store for us. Now we’ve already seen the previews of Season 17, but now that the first episode has finally aired, we can take a look back at what transpired in those 60 minutes.
Certainly, there were plenty of things talked about on the first episode, not the least of which include a hulking piece of four-wheeled monstrosity from South Africa, a review of BMW’s latest pride and joy, a race between a new rally car and a smoking hot Olympic gold medalist, and a certain American rock legend trading in his shock-rock world for the driver seat of a Kia Cee’d hatchback.
Highly entertaining as always, the 17th season of Top Gear is now here.
Check out a review of the first episode after the jump.
The first episode of Top Gear Season 17 is set to be aired on June 26, but for all of those fans that cannot wait another moment to see the Top Gear UK trio at work, BBC has been kind enough to release a teaser trailer of what to expect.
The New York Auto Show was treated to quite a surprise when rock music legends KISS made a surprise appearance to officially introduce four MINI Countryman vehicles, each wearing one of the band member’s world-famous face paints.
Each of the cars were dressed up with their own unique paint finishes bearing the face paint of each of the four members of the rock band. While the cars aren’t going to be sold to the public, all four special edition Countrymans will be auctioned off during a special Father’s Day eBay charity auction to raise money for UNICEF and its attempts to assist the children of Japan. The auction is scheduled for May 29th, 2011, which, incidentally, is Father’s Day.
The tie-up between MINI and KISS is a joined effort in providing assistance to the people of Japan who were struck with a devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami last month. "Our hearts go out to the people of Japan in this time of great tragedy. We wanted to help and also to provide a real way for the KISS Army to get involved," said Gene Simmons, the frontman of KISS.
"UNICEF raises money to help children who are still coping with the effects of these disasters, and also supports other very important emergency relief efforts around the world. Join the KISS Army in giving."
While the cars are set up to be auctioned off on Father’s Day, fans of the both MINI and KISS who won’t be able to buy the cars will get a chance to dress up their MINIs with KISS-inspired wraps, which MINI USA introduced on April 21, 2011. Just like the special edition cars themselves, all proceeds from the sales of these wraps will be given to UNICEF.
UPDATE 06/01/11: The four special edition MINI Countryman KISS Edition is now up on eBay and is currently being auctioned off. Here’s your chance to post your bids and if you want it bad enough, you can own any one of these four special edition MINIs. Keep the bids coming, people! It’s for a great cause!
With so many auto brands going the way of producing art cars over the years, it certainly doesn’t surprise us that somebody would do something with a MINI. So when the German automaker decided to commission renowned artist, Magda Sayegis, to put her talents to good use on a MINI Countryman, we weren’t exactly shocked.
As part of the company’s ‘Wanderlust’ campaign, MINI enlisted the services of Sayegis, a noted artist that became famous for wrapping public spaces around the world with custom yarn knitting. This time around, her subject isn’t a public park or the outside of a museum, but a live MINI Countryman.
Jim McDowell, Vice President MINI USA, said in a statement: "The MINI Countryman embodies the Wanderlust feeling like no other MINI model and the company is launching this interactive campaign to demonstrate how anyone, not just MINI Marketing, can take part in the fun and express what Wanderlust means to them."
Mayegis yarned up the Countryman pretty good at her Wanderlust-inspired event in Austin, Texas. After finishing up the final touches of the yarn-bombed Countryman, Sayegis and her friends celebrated the occasion with a picnic where the car was officially displayed for all the participants to see.