Mini has released many new models in the past two years, but its bread and butter has always been the Cooper and it still remains a high priority. Updates to the Mini Cooper have been coming steadily every year since day one. The R50 Cooper that started the revival for the company in the United States was utilitarian compared to these new models and had left much to be desired.
For 2011, the car receives some minor updates that will help keep it viable until a replacement model is introduced. Refinement is the one word that we would use to describe the new model and that does not mean it is as refined as its BMW cousins, just refined enough for a Mini. The refresh may only be minor, but it is helpful to this car in every way.
Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 Mini Cooper.
There are so many different variations and tuning packages for the Mini Cooper , sometimes it’s difficult to keep track of which Cooper is which. It has a style and shape that plays well with new additions, updates, trim levels, and packages so the most obvious thing to do is add another for greedy consumption. Mini ’s latest toy is a new SD version which just so happens to be their most powerful diesel Cooper ever, and yet another reason the Mini Cooper is so darn popular.
The Mini Cooper SD is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine that delivers an impressive 143 hp at 4,000 rpm and a peak torque of 225 lb-ft available between 1,750 and 2,700 rpm. This leaves the other diesel variants in the Cooper line in the dust since the Cooper D only produces 112hp and the Cooper One D only delivers 114hp. U.S. customers need not start jumping for joy just yet; Mini has yet to decide whether the diesel SD will be taking a trip across the ocean to see us.
Whether we get a piece of this action or not, Mini will be bringing the SD trim level to different Mini models, including the Cooper, Cooper Convertible, Clubman , and Countryman versions. The Mini Cooper SD will be making its world debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show with sales beginning shortly thereafter.
Hit the jump to read more about the Mini Cooper SD.
As the first major international auto show of the 2011 calendar year, the North America International Auto Show sees no shortage of manufacturers all looking to break in the new year with a bang.
Some make a tremendous impression on all of us, whereas others just fade into obscurity as soon as the show ends. The challenge for these automakers is to make sure that they bring out products, whether its of production material or it’s a concept that will stand out from the rest.
All the happenings of the Detroit Auto Show took at the Cobb Center in Detroit a few weeks ago so we felt it was an opportune time to provide a heads-up of what vehicles served notice at the event.
This recap will cover all the cars that were officially unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show. Check out the list and let us know which of these new toys on the block you’d want to be taking home to with you.
AC Schnitzer knows their way around a number of models in the BMW and Mini line-up, but when it comes to the new Mini Countryman , things are a bit different. The new Mini comes packing a much different body than that of the Cooper , leaving tuning firms with uncharted territory. AC Schnitzer is one of the first tuning firms to tackle this new ground, and with their colorful Mini background, the result should be nothing short of spectacular.
What we got, however, is some minor exterior and interior updates that barely change the look of the car at all. The exterior gets a new set of 18" wheels as standard or 19" wheels available upon request. The interior receives an aluminum pedal set and various gear knobs in leather or aluminum with a digital gear display. Yeah, that’s it.
AC Schnitzer did say that this was only phase one of the package, but we expected a little more out of them. Hopefully, the bulk of it will come in the engine updates in the works. The Countryman is currently powered by 122hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines, with the S model getting turbocharged to 184hp. AC Schnitzer has promised that these engines will get a power boost. Let’s just hope we are pleasantly surprised because, as the first tuning kit for the Countryman, this package kind of blows.
Special edition MINIs are nothing new to us, so when word spreads that the brand is going to release a new limited run model, we shrug our shoulders because we pretty much have an idea of what to expect. The only time a special edition MINI catches our attention is when the car looks stunning enough to make us want to actually buy one.
For better or for worse, the Cooper Mat Edition fits that description to a tee.
The good news is that we absolutely love it, despite the minimal changes done to it relative to other special edition MINIs. The matte black paint finish usually has something to do with it, but in this case, the overall stealth and sleek look certainly makes it a barn-burning, head-turning, smoke-belching piece of machinery.
The bad news is that it’s going to be run on only 250 units making it a little more difficult to scoop one up. Unfortunately, though, that’s not even the worst part. As if the 250 units isn’t bad enough, the cars are being sold exclusively in France. Yep. France. Land of the Louvre and the Eiffel.
So much for getting our dibs in on this special edition MINI…
Details on the MINI Cooper Mat Edition after the jump.
After years of sticking to a tried-and-tested formula, MINI has spent the better part of these past few years expanding its product portfolio, all in the name of diversifying its offerings to a growing number of market segments.
One of these concepts – the Paceman – debuted at the Detroit Auto Show. Don’t put too much on the ‘concept’ tag, though, because there’s a very big chance that this slimmed down Countryman could find its way onto production blocks soon.
MINI claims that the Paceman will be the first of its kind in the small premium segment. We’re pretty sure that it’s just MINI’s way of drawing attention to itself, which, for better or worse, it does better than anybody else in the industry.
UPDATE 01/12/2011: Well that didn’t take long. Just a couple of days after Mini debuted the Paceman Concept, Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, has announced that the Paceman will go to production.
“I’m thrilled to tell you now, for the very first time, that there will be a seventh member of the MINI family – and we will base it on this concept”, he said during MINI’s press conference at the Detroit motorshow.
Like it or not, it’s on.
UPDATE 03/14/12: MINI has officially announced that the Paceman Concept is set to take a new production life of its own as the Countryman Coupe, with the model expected to make its debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Took them long enough, right?
We kind of get the feeling that 2011 is going to be a big year for automakers. We don’t have a tangible explanation for it, but there’s something about the air this year that feels like the next 12 months will be filled with more ups than downs and, hopefully, a lot less recalls than 2010.
We’re barely a few days into the new year and we’re already getting excited over the first major event for 2011, the North American International Motor Show . All the happenings will take place at the Cobb Center in Detroit on January 10, 2011 so we felt it was an opportune time to provide a heads-up of what to expect when the floor opens.
The list of vehicles we’ve included on the list are cars that have officially - and unofficially - punched in their tickets for Detroit. Some cars that will appear are still being withheld for suspense purposes, but what’s the fun in having a preview if we can’t dig up the cars that want their presence to be a surprise?
Either way, we’ve included all of these models so head on over past the jump to see which cars to expect when the NAIAS opens its doors next week.
Looking like a car that’s been worked on for eye candy purposes, this MINI Cooper Clubman S may be a looker at first glance, but it actually has more to it than just its aesthetic improvements.
The car was worked on by Schmidt Revolution and features enough design upgrades that would make other MINIs blush with envy. The car, aptly named the ‘StreetWorker’, already comes with an in-house John Cooper Works Aerodynamic package so that in-itself is already reason enough to enjoy this ride. But instead of settling on just that package, Schmidt Revolution add some more sizzle to an already steaming bowl of MINI goodness.
The tuning firm went to work on the car by adding a matte blue wrap with black accents. The suspension was also tinkered with, giving it a Streetec air suspension that allows the car to adjust its ride height either 60mm lower or 40mm higher than its standard format all through the push of some buttons.
But despite these changes, the car’s claim to uniqueness is the set of 18” Cirrus rims that comes with any 3D-shaped multiplex patterns in a variety of colors, be it matte blue, bright red, or even carbon black.
And if you thought that Schmidt Revolution’s work on the Clubman Cooper came sans any performance upgrades, you’ll be happy to know that the company went out of its way to tinker with the car’s turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, upping its output to 200 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque. The work on the engine now provides the car the power to hit a top speed of 137 mph as well.
We know that the car’s overall look may be an acquired taste for some – some might even cringe at it – but as far as we’re concerned, Schmidt Revolution’s work is ‘unique’ and ‘different’ in a good way. Kind of like how you would describe MINI.
The fastest vehicles may belong to the likes of Porsche , Lamborghini , Bugatti , and so on, but that doesn’t mean that the not-so-fast vehicles out in the world can’t strap on their racing gear and hit the track. X-Raid Team has one of those less than speedy vehicles with the new MINI All4 Racing. This Countryman has its sights set on the 33rd Personal Dakar Argentina-Chile in January with the French rally crew of Guerlain Chicherit and co-driver Michel Périn at the wheel for the race. The event starts in Buenos Aires on New Year’s Day and finishes in the Argentine capital on Sunday, January 16th, 2011. X-Raid have only begun the build for the All4 Racing just last month so it will leave minimal time for the completion and testing to be completed before that time.
The new Mini All4 Racing will replace the current BMW X3 CC, but will be powered by the BMW’s variable twin-turbo diesel engine that will deliver 315 HP and 710Nm of torque.
"This is a major development in cross-country rallying and something of which we are very excited," admitted Quandt. "There has been a very short time between the decision to go ahead and the roll out for the next Dakar, but we are confident that the new Mini All4 Racing will be competitive out of the box. Compared to the BMW X3CC, the MINI will be characterized by improved handling as the overall length is shorter and it is lower. We have also been able to improve on many other smaller details, such as the relocation of smaller components to lower the center of gravity."
UPDATE 12/23/10: The MINI Dakar All4 is scheduled to make its dirt-kicking debut at the Rally Dakar in Argentina on the first day of 2011 so you can expect that everybody involved in the team is working extra hard fine-tuning the rally car’s few remaining kinks in time for its debut in a couple of weeks. In this video, the MINI Dakar All4 undergoes some last-minute test runs before making its eagerly anticipated debut. From what we saw, it looks like the vehicle is just about ready to get its tires dirty in Argentina. Check it out after the jump.
Back in the day, the MINI Cooper was the epitome of a small car, so much so that it became Mr. Bean’s official car. The hilarity of that is that the lovable British comedian is a pretty tall and lanky fellow so fitting him inside one of those old Coopers proved to be as difficult a task as trying to sleep inside a Little Tykes playhouse.
Since then, the MINI Cooper has become a lot bigger and with models including the Clubman and the Countryman already falling into the crossover categories, it would seem that the BMW -owned company is slowly leaving behind its small and quirky phase.
Wolfgang Armbrecht, however, begs to differ. According to MINI’s brand chief, the company is already developing a back-to-its-roots mini MINI car that will be smaller in size than the latest model of the Cooper.
Word around the watercooler says that the future car already has a name – the MINI Minor Concept – and that it will be a small three-door model with a small engine and a front wheel drive system. Specific details behind the MINI Minor are still unknown, but Armbrecht made it clear that a new car is already in the oven.
’’We have always been motivated by the idea to build a small spacious car,’’ he told the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper.
He also adds: “There will be a taste of ’’the next spectacular idea from the Mini brand’ at the Detroit Auto Show. Keep a close eye on the coming months.”
You don’t need to remind us about that last part, Mr. Armbrecht. We’re definitely going to keep some tabs on MINI’s potential return back to its Mr. Bean-driving days.