Mini cars

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.

If there was ever a Mini Cooper that was on everyone’s wish list, it would be the John Cooper Works , but just because everyone wants it, doesn’t mean everyone can get it. Until now. Mini has come out with a solution to turn your standard Cooper S , Cooper SD , and Countryman into a true JCW without taking a trip to the tuning shop.

The new John Cooper Works Championship tuning package will allow any Mini fan to experience the allure of rallying by adding a more dynamic and sporty character to their car. It was created as a tribute to the John Cooper Works WRC that Dani Sordo currently drives in the WRC. It includes go-faster stripes, side scuttles in a special package design, additional spotlights up front (which are available in Chrome and Black), a"37" logo on the doors, and the famous John Cooper Works aerodynamics package in the color of the car. You can also opt for a new set of Double Spoke R129 alloy wheels in matte black.

Rumors have been stirring about BMW building an X2 crossover since 2011, but a new report from bimmerpost suggests the automaker is reading the vehicle for production in 2017. What’s more, loose details have surfaced giving a better idea of what BMW’s got up its sleeve. Fitted only in xDrive all-wheel-drive guise, the X2 will come in both three- and five-door configurations and will share its platform with the new BMW X1 .

The platform will venture into Mini ’s stable as well, underpinning both the Countryman and Paceman . Like the Evoque from Range Rover, the lineup of crossovers will offer different configurations for different needs, with the X2 three-door being more sporty and the five-door more practical. Telling from the sketch above, the three-door will be a sporty looker with strong lines. Hopefully, it will be a more emotional design than the rather lifeless X1.

The powertrain will likely be shared between the X1, X2, and Mini crossovers as well. In the current X1, that’s the 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 making 240 horsepower that’s connected to an eight-speed automatic.

The report continues in saying the two X2 variants are expected to arrive in 2017. As with its names, we suspect pricing to fall between the X1’s $30,900 base price and the X3’s $39,800 sticker. BMW has been on a streak of splitting hairs with its ever-expanding model lineup, and it appears that trend will continue.

Click past the jump for more information

Source: Bimmerpost

Every automaker that has small car on their line-up has taken to modifying these models for B-Spec competition. We saw a couple of them introduced at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show - the Kia Rio and the Toyota Yaris come to mind - and now, it appears that one more will be making its debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.
MINI USA, together with MINI of Charleston in South Carolina, have announced that a MINI Cooper Hardtop will formally enter B-Spec competition for the 2012 season.

"B-Spec racing is a great fit for MINI because the car is developed with racing heritage in mind and the races are run with vehicles very similar to those already sitting in the driveway,” said Jim McDowell, Vice President – MINI USA.

As race-spec models, the Cooper B-Spec will be completely overhauled to adhere to the standards and regulations of the B-Spec class. One of the most important modifications on the Cooper will be made on the interior, where almost all of the accessories and features of the road-going car will be stripped out and replaced by racing and safety equipment. Among the items that will be fitted into the Cooper B-Spec racer include a new Kirkey Intermediate Road Racing Seat, a Kirk Racing Roll Cage, Schroth Hybrid III Harnesses, Cage Nets, and Window Net.

As far as the engine is concerned, the Cooper B-Spec Racer will retain the 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine of the road car, together with the 121-horsepower and 114 lb/ft of torque numbers it comes with. Moreover, the suspension set-up of the race car will feature KW V1 Coilover Struts and Shocks/ Vorshlag front camber plates while the wheel/tire set-up will comprise of a new set of 15" Kosei K1 aluminum alloy wheels wrapped in Hoosier SM6 tires.

The Mini Clubman is undoubtedly a fun-to-drive model, but Mac Audio has found a solution to make it even more so. Clearly, from the name of the tuner, we can venture a guess that the Clubman has received an impressive audio system, but it has also received exterior and interior updates and an extra 55 HP.

The Mini Clubman is painted in a new matte white special color and sits on a new set of 15-inch Oxigin rims, 8’ x 18’ wheels (also painted in white with use of special coating). For the extra power, the tuner has added adjusted the engine electronic system, a modified exhaust system, and optimized air intake pipes.

The interior is where Mac Audio truly shined with a Mac Audio Star X 2.16 front and rear loudspeakers system. The whole interior was then wrapped in 12m2 of Dynamat Xtreme insulating material in order to eliminate vibration and rattling. An Audiovox VME 9325BTA Head was also installed and enables the user to control navigation using iPod, iPhone, USB, DVB-T, and Bluetooth by touchscreen.

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.

Note: Photo is of the MINI Countryman WRC

Source: AutoCar

In 2012, the Olympic Games will be held in London and for Mini , this presented the perfect opportunity to offer a special edition Mini London. There will be just 2,012 of these special edition models built in Cooper , Cooper D, Cooper S , and Cooper SD trims. The Mini London will come in the Union Jack themed colors: Chilli Red, White Silver, or Lightning Blue.

As a tribute to London, the Mini will be distinguished by a distinctive Union Jack single sport stripe which runs over the bonnet, roof, and rear tailgate of the car. Another unique feature is the new set of grey 17-inch conical spoke alloy wheels – unavailable on any other Mini model.

The interior is even more majestic with a picture of the London skyline beautifully etched across the width of the piano-black dashboard. Another feature is the red and blue stitching entwined with white piping on both the front and rear Black ‘Lounge Leather’ upholstery. The list of standard equipment includes: Lounge Leather sports seats, DAB radio, air conditioning, cruise control, and chrome interior touches.

After only 10 years of production, Mini is celebrating the production of its two millionth unit and there’s no better way to heighten the festivities than to transform it into a special edition model. Called the "Mini 2 Million," the vehicle is a Mini Convertible specially painted in White Silver metallic and topped off with a blue denim roof.

Next to the special edition paint job, the Mini 2 Million will also receive a selection of bespoke interior and exterior options including special alloy wheels, a distinctive leather steering wheel, and lounge leather upholstery.

The Mini 2 Million will be given away as a prize for Mini’s global Facebook campaign called ‘Two Million MINIs – Two Million Faces.’ For this contest, Mini has been collecting photographs of the faces of two million MINI fans and building a dedicated Facebook ‘wall.’ The winner will be chosen at random after the campaign closes on September 30, 2011.

Frank-Peter Arndt, BMW AG board member responsible for production said: "Production of the two millionth MINI comes on the back of strong demand worldwide. Our recent announcement of an additional £500 million investment in our UK MINI production facilities demonstrates the important role that Oxford plays in our global production network. The most essential factors in the success of MINI are the skills, passion and dedication of our associates."

Seeing as both brands fall under the BMW umbrella, it wasn’t really a far-fetched idea to have British luxury automaker, Rolls Royce , and German carmaker, MINI , tie up for a special edition project. The question wasn’t so much if these two highly regarded brands could collaborate, but more of when they would do it.

Apparently, that question has finally been answered.

At the Shanghai Auto Show, MINI and Rolls Royce will introduce a limited production Cooper S model called the “MINI Inspired by Goodwood’, a direct homage to the latter’s base of operations in Goodwood, England.

The car was developed with the help of the Rolls Royce design team and, together with the folks from MINI, they created a car that will be produced in only 1,000 units. The “MINI Inspired by Goodwood” is decked out with the kind of exclusive and luxury amenities that only Rolls Royce can be known for.

It’s been a long time in the making, but hey, at the very least we finally get to see the car in full production guise. Let’s just all hope that this car won’t cost as much as a Ghost or a Phantom .

UPDATE 08/19/2011:: The whispers of Mini sending some of this special edition MINI’s 1,000 units over to the US were correct, but we don’t have to pay the converted price of $68,000. Nope, official pricing for the Mini GoodWood sits at $52,000, according to reports. This new, lower price still makes the MINI Cooper S "Inspired by Goodwood" the most expensive small premium car. Hey, Rolls Royce inspiration doesn’t come cheap, especially considering the Mini Cooper models in the States cost between $19K and $28K, depending on the model. All in all, Mini will be sending 140 units over to our side of the pond. Orders will begin next month and the first deliveries will be made in the second quarter of 2012. (MotoringFile)

More details on the MINI Cooper S "Inspired by Goodwood" by Rolls-Royce after the jump.

Only one day after BMW announced the official details on the new generation 1-Series , Mini has also joined in on the party by releasing details of their own for their much anticipated Mini Coupe . Last seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2009 as a mere concept , the first two-seater in the company’s lineup will make its world debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show with sales to begin shortly after. Prices will be announced at a later date.

The new Mini Coupe will come sporting an entire lineup of four cylinder engines ranging from the base Coupe with 121 HP up to the John Cooper Works Coupe with 208 HP. It will also be the fastest-accelerating MINI ever with the highest top speed. The JCW Coupe, for example, will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds and will be capable of a top speed of 149 mph.

UPDATE 06/21/2011: Mini has revealed the official images for their latest model in the line-up, as well as pricing details for the American market. The base model will go on sale at a starting price of $22,000, while the S variant will cost $25,300 and the JCW will be priced at $31,900.

UPDATE 08/09/11: Want to play around and build your own MINI Coupe? Well, now you can get that opportunity! The German automaker has officially unveiled the online configurator for the car, which you can use to make your very own virtual MINI Coupe. Who knows, you might end up liking your work that you buy one for yourself.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Mini Coupe.

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