When you start thinking about MINI, there’s growing sentiment that the German automaker has become increasingly adept at building some pretty aggressive machines.
Some aftermarket companies has taken notice too, and one of them, RevoZport, has announced their new program for both the MINI Coupe and Roadster, christening it the "Targa Raze."
Built in-house to be the kind of MINI program we just fall head over hells for, the Targa Raze is beyond sick, with a bodykit that includes new bumpers, revised side skirts, and a ventilated hood, all of which are made from carbon and Kevlar. Likewise, a carbon fiber roof and a prominent rear spoiler are part of the program, reducing the car’s weight by 40kg/88 lbs while also widening its profile by 15mm.
Under the hood, RevoZport opted for a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that now comes with new, larger intercooler, new camshafts, a remapped ECU unit, and a new titanium exhaust system. With all these modifications in tow, the Targa Raze now has an impressive output of 250 horsepower, an increase of 69 ponies from the standard model’s 181-horsepower output.
Mini’s recently revealed John Cooper Works GP has been described as the fastest production Mini has ever built. At the official launch, Mini announced that the new sports coupe lapped the Nurburgring in 8 min. 23 seconds and today, they have unveiled the video of their speedy lap. This lap time puts the 2013 Cooper JCW GP at about 19 seconds faster than the 2007 JCW GP.
The new GP version is distinguished by large front and rear aprons, striking side skirts, a bespoke roof spoiler, and a newly developed rear diffuser. On the interior, the rear seats were removed in order to add more of a racing appearance. Other adjustments include an adjustable suspension developed specifically for the car, racing brakes, chassis improvements, and special paint and graphics.
There will only be 2,000 units of the Mini Cooper JCW GP produced, so if you want to buy one, you better hurry up.
Back in April, our spy photographers captured the first spy shots of a prototype that looked like it would be the Mini Coupe JCW GP. Now, it looks like Mini has changed its mind and canceled their plans for a Coupe JCW GP. The model was supposed to be based on the R56 hatch GP and should have been lighter than the R56 hatch.
Mini cancelled its plans because it was concerned that a GP Coupe would have made the R56 GP less special and unique, and buyers would have lost interest in that model. Now they are going to go about picking their models a little more carefully - a new thing for Mini and their bazillion renditions of the Cooper - and a full line of GP track-ready high performance models is being reconsidered.
We find it hard to believe that Mini would got through all of that trouble, and money, to develop a car that they are just going to cancel right before it’s complete. Something else may be cooking in Mini’s kitchen and we’ll dig a little deeper to discover if it’s decadent dining or just plain slop.
While we are all anxiously awaiting the debut of the X1 in the U.S., which is set to happen this fall, BMW is hard at work piecing together the next-generation model. According to Autocar, this work involves figuring out how to fit Mini Countryman drivetrain components under the next-gen X1. This combination of the Mini and BMW lineup is expected to help reduce production costs and hopefully reduce its cost to the buyer.
In addition to sharing underpinnings with the Mini Countryman, the next-generation X1, which is expected to debut in 2015, will come standard with front-wheel drive, as opposed to the standard rear-wheel drive that the 2013 X1 will bear. It will, however, retain its optional all-wheel drive. This new chassis, dubbed the Unter Klasse (UKL), will also eliminate the possibility of a 6-cylinder option for the next-gen X1, as BMW has no plans to transversely mount a 6-pot in any of its cars.
In reality, there are chances of the X1 getting an even smaller engine, as BMW is supposedly considering dropping the petite 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine in the 2015 X1. This all comes as a huge surprise to us, as the X1 is just now making its way to the States, and BMW is already planning on pretty much scrapping the entire thing. Plus, to start throwing Countryman parts onto this crossover SUV is just going to make it that much more irrelevant to buyers that may need to haul anything more than the kids and luggage around.
We guess we’ll just have to wait and see exactly how BMW plans to set this whole system up, as one of the key components to a crossover SUV is its ability to haul light cargo. The Countryman’s 860-pound max payload capacity doesn’t quite fit the bill. We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.
The countdown to the 2012 London Olympics is on its last legs, and as such, MINI is preparing to give British athletes a proper motivational boost with a new promotional video featuring the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
The video features a handful of 2012 MINI London Special Edition models - nine in total! - with members of the world-famous London Philharmonic Orchestra each getting into one of the models to play a unique version of the British national anthem.
Instead of their instruments, they’re musical equipment this time around is the car’s horn. Pretty sweet, if we do say so ourselves.
We don’t doubt the talent of these guys in blending anything that makes a sound into a unique composition, but this really does take the proverbial cake. If you’re a British athlete and you get to watch this video, how can you not be motivated.
Heck, it even got our juices going, no small feat considering we have the athletic competency of a living room couch.
Love `em or hate `em, you can’t help but be impressed with how far MINI can go in stretching out one basic design. In late-2011, MINI debuted a new coupe version of its Countryman and dubbed it the Paceman – no, not the Pac-Man – but gave us very little info. Then over a year went by before we heard anything else, then finally after a year and two months, MINI announced that the Paceman would be shown in Paris in 2012, but under the Clubman Coupe name.
Well, MINI is finally prepared to announce this new models release, but it will, oddly enough, not bear the name we all expected. Dr. Kay Segler, the senior VP of Mini, told about 1,000 Mini enthusiasts at this year’s Mini Takes the States rally that "The Mini Paceman is the official name of the brand’s seventh model, which will be launched next year in the U.S."
In one quick statement, Segler killed two birds with one stone. First, he cleared up the fact that this new coupe will indeed bear the Paceman name, as opposed to the Clubman Coupe. Secondly, we now know that the Paceman will hit showrooms some time in 2013. Though no official date was given, we anticipate that it will be fairly early in the year, as this is really not a new model, but rather just a Clubman with two doors.
This now expands the MINI lineup to seven models based on the same basic appearance. We are starting to wonder if MINI will ever get tired of producing the same car over and over again. Then again, as long as people keep snagging them up, why change?
We will continue to provide you with more updates on this upcoming model as we get closer to its release date.
Fitting high-revving motorcycle engines into cars is nothing new, as the incredible Ariel Atom 500 makes use of no less than two highly-modified and tuned Suzuki motorcycle engines. It’s little wonder why this exercise is so popular for lightweight sports cars.
Motorcycle engines rev like no other internal combustion engine in the world, with the exception of Formula One cars, and as a result, they provide an engine note unparallelled to those offered from high-performance sports cars.
Additionally, they’re generally very small and pump out considerable amounts of horsepower. The following YouTube user has actually fitted a 170WHP, 1.0-liter engine from the 2003 Yamaha YZF-R1 to a 1970 Austin Mini and the results can be seen in the following video.
The YouTube user responsible for the video, Daign, was recently out cruising down the highway when an orange Lamborghini Gallardo popped up, and the driver of the Mini was quickly on his tail.
Even though no drag race eventuated between the two (Boo!!!), Daign stated, "I think the Gallardo was a bit confused where the 11000 rev was coming from honestly. Shame we were in traffic. Just for kicks it’d be fun to see how the Lambo pulls against the Mini’s powerband between 7-11,500rpm... In the power band it pulls harder than my 500hp Camaro without a doubt. 170hp with only 1300lbs. It’s scary and fun."
There are some records that you wouldn’t even think existed were it not for great marketing from those that are trying to set it.
One of those records is the recent one set by MINI earlier this month; you remember that as the parallel parking record they attempted to promote the special edition Chinese Job MINI Cooper. Well, despite their penchant for quirkiness, attempting to set the record was no small feat - even with a professional driver like Han Yue behind the wheel.
In this video, MINI takes us on a behind-the-scenes look on the preparations and hours of practice that went behind the attempts. In the end, Yue managed to squeeze in his MINI with only 5.9" of real estate separating the MINI from hitting the cars.
Check out the video and see how everything went down; it’s certainly worth your time to see how somebody is capable of doing something as cool as that when a lot of us can’t even grasp the concept of parallel parking.
Mini is getting serious about expanding its line-up with the addition of a series of new models. Some of them have already been unveiled - like the new Coupe and Roadster - but others only exist due to rumors, at least until now. For the first time, the possible 5 seater van/mpv based on the Countryman platform has been captured by our spy photographers testing in mule form.
As you can see from these spy shots, the front fenders are a lot wider when compared to a standard Countryman and this is due to a slightly wider chassis that will offer more room in the Traveller. The wheelbase is also slightly longer due to the fact that the front wheels have been moved forward.
The new model will be built in order to offer Mini clients a more practical car featuring the typical Mini genes. As expected, the overall look of the Traveller will be very much Mini. The dimensions are compact and the front overhang has been kept short.
Mini’s new van/mpv will be previewed under the Spacebox name and the production car could be named the Traveller when it hits the market in 2014.
The web tying varying automakers to one another is a very complex, yet delicate thing. One strand heading the wrong direction can cause an automaker to break off another connection, and we see it every day. One prime example was when AMG hacked off its advertising ties with Ducati just because Audi bought the company. Really, what do motorcycles have to do with your competing with Audi in the automobile realm?
Well, we have another bit of info to pass on in regards to one partnership killing another. Recently PSA, the parent company of Peugeot and Citroen, increased its stake in a partnership with GM affiliate, Opel, to develop four vehicle platforms together. This leads BMW to believe that PSA will not have the ability to fulfill its partnership duties in reference to BMW’s developing Hybrid platform.
A BMW spokesperson said “We are discussing conditions for the exit of PSA but we will not make any payments,” in an interview with Reuters. In addition, PSA has accepted the fact that this new relationship with GM will force it to “change the conditions” in its partnership with BMW. This likely means that BMW will buy-out PSAs share of the investment in the project and take development into its own hands.
This will not, however, affect the other relationships that BMW and PSA have going on. The largest of these relationships is the partnership between the two to build the MINI Cooper’s engine.
We’ll keep an eye on what’s going on with this development and let you know if anything else pops up. For now, this seems like a pretty open-and-shut case.