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I Saw the 2020 MINI Cooper S JCW GP at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed and Holy Mother of Hot Hatches (Well, almost)

I Saw the 2020 MINI Cooper S JCW GP at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed and Holy Mother of Hot Hatches (Well, almost)

The most extreme MINI yet looks impressive in person, even under light camo

One of the cars I was most eagerly looking forward to seeing at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed is the upcoming 2020 MINI Cooper S JCW GP. The automaker chose to have the car’s “dynamic debut” up the Goodwood Hillclimb but, when the car was not on the track, it was quietly sitting in the paddock looking like a touring car on road tires - I examined it closely and took a few closeup shots of the camouflaged pre-production prototype.

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The 2020 Mini Clubman Has a New Look

The 2020 Mini Clubman Has a New Look

It’s the same stylish wagon, but with new optional features and new transmissions

Mini just debuted a mid-cycle facelift for the Clubman. Introduced in 2015, the second-generation Clubman is already four years old, and it was about time for an upgrade. Be that as it may, the changes are mild inside and out, while the engines are identical. Yup... Typical Mini facelift here.

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2019 MINI Cooper 5D hatchback with Sport Pack - Driven

2019 MINI Cooper 5D hatchback with Sport Pack - Driven

You can now get the current MINI Cooper in three distinct body styles: the traditional three-door, the Clubman wagon and, the most recent addition, the five-door hatchback (known as the four-door in the U.S.). It aims to offer additional practicality over the standard MINI, but at the same time avoid the slightly more utilitarian feel of the Clubman load lugger.

But is it really the best of both worlds - the sharpness of the smaller wheelbase MINI with some extra practicality but without any extra burden to carry? Well, yes and no, because while it is a very valid MINI product to consider buying, I don’t think it has quite enough going for it in order to win out over the three-door and the Clubman.

Don’t get me wrong. The five-door Cooper, with the Sport Pack fitted, is a hoot to drive. It has all the usual MINI traits that people just can’t get enough of, but out of all the models the lineup has to offer, I’d probably just ignore this one and just get the three-door. It has the sharpest handling, the lowest weight and, therefore, the best driving experience.

If you can’t live without four full-sized doors and don’t want the Clubman wagon, then buying the five-door Cooper can be a good compromise, as you’d be getting the modern MINI recipe, with a dash of extra practicality. The driving experience is very close to that of the three-door, and for most drivers that are not motoring journalists or driving enthusiasts (or both), the difference will feel nonexistent.

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2019 Mini Cooper Oxford Edition

2019 Mini Cooper Oxford Edition

This Is The Mini You Should Go After

Mini just introduced the Cooper Oxford Edition. It is a special edition Cooper intended for full- or part-time students, postgraduates or those who graduated in the past year. Albeit being the cheapest Cooper on offer right now, the car actually packs more gear than the entry-level Cooper Classic. Small fun hatch is available in three-door and in five-door form with the prices starting at $19,750 (destination charge excluded). The five-door is a $1,000 more expensive.

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We're Pretty Sure BMW Will Have a Problem with this "Mini" Knockoff

We’re Pretty Sure BMW Will Have a Problem with this "Mini" Knockoff

Don’t ask why the male driver is in his underwear....

Chinese firms have never shied away from replicating some of the most loved and respected cars ever to have graced our world. From the Bimmers to the Range Rovers, to the Audis, there is no upmarket car that has not been knocked off. No, these are not mods which you can put in ‘weird car’ section, laugh for a minute, and then forget about. Some of these rip-offs are manufactured by big-shot automakers, and the resemblance is so uncanny, that you wouldn’t even touch it with a ten-foot pole.

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MINI Special Edition Gets a Not-So-Mini Name

MINI Special Edition Gets a Not-So-Mini Name

You can call me ’MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop International Orange Edition’

Wish it was as simple as saying, "Bond, James Bond," but MINI planned to give a long name to its car, and also price it exorbitantly high. The special edition car is based on the JCW Hardtop, and it comes with a bright orange shade, which is described as a “bold color historically used to make great feats of engineering and aerospace design stand out.” It is set to debut on July 14th at the MINI Takes The States rally.

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Latest spy shots:

Wallpaper of the Day: 2017 Mini Countryman

Wallpaper of the Day: 2017 Mini Countryman

Significantly larger than its predecessor, the new Countryman boasts a new exterior and a revamped interior with modern features and new technology. Although Mini claims that the new crossover "remains firmly rooted in the tradition of the British brand," the modern-day Countryman has very little in common with the original two-door estate from the 1960s.

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2019 Mini Cooper Lineup Unveiled

2019 Mini Cooper Lineup Unveiled

Adding extra fun to the formula

Mini just revealed its refreshed Cooper lineup, giving us an early look at what’s in store before the pint-sized auto hits the show floor in Detroit later this month. The update encompasses no less than three body styles, including the Mini Hardtop 2 Door, the Mini Hardtop 4 Door, and the Mini Convertible, and adds tweaked exterior styling, more tech in the cabin, more standard features, and more customization options as well.

At either end, you may notice the Mini gets small updates to the headlight and taillight designs. This is especially noticeable in the rear, where the brake lights gain a Union Jack design for extra U.K. points. There are LEDs for illumination purposes, while the headlights get LEDs as an available option. You’ll also find LEDs for the daytime running lights and turn signals. Piano Black exterior trim can be had as an option for the headlight surrounds, taillight surrounds, and grille surround, while the body panels gain new paint options like Emerald Grey metallic, Starlight Blue metallic, and Solaris Orange metallic. New alloy wheel designs can be found in the corners, with sizing up to 17 inches offered across the range of body styles. Mini also updated its logo throughout.

Open the door, and you’ll be greeted with a Mini logo splash projection from the underside of the side-view mirrors. The funky dash incorporates a 6.5-inch screen, with the possibility to throw in a 8.8-inch screen if desired. On the tech front, USB and Bluetooth are both standard appointment, while options include a touchscreen and navigation. There’s also wireless charging for your smartphone via the center armrest, and more services offered through Mini Connect as well.

Look for our full updated reviews after the 2019 Mini Cooper lineup struts its stuff at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show later this month.

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2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT

2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT

A tribute piece for an iconic Mini worth paying tribute to

It’s a funny thing what a special edition car can do to polish an automaker’s shine. Nobody knows this better than Mini, which has created its fair share of special edition models, including one that it had just announced for the French market: the Mini Blackfriars Edition. Now, it’s doubling down on the SE goodness with yet another offering called the Mini 1499 GT.

In essence, the 1499 GT is not a special edition model that was concocted out of someone’s imagination, but rather, a tribute piece to one of the most iconic Minis to have hit the pavement: the 1971 1275 GT. Most of the functioning 1275 GTs have probably been lost in the sands of time and rust, but the 1499 GT is now here to breathe some life back to the legacy of the legendary hatchback. Between exterior features that pay homage to the classic Mini to suspension tweaks that ensure that it can perform as well as advertised, the new Mini 1499 GT is a stunning example of the best of what Mini can come up. The only downside is that only 1,499 units of the car will be made, and worse, all units will be sold exclusively in the UK market. It’s a bummer, sure, but don’t let dampen your spirits. It’s rare enough to see a special edition tribute car that properly pays homage to the car it’s supposed to be tipping its hats to. It’s even rarer to see one that takes the inspiration to a level that makes people actually reminisce about the classic. The 1499 GT does that, and then some.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Mini Cooper 1499 GT.

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2017 Mini Cooper Blackfriars Edition

2017 Mini Cooper Blackfriars Edition

Yet another special edition model from a company that never seems to run out of them

Mini’s pantry of special edition models is stock full of unique creations, adding weight to the thought that the German automaker is no stranger to this fancy exclusives. Even with an inventory that’s bursting at the seams, special edition work soldiers on for Mini with the presentation of its latest creation, the Cooper Blackfriars Edition.

Taking inspiration from the Blackfriar’s section of London where the order of Dominican monks who carry the same name reside, this unique Cooper hatchback is defined by its subdued yet effective upgrades. There’s plenty of black to go around too, a nod to the traditional black robes worn by the Blackfriar’s monks. Inspired color motifs aside, the special edition Cooper also features plenty of unique details in its exterior and interior, not to mention the references to the Blackfriars from where it got its name. It’s not the flashiest special edition Mini Cooper we’ve seen, and it may not even be the most appealing one, but it does stick to the identity of the institution that it takes inspiration from. That’s more than what we can say for other special edition vehicles that lack the connection to what they’re supposed to be celebrating or at least shining a light on.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Mini Cooper Blackfriars Edition

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Say What? Who's Valued Higher Than Ferrari?

Say What? Who’s Valued Higher Than Ferrari?

The subcompact brand is climbing the financial ladder

In a surprising twist of fates, Mini now outranks Ferrari in terms of corporate value. The rankings come by way of Interbrand, a global brand consulting firm, which says Mini is worth $5.11 billion and Ferrari only $4.87 billion. While a half-billion might be a small margin, Mini’s lead over the Italian supercar automaker comes as a big surprise. Of course, it’s worth noting Ferrari is new to Interbrand’s list of Best Global Brands.

CarScoops reports Mini’s success can be attributed to its 3.1-percent year-over-year sales increase for a total of 230,925 vehicles sold globally. Mini’s completely revised 2017 Countryman has seen a 12.9-percent jump in sales over this time last year and the Mini Convertible boasts a whopping 20.3-percent sales increase over 2016. Of course, Mini’s focus is on sales volume whereas Ferrari is concerned with exclusivity and brand image.

In the grand scheme of things, both Mini and Ferrari are small fish compared to larger automakers. Mini’s parent company, BMW, is valued at $41.5 billion and ranks third in the automotive sector behind Mercedes at $47.8 billion and Toyota at $50,2 billion. Outside the automotive sector, Apple takes the top honors with a value of $184.1 billion followed by Google at $141,7 billion. A huge gap exists between the second-place Google and third-place Microsoft, with Bill Gates’ former company only valued at $79.9 billion. Still, the software giant outranks all other companies on Interbrand’s list.

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See How The 2017 Mini Cooper Countryman Drives

See How The 2017 Mini Cooper Countryman Drives

We’re behind the wheel of the biggest Mini

This week I’m spending time behind the wheel of Mini’s biggest offering – the 2017 Countryman. Despite making a name for itself making subcompact cars, Mini now has to compete with automakers the world over. As such, the second-generation Countryman is now longer and wider than its predecessor, affording 3.8 inches more legroom in the rear seats and 7.7 more cubic feet of cargo room. It might be an oxymoron to have a big Mini, but this Countryman is far more practical for families than anything ever offered from this iconic British brand.

Back in the day, Mini was known for its tiny, ultra-compact runabout, the Morris Mini. Seven generations lasted from 1959 till 2000 and quickly earned the status of a cultural icon for British pop culture that extended across the globe. In 2001 and under new ownership of BMW, the Mini Cooper was launched and with it came a new age of Mini’s quirky, playful image that carries on today. Some say that quirkiness is lost on the new Countryman, mostly as a result of its new BMW underpinnings. See, the biggest Mini rides on the smallest BMW platform, BMW’s UKL modular architecture. The UKL is found under vehicles like the BMW X1 and 2 Series Active Tourer. It’s be riding under the second-generation Mini Clubman since its debut for 2016. So, how does the new and improved Mini Countryman handle behind the wheel? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for more on the 2017 Mini Countryman.

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The Mini Cooper Countryman Has The Heart of a Supercar

The Mini Cooper Countryman Has The Heart of a Supercar

Yet it only makes 134 horsepower?

Did you know the all-new 2017 Mini Cooper Countryman shares its turbocharged engine with a supercar? Indeed it does. Perhaps even more surprising, the Countryman only has 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. Wait, what? Yep, the Countryman shares it internal combustion engine with the BMW i8 – the hybrid halo coupe hailing from Munich.

The engine in question is BMW’s B38 1.5-liter turbocharged inline three-cylinder. The all-aluminum mill uses direct fuel injection and variable valve timing mixed with an 11:1 compression ratio and a single-scroll turbocharger to make its power. Two interesting side notes: the turbo is the first ever to use an aluminum housing and BMW still brands the 1.5-liter with the TwinPower name despite it not having a twin-scroll turbocharger.

Despite the technological wizardry, the Mini Countryman still weighs around 3,500 pounds, meaning it isn’t a hot performance machine. The sprint to 60 mph takes roughly 9.5 seconds and top speed caps at 120 mph. Needless to say, the Countryman isn’t a BMW i8.

Speaking of which, the BMW i8 hooks its 1.5-liter three-cylinder to a 7.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and two electric motors. Combined, the gasoline-electric hybrid system zaps out 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. While technically not supercar numbers either, the i8 is capable of hitting 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and reaching a top speed governed at 155 mph – far more impressive than the Countryman.

Still, it’s interesting to see how BMW has used the same engine two very different ways in two very different vehicles. So, what do you think? Does the shared engine boost your view of the Mini Cooper Countryman or degrade your view of the BMW i8? Let us know in the comments below.

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David Brown Revives the Classic Mini Cooper with Modern Tech

David Brown Revives the Classic Mini Cooper with Modern Tech

The 60-year-old design gets a modern, premium touch

Introduced in 1959, the original Mini Cooper revolutionized the city car market and became so popular that it remained in production until 2000. The nameplate was purchased by BMW and relaunched in a more modern form in 2001, but most enthusiasts agree that things haven’t been the same. Nearly two decades have passed since the original Mini was discontinued and David Brown Automotive is bringing it back to life.

Called Mini Remastered, the new old Cooper is more than just a reproduction replica. While carefully crafted to resemble the original car from 1959, the small hatchback has been remastered to "meet the demands of modern day life." The exterior may not give away the modern production process of the car (unless you look closely), but the interior has been redesigned to include all sorts of high-tech features, including a premium infotainment system.

The original engine has also undergone a complete transformation. Not only more powerful, it also runs smoother than Mini’s original unit, while returning improved performance and fuel economy. David Brown Automotive says that over 1,000 man hours go into creating each Mini Remastered. Let’s find out why.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2018 Mini Countryman John Cooper Works Unveiled

2018 Mini Countryman John Cooper Works Unveiled

Say hello to the biggest, most powerful Mini ever produced at a factory

Mini just revealed the new Countryman John Cooper Works, which means the compact crossover now gets more space, more style, and more importantly, more speed. Now in its second generation, the Countryman JCW is the largest and most powerful Mini yet.

In case you were unaware, John Cooper Works is Mini’s performance badge, homage to the famous sports car designer of the same name. Any modern Mini with an inkling of sporting intent carries the JCW designation, and as such, the Countryman JCW gets upgrades to the engine, transmission, AWD system, suspension, aero, and interior design.

Let’s get down to the specifics then, shall we? Mounted behind the grille is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which was turbocharged to 228 horsepower at 5,000 rpm, and 258 pound-feat of torque between 1,450 and 4,500 rpm. And if you’re keeping score, that’s 20 ponies more than the outgoing Countryman.

Features include direct fuel injection, plus variable valve control and variable camshaft control (a.k.a. BMW’s Double Vanos system). Specific to the JCW model are new pistons, a new intercooler, and an additional radiator. There’s also a sport exhaust with a controllable flap and dual chrome tips.

Incredibly, Mini says the turbo pumps out an eye-popping 2.2 bar of boost (31.9 psi), but that’s gotta be a typo – we think 1.2 bar (17.4 psi) is closer to the truth!

Performance figures look like 6.2 seconds to 60 mph, while top speed is capped at 145 mph.

Cog swaps come courtesy of a standard six-speed manual, while an eight-speed Steptronic Sport Automatic is optional. Further JCW touches include a sportier suspension, 18-inch alloy rollers, and a Brembo brake package.

Outside, you’ll find more aerodynamic touches, plus larger intakes up front. The headlights get LEDs as standard. The body also gains 6.7 inches in length, 1.3 inches in width, and an extra 2.9 inches in the wheelbase.

Inside is seating for five, plus JCW-specific sports seats. Pilots can select from multiple driving modes, and should enjoy the 6.5-inch infotainment screen and various Connected features.

The 2018 Mini Countryman JCW will make its worldwide debut this coming April at the 2017 Shanghai Motor Show. Look for it in U.S. dealerships around that time.

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2017 Mini Countryman

2017 Mini Countryman

The Countryman just got larger with the help of BMW’s new X1 platform

Launched in 2010, the Countryman is one of the newest additions to the Mini family. Based on the Crossover Concept, the company’s first mini SUV debuted at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show with a range of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines, a six-speed manual, and a six-speed automatic transmission. An all-wheel-drive model was added for the 2014 model year, a year before the Countryman received its mid-cycle refresh. Longer, wider and taller than any other Mini, the Countryman just got even larger with the second-generation model.

The new Countryman was spotted testing in Germany as early as September of 2014. Two years have passed and the crossover was unveiled at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. Significantly larger than its predecessor, the new Countryman boasts a new exterior and a revamped interior with modern features and new technology. Although Mini claims that the new crossover "remains firmly rooted in the tradition of the British brand," the modern-day Countryman has very little in common with the original two-door estate from the 1960s.

This will be highly noticeable among purists, some of which might be offended by the comparison, but open-minded fans will probably appreciate the enhanced roominess and larger trunk space that come with a longer and wider body. The redesigned crossover will hit North American shores starting March 2017. Stay tuned for updates.

Updated 12/07/2016: Mini announced prices for the 2017 Countryman which will go on sale in March 2017.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2018 Mini Countryman.

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Mini Original Accessories by John Cooper Works Are A Must Have

Mini Original Accessories by John Cooper Works Are A Must Have

More options to choose from if you want to dress up your Mini

Mini’s extensive configuration catalog runs like a grocery list, that is, if you haven’t gone to the grocery in a year or two. Simply put, the options on Mini’s catalog runs long and deep. Apparently, though, the German automaker doesn’t think in those same sentiments because it’s added an extensive list of new options and accessories from its John Cooper Works customization line. There are a lot of new digs here, from new aero kits to interior designs, and suspension modifications. The highlight though is an engine tune for the Cooper S, one that nets the hatchback an increased output of 208 horsepower.

It’s admittedly not much considering that the standard hatchback already packs 189 horsepower by itself, but it is worth something, especially for owners who aren’t stoked by the thought of going the aftermarket tuning route. The good news is that Mini has them covered on this end because the new line of accessories are as comprehensive as they get.

The new JCW options and accessories are available for the entire Mini range with extra emphasis on the coupe and convertible versions of the Cooper S. Whatever the model is though, the new line of JCW upgrades has them covered.

So, if you want to dress up your Mini with cosmetic and performance modifications, there are more options to choose from now that Mini has loaded up on the extra accessories.

Continue after the jump to read more about Mini’s new line of original accessories by John Cooper Works.

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Mini Cooper Sets Different Kind Of Record At The Nürburgring: Video

Mini Cooper Sets Different Kind Of Record At The Nürburgring: Video

Bet you won’t be able to accomplish what Chinese driver Han Yue just did

Lap records at the Nürburgring Nordschleife come in many shapes and forms depending on the layout of the track. But in the years that I’ve kept times on all of the lap times being set at the track, I’ve never encountered what Chinese driver Han Yue did to his Mini Cooper S on his way to setting a world record of his own. Instead of driving traditionally with the goal of setting a lap time of around seven minutes and change around the ‘Ring, Han decided to do things differently, and by different I mean drive his Cooper S around the circuit on two wheels. Two wheels.

Naturally, Han’s lap time around the Nürburgring in a Cooper on two wheels would fall way short of what we’re normally accustomed to from cars that use all four wheels around the circuit. But even with the obvious handicap, it still took the Chinese driver and multiple Guinness World record holder an astounding 45 minutes to complete the 21-kilometer (13 miles) lap.

Speaking with BridgeToGantry.com, Han explained that he couldn’t push his Cooper to its (two-wheeled) limits in large part because of a problem with one of its specially built solid-rubber tires. Apparently, at some point during the lap, one of the wheels started to vibrate and the vibration only stopped when the Cooper’s pace fell below 13 mph. It didn’t help the driver’s cause when he admitted that his shoulder started to hurt at the six-kilometer (3.7 miles) distance and he had to nurse it with 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) left in the lap.

Lack of pace and injuries notwithstanding, what Han Yue accomplished is still worth acclaim, if of only for the simple reason that he succeeded in his attempt. Sometimes, the lap time takes a back seat when the degree of difficulty is pushed past what race car drivers of any skill are used to. That’s what happened here.

If you wanna watch the whole lap time in all it’s entirety, you can check out the video above. It literally is over 45 minutes long.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2017 Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4

2017 Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4

Bigger and packing extra batteries

Mini first released the Countryman compact five-door crossover in 2010, following it up with a facelift in 2014. Despite vehement opposition from critics and purists who lampooned the model for being too big and too wooly to carry the Mini nameplate, the Countryman ended up being the British brand’s second most popular model, following the Hardtop. Now, there’s a new, second generation, and once again, it’s grown considerably. In fact, the new Countryman is the largest Mini ever produced, but that’s to be expected at this point. The real surprise is the announcement of a new plug-in hybrid variant, which adds electrified motivation to the tried-and-true formula of compact versatility and a fun-loving attitude.

It’s called the Mini Cooper S E Countryman All4, and it’s the first electrified Mini we’ve seen since the Mini E hit the scene in 2008. By contrast, the E was all-electric, helping to guide development of BMW’s i3 all-electric hatchback. The E Countryman is a hybrid, which means it’s still burning dino juice, but at a more efficient rate thanks to a little battery assistance.

Mini frames the E Countryman as “the perfect vehicle for urban target groups who wish to enjoy the benefits of purely electric mobility when commuting between home and work every day, for example, while at the same time benefitting from unlimited long-distance suitability at the weekend.”

The new plug-in sits at the top of the Countryman totem pole as the most efficient, most powerful, quickest, and presumably most expensive model in the line-up. All qualms over sizing aside, does the E Countryman have what it takes to keep rolling in the age of green motoring?

Continue reading to learn more about the Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4.

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Meet the Mini Countryman E Prototype

Meet the Mini Countryman E Prototype

The British brand prepares its first-ever hybrid

The first production series hybrid car, the Toyota Prius, may be only two decades old, but hybrid drivetrains have become increasingly popular over the years, to the extent that nearly every automaker offers or is at least working on one. Such is the case with Mini, which is about to launch its first-ever hybrid.

Still being tested on public roads ahead of production, the company’s first hybrid will be based on the Countryman crossover. Dubbed Countryman E, it’s almost identical to the conventional model, but uses hybrid technology borrowed from BMW, and is all-wheel drive when the combustion engine and electric motor are used at the same time.

Although Mini has yet to showcase a production-ready model and the prototype is still wearing the familiar black-and-yellow camouflage, the hybrid is identical to its gasoline and diesel siblings on the outside. Like any plug-in, it does feature a charging socket, but the device is discreetly integrated into the small vent on the left bumper (or side scuttle in Mini talk). The production car will also sport an "E" badge, but other than that, you won’t know it’s a hybrid.

Inside, the start/stop button in the center of the dashboard glows yellow instead of red, while the instrument cluster display will include a battery status display and other hybrid-specific information.

Mini didn’t say what engine and electric motor make up the hybrid drivetrain, but a turbocharged, 1.5-liter three-cylinder and a compact motor rated at 88 horsepower are the most likely options. The three-pot will spin the front wheels, while the electric motor will be installed right over the rear axle and will motivate the rear wheels.

The British firm says that the hybrid model will always start in electric mode, while the combustion engine will be engaged depending on the vehicle’s speed and the intensity with which the driver operates the accelerator pedal. Speaking of the latter, Mini promises "catapult-like acceleration" due to the instant torque generated by the electric motor. The drivetrain will have three modes. Auto eDrive will permit speeds of up to 50 mph, while Max eDrive will allow the driver to travel with speeds of up to 78 mph. The third mode is Save Battery, in which the combustion engine moves the car while the high voltage battery retains charge at a constant level or recharge via the generator.

The hybrid also gives us our best look at the next-generation Countryman. The design is obviously evolutionary and the vehicle appears to ride a little taller than the current model. It should also be longer and wider, as all Mini cars have grown larger with each generation. The new Countryman will be unveiled by the end of the year and arrive in showrooms in 2017.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Mini's Upcoming Sedan Could be Larger Than the Clubman

Mini’s Upcoming Sedan Could be Larger Than the Clubman

The four-door could be as big as the BMW 3 Series

Rumors of Mini planning to launch a four-door sedan have been flying around for quite some time now. An,d even though the British company has yet to officially confirm that a compact sedan is underway, it’s the next logical step in order for Mini to achieve a five-model lineup, especially with its two-door models being discontinued one by one. We’ve already speculated about what it may have to offer and even created a rendering using the brand’s current design language, but a recent interview with Mini product chief Ralph Mahler suggests that the four-door could be bigger than we imagined.

Speaking to CarBuzz, Mahler confirmed that Mini plans to remain a compact car company, but said that the upcoming fifth model could be larger than the Clubman. At 168.3 inches, the Clubman is Mini’s longest vehicle as of 2016. "Personally, the compact segment is where our heart should belong to and where our history is. That’s something we should always keep in mind. I’m not saying it’s not possible to go a bit bigger, though,” Mahler said.

There’s no indication as to how big the sedan will be, but a vehicle larger than the Clubman would be about the size of a BMW 2 Series, which is 174.5 inches long. Mini could also develop something similar to the 3 Series, which measures 182 inches as is also sold as a compact, but such a car might just be too big for Mini’s current strategy. On the other hand, with the Cooper and Clubman having grown larger and larger with each generation, everything is possible really.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2017 Mini John Cooper Works Clubman

2017 Mini John Cooper Works Clubman

It’s the most powerful and Torquiest production Mini to date!

Mini showed off its new design language in the 2014 Mini Cooper, and since then, Mini brought us a four-door version of the hatch and revamped the Mini Countryman. Then in late 2015, Mini finally pulled out all of the stops and offered the next-gen Mini Clubman for the 2016 model year. The biggest change came in the size department as the Clubman is now 12.4-inches longer and 4.6-inches wider than before. Other styling changes include things like larger headlamps and fog lamps, new taillights, and exhaust pipes that are integrated into the rear bumper. At launch the Clubman was offered with a 1.5-liter three-cylinder or a 2.0-liter four-banger in the Clubman S. The latter offered 189 horsepower and a 6.9-second sprint to 60 mph. That’s great and all, but there was still room for something better, and Mini has finally made it happen with the new John Cooper Works Clubman.

Powered by a twin-turbo, 2.0-liter, the JCW Clubman delivers 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque which makes it the most powerful and torquiest production car that Mini has made to date. As is the usual case with JCW models, the new Clubman gets its own unique features like Black 18-inch wheels, performance seats, and tuned suspension. It also comes equipped with Mini’s latest iteration of the ALL4 all-wheel drive system to help keep things from getting squirrely during spirited driving or extreme maneuvers.

Thomas Felbermair, the VP or Mini of the Americas, said,” Performance and versatility are part of our DNA and our heritage so naturally there has always been a plan in place to bring the John Cooper Works variant to the Mini Clubman model. The addition of the John Cooper Works design and performance enhancements and the new ALL4 all-wheel drive system to the already versatile Mini Clubman model we have once again raised the bar in the premium compact segment.”

With that said, let’s dive on in a take a look at all the finer details of the Mini JCW Clubman.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mini John Cooper Works Clubman.

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2016 MINI Cooper by AC Schnitzer

2016 MINI Cooper by AC Schnitzer

German tuner polishes up the Cooper family

The Mini Cooper belongs in arguably one of the most competitive markets in the industry these days. When that is the case, auto tuners often find themselves in a similar position as they’re compelled to build programs that compete with their contemporaries. That’s the case with AC Schnitzer, the renowned tuner of all things Mini that just presented its new tuning program for the Mini Cooper in response to a number of other tuners building their own kits for the hatchback. In order to differentiate itself, AC Schnitzer is offering tuning kits for numerous variants of the Cooper, including power upgrades for the coupe, convertible, Cooper S, and Cooper John Cooper Works, the last of which now gets 265 horsepower.

In typical AC Schnitzer fashion, the German tuner is offering plenty of complementary pieces to this program. From the cosmetic side to the aerodynamic side, there are subtle modifications here and there that provide a unique tuning experience for the Cooper. New wheels are also being offered, as is a new suspension kit that improves the car’s handling in the wake of all the modifications on the car’s body and engine.

It’s a complete program in a lot of ways, and one that Mini Cooper owners will appreciate. It’s not going to turn the Cooper into a rocket on four wheels, but it should be able to push all the right buttons to improve the driving experience of the car.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

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