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2017 MINI Electric Concept

2017 MINI Electric Concept

Previews a production model that will arrive in 2019

The modern Mini Cooper was launched in 2001, some 42 years after the British firm launched the original model. This time build under BMW Group ownership, the Mini became more of a fashion statement rather than an affordable, people’s car, but this is exactly what turned it into a big hit. Redesigned in 2006 and 2013, the Cooper grew larger and larger and gained more technology with each generation. In 2017, Mini introduced its first hybrid model, the S E Countryman All4, and it’s now looking to launch its first-ever electric car. And it just unveiled the Mini Electric Concept ahead of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Designed as a preview for a production model that will be introduced in 2019, the Mini Electric Concept arrives almost ten year since Mini built its first EV, the Mini E. More of a demonstration vehicle rather than a production car, the Mini E was produced between 2009 and 2010 in the form of a three-door Cooper. More than 600 cars were deployed in several countries for on-road testing in a project that eventually led to a couple of BMW trial cars and finally the i3. A modern reinterpretation of the Mini E, the Electric Concept moves Mini one step closer to joining the EV market. It’s a bit late to the party, but as they say, better late than never.

Updated 09/19/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the concept’s debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mini Electric Concept.

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2017 Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept

2017 Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept

Now this is how you introduce a nostalgic, rally-inspired race concept

I suppose we should’ve expected something like this from Mini. Give the company an inch, and it’s more than happy to take a mile. Take the new John Cooper Works GP Concept for example. On the surface, the concept’s objective is pretty simple: pay tribute to its conquest in the Monte Carlo Rally back in 1967. But like everything that Mini does, it’s as interested in simply giving homage to a rally car as it is in making a statement and going above and beyond what’s needed. That attitude gave birth to the Mini Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit and the Mini John Cooper Works GP from 2006 and 2012, respectively. Now, Mini’s back with a new randy concept called the John Cooper Works GP Concept, and wouldn’t you know it, it looks positively stunning.

Nobody’s going to ever accuse Mini at being bashful, but even the JCW GP Concept seems to have been done with a simple purpose in mind: get a Cooper JCW and drown it in aerodynamic bits. Even Mini boss Peter Schwarzenbauer describes the JCW GP Concept as “driving fun in its purest form,” and it’s hard to even come up with a reasonable argument otherwise. The end result is a car that can make even the most demented of tuning firms blush with pride, though I suppose getting that kind of reaction is already old hat for Mini. Good to know then that after all these years, the BMW-owned automaker still has what it takes to grab everyone’s attention the way very few of its peers in the business are able to.

Updated 09/18/2017: Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept looked even more aggressive on the Frankfurt floor. Check our gallery for more images from the show.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2016 Mini Vision Next 100

2016 Mini Vision Next 100

Mini’s vision of the future is shockingly refreshing

Remember the 2016 BMW Vision Next 100 Concept that Bimmer designed to help celebrate its 100th anniversary and show what BMWs will look like in the next 100 years? Well, Mini has jumped on the “Vision Next 100” wagon and announced a futuristic and wild looking concept that shares its vision for the future with things like an overly simple cabin, digital intelligence, and an odd-looking design that, while looking futuristic, also still has some styling cues of the traditional Mini. Furthermore, the concept encompasses something Mini calls “experience sharing,” where you won’t necessarily have to own a Mini to enjoy one.

According to Mini, the core philosophy behind this concept is “the thoughtful use of the planet’s resources in providing personal mobility.” Apparently, Mini believes that – in the future – anybody will be able to call on a Mini that is tailored to their personal style. The Mini of the future will be fully autonomous, available 24/7, and the built-in digital intelligence will allow the car to adapt itself to the “driver’s” personal interests and preferences. Adrian van Hooydonk, the Senior Vice President of BMW Group Design, said, “Mini looks to offer smart and bespoke mobility in cities that engages all the senses. And in the future, you might not actually have to own a vehicle to enjoy the benefits.”

So in the future, you’ll be able to command you household computer to order you the nearest Mini and, while it is on its way, it will adapt itself to any theme of your choosing – maybe the same theme used by a famous actor or writer, or one derived from your best friend’s Facebook news feed. It’s an interesting idea, so let’s take a few minutes to check out Mini’s new concept in detail.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mini Vision Next 100.

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Mini Launches Hipster Hatch With Instagram Filtered Windows

Mini Launches Hipster Hatch With Instagram Filtered Windows

Powered by a fixed-gear drivetrain

The original hipster subculture of the 1940s, which referred to aficionados of the jazz music genre, might not have been a big fan of automobiles given their self-imposed poverty, but things changed radically with the contemporary interpretation of the trend. Now composed mainly of affluent or middle class young, the hipster subculture sees the automobile as an important element of its affinity for everything vintage. Mini is now trying to capitalize on that with a special-edition Cooper designed specifically for fans of music bands you’ve probably never heard of.

Suggestively named the Mini Hipster Hatch, the special-edition Cooper is available in three colors named Brooklyn Blue, Organic Pumpkin, and Monochromatic Green, all complemented by red-and-black lumberjack patterns on the front fenders, side mirrors and roof. The three-door hatch also rides on a set of three-spoke alloy wheels that scream "the 1990s called and they want you back" at the top of their lug nuts.

Things become a lot more vintage inside the cabin, where the Cooper received a twin-deck cassette player, a big speaker instead of the infotainment screen, and stonewash denim upholstery on the seats. You know, to match those tight jeans that are so popular among hipsters nowadays. But wait, there’s more. The windows have been upgraded with Instagram filters so drivers can turn "any journey into a nostalgic memory at the touch of a button." There are 12 pre-loaded filters, including the popular Lo-Fi, Clarendon, and Crema.

The powertrain is also new, with the Hipster Hatch being powered by a fixed-gear drivetrain. Essentially a five-speed transmission with four of the forward gears removed, the concept is inspired by the world of fixed-gear bicycles. Mini says it will "give the driver a greater feeling of control when popping out for a superfood smoothie." Top speed is limited at only 25 mph to make sure no smoothie will ruin the stonewash denim on the seats.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Mini Reveals Augmented Vision

Mini Reveals Augmented Vision

When it comes to innovation in the auto industry, there are quite a few technologies out there that show huge potential. One of those is augmented reality, whereby digital forms overlay the real world to create an enhanced perspective to serve a specific purpose. One new player in this space is Mini, which will bring its “Augmented Vision” concept to the Auto Shanghai show later this month, offering a new high-tech way to navigate, communicate, park, and stay safe. 

“Mini Augmented Vision gives an insight into how intelligent connectivity between a Mini car and eyewear into which relevant content is projected might work in the future,” says Dr. Jörg Preißinger, project-manager at BMW Group research and technology, in a press release. “Working with several Qualcomm companies, we have created an interlinked system and augmented reality eyewear with a characteristic Mini design that revolutionize the experience both in and outside the vehicle.”

Both customizable and interactive, the AR eyewear projects images and information into the driver’s view while keeping other cars and road elements visible. Features include directions when looking for your car in a crowded parking lot, navigation arrows “on” the road leading to your intended destination, highlighted points of interest (such as open parking spaces), vehicle speed and posted speed limits, audible text messaging, “transparent” body panels that eliminate blind spots, and parking cameras. 

With this new concept, Mini joins the ranks of several other companies in exploring the possibilities of augmented reality for automotive purposes. JLR, for example, has proposed the idea of transparent body panels before, while Pioneer proposed AR navigation concepts as early as 2011. 

Continue reading to learn more about Mini’s augmented vision eyewear.

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2015 Mini Clubman Vision Gran Turismo

2015 Mini Clubman Vision Gran Turismo

One of the many things that make video games so great is the opportunity to play make believe, using the ones and zeroes of the virtual world to generate some truly inspired creations. It’s essentially a blank slate where designers can have things their way, completely circumventing the joy-killers of accountants and regulatory bodies. It’s a medium where an idea can go straight from the brain to the simulated environment, pristine and untainted.

Gran Turismo has been a champion of this for years, and through its Gran Turismo 6 Vision project, the game has offered the chance for several major auto manufacturers to present an idealized concept of the perfect performance machine.

Mini is the latest to do so with its Clubman Vision. Given the Mini’s long racing history and associations, it’s little surprise: “The image of a go-kart on the road has recurring appeal," says Anders Warming, Head of Mini Design, in a press release.

I’ve often lambasted Mini for producing cars that get fatter with each successive year. Finally, it looks like those criticisms have been met (albeit virtually).

Continue reading to learn more about the Mini Clubman Vision Gran Turismo.

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2014 Mini Superleggera Vision

2014 Mini Superleggera Vision

Mini has always been one to adhere to the saying "thinking outside the box" and that was no more evident than its a recent collaboration with Italian design house Touring Superleggera to create an open-top, two-seater concept called the Superleggera Vision.

The concept made its debut at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2014 over the weekend, catching more than just the interest of those who attended the event.

It’s hard not to get caught up in the design of the Superleggera Vision because it’s been a while since Mini has a vehicle that looks as sporty and as athletic as this one. (Apologies to the current Mini Roadster, but you’re still a roofless Cooper at best).

But the Superleggera Vision is far from a disguised Cooper. Other than those headlights and the new grill on the new Cooper, this concept has its own retro-styled look and is as dynamic a Mini as there’s been in recent years.

Hopefully, this isn’t the last we see of the Mini Superleggera Vision. If we had our way, this would be in line for production in the next few years. But even if we don’t get to make that kind of decision, we’re confident that Mini will hear the public calls and consider it anyway.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Superleggera Vision.

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2014 MINI Paceman Adventure

2014 MINI Paceman Adventure

We have a confession to make. The first time we saw the Mini Paceman Adventure, we thought it was a belated April Fool’s joke. But shame on us because the car is the real deal. It’s a one-off model that Mini has no plans of producing, but still, it’s the real deal. Based on the MINI Cooper S Paceman ALL4 with 184 horsepower, the Paceman Adventure was born from a creative collaboration between young apprentices and their instructors at the BMW plants in Munich and Dingolfing. The students were most responsible for the creation of the unique Paceman Adventure, and as part of their idea, the students thought of turning the Paceman into a two-seat vehicle with a pickup-style appearance. Sure, it looks a little wonky and takes some getting used to, but you have to give some credit to these students for thinking out of the box.

If the Paceman Adventure proves anything other than the seemingly obvious belief that Mini still has some weird genius traits, it’s that the company is helping foster that kind of mentality among its future designers.

It’s actually a good thing because as we’ve come to know about Mini over the years, you can never have enough of these creative types in your team.

Click past the jump to read more about the MINI Paceman Adventure.

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2014 Mini Clubman Concept

2014 Mini Clubman Concept

After much teasing and prodding, Mini has finally dropped the covers off of the Mini Clubman Concept just in time for the Geneva Motor Show.

Mini says that a production version is set to follow, but the way we see it, why doesn’t the company just consider this ready for production?

It’s got all the elements of a fancy Clubman, complete with all the trims and typical Mini styling that has been a hallmark of the company’s identity. There are two powertrain options, which is more than what others can offer, yet it feels like the Clubman deserves more than a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine.

Maybe that’s where the Clubman S comes into the picture? We’re not going to jump the gun on anything, but judging by the Clubman Concept, it’s easy to get a little excited about what Mini has in store for this model.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Clubman Concept.

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2014 Mini John Cooper Works Concept

2014 Mini John Cooper Works Concept

When Mini launched the next-generation Cooper last month (in two simultaneous auto shows, no less), it was only a matter of time before a John Cooper Works version would show its face.

But even our expectations were thrown for a loop after finding out that Mini wasn’t wasting any time with debut of the John Cooper Works Concept, which is now penciled to arrive at the 2014 North American International Auto Show.

Thinking about it now, it does make perfect sense because Mini always earmarks its major debuts for major auto shows, and the next one on the docket is Detroit this coming January.

More importantly, the buzz generated by the debut of the next-generation Cooper is still circulating to this day, and nobody likes to play around with ’buzz’ more than Mini.

So yeah, it makes perfect sense, if you really consider the circumstances.

Oh, and the Mini John Cooper Works Concept is all sorts of awesome. That, alone, should be worth an extra jolt of anticipation in time for its debut in Detroit in a month’s time.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Concept.

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2013 Mini Vision

2013 Mini Vision

While we are waiting for Mini to finally unveil the 2014 Cooper, the company decided to come up with a pretty cool concept car that previews the new model. The concept is called "Vision" and it is based on a virtual 3D hologram.

The new Vision concept features an evolutionary design that combines classic styling cues with a "future-focused aesthetic and technical innovations." Alongside an innovative design language, the new Vision concept features interactive gadgets, such as the Driving Experience Control switch, which offers a glimpse of what the future will bring for Mini models. The concept also features a sweet Glamorous Gold paint finish that we’ve never seen before on a Mini model.

Mini unveiled the new Vision concept at today’s MINI Design@Home event with Chief Designer Anders Warming. The production version is expect to arrive at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Vision.

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Spy Shots: 2014 Mini Cooper Reveals its Lights

It’s been a while since we brought you any new details on the next-generation next-generation Mini Cooper, but we believe it’s well worth the wait. Today, however, we finally have some new info for you Mini lovers out there, as our spy photographers have caught the car testing once again. This time around, we got a good look at the car’s real headlights and taillights.

Unfortunately, the daytime running lights where off, but if you take a close look, you will notice a ring around the headlamps with an integrated turn signal. On the back end, you’ll notice that the taillights have grown slightly and, for the first time ever, we get a pretty clear view of the taillight graphics.

The next-gen Mini Cooper will be built on BMW’s new UKL platform and will offer a new three-cylinder engine – possibly several three-cylinder engines – along with the conventional four-cylinder lineup.

The new-generation Mini Cooper will be launched sometime in 2013 and, as previously reported, there will be 10 different body versions offered.

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MINI Mulling Over a Miata-Like Sports Car, Among Other Projects

Here MINI grows again – well, potentially grows – as in an interview with Inside Line, BMW announced the potential of three new MINI models. We’ll start with the not-so-fun ones first, as Harald Kreuger let IL know that a larger SUV, to complement the Countryman, is in the works, as is a sedan model. The SUV would likely have some chances of making it to the U.S., but the sedan would likely head to developing markets, like China or Indonesia.

Okay, enough with the family-style stuff, let’s see what we’re really here to talk about. Kreuger also announced that MINI is considering a roadster model. Kreuger even went as far as to point to the master of said domain, the original MX-5 Miata, as the potential mold for this vehicle. This would mean that we would have a quick, fun-to-drive roadster bearing the traditional MINI look. We could live with that.

Additionally, we have to look into the distant possibility of BMW sharing its 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine lineup with said Miata-like sports car. Considering the rumors afloat about the upcoming MX-5 Miata boasting a far more powerful four-cylinder engine than ever before, this very well may be the time to take a swipe at the compact roadster crown by including the new 1.5-liter Bimmer engine.

If anyone can create a machine that rivals the fun-to-drive factor that the Miata has always afforded its owners, BMW can. And that 1.5-liter 3-pot has some serious potential.

In the same report, MINI also announced that it may open up a British-design office to help it maintain the “Britishness” that makes MINIs so attractive to the world. Additionally, MINI is midway through a $1.2 billion renovation of its Oxford plant to extend its manufacturing capacity to 250,000 units and it will be renting space from the Mitsubishi-Volvo Nedcar factory in the Netherlands starting in 2014.

We certainly hope that all of these upcoming models will feature a little bit of their own character, as opposed to being simply squashed up or stretched Coopers. Stay tuned for more!

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Next-Gen X1 Will Go Front-Wheel Drive and Share Mini Driveline Components

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.

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2012 MINI Rocketman Olympic Concept

2012 MINI Rocketman Olympic Concept

We already know that MINI is a staunch supporter of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. But true to their quirky and aggressive nature, the German automaker took to a different level to show it’s support for the Olympics.

If special edition MINI Coopers and videos aren’t enough, MINI has decided to release a special edition model of the Rocketman Concept. Nevermind unconfirmed reports that the Rocketman Concept has been canned; MINI still sees some strong branding mileage in decking their concept model with an extensive exterior and interior make-over.

The concept vehicle is not a production model, which is a real bummer. But with all the enhancements it has received, we sure wouldn’t have any problems see it in dealerships in the future.

The 2012 London Olympics is a little over a month away, and MINI picked the perfect time to release this special edition concept. Too bad it’s going to remain strictly that.

Find out more about the MINI Rocketman Olympic Concept after the jump.

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2012 MINI Clubvan Concept

2012 MINI Clubvan Concept

German automaker MINI doesn’t waste a good opportunity to show off some of their newest concept vehicles, especially when you have one of the biggest auto events in the calendar scheduled to open its doors in a few weeks.

On that note, the 2012 Geneva Motor Show is right around the corner and MINI is set to introduce a new concept vehicle called the Clubvan, adding yet another vehicle into their ever-expanding line-up of cars.

Despite still being in its concept guise, the Clubvan Concept is far from some of the previous MINI concepts we’ve seen lately - the Rocketman comes to mind - in that it doesn’t look a whole lot like a prototype but an actual production model.

The design of the concept won’t blow you away, although there are some elements of it that bears attention, including the addition of a partition grille that separates the front passengers from the enormous cargo area.

The car is scheduled to make its world debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show next month, at which point we’ll have more details to share regarding this rather peculiar looking MINI concept.

It remains to be seen if the British company will introduce a production version of the Clubvan.

UPDATE 04/22/12: You can take off that "it remains to be seen" phrase concerning the possibility of production for the Clubvan Concept. According to Inside Line, public reaction to the Clubvan Concept at the Geneva Motor Show was positive enough that MINI has decided to give the green light for production.

Find out more about the MINI Clubvan Concept after the jump

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2011 MINI Cooper "MINI Goes Tumi"

2011 MINI Cooper "MINI Goes Tumi"

Mini and Jerome Griffith, CEO of luggage label TUMI have unveiled a special car developed specially for the Chinese market. The new model is called the "Mini goes Tumi" and will combine design, along with art and technology. The concept will be offered in two versions: one painted in Black (or Alpha) and the other one painted in classic Hunter Green (or Alpha Brave). Every detail of the car has been outfitted with special Tumi-inspired paint jobs from silhouette to tires and grill to trunk lid.

The concept car will have the exclusive features of the Clubman and the Cooper S Clubman model of he Mini Cooper and will be offered with a matching set of luggage to show the perfect collaboration. The interior combines custom Tumi fabrics in black and orange, or black and red depending on the version.

The concept cars will be on tour world-wide during the coming year. There’s been no word as to if the concept will be put into production.

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