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MINI Cooper EV

MINI Cooper EV

The car was recently spotted testing in the EV avatar that will be sold alongside the fuel-powered Cooper

After entering the world of electrification with the Mini Cooper SE a couple of years back, the automaker is now gearing up for its next adventure. The next-gen Mini Cooper EV was recently spied in Sweden during a winter test session. The upcoming Mini Copper EV is still at least a couple of years away, but it will play an important part in shaping the company’s future. The car was spied with heavy camouflage that barely gives anything away, but here’s what we’ve documented about it.

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2020 Mini Cooper JCW F350 by Manhart

2020 Mini Cooper JCW F350 by Manhart

The Iconic German tuner is here to make an angry hot hatch angrier

Manhart Racing is back with a new aftermarket program. This time, the German tuner has set it sights on the Mini John Cooper Works GP, the 301-horsepower performance-spec version of the Mini JCW. It’s an intriguing choice on the part of Manhart Racing. On its own, the JCW GP already fits the profile of an edgy hot hatch with enough power and performance characteristics to make some of its rivals look tame by comparison.

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2020 Mini Cooper EV

2020 Mini Cooper EV

Will it be a breakthrough car for Mini, or just another BMW i3 reincarnate?

Mini has officially entered the EV fray, and we have finally uncovered the proof. To be honest, Mini Cooper is one of the very few cars from the current combustion-engined crop that could slip into an EV avatar without any cosmetic changes. We have seen automakers going bonkers with the so-called ’futuristic’ designs with slim headlights, sharp cut lines, etc. But in contrast, the Mini Cooper gels well with those electric cars with its retro, rounded looks, and Mini seems to understand that. The 2020 Mini Cooper SE has been spotted sans camo doing some all-electric testing. This electric Mini is based on the Cooper S and looks largely similar to it albeit with a few minor changes. Will the retro-looking Mini Cooper SE make a name for itself in arguably the most competitive segment in the right now?

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2020 MINI John Cooper Works GP

2020 MINI John Cooper Works GP

The fastest Mini ever is just around the corner with maxi performance

Mini is a company that should be taken seriously when it sets about building a performance car. That’s why we stood up and listened when, late last year, we heard that the Mini Cooper JCW GP was coming back in 2020 after what will be a seven-year hiatus. Now, we’re seeing the first spy shots and, as you’d expect, it’s the Cooper JCW dialed up to 11 with some cues ported straight from the devilishly cool 2017 Cooper Works GP Concept. We want it now, together with its +300 horsepower!

Traditionally, the GP version of the Cooper Works is the ultimate performance model. In the past, John Cooper Works, which is long for JCW, built two GP models based on the previous two generations of the Mini. Of the last GP, which bowed out in 2014, only 2,000 examples exist, and just 500 were sold in the U.S., so expect the new model to also be a rare bird. Talking about birds, the GP will once again mark the swansong of the third-generation Mini Hatch with a new one coming soon.

Update 04/08/2019: We’ve managed to catch the 2020 Mini John Cooper Works GP doing some last minute spring testing prior to its debut. Check out our latest spy shots and what we know in the spy shots section below.

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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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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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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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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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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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