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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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2018 MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 - Driven

2018 MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 - Driven

Plug-in cars are the future, and the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 seeks to prove they can be both practical and fun to drive.

And we’re not talking fun to drive in the “let’s see how far I can go on a tank of fuel” sense. We’re talking in the traditional, pedal-to-the-metal sense.

In a lot of ways, the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 succeeds in its mission. In one important way, however, I felt like it needed a little work.

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MINI Countryman Panamericana Plug-In Hybrid Is Ready To Go The Distance

MINI Countryman Panamericana Plug-In Hybrid Is Ready To Go The Distance

Enough hybrid power and practical upgrades to bridge a few continents

The 2018 New York International Auto Show is now in full swing, and MINI is getting in on the action with the debut of a unique new version of the Cooper SE Countryman ALL4. Rocking a select group of updates “specially designed for extremely challenging routes,” it’s a fresh take on mixing electric and gasoline motivation in a stylish British package.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy

2018 Mini John Cooper Works Rally And Buggy

A two-pronged attack from the Dakar champs

As is tradition, the world of motor sport is looking to kick off 2018 with the infamous Dakar Rally, one of the most brutal, unforgiving, car-breaking, will-sapping events ever conceived. The Dakar heads into its 40th running this year, and its tenth stint in South America after the move across the Atlantic in 2009, and once again, competitors will do battle over a variety of terrain, from sand, to tarmac, to boulder fields, to 13,000-foot mountain passes. With so much tough terrain and such insane distances to cover, simply completing the Dakar is considered a major accomplishment. However, X-raid and Mini aren’t looking to just reach the finish line - they wanna win. Thus far, the collaborative effort has yielded four consecutive victories between 2012 and 2015, with the most recent outing in 2017 snagging sixth overall thanks to the efforts of Argentinian driver Orlando Terranova. Now, X-raid and Mini are gearing up for a fresh approach that includes the brand-new RWD Mini John Cooper Works Buggy. Created to take advantage of certain regulations to bolster 2WD competition, the Buggy will race alongside the more traditional Countryman-based 4WD Mini John Cooper Works Rally for a two-pronged approach to tackling the Dakar.

Fittingly, both vehicles were presented in Paris prior to their competition debut. The Buggy is a particularly exciting new venture for the Germany-based X-raid, which for the past 15 years has focused primarily on 4WD competition vehicles. However, with an experienced roster of drivers ready to take the controls, plus the proven Mini Rally to bolster the ranks, the team is feeling good about its chances. Read on for details on what makes these machines tick.

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

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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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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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Mini Gears Up For The Dakar Rally: Video

Mini Gears Up For The Dakar Rally: Video

For those of us residing in the northern hemisphere, January kicks off the gradual countdown to spring – that long thaw to lengthier days and warmer temperatures. But that means summer is already in full swing south of the equator, which provides the right sort of climate for one of the most ruthless long-distance races on the planet – the Dakar Rally. Spanning well over 5,500 miles of brutal, car-killing, spine-shattering terrain, the Dakar is a challenge unlike any other, but for four years running, Mini has walked away with top honors. This year, the marque looks to add a fifth notch to its belt, as evidenced by this desert shakedown video.

Hit play, and one thing will become abundantly obvious – this is no ordinary Mini. The composite body panels are fashioned after the showroom model, but that’s where the similarities end. Underneath, the beastly machine you see here is actually a tube-frame chassis stuffed with a torque-monster diesel engine, ultra-heavy-duty suspension components, and copious underbody skid protection.

Of course, that’s to be expected, considering what the Mini is up against. Sharp gravel, high heat, treacherous mountain passes, hidden boulders – it’s all in a day’s work when racing the Dakar.

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Mini Axes Coupe, Roadster And Paceman

Mini Axes Coupe, Roadster And Paceman

Amidst growing competition in the compact hatchback and crossover segment, Mini will stop production of its 2014 Mini Coupe, 2014 Mini Roadster, and 2015 Mini Paceman models. The move will help the BMW-owned brand consolidate its offerings as it attempts to justify its premium prices with a more upmarket product approach.

Shirking its previous strategy of adding a variety of models to help instigate growth, Mini will instead opt to focus on a core lineup of just five models. The brand will focus on model quality rather than quantity to help stand out against rivals like the less-expensive 2015 Fiat 500 or 2015 Nissan Juke. 

Speaking at the recent unveiling of the new 2016 Mini Clubman in Berlin, Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW board member responsible for the Mini brand, said, “This will be the start of a new era for Mini,” and that the brand is “...kicking off a new chapter where we’re going to expand into the premium compact class,” thus developing Mini’s “visual identity” in the minds of consumers.

Traditionally, Mini has been all about quirkiness and fun, but now, it appears as though it wants to take things a little more seriously.

This new ritzy approach is reflected in the changes performed on the new Clubman wagon. The new car is now much bigger, gaining almost 12 inches in length and over 4.5 inches in width. It’s also more practical, offering four full-size doors and comfortable seating for five. It also looks more upscale, with sleeker, cleaner lines and daytime running lamps in the front. 

No word yet on when exactly the Coupe, Roadster, and Paceman models will finally stop production.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Raphael Orlove Drives Dakar-Winning Mini In The Desert: Video

Raphael Orlove Drives Dakar-Winning Mini In The Desert: Video

For the uninitiated, here’s a bit of background info: the Dakar rally raid is quite simply one of the most punishing race events in the world. It’s an ultra-long off-road event that sees pros and amateurs alike blasting across over 5,000 miles of some of the roughest terrain Mother Nature can muster. Vehicle classes encompass cars, ATVs, bikes, and enormous heavy-duty trucks. To even finish is considered a gigantic accomplishment, but the Mini ALL4 Racing team has taken gold in the car category four years running. “Capable” doesn’t even come close to describing the abilities of this world eater, but that didn’t stop Jalopnik’s Raphael Orlove from getting it stuck in the middle of the UAE desert.

Of course, I mean no offense towards our comrades in gasoline, but still, it is a bit humorous, which is a point not lost in the video: “BMW gave me every preparation to drive this thing,” Orlove says. “They flew me out to Dubai, they built the simplest, easiest Dakar winner in modern history, they gave me as much instruction as possible, and access to some of the best engineers and drivers in the world. But look, sometimes you’re shifting down from flat-out in fifth gear on the desert floor into the dunes, and you crest a rise, and you go to downshift, and you pull for fourth gear instead of push for second. So the engine bogged and the wheels sunk and we were stuck.”

No worries, Orlove, it happens to the best of us. Next time, though, make sure to bring an extra water bottle. You know, just in case.

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2015 MINI ALL4 Racing

2015 MINI ALL4 Racing

A total of eight MINI ALL4 Racing cars will compete in one of the longest and most challenging off-road events in the world: the Dakar Rally.

Originally hosted in 1979, the annual event is classified as a “rally raid” — that is, a long distance, cross-country marathon run held over the course of several days. The Dakar is composed of hundreds of racers in a variety of classes wielding motorcycles, quads, trucks, and cars. It’s a grueling, two-week journey over thousands of miles of rough terrain; an epic test of both mechanical fortitude and human will. Simply finishing the event is a monumental accomplishment.

The original event was a race between Paris, France, and Dakar, Senegal, but organizers moved to South America in 2009 citing security concerns. However, the new location is no less punishing, as the upcoming rally will cover some 9,000 kilometers of dunes, mud, sand, rocks, gravel, and extreme altitudes across Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia.

If you think this sounds like the wrong event for a MINI, you’re incorrect. High-performance versions of the plucky vehicle have a streak going with three consecutive victories between 2012 and 2014. For the 2015 event taking place in early January, a total of eight MINI entrants will attempt to maintain the championship.

“Even with the most outstanding preparation, the Dakar remains a tremendous adventure with unforeseeable challenges and highly demanding tasks that all participants will have to master in order to succeed,” said Jochen Goller, Senior Vice President at MINI, in a press release. “With this in mind, we are more than pleased to enter the 2015 Dakar Rally with a professional, experienced team in our strategic partners of the X-raid Team, a highly competitive driver line-up and a proven winner in the Mini ALL4 Racing.”

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 MINI ALL4 Racing.

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2015 Mini Paceman

2015 Mini Paceman

In New York, Mini has just finished introducing us to the 2015 Countryman. Not one to limit its attendance to just one major auto show, Mini decided to spread its new models out evenly by opting to introduce the equally refreshed 2015 Paceman in Beijing.

Ok, maybe ’refreshed’ isn’t the right word to describe the 2015 Paceman because, well, there aren’t too many changes to begin with. It does adopt some of the changes made to the Countryman, but that’s not saying a lot.

So, in essence, the 2015 Paceman’s biggest change is its a new model year.

But it’s not the Paceman’s fault, nor is it Minis, for that matter. The Paceman, after all, was only introduced a few years ago, so a major refresh probably still isn’t in the cards until next year. More importantly, with the company’s expansion plans in full effect, Mini’s new-found lineup versatility has given rise to more choices for its customers.

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Mini Completely Updating its Engine, Chassis and Safety for Next-Gen Lineup

Mini Completely Updating its Engine, Chassis and Safety for Next-Gen Lineup

We’ve seen plenty of spy shots of the 2014 Mini Cooper, and we’ve even seen leaked imaged. Heck, we even had Mini officials complaining that leaked images didn’t represent the newly redesigned models properly. Well, Mini is now starting the flow of next-gen information by releasing a very in-depth presser that outlines the chassis, engine and safety updates to the soon-to-be-revealed models.

This press release, which dropped late last night, confirms that the new Mini models will feature three- and four-cylinder powerplants, ranging from a petite 1.5-liter, three-banger up to a 2.0-liter, four-pot that nearly reaches the 200-horsepower mark. Along with these new engines will comes an all-new driveline that will help deliver increase fuel economy across the range.

The chassis will also get some nice refinements that will offer up precision handling and a comfortable ride all at the same time.

Click past the jump to read more about the next-gen Mini technology

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Video: Swiss Artists Lu&Lu Turn the MINI Countryman Into an Alpine Art Car

Video: Swiss Artists Lu&Lu Turn the MINI Countryman Into an Alpine Art Car

Switzerland is set to become the center of the auto world when the annual auto show opens next week. It’s also important to remember that the 2013 Burton European Open snowboarding event in LAXX, Switzerland is also on-going.

It’s important because MINI is a sponsor of the event and when a marketing opportunity presents itself, you know MINI going to take full advantage of it. So what exactly did MINI do?

Build a Countryman art car, of course; except that this isn’t just any other art car. It’s one that was designed by Swiss local artists Lu&Lu and has been rechristened as the Countryman RE:LAAX!

Using the Swiss Alps as the inspiration, Lu&Lu proceeded to draw an image - or something that resembles it - of the picturesque landscape of the region. And the best part is, they chronicled the whole thing via a video, which need we say more, is a must-watch.

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2013 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4 Dakar Winner

2013 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4 Dakar Winner

Mini has unveiled a special-editionJohn Cooper Works Countryman to celebrate the company’s huge success their triumph in the Dakar Rally 2013 where Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret have driven their MINI ALL4 Racing to overall victory. This new special edition, dubbed the ALL4 Dakar Winner, will be limited to only 11 units - a tribute to Peterhansel’s 11 Dakar wins and it will be sold exclusively in Peterhansel’s home country of France.

On the exterior, this special edition uses the same colors seen on the MINI ALL4 Racing: a matte-black body combined with special bright-green racing stripes. The exterior will be distinguished by Dakar Rally winner’s logo and the Peterhansel’s signature on the bonnet. As with any other special edition, the new John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4 Dakar Winner received new 19-inch light-alloy wheels in Cross-Spoke Crusher design.

On the interior, the same black used on the exterior is combined with green contrast stitching on the gearshift lever gaiter and floor mats and, green stripes on the center console. Each unit will also be further identified by a special-edition logo and with the serial number placed above the glove compartment.

There is no mention of performance upgrades, so we can only assume that this special edition retains the same 211-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that is good for 221 pound-feet of peak torque. This sprints the JCW Countryman to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds.

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Video: MINI Countryman Does Crazy Back Flip in the French Alps

Video: MINI Countryman Does Crazy Back Flip in the French Alps

The warning disclaimer before the start of the video seems appropriate. Nobody in the right frame of mind should ever try duplicating this stunt, let alone even remotely think about it.

Leave it up to the pros, fellas.

MINI’s participation in the stunt is indicative enough that this won’t be your average performance. See, when you have the German automaker bringing in a heavily-modified MINI Countryman with GRAVIT-T team driver, Guerlain Chicherit, in the setting of the Tignes Ski Resort in the French Alps, you can do a whole lot of crazy things, including performing a 360-degree backflip that clearly goes way past the bounds of sanity.

To their credit, they managed to pull the stunt off and it looks pretty remarkable with the magic of video editing, but for the love of God, this is one stunt that no matter how good it looks, you better need to stay away from at all costs.

Watch the video; that’s all you need to do

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2013 MINI Clubman Bond Street Edition

2013 MINI Clubman Bond Street Edition

German automaker, MINI has another special-edition model on the horizon and, just like the MINI Hyde Park, the MINI Green Park, the Cooper Bayswater, and the Cooper Baker Street, they’re naming this one after another London street/landmark.

Called the Clubman Bond Street Edition, the specially dressed Clubman is a new take on an old formula for MINI. Special-edition models have always been one of their calling cards and the Bond Street Edition is the latest in a long line of them.

It’s been graced with a lot of exterior and interior refinements, which in this case, work for the vehicle. MINI didn’t go for the splashy route like they’re accustomed to doing; instead, they went for a scheme that’s a little more high class and refined.

Make no mistake, MINI will always be known for its quirkiness; that won’t change. But this time, they left that out of the door in favor of something that actually looks like a classy stand out.

UPDATE 02/20/13: The MINI Clubman Bond Street Edition is headed to the Geneva Motor Show. Watch out for it at the MINI stand, fellas!

Find out more about the MINI Clubman Bond Street Edition after the jump

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Video: Mini Attempts the World's First Unassisted 360-Degree Backflip

Video: Mini Attempts the World’s First Unassisted 360-Degree Backflip

It looks like 2013 started pretty crazy for Mini. The company attempted the world’s first unassisted 360-degree backflip in an automobile. Using a specially modified John Cooper Works Countryman and with French daredevil Guerlain Chicherit behind the wheel, Mini proved that the gravity can be defeated.

The Countryman JCW managed to hit a height of about 39 feet, but unfortunately the video does not reveal the landing. However, we do hope it was a successful one. We’re sure the complete video will be launched soon.

As a reminder, the Countryman JCW is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine that delivers a total of 218 horsepower and up to 221 pound-feet of torque. The car will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 7 seconds and is capable of hitting a top speed of 140 mph.

Our advice to you is don’t try this at home! You will learn everything there is to know about this attempt pretty soon when Mini will release the full details.

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2013 Mini Paceman John Cooper Works

2013 Mini Paceman John Cooper Works

The new John Cooper Works version of the new Mini Paceman will be make its world debut in January 2013 at the Detroit Auto Show, but, as expected, Mini couldn’t keep it a secret until then. The first official details have been released today, while full details will arrive in just two weeks.

The JCW version will feature a more aggressive design language, with black exterior paint combined with red stripes, roof and exterior mirrors. Mini will also add in an updated aerodynamic kit and a set of larger alloy wheels. The interior will also be a little bit sportier than on the standard Paceman and will combine the same black and red colors seen on the exterior.

Under the hood, Mini has placed the same powerplant from the Countryman JCW, so no big news here.

Updated 12/13/2012: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs. Hit the jump to read more about the new Mini Paceman John Cooper Works.

UPDATE 01/16/13: MINI has officially released the base price of the Paceman John Cooper Works. Find out how much it’s going to cost you after the jump.

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MINI Sets Out for the North Pole to Attempt Unique World Record

MINI Sets Out for the North Pole to Attempt Unique World Record

With so many auto records going by the wayside these days, you have to give credit to MINI for thinking out of the box - as usual - on their latest record attempt.

The German automaker recently announced their plans to go to the Arctic Circle to play messenger and deliver the longest Christmas list for - you guessed it - Santa Claus.

The record attempt is so big that it will involve a number of global MINI markets, including the US, Germany, Italy, the UK, Russia, Portugal, Belgium, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and even Singapore.

What this entails is that a convoy of MINI vehicles will leave BMW Group Headquarters on November 24 and will make the 1,864-mile travel to Rovaniemi, Finland in the Arctic Circle.

Upon arrival, the convoy of MINIs will be greeted by 1967 Monte Carlo Rally winner Rauno Aaitonen, who will then proceed to show off his unique rally skills by what MINI describes as a demonstration of his "unequaled talent behind the wheel of a new MINI Paceman."

There’s no telling if Santa Claus and his merry band of elves will actually receive the Christmas wish list - we’re not holding out hope on that one - but this record attempt does paint a picture as to how MINI thinks of the upcoming holiday season. Give them credit because, if for nothing else, they’re already in the Christmas spirit despite the season still being a month away.

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