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2012 MINI Cowley Caravan

2012 MINI Cowley Caravan

In case you haven’t noticed over the past couple of years, it’s important to understand that when it comes to MINI, there’s nothing in the realm of imagination that these guys aren’t afraid to pursue.

The BMW-owned company has never been a shy about its quirky approach in their marketing exploits, as well as in building concepts, special editions, and everything else in between. And as if to continue in that trend, MINI has released a couple of new models that are, safe to say, unlike anything else anybody’s ever built.

One of the models is called the MINI Cowley Caravan, a model that was based on the Countryman, and comes with pretty much everything you need to build an impromptu camp site.

There are two welcoming sleeping berths, a twin-burner gas-stove, a water tank with its own pump and dish-washing facility, a solar module to charge the on-board battery, and a 230-volt power connection that serves as the power source for - get this - the refrigerator, the TV/DVD, and hi-fi stereo system.

The words "MINI" and "contemporary" have very few similarities between them, and you don’t need to look further than the Cowley Caravan as proof of that. Despite being a separate apparatus in its own right, the eye-catching trailer is still only 12 centimeters - that’s under five inches - wider than a MINI Clubman and weighs just under 300 kilograms - 661 lb - making it svelte enough to be towed around by the Countryman, thus turning it into a true road companion whenever and wherever you go.

And by the way, we are 100% sure that this was a clever April Fool’s Day joke from the automaker. Well played, Mini.

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2012 MINI Cooper Swindon Roof Top Tent

2012 MINI Cooper Swindon Roof Top Tent

Just when you think that you’ve figured out how MINI’s mind works, they come out with something that reminds you just how unpredictable these guys are when it comes to their vehicles.

Say you’re taking a long road trip and you’re eyes are starting to become as heavy as sand bags. The prudent thing to do is to find the nearest inn or just park on the side of the road to catch a brief nap. In the case of the Swindon Roof Top Tent Edition, you can actually do the latter by climbing up to the car’s roof-top tent to get some shut eye.

You read that right; this special MINI Cooper model has a tent set-up on where the roof rack was once located.

Unbelievable as that sounds, it’s even more ridiculous to think that the tent actually has space for two people with a working ladder that allows you access to the roof of your car and inside your tent. And if that wasn’t enough, the roof tent has its own "tent box" that you can use to stow away your tent when you’re not using it. Add some pillows, some blankets, and some stuffed teddy bears, and you’re all set for nice and relaxing sleep inside your tent.

Then again, we’re not naive enough to think that this wasn’t just an elaborate - and brilliant - April Fool’s Day joke from the German automaker. If it was, then consider us buying it hook, line, and sinker. To be honest, with all of their special edition models, we’d truly believe this would be something they were capable of.

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Video: Mini Countryman's funny commercials

Video: Mini Countryman’s funny commercials

The new Mini Countryman is set go on sale at the end of the year, so it’s not surprising that Mini has created a few commercials to begin stirring up even more interest in their little crossover. And what better way to drum up business than to provide the market with a few laughs? Nothing, which is why that is exactly what Mini did in the form of four rib-tickling commercials provided here. The first one (shown above) is titled "Flight Attendant."

As a reminder, theCountryman will be available with all-wheel drive for those who will want it and will be powered by 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines, with the S model getting a turbocharged. The turbo will take the power from 122 horsepower to 184. Buyers will be able to choose from a six-speed manual or an automatic transmission. Opt for the base model with the auto box and it will take around 11 seconds to hit 60 miles per hour. The S model can do that time in around eight seconds. The highest version will top out at 190 km/h

We hope you enjoy the Mini Countryman commercial, and remember to check out the other three after the jump.

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Video: MINI continues hammering it up at Porsche with Rocky IV parody

This much is clear: MINI isn’t taking ’no’ for an answer.

In an effort to get Porsche to bite and accept their challenge of racing a Porsche 911 Carrera S against a MINI Cooper S, MINI is going all out in taunting their rivals with enough provocation that would have probably illicited a resounding ’yes!’ from lesser automakers.

Their latest attempt in goading Porsche to race at Road Atlanta later this month, MINI has released a parody video of Rocky IV with the Cooper S playing the role of - who else? - the lovable underdog Rocky Balboa as it trains for its fight against the menacing Russian cyborg of a man, Ivan Drago - make a wild guess who Drago is in this video.

Being portrayed as a juiced-up menace probably isn’t the kind of thing Porsche would like its cars to be associated with, but with MINI, all bets are off. They won’t hesitate to make you look ridiculous if it means their opponent will accept their silly challenges. Some folks may not like it, but some of them - including us - find it absolutely hilarious.

No word yet on how Porsche will react to this, but, if we were them, we would not take this lying down.

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Video: MINI throws yet another salvo at Porsche

Video: MINI throws yet another salvo at Porsche

Responding to MINI’s challenge of racing their Cooper S against a 911 Carrerra S, Porsche made it clear that they had no interest in accepting that challenge, even mentioning that they’d rather participate in races that have more at stake than just a couple of t-shirts and valet parking spaces.

MINI, in turn, is undaunted. Not quite ready to accept Porsche’s rejection, MINI - or in this case, MINI USA chief Jim McDowell - has released another message directed at his Porsche counterpart, Detlev Von Platen, telling the latter that if t-shirts and parking spots didn’t cut it for him, then MINI would have no problem raising the stakes.

Of course, in the world of MINI, ’raising the stakes’ is completely different from what Porsche is accustomed to. In addition to the aforementioned t-shirt and parking prizes, MINI is preparing to throw in a choice of Justin Beiber concert tickets, a lifetime membership to the Salami Of The Month club, a collection of pastel cashmere sweaters, or even a plaster statue of the Porsche chief that will be erected at MINI headquarter’s lobby for a week should Porsche win.

And if that still isn’t enough to get Porsche’s attention, MINI is also planning on doing a little home invasion of sorts by flying a banner plane over Porsche’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia with a simple message that reads: "Dear Porsche, Bring it. Love, Mini."

It’s beginning to look like a race that a lot of people are beginning to want to see, and now that the stakes are exponentially higher - how can Porsche pass up a chance at tickets to a Justin Beiber concert?! - Porsche may have no other course of action than to take MINI up on its challenge.

Oh, and before you watch the video, here’s a tip; check out the subtle wardrobe changes provided by Jim. They are actually pretty funny.

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Video: KITT of Knight Rider fame used as the voice for MINI's new "Mission Control" feature

Video: KITT of Knight Rider fame used as the voice for MINI’s new "Mission Control" feature

We’ll admit it; we made fun of MINI’s new ’Mission Control’ feature, saying that it has the feel of Sesame Street. And no, we’re not taking it back. There’s a fine line between fun novelty and just plain annoying and MINI’s ’Mission Control’ feature is teetering close to the latter.

That being said, Automobile Magazine associate editor Eric Tingwall proposes a slightly different voice to accompany us inside the 2010 Mini Cooper Camden: none other than KITT from the Knight Rider fame. Now, we admit, we were big fans of the original show with the Hoff himself playing the role of Michael so this hearing KITT’s voice isn’t as annoying as those three voices who always seem to be in quite a "jolly" mood.

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Video: Riding the MINI Cooper S is a titillating experience


Whichever part of the world it’s in, one thing you can always count on with MINI is that it always comes out with uproariously funny commercials.

MINI Canada’s latest advertisement is precisely that; funny as heck and full of breasts, as in huge, jiggling man boobs. Oh, somewhere in the ad, there’s also a Cooper S Convertible having its wheels driven off by two buddies, complete with drifts, burnouts, and the jiggling body fat.

We never said that MINI had a penchant for masochistically disturbing sights, as is the case with the passenger’s nimble pecs. Whereas other brands won’t even dare to skim the ranks of the weird, MINI has long set up shop over and across that fence.

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Video: MINI shows Volvo how ’Naughty’ is done

Volvo and their new ’Naughty’ campaign pretty much caught a lot of people off-guard, but, we have to admit, there’s nothing that MINI does that surprises us anymore.

The undisputed king of off-beat marketing campaigns, MINI’s latest billboard takes their naughty streak to an entirely new level. The billboard, which can be found in Hamburg, Germany, carries the slogan "A good Mini takes you to heaven. A bad Mini takes you everywhere." If that isn’t enough to drive home the message, MINI even had a particularly kinky S&M whip dangling over the rear of the Cooper in the billboard.

Wait, it gets better - or worse, depending on how conservative you are. The billboard also has a secret five-digit number and code word: Anytime you text the code to the the number, the Cooper gets a pretty good automated whipping, complete with ’horn-y’ sounds.

Nobody can pull this off but MINI, so Volvo, you might want to take some notes.

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Young designer slices off an old Mini and uses it as a wall hanging

Art comes in many forms, shapes and sizes and depending on how somebody interprets it; it can also come from something as mind-boggling as a sliced-off body of a Mini.

This particular Mini – or at least parts of it – hangs on a kitchen wall that was designed by Danish stylist Katrine Martensen-Larsen in her infusive attempt at incorporating modern amenities while retaining an authentic, traditional – not to mention, old school - feel.

According to Martensen-Larsen, the design of this kitchen was borne out of her motivation to create a kitchen that seamlessly infuses up-to-date and modern appliances with a uniquely antique setting. The result is this work-of-art that left us pretty impressed with the young designers’ work. And yes, that sliced-off Mini is a true attention-grabber, so much so in fact that people who’ve seen the room first notices that big yellow shell of a car hanging precariously on top of the sink.

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Video: New MINI commercial wants you to bring 'extra protection'

Video: New MINI commercial wants you to bring ’extra protection’

When it comes to kooky advertising and off-the-wall marketing campaigns, few car brands can hold a candle to MINI.

By now, it’s no secret that MINI has spent the entire year coming up with some pretty zany, funny and not to mention, creepy ads so it’s a fair assumption to say that wouldn’t expect anything less from them.

Their latest commercial is no different from all the other ads MINI has released this year: it’s downright hilarious.

Suffice to say, when a girl tells you to bring ‘protection’, you’d be an idiot – or in this case, a dork – to misinterpret her not-so-subtle hints. Enjoy the video and get a good laugh out of it.

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Video: Tell me what’s your pet and I’ll tell you what you drive!

Mini has released a pretty cool commercial that teaches us how to recognize a Mini driver! Apparently, according to the company at least, a Mini driver is characterized by a mixture of life, individuality and spontaneity. And of course his pet!

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MINI launches 3rd annual Motor-Tober festival

MINI launches 3rd annual Motor-Tober festival

When you’re as established a car brand as MINI is, you can afford to make up your own figment-of-the-imagination holidays.

That being said, MINI has officially kicked off the third annual Motor-Tober celebration. The month-long holiday celebrates, among other things, horsepower, go-kart handling, great car buys, and of course, celebrating because…well, we can.

Comedic marketing nothwisthanding, MINI goes all-out for the Motor-Tober (get it? Motor-[Oc]Tober) celebration by unfurling a series of funny and amusing ads, as well as promoting the joy that is driving a MINI.

According to Jim McDowell, Vice President of MINI USA, “MINI wants to celebrate the ramp-up to the winter holiday season, which is usually a stressful time, and make it a time to thoroughly enjoy motoring.”

“Nothing says exhilaration like getting behind the wheel of a MINI, and our Motor-Tober celebration encourages customers to do just that,” he adds.

As part of the celebration, MINI will offer its prospective buyers a 1.9% financing – valid until November 2 - that runs up to 60 months if said buyer was to purchase a 2009 MINI. Moreover, the brand will also drop their lease rates to $259 per month for a select number of 2009 MINIs.

We all like holidays, legitimate or otherwise. So if MINI wants to give Oktoberfest a run for its money with Motor-Tober, then we’re all for it. As they say, you can never have enough things to celebrate about. Let the good times roll!

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MINI takes shot at Cars for Clunkers program with bumper sticker

MINI takes shot at Cars for Clunkers program with bumper sticker

For better or for worse, the United States’ new Cars for Clunkers program has drawn widespread attention the world over. Since opening its doors to having Americans the option to trade in their ‘clunkers’ for newer models, the Cars for Clunkers program has become quite the topic of conversation.

For better or for worse, the program has been the talk of the automotive industry, with some manufacturers even taking the liberty to take pot shots at the CFC program. Recently, a number of license plate surrounds have come with the message “My other car is an Enterprise Rent-a-car."

Even Mini – the compact car makers – has joined the fray with a bumper sticker that reads: “My other car was demolished by the government”.
We can all appreciate a little humor here and there and this Mini bumper sticker is something that we’d gladly put on our bumpers – all in the name of fun, of course.

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Mini Cooper convertible: always open

Mini is having some fun with its new convertible. After all pure entertainment is the only reason to have an "Openometer” that counts the minutes the top is down. Now Mini is using an ad campaign to remind everyone that a Mini convertible should be "Always Open".

Click here for the second ad.

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Mini Cooper Rickshaw

Mini Cooper Rickshaw

In celebration of the launch of the Mini Cooper Clubman in the Chinese market, Mini has chopped the back half off a handful of cars so they can be converted into rickshaws. The German built Mini’s were converted to rickshaws in Hong Kong, and then the ’rickiMINI’ was taken to Beijing to "bring good luck" to the Beijing Olympics. Mini is no doubt trying to capitalize on the global spotlight placed on Beijing with the current Olympic games.

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Mini Cooper USB drive is the coolest thing in town

Mini Cooper USB drive is the coolest thing in town

It is raining retro here at Topspeed. The original Mini was the best city car- small, fuel efficient and easy to navigate in traffic and narrow lanes. Though it is out of production, people still look out for ones on the second-hand market purely for its looks and utility, pointed above.

In case you need one but you are uncertain or don’t have the necessary cash, you might want to take a look at this. A mini-Mini for your table, which actually is a USB device that can take in a chunk of your folders and mp3. But the best part are the headlights. They actually work!

The headlight on the USB drive replaces the normal LED but nevertheless it looks cute and would be the best birthday present for a Mini or Mr.Bean fan. Other variants include a police version and a racing version with decals for the hyper-enthusiastic soul. The USB connector folds into the car’s boot when you don’t need it. Follow the link to check it out.

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Funny Mini Cooper

Funny Mini Cooper

Well, how many strange things do you think you can find in this world? At you list please add this strange and funny MINI Cooper. I wonder, is it really for the road? Or just a strange passion? Weird. This version of MINI Cooper has been aesthetically enhanced by Sydney artist/ ilustrator Andrew Georgiou.

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