Mini owners, pack your bags, get your car serviced and then get your butt to San Francisco; the Mini Takes the States road rally is back! This biennial event is the largest official Mini road rally covering 18 states, 15 cities and more than 5,000 miles. The trip will begin on Saturday July 26 in San Francisco California and will end two full weeks later on Sunday August 10 in Boston.
Along the way, you will get the chance to see much of our great country as the journey winds West into Colorado, then cuts south into Texas. From there you head towards Memphis, Tennessee and up to Chicago finishing with a northern detour to Buffalo, NY and finally arriving Boston. There are several more stops scattered through the middle as well.
While the cost for the trip will be what you make of it, Mini has thankfully made the entry and registration fees decidedly affordable at $45 per person with kids under 12 and all pets being freebies. If you decide that a 14-day cross-country vacation is not quite your cup of tea, Mini happily invites you to join for any portion of the festivities you prefer.
Whether you own a Cooper Hardtop, Clubman, Countryman or any other member of the Mini brand, join in and have fun.
Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Takes The States Event.
With so many auto brands going the way of producing art cars over the years, it certainly doesn’t surprise us that somebody would do something with a MINI. So when the German automaker decided to commission renowned artist, Magda Sayegis, to put her talents to good use on a MINI Countryman, we weren’t exactly shocked.
As part of the company’s ‘Wanderlust’ campaign, MINI enlisted the services of Sayegis, a noted artist that became famous for wrapping public spaces around the world with custom yarn knitting. This time around, her subject isn’t a public park or the outside of a museum, but a live MINI Countryman.
Jim McDowell, Vice President MINI USA, said in a statement: "The MINI Countryman embodies the Wanderlust feeling like no other MINI model and the company is launching this interactive campaign to demonstrate how anyone, not just MINI Marketing, can take part in the fun and express what Wanderlust means to them."
Mayegis yarned up the Countryman pretty good at her Wanderlust-inspired event in Austin, Texas. After finishing up the final touches of the yarn-bombed Countryman, Sayegis and her friends celebrated the occasion with a picnic where the car was officially displayed for all the participants to see.
For those of us who don’t want to drive around town in a vehicle the size of a train, there have always been small cars to keep us happy. They have gone through many changes since they first became popular during the gas crisis. No longer is it acceptable to just be small and fuel efficient, as the automotive buying public demands much more out of these tiny vehicles.
Today’s modern small car has to be quick and fun to drive, while also having plenty of room inside the cabin. If the car doesn’t manage over 30 miles per gallon then it’s a big disappointment. Not to mention looks. A small car needs to look good as well as not be completely boring to look at everyday.
We have compiled a list of the top ten best small cars on the market in the United States and, like always, we have one rule; the price needs to be under $20,000. That should give us plenty to choose from.
Hit the jump to see the list.
This whole MINI vs. Porsche "race" took so many twists and turns, it’s becoming harder and harder to keep tabs on everything that has gone on before, during, and - as it turns out - after the race.
We don’t know what’s keeping MINI from moving on after Porsche squeaked out a win at the former’s own overly-hyped race, but now we have a new video courtesy of the losing side chronicling the entire proceedings. Heck, they even managed to get Joe Rogan of Fear Factor and UFC fame to do the hosting for the shindig.
So, consider this the swan song of this whole MINI-Porsche saga, or at least until MINI USA president Jim McDowell lives up to his word and sports that ’Porsche Beat Us’ t-shirt he promised he’d wear should Porsche come out on top.
MINI’s challenge of Porsche to a race at Road Atlanta is technically supposed to happen in a day’s time, but it’s far more complicated given that Porsche has yet to answer MINI’s invites, not the least of which include a number of hilarious videos courtesy of MINI USA’s big boss Jim McDowell, a parody of Rocky IV, an online petition, and even a flying a private plane with a banner on it over Porsche’s US headquarters in Atlanta.
So with a race set to take place without an opponent yet, MINI has gone into complete overdrive in luring Porsche into accepting their challenge. The latest twist in this oddball saga has MINI offering about 400 people to watch the whole spectacle and they’re bringing in their own fully-spec’d Porsche 911 Carrera S. The only problem is, Mini doesn’t know who they can get to drive that Porsche and also, what does Porsche think of having one of their signature models in a MINI event with no company sanction whatsoever. Can you say hissy fit?
We don’t know what’s going to come out of this, but we do know that fireworks will fly. That’s how MINI’s done it before and there’s no doubt in our minds that it’s how they will do it again. We are sure they’ve got something planned that’s going to take Porsche and everybody else by surprise.
Then again, Porsche should just accept the challenge, throttle MINI at the race, and get it over with. Right?
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.
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.
The results from a study done to gauge customer feedback for the MINI E has been released and as expected, you can score one for MINI and BMW.
The study, which was commissioned by BMW, and conducted by the University of California, Davis, has determined that participants who drove the MINI E have come back with positive feedback on the car after having used it for a period of six months.
On the flip side, the study also showed that while the participants been generally receptive of the new electric car, they’ve also encountered a few problems along the way, namely “range anxiety”, which, if explained, means that the MINI E’s battery run-time isn’t as long as they hoped it be.
Meanwhile, BMW was quick to point out that despite concerns surrounding the MINI E’s battery life, the whole study proved to be a ‘delightful success’, saying in a press release that the results of the study showed that the range of about 100 miles is sufficient for most of the drivers’ daily needs; charging at home provides enough energy for most daily driving; demand for additional charging is centered on the place of work, or where sufficient time is spent during the day; and driving the MINI E is a delightful experience and there is no sacrifice of "real car" values.
Dr. Thomas Turrentine, the leading man in the MINI E study also said that while the participants have reported a few complaints with the MINI E , one of which is the car’s regenerative braking, the overall experience was very positive.
So there you have it. It’s always a tough task to get an overwhelmingly positive response from studies of this nature given the subjectivity of the participants involved but the results from the MINI E study is something that BMW should be happy about overall. There were a few bumps along the way, but overall, a lot of the participants seemed to come out with a positive feedback for the MINI E.
Press Release after the jump
There’s something about MINI that invites artists the world over to re-design the car to their liking. Can you imagine a Mercedes, let alone a Ferrari, being consistently decked with pop art designs?
We didn’t think so too.
But MINI has always been considered a car canvas and the latest artist to take a stab in re-painting the car is Brazilian artist-extraordinaire Romero Britt.
Having already worked on a Volvo V50, an Audi RS4 and a Bentley Continental, Britt lends his unique pop art talents on a 2002 MINI Cooper, which he created for Norman Braman, a BMW dealer in South Florida.
We love the way Britt blends all the colors together without the whole thing looking like an overkill. The addition of the hearts are also a nice touch and gives somewhat of a hippy look, which, once again, only a MINI seems to be able to pull off.
Britt’s pop art-designed MINI made an appearance during the Festival of Speed in Miami, and as you can expect, it did a pretty good job of drawing attention to itself.
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!
To say that 2009 has been a big year for MINI is an understatement. In line with the company’s 100th year anniversary, MINI has rolled out a laundry list of special edition vehicles this year alone. Over the course of a few months, MINI has introduced the Mayfair, the Camden, the JCW World Championship 50, and a host of other limited-run vehicles to commemorate the company’s 100th year of existence.
And now, MINI USA, as part of the lead-up for the introduction of the MINI Clubman JCW aero-kit – is bringing to the US the MINI “Rally Edition” Clubman S. With only 70 of these babies being shipped to the US, this “rally Edition” MINI is shaping up to be a must-have car for MINI enthusiasts in America. These guys better act fast, though, because reports have said that each MINI dealer in the US is scheduled to receive only one car, which comes with its own signature plaque signifying the ‘exclusivity’ of the car, for each store.
Continued after the jump.
It looks like the bad news keep coming for the US market. After announcing that the Alfa Romeo MiTo will no be offered on the US market, here’s another bad news: Mini will also not offer the Cooper D for us. But while for the MiTo the problem was its size, for the Mini the problem is the cost: converting European Diesel engine to US specifications will cost way to much for the car to be profitable.
Even if MINI USA charged 10%-15% more, they’d never make any money and at the end of the day based on our sources. On the other side of the equation, is MINI USA priced the car at 40%-50% more to pay for the re-engineering required, few would buy them at today’s moderately low fuel prices.
The cooper D is powered by a 1.6-litre diesel engine that delivers 108bhp. The car sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 9,9 seconds.
BMW will bring 500 electric Mini to California: 490 of the Minis will be leased to selected customers in California and 10 will be used as show cars.
The electric cars will be built at the Mini factory in Oxford, England, without engines, gearboxes or fuel tanks, then shipped to Munich, Germany, where they are being fitted with electric powertrains.
Painted silver and with yellow roofs, the electric Mini are part of a new division called Project i established by the automaker to develop low-emission city cars.
The electric Minis will help BMW to meet new California regulations that will require carmakers selling cars in the state to offer zero emission vehicles.
Alfa Romeo is ready for a US launch. But it needs a little help from BMW. Until they’ll have a dealership of their own, "Mini U.S. dealers would have the possibility to also sell Alfa Romeo cars," a Fiat spokesman said.
Fiat and BMW announced today that they have signed an agreement for possible co-operation on components and architectures for their Mini and Alfa Romeo vehicles.
Alfa Romeo plans to return to the United States in 2010. The first U.S. model is expected to be an entry-level premium five-door hatchback, code-named project 940.
The new car will debut in Europe late next year, replacing the Alfa 147.
2007 MINI Hardtops With Optional Navigation System Come Standard with Clear Channel Traffic Data
MINI USA announces that it is offering Clear Channel Radio’s Total Traffic Network traffic data on navigation-equipped 2007 MINI Cooper and Cooper S hardtops beginning March production. The service, which is integrated into the vehicle’s optional navigation system, will come standard and free-of-charge for Clear Channel Radio’s traffic service, which is now available in 44 markets across the U.S. (...)
Following a number of mysterious appearances on movie screens and billboards across the country, today MINI USA finally offered an answer to the burning question: Who are "Hammer and Coop"?! MINI USA officially unveiled the project - a highly stylized series of web-based films about a new action hero ("Hammer") and his souped-up sidekick ("Coop") – on the website www.hammerandcoop.com. Each webisode promises action, adventure and intrigue, and is sure to keep (...)
Imagine MINI owner Scott is driving down the highway. He’s checking out the billboards - phone companies (snore)... online casinos (no thanks)... "MOTOR LIKE YOU MEAN IT, SCOTT!" (Hold on! Say what?). Scott has just experienced personalized "talking" billboards - the latest innovation from MINI USA, which will be the first to use advanced technology to communicate directly with its consumers with the introduction of MINI Motorby. Commuters who are tired of seeing (...)
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