The Mini Cooper Countryman Has The Heart of a Supercar
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.
Mini Cooper Sets Different Kind Of Record At The Nürburgring: Video
Lap records at the Nürburgring Nordschleife come in many shapes and forms depending on the layout of the track. But in the years that I’ve kept times on all of the lap times being set at the track, I’ve never encountered what Chinese driver Han Yue did to his Mini Cooper S on his way to setting a world record of his own. Instead of driving traditionally with the goal of setting a lap time of around seven minutes and change around the ‘Ring, Han decided to do things differently, and by different I mean drive his Cooper S around the circuit on two wheels. Two wheels.
Naturally, Han’s lap time around the Nürburgring in a Cooper on two wheels would fall way short of what we’re normally accustomed to from cars that use all four wheels around the circuit. But even with the obvious handicap, it still took the Chinese driver and multiple Guinness World record holder an astounding 45 minutes to complete the 21-kilometer (13 miles) lap.
Speaking with BridgeToGantry.com, Han explained that he couldn’t push his Cooper to its (two-wheeled) limits in large part because of a problem with one of its specially built solid-rubber tires. Apparently, at some point during the lap, one of the wheels started to vibrate and the vibration only stopped when the Cooper’s pace fell below 13 mph. It didn’t help the driver’s cause when he admitted that his shoulder started to hurt at the six-kilometer (3.7 miles) distance and he had to nurse it with 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) left in the lap.
Lack of pace and injuries notwithstanding, what Han Yue accomplished is still worth acclaim, if of only for the simple reason that he succeeded in his attempt. Sometimes, the lap time takes a back seat when the degree of difficulty is pushed past what race car drivers of any skill are used to. That’s what happened here.
If you wanna watch the whole lap time in all it’s entirety, you can check out the video above. It literally is over 45 minutes long.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
It seems like just about any guy who thinks he can "drive" has tried to parallel park using the E-brake at least once. It’s not very often you see someone attempt to do it at a higher speed in reverse, let alone break a world record while doing it. But that is exactly what happened in the video you’re about to watch.
The car is a classic Mini Cooper that is driven by Alastair Moffatt – a man that holds multiple world records, and is a professional stunt drive specialist. That being said, don’t try this in your local grocery store parking lot. Now, this isn’t exactly an easy feat, but Moffatt sure does make it look like it. Starting at an unknown distance from the set parking spot, Moffatt put his foot on the floor and executed a powerfully quick J-turn, then he busted that E-brake at just the right time. The end result: Moffatt successfully slides the Mini Cooper into a spot between two other Mini’s, with a combined distance of just 34 cm (13.385-inches) between the other two cars.
It is quite an accomplishment, I must say, considering the previous record set by Ronny Wechselberger was just 35 cm. It should also be noted that this is a highly competitive record in stunt driving. Either way, you’ve got to hand it to Moffatt – I know people that can’t park a car right in an empty mall parking lot, let alone pull a parking job like this. With that said, click play and enjoy the 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.
The Nurburgring lap record for front-wheel-drive production cars has been with Renault for many years. Two different iterations of the Megane set new benchmarks in 2008 and 2011, respectively, with an 8-minute 7-seven record to survive until March 2014. That’s when the Seat Leon Cupra became the first FWD car to lap the ’Ring in less than eight minutes. However, the new benchmark didn’t last too long, as Renault returned to the German track with the Megane RS 275 Trophy-R and regained its top position with a 7-minute 54-second lap.
While the Megane RS 275 Trophy-R still stands as the fastest production FWD car on the "Green Hell," the French hatch is far from being the quickest overall FWD car around the race course. That honor goes to a beefed-up Mini Cooper that just smashed the Megane’s lap by a whopping 10 seconds. How’s that possible? Well, first of all, the Mini in question is a John Cooper Works model. Then there’s the fact that the hatch got a few extra tweaks from German specialist Schirra Motoring. The end result is a 1.6-liter four-banger that generates 286 horsepower — 78 ponies over the stock model — a curb weight of only 2,215 pounds, and a hatch that’s faster than a host of sports cars.
I’m not kidding, this JCW is quicker around the `Ring than both the Porsche 911 GT2 and the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, and it matches the Pagani Zonda S’ Nurburgring lap time. That’s downright impressive no matter how you look at it, even though this Mini doesn’t qualify as a production car. This also means the Megane RS 275 Trophy-R gets to keep its record, but Schirra’s Mini is definitely the coolest FWD car to have lapped the ’Ring so far.
The present-day Mini Cooper may be more of a fashion accessory than an affordable, fuel-efficient vehicle, but that wasn’t always the case. The original Cooper was created in response to Britain’s oil crisis of the late 1950s and came in a compact, affordable package. It was UK’s version of the Volkswagen Beetle; it was a people’s car.
The tiny economy car debuted in 1959, seven years after Morris and Austin merged to form the British Motor Corporation (BMC). Initially powered by an 848cc engine rated at 35 horsepower, the Mini received larger 1,275cc inline-four that delivered more than 70 ponies. It may not sound like much, but the first-gen Mini was quite the nimble car thanks to its reduced weight. The entry-level car tipped the scales at a feathery 1,360 pounds; the more powerful Cooper S weighed in at 1,512 pounds.
Mini’s sales success was soon backed by numerous motorsport achievements, including Monte Carlo Rally wins and impressive performances in the British Touring Car Championship. The Cooper S won no less than three Monte Carlo rallies between 1964 and 1967, beating iconic cars such as the Porsche 911, Porsche 904, and Lancia Fulvia HF in the process.
Although the original Cooper was built until 2000, the same year BMW launched the modern Mini, its presence on the U.S. market was rather brief. BMC exported about 10,000 Minis to North America between 1960 and 1967 before discontinuing sales due to the stricter federal safety standards that were imposed in 1968.
The Mini Cooper remains popular today, 55 years since its inception, with many cars being restored to their original specification and paraded during local and international events. The video above pays tribute to the Mini with a loving look at a 1971 Cooper S. This car defined what a small sporty car should be, and for that, we love it.
When Lego announced the Ultimate Collector Series Batman Tumbler, we thought that was pretty cool. There are some issue though. It is massive, it costs $200, and Lego can’t keep it in stock, so its impossible to find.
What is a car-loving Lego enthusiast to do? Just buy a different Lego set of course!
Lego has a long history of cool car-related creations. You can get a replica of the old
Volkswagen van, multiple version of F1 cars and the Cadillac-based Ecto-1 wagon from the Ghostbusters film. And then they have set 10242; the classic Mini Cooper.
For $99, you can grab one of these kits that has almost 1,100 pieces, and is extremely detailed. The car is bricked out in British Racing Green, has a full interior, working doors, trunk and "bonnet," and it comes with a complete picnic set as well.
You can watch me build the entire thing in time-lapse mode by pressing that little play button. The kit was a lot of fun to build, and it took me about 3 hours. It was a pretty awesome way to spend a Saturday morning. If you want to see some more photos of the finished kit, just check after the break.
You know how our smartphones and tablets always needs to have distinctive-looking cases that make them stand out from our friends’ gadgets. It’s not just with phones and tablets. The same also holds true for surfboards, wallets, or really anything that we can attach our personalities, too.
In some respects, car customization has also been around for a long time. But while it always used to be in the hands of the automaker or tuners to customize our cars for us, StickOut is offering all of us a chance to do the customization ourselves.
Is all goes well with the company’s Kickstarter fundraising campaign, all we will need to do is go to its website and we are in charge of the design, color, and layout of our very own customization plan for our car. It’s an idea that’s been around for a while but not to the extent where we’re left to our own devices to imprint our personalities into our rides.
It’s a fascinating thing to check out, especially if you’re the type who’s down for dressing up your own ride to fit your personality. Do check out the video and hop on to their site if you think it’s worth looking into.
Check out more videos from the company after the jump.
World-record attempts always a pose a risk, especially when speed is added into the equation. By way of his job, French daredevil Guerlain Chicherit knew the dangers involved, but that still didn’t stop him from attempting to break the world record for the longest car jump. Unfortunately for Chicherit, not only did he not break the record, he ended up on the wrong end of a spectacular crash.
Using a heavily modified Mini Cooper, Chicherit was trying to beat the record of 101.91 meters set by Tanner Foust back in 2011.
The record attempt, which was held in Tignes, France, actually got off to a good start and he even got some good air underneath it. But from watching the video, it looked like it got a little too much air, causing the nose to dip around the time the car was about to land.
The Mini proceeded to slam nose first before barrel-rolling a number of times, much to the horror of those in attendance — and everyone of us who have seen the video.
The good news is that Chicherit is doing well, suffering only minor injuries from what was a major crash. Here’s to hoping he gets well soon!
What you’re looking at above is one of ten examples of a specially-designed Mini Cooper created by fans of the German marque.
So why are these designs relevant? Well, one of them will be built by Mini as a special-edition model.
All ten of these Mini Coopers, each with custom graphics and special accessories, are going to be part of a special promotion by Mini wherein fans will be given a chance to vote for their favorite design on a dedicated website. Best hurry, though, because the deadline for votes ends today.
Whichever design gets the most votes will be announced at the New York Auto Show on April 16th before Mini goes back to its design lab and builds 56 models of the winning design.
Now that we’ve gotten the specifics out of the way, here’s our three finalists: the Tron-inspired design, the white Cooper with an intricate blue dragon graphic, and the orange Cooper with the tiger on the roof. The last one may be a little tacky for some, but hey, it’s going to definitely stand out, right?
As for our favorite, the Tron Cooper gets our vote.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Mini Cooper.
The 2002 Mini Cooper S is powered by a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine with an output of 163 horsepower — a pretty high number for such a tiny car. That said, why be satisfied with just one 1.6-liter engine, when you can have two?
Like this particular Mini Cooper, which was prepared by Jacques Andres and reviewed in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. This car was specially designed to run the 25 Hour of Thunderhill Endurance Race and is powered by two 1.6-liter, supercharged four-cylinders sending power to all four wheels.
The two engines develop a total of 500 horsepower and each engine can be operated individually, or simultaneously, but each needs to be started separately.
Check out the video to see what Jay Leno thinks about this very cool Mini Cooper. As usual he pushed the car to its limits to see how good it really is.
In the latest episode of Drive, Matt Farah took the 2014 Mini Cooper Works GP to the Silver State Classic — an open road challenge in the Nevada desert — to see just how good the GP really is.
According to Matt, he was excited about the idea, but in the end the experiment didn’t go too well, because the organizers wanted them to go relatively slowly, and when driving a Mini GP, the only thing you can do is go fast as hell. So, check out the video to see what happened in the end and how fast the GP really is.
As a reminder, the GP is powered by a modified 1.6-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged engine that delivers a total of 218 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 191 pound-feet of torque from just 1,750 rpm. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 150 mph.
MINI has always been an out-of-the-box kind of company, and anytime it can try out something new, it won’t hesitate to do so.
The upcoming debut of the third-generation MINI Cooper was the perfect opportunity for MINI to do something really unique and true to form, it’s going to do just that.
Specifically, MINI will give three lucky people the chance to attend the new Cooper’s unveiling on November 18th at any one of three locations around the globe where it will make its debut: Los Angeles, London or Shanghai.
Getting a chance to put your name in the lot is pretty easy. All you need to do is head over to the new Cooper’s dedicated website, follow the instructions, and you’re one step closer to being chosen as one of the lucky few to get an up-close look at the next-generation Cooper.
And in case you don’t get chosen, don’t feel too bad because the new Cooper will make its public debuts soon at both the Tokyo Motor Show next month and the Los Angeles Auto Show before the end of the year.
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.
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
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.
Back in July, Mini announced that its John Cooper Works GP clocked in an impressive time of 8:23 at Nürburgring, giving due justice to its designation as the fastest production MINI ever.
We’re saying this because a recent video from Sport Auto shows test drive editor Christian Gebhardt getting behind the wheel of a Schirra Motoring MINI Cooper endurance race car, which proceeded to hit the Nurburgring and post a time of 8:58.
It’s an impressive time in its own right, but well short of what the JCW GP accomplished a few months ago. It smashed this time despite the fact that this endurance car comes packed with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that has been equipped with new pistons and high-performance camshafts, netting an output of 300 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque while achieving a 0-to-62 mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 160 mph.
As an endurance race car, the Shirra Motoring MINI Cooper was fitted with a new aerodynamic body kit that comes with a new front bumper, extended wheel arches and a prominent rear wing. The vehicle also carries a track-oriented suspension, high-performance brakes and a set of Michelin racing tires.
Regardless if it failed to sniff the JCW GP’s Nurburgring lap time, 8:58 is still a pretty awesome time any way you slice it.
Mini’s recently revealed John Cooper Works GP has been described as the fastest production Mini has ever built. At the official launch, Mini announced that the new sports coupe lapped the Nurburgring in 8 min. 23 seconds and today, they have unveiled the video of their speedy lap. This lap time puts the 2013 Cooper JCW GP at about 19 seconds faster than the 2007 JCW GP.
The new GP version is distinguished by large front and rear aprons, striking side skirts, a bespoke roof spoiler, and a newly developed rear diffuser. On the interior, the rear seats were removed in order to add more of a racing appearance. Other adjustments include an adjustable suspension developed specifically for the car, racing brakes, chassis improvements, and special paint and graphics.
There will only be 2,000 units of the Mini Cooper JCW GP produced, so if you want to buy one, you better hurry up.
The countdown to the 2012 London Olympics is on its last legs, and as such, MINI is preparing to give British athletes a proper motivational boost with a new promotional video featuring the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
The video features a handful of 2012 MINI London Special Edition models - nine in total! - with members of the world-famous London Philharmonic Orchestra each getting into one of the models to play a unique version of the British national anthem.
Instead of their instruments, they’re musical equipment this time around is the car’s horn. Pretty sweet, if we do say so ourselves.
We don’t doubt the talent of these guys in blending anything that makes a sound into a unique composition, but this really does take the proverbial cake. If you’re a British athlete and you get to watch this video, how can you not be motivated.
Heck, it even got our juices going, no small feat considering we have the athletic competency of a living room couch.
Fitting high-revving motorcycle engines into cars is nothing new, as the incredible Ariel Atom 500 makes use of no less than two highly-modified and tuned Suzuki motorcycle engines. It’s little wonder why this exercise is so popular for lightweight sports cars.
Motorcycle engines rev like no other internal combustion engine in the world, with the exception of Formula One cars, and as a result, they provide an engine note unparallelled to those offered from high-performance sports cars.
Additionally, they’re generally very small and pump out considerable amounts of horsepower. The following YouTube user has actually fitted a 170WHP, 1.0-liter engine from the 2003 Yamaha YZF-R1 to a 1970 Austin Mini and the results can be seen in the following video.
The YouTube user responsible for the video, Daign, was recently out cruising down the highway when an orange Lamborghini Gallardo popped up, and the driver of the Mini was quickly on his tail.
Even though no drag race eventuated between the two (Boo!!!), Daign stated, "I think the Gallardo was a bit confused where the 11000 rev was coming from honestly. Shame we were in traffic. Just for kicks it’d be fun to see how the Lambo pulls against the Mini’s powerband between 7-11,500rpm... In the power band it pulls harder than my 500hp Camaro without a doubt. 170hp with only 1300lbs. It’s scary and fun."
There are some records that you wouldn’t even think existed were it not for great marketing from those that are trying to set it.
One of those records is the recent one set by MINI earlier this month; you remember that as the parallel parking record they attempted to promote the special edition Chinese Job MINI Cooper. Well, despite their penchant for quirkiness, attempting to set the record was no small feat - even with a professional driver like Han Yue behind the wheel.
In this video, MINI takes us on a behind-the-scenes look on the preparations and hours of practice that went behind the attempts. In the end, Yue managed to squeeze in his MINI with only 5.9" of real estate separating the MINI from hitting the cars.
Check out the video and see how everything went down; it’s certainly worth your time to see how somebody is capable of doing something as cool as that when a lot of us can’t even grasp the concept of parallel parking.
The 2012 London Olympics is a little over a month away so it’s hardly surprising that we’re seeing a lot of promo videos coming out hyping up the quadrennial sporting spectacle.
One automaker that has taken this route is MINI and their recently unveiled video called the "Britalian Job."
Produced in the same vein as the 1969 classic "The Italian Job," the video features a number of MINIs trying to chase after a thief who stole gold. Well, if you’ve ever seen the Italian Job, you’ll know how the video ends. The special edition MINIs chase after the thief and relive some of the more iconic scenes from the movie, particularly driving down the Duke of York Steps off the Mall, chasing through through Leadenhall market, and the cars coming out of the same Park Lane basement as the movie. The video even has a couple of British Olympic legends in it, including Daley Thompson and Matthew Pinset, as well as racer and model Jodie Kidd.
"It was great fun making this film and London makes such a brilliant setting for an action sequence like this," said James Cracknell, British rowing champion and double Olympic gold medalist.
Check out the video and see exactly what Mr. Cracknell is talking about.