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    William Maley

    MINI sedan anyone?

    The MINI sedan has been floating around the rumor universe since 2012 with various outlets saying it's coming with the prime markets being the China and the U.S. - sedans are more popular than hatchbacks in these markets. Autocar is the latest one to report this and says it's could be coming with the third-generation MINI lineup.
     
    According to sources, the sedan is in the cards as the fifth model in the updated MINI lineup. It will use the new Clubman as a base and feature a range of three and four-cylinder engines. A possible name is Riley - a name used for a MINI sedan back in the sixties.
     
    Helping substantiate this rumor is a comment made by Ralph Mahler, MINI's vice-president product management.
     
    “For example, in Asia and the US, the sedan [saloon] segment is very big. This is very interesting to us, of course," Mahler explained as the automaker has undertaken various analysis on different market trends and segments.
     
    If the MINI sedan is given the green light, expect sometime after the launch of the new Countryman - expected to show up later this year.
     
    Source: Autocar

    William Maley

    Meet the Largest MINI Yet, The 2016 MINI Clubman

    Let us present what is possibly the biggest oxymoron in the automotive world. Today, MINI has announced the 2016 Clubman. MINI says the new Clubman is "longer and wider than any other MINI". They aren't kidding. The new Clubman is about 10.9 inches longer than the standard Hardtop, 2.9 inches wider, and rides on a wheelbase that is 4 inches longer. The added size allows MINI fit actual rear doors. The spilt opening tailgate remains, offering a cargo space of 17.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 47.9 cubic feet with the seats down.
     
    For North America, the Clubman will come with two engines. The base Clubman Cooper will have a turbocharged 1.5L three-cylinder with 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. The Clubman Cooper S gets a turbocharged 2.0L four with 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet. Both can be paired with a six-speed manual or automatic - six speeds for the Cooper, eight for the Cooper S.
     
    The MINI Clubman arrives at dealers early next year.
     

     
    Source: MINI
     
    Press Release is on Page 2


     
    RIPE FOR FRESH CONQUESTS: THE NEW MINI CLUBMAN
     
    Woodcliff Lake, NJ, June 24, 2015. The new generation of the MINI model family continues to grow. With the new MINI Clubman it now conquers the premium compact segment, too. The new model offers the highest level of everyday practicality, long distance suitability, versatility and ride comfort ever seen in a MINI. With four doors and the characteristic split doors at the rear, five fully-fledged seats and a generously sized, versatile interior, the new MINI Clubman meets all the requirements of the compact class in terms of functionality in its own unconventional way. Individual style, outstanding driving fun and the quality level of a premium automobile make it an exceptional phenomenon that allows additional target groups to get a taste of the distinctive MINI feeling.
     
    The matured character of the new MINI Clubman is reflected in dimensions that are significantly larger than the predecessor model, a distinctive body concept, high-quality materials and finish quality and also new features in the areas of drive, suspension comfort, safety, controls and connectivity based on the latest MINI generation. Its status as the largest representative of the new MINI generation is also clearly shown in comparison with the MINI Hardtop 4 Door. The new MINI Clubman is 10.9 inches longer and 2.9 inches wider than the latter, and its wheelbase is 4 inches larger. Its luggage compartment has a volume of 17.5 ft3, which can be extended to as much as 47.9 ft3 by folding down the rear backrest.
     
    Engines with the latest generation of MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology power the two engine variants of the new MINI Clubman available at market launch. In addition to the new MINI Cooper Clubman with a 134 bhp 3-cylinder petrol engine, the new MINI Cooper S Clubman also lines up for the start with a 4-cylinder petrol engine and 189 bhp. Another new feature for MINI: the 8-speed Steptronic transmission available as an option for the MINI Cooper S Clubman. For handling properties that are supreme within the segment, all suspension components in the new MINI Clubman were also specially developed and harmonised to suit the model.
     
    The new MINI Clubman also offers numerous features that appear in an automobile of the brand for the first time for increased driving fun, comfort and safety. These include the electric parking brake, the electrical seat adjustment function available as a special equipment feature and the option MINI Yours Interior Styles with backlit door bezels. The MINI Excitement Package comprises LED interior and ambient lighting as well as a projection of the MINI logo onto the ground from the exterior mirror on the driver's side when the car is opened and closed. Another new feature that is unique within the competitive field is the Comfort Access option including non-contact opening of the split doors at the rear. Other options available for the new MINI Clubman include LED headlamps, the MINI Driving Modes and Dynamic Damper Control.
     
    The program of optional driver assistance systems includes the Head-Up Display which extends above the steering column, the Driving Assistant system including camera-based active cruise control, collision and pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant, road sign detection, Parking Assistant and rear view camera. The complete MINI Connected in-car infotainment program is also available. In intelligent, brand-appropriate style, the MINI Connected XL Journey Mate helps the driver plan journeys as well as providing individualised information in route to the destination as required. Numerous other social network and infotainment functions can be integrated in the car by means of smartphone apps, allowing them to be used intuitively, conveniently and safely via the MINI operating system.
     
    Exterior design: distinctive proportions, typical brand features, innovative details.
    The new MINI Clubman introduces a contemporary interpretation of the tradition-steeped estate concept. This genre of vehicle – especially popular in the country in which MINI originated, the UK – combines sporty style with functionality and is reflected in design by means of a stretched silhouette, a long roof line and a steep rear.
    These features of the new MINI Clubman not only provide a link with its direct predecessor. A body variant of the classic Mini geared towards extended transport capacity was presented as long ago as 55 years. The structurally identical models Morris Mini Traveller and Austin Seven Countryman were 9.8 inches longer than their original counterpart, with a wheelbase that was extended by 3.9 inches. Another parallel with the latest new contemporary addition to the MINI family were the split doors at the rear, consisting of two side-opening wings. These help give the new MINI Clubman its unique status within the competitive field as a six-door model, emphasising its outstanding versatility in typical brand style.
    For the first time, the new MINI Clubman combines the characteristic brand interpretation of this concept with the functional qualities of a modern automobile in the compact segment. With a length of 168.3 inches, a width of 70.9 inches and a height of 56.7 inches, it has distinctive proportions that make it unique within both the brand's model program and the compact segment as a whole. The wheelbase measures 105.1 inches, while the track width is 61.6 inches at the front and rear. These dimensions provide the ideal basis for a stylish, individual and exclusive appearance, agile driving properties and – thanks to clever space utilisation in typical MINI style – a roomy interior as well.
    Classic design features and the emotionally appealing styling indicate the kinship of the new MINI Clubman as part of the brand's model family while at the same time setting it clearly apart from its competitors. Circular headlamps with chrome surrounds, the hexagonal contours of the radiator grill and the vigorously arched power dome of the engine compartment lid define the front view in characteristic MINI style. The lower air inlet is particularly wide, thereby highlighting the car's solid stature. The bumper trim, also serving as a number plate carrier, is finished in high-gloss black. In the MINI Cooper Clubman model, the section of the radiator grill above this is subdivided by three black ribs. The radiator grill of the MINI Cooper S Clubman has a chrome rib bearing a red "S" logo with a chrome surround. What is more, this engine variant can be recognised by the distinctive shaping of its front apron including a trim strip in high-gloss black and an additional opening in the engine compartment lid.
    For optimum visibility: LED headlamps, adaptive light distribution, optional LED fog light.
    Arch-shaped turn indicators are positioned in the lower section of the headlamps. In the standard version, both the daytime driving light and the parking light are generated by the additional lighting units integrated in the front apron. The optional fog lamps are also positioned here. LED headlamps are also available as a special equipment feature. Their LED units emit bright, white light for both low and high beam. They are surrounded by an LED daylight driving ring, the lower section of which reaches down to the white turn indicators. In conjunction with the LED headlamps, the rear light clusters also come as LED units.
    Another option is that of LED headlamps with additional functions, ensuring optimum illumination of the road surface and roadside – depending on the situation and route profile – and also including an LED turning light. The optional fog lamps are also available in halogen, or else in LED technology in conjunction with LED headlights.
    New MINI features: Air Curtains and Air Breathers optimise air ducting.
    The aerodynamic properties of the new MINI Clubman are optimized by means of precisely conceived air ducting elements which are now applied to a model of the British brand for the first time. The so-called Air Curtains consist of narrow, vertically arranged openings in the outer sections of the lower air inlet. From here, air is selectively channelled around the wheel arches. It flows along the wheels with much reduced turbulence, escaping once again through Air Breathers in the rear section of the side panels. A model-specific roof spoiler also helps reduce aerodynamic drag.
     
    The bottom edge of the body features black surrounds in the new MINI Clubman. A new design has also been created for the side scuttles – the elements which embellish the front side panels along with the side turn indicators. In the MINI Cooper Clubman model these are finished in matt and high-gloss black, while in the MINI Cooper S Clubman they are finished in chrome and bear an "S" logo.
     
    In addition to the three-part structure of the body, window graphic and roof as is typical of the brand, the silhouette of the new MINI Clubman also exhibits a surface design of supreme elegance in the area of the wheel arches and doors that is specific to this model. The length of the roof line and wheelbase is emphasised by generous surface expanses that are given additional precision and presence by means of finely modelled edges. The powerful shaping of the shoulder contour in the area of the rear doors and wheel arches creates a dynamic, elegant curve that highlights the breadth and stable stature of the new MINI Clubman.
     
    Split doors and rear lights in novel design.
    The split doors with their striking metal surround are the most striking feature at the rear of the new MINI Clubman. The central bar between the glass sections of the two side-opening wings is significantly narrower than in the predecessor model, thereby optimizing the view to the rear. The split doors are opened by means of a dual-section door handle finished in chrome. Non-contact opening of the split doors is possible in combination with the optional Comfort Access function. If the driver has the car key on them, it is sufficient to make a foot movement under the rear apron to trigger automatic opening.
    The likewise newly designed, horizontally oriented rear lights are integrated in the wing doors and have chrome surrounds. Additional lights arranged below the doors perform a signalling function when the split doors are open. The impression of a body that rests powerfully on its wheels is emphasised from this perspective, too, with a contour edge in the rear apron as well as the downward increase in width at the rear that is typical of MINI. The MINI Cooper S Clubman has an aerodynamically optimised bumper including diffuser element and two exhaust tailpipes that are set wide apart.
    Four non-metallic and eight metallic paint finishes are available for the body of the MINI Clubman at market launch. The program also includes Melting Silver metallic and Pure Burgundy metallic for the first time, as well as the MINI Yours paint finish Lapisluxury Blue. The roof and exterior mirror caps can be finished in a contrasting color ­– white, silver and black – as an option and at no extra cost. Individual accents include white or black bonnet stripes and Chrome Line for the exterior.
    Interior: generous space, new design.
    Five fully-fledged seats, convenient access, plenty of freedom to move for all occupants and a versatile luggage compartment are the salient features of the MINI Clubman as it advances into the premium compact segment. The generous space and comprehensive redesign of the interior ensure that the driving fun so characteristic of the brand can be enjoyed in a unique ambience. A clear signal of the more sophisticated character of the MINI Clubman is its exceptionally wide instrument panel with cockpit facia frame. This design feature is also echoed in the door trim panels and center console. Below the air outlets there is a horizontal decorative strip which lends additional emphasis to the width of the interior.
     
    The central instrument typical of the brand is integrated in the instrument panel of the new MINI Clubman in especially harmonious style. Fitted with a standard 6.5-inch or optional 8.8-inch color screen, depending on equipment features, it serves as a display for vehicle, infotainment, phone and navigation functions and has an LED ring surround which can optionally respond to the current situation on the road and to specific operating procedures by means of an interactive lighting display. The selection and control of all functions is facilitated by a Controller in the center console which comes in conjunction with the Radio MINI Visual Boost, the MINI navigation system or the MINI navigation system Professional.
     
    In this specific model, the controls for heating and air conditioning are also located below the central instrument, as are the toggle switches. A red toggle switch also serves as the start/stop button for the engine in the new MINI Clubman. The USB socket, AUX-IN socket and a storage compartment are located one level lower down. Extending up to the instrument panel for the first time in a MINI, the center console offers space for a storage compartment and two cup holders in front of the gear or selector lever. The optional MINI Controller and the switch for the electrical parking brake are also positioned on the center console. It can be optionally expanded to include a center armrest with integrated telephone compartment. The speedometer and engine speed display are located in the instrument cluster on the steering column as in the new MINI Hardtop 2 Door and the new MINI Hardtop 4 Door.
     
    The elliptically shaped surrounds in the door panelling frame the speakers and door openers. The decorative strips of the door trim also follow a gently curved contour back to the rear. This creates a visual connection between the two rows of seats that emphasises the generous space of the interior.
     
    New options: atmospheric lighting, electrically adjustable seats.
    With the new MINI Yours Interior Styles option, this striking door trim design is highlighted by means of indirectly illuminated decorative strips. They are combined with interior trim finishers available in various types. The optional lighting package with LED interior and ambient lighting also creates an atmospheric ambience. In conjunction with the special equipment feature MINI Excitement Package, this offers continuously variable color changes and has also been extended to include a light display that is activated when opening and closing the car. On activation of the remote key, the MINI logo is projected onto the ground for 20 seconds from an additional light source in the exterior mirror on the driver's side.
    Another new option is the electrical adjustment of the driver and front passenger seats, including memory function on the driver's side. For the first time, seat height, longitudinal position, seat surface angle, backrest angle and lumbar setting can be adjusted at the press of a button. A wide range of individualization options are available with the model-specific selection of upholstery colors, interior surfaces and the optional Chrome Line for the interior. As an alternative to the standard fabric, the seat surfaces are also available in fabric/leather combinations and leather finishes with various seam patterns. The MINI Cooper S Clubman is fitted with sports seats as standard, and these are available as optional extras for the other models. Alternatively there are also John Cooper Works sports seats.
    In addition to the typical MINI seats with the tube-like visual structure, the new Chester pattern is also offered in Indigo Blue with diagonal stitching and piping in Pure Burgundy.
    The functional character and long-distance suitability of the new MINI Clubman is enhanced by its many storage facilities, a large glove compartment, storage compartments in the split doors and door pockets which can hold one-litre drink bottles. When all five seats are in use, the luggage compartment has a volume of 17.5 ft3. For bulkier transport, the rear backrest with a 60 : 40 split can be folded down. A 40 : 20 : 40 split is optionally available and as is a tilt adjustment function for the rear backrest. This enables the load volume to be increased in stages as required up to as much as 47.9 ft3. A storage package is also available comprising elements such as a variable load compartment floor, additional storage compartments, lashing eyes and attachment nets.
     
    Powerful engines with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology.
    For the launch of the new MINI Clubman there are two engines of the latest generation to choose from with three and four cylinders respectively as well as MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology. Both the Cooper and Cooper S vehicles are classified as SULEV (super ultra-low emissions vehicles).
    The technology package of the petrol engines comprises turbocharging, petrol direct injection with centrally placed injectors, fully variable valve control in the form of VALVETRONIC as patented by the BMW Group and variable camshaft control on the intake and exhaust side (double VANOS). This combination gives the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine of the MINI Cooper S Clubman particularly sporty performance figures. It mobilizes a peak output of 189 bhp and a maximum torque of 207 ft lbs that goes on stream at just 1,250 rpm.
    The new MINI Cooper S Clubman sprints in 7 seconds (automatic: 6.9 seconds) from 0 to 60 mph, reaching a top speed of 142 mph.
    Spirited power delivery is also characteristic of the 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine in the MINI Cooper Clubman. With a peak output of 134 bhp and a maximum torque of 162 ft lbs at 1,250 rpm, this engine also ensures sporting performance figures. 8.9 seconds is all that is required with both manual transmission and Steptronic for acceleration from 0 to 60 mph, and the top speed is 127 mph in each case.
    A MINI premiere: 8-speed Steptronic transmission
    The 4-cylinder engines in the models MINI Cooper S Clubman can be optionally combined with an 8-speed Steptronic transmission. This automatic transmission type is available in a MINI for the first time, providing an even more favourable basis for efficient, comfortable and sporty driving due to a broader gear spread and smaller engine speed steps. Another option for the new MINI Cooper S Clubman is an 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission offering even shorter shift times that can be operated in manual mode by means of shift paddles at the steering wheel. It also has a Launch Control function for traction-optimised acceleration with maximum dynamic performance from standing.
     
    For the new MINI Cooper Clubman, an optional 6-speed Steptronic transmission of the latest generation is available which demonstrates increased efficiency and a high level of shift comfort, as well as shift dynamics optimized for sporty driving. It offers both automatic and manual changes in drive position using the gear selector switch. All automatic variants have a transmission control system that is able to draw on navigation data for the purpose of gear and shift point selection. This means that in cars fitted with a navigation system, shift control is based on the route profile. In this way, the appropriate drive position is selected to match the imminent situation on the road ahead, e.g. directly prior to junctions or on corners. This obviates the need for upshifts between two bends in quick succession.
     
    All variants of the new MINI Clubman are fitted as standard with a 6-speed transmission of the latest generation, characterised by low weight, a high level of internal efficiency and shift comfort optimised by means of carbon fibre friction linings for the synchroniser rings. A gear sensor also enables active engine speed adaptation for especially sporty shifting when accelerating and increased comfort when shifting down.
     
    In addition to the auto start/stop function that can also be used in conjunction with an automatic transmission and extensive measures to optimise weight and aerodynamic drag, the MINIMALISM Technology fitted as standard in all of the new MINI Clubman models also features a shift point display, brake energy regeneration, active cooling air flaps and needs-oriented control of the fuel and coolant pump as well as other ancillary components. The electromechanical power steering operates energy-efficiently, as do the map-controlled oil pumps in all engines.
     
    MINI Driving Modes: sporty flair and efficiency at the turn of a switch.
    The optional MINI Driving Modes are activated by means of a rotary switch at the base of the gear or selector lever. In addition to the standard MID mode there is a choice of SPORT and GREEN mode. In SPORT mode, the accelerator pedal characteristic curve and steering are switched to a sporty set-up, as are the shift times in cars fitted with Steptronic transmission. In GREEN mode, a more relaxed and also more fuel-efficient driving style is supported by intelligent control of energy and climate management as well as by means of systems such as shift point display. In cars fitted with Steptronic transmission it is also possible to use the coasting function. The drivetrain is decoupled at speeds above 30 mph as soon as the driver's foot is removed from the accelerator pedal. The new MINI Clubman then rolls at idling engine speed with a minimum rate of fuel consumption.
    A new dimension of go-kart feeling: characteristic MINI suspension technology with completely newly developed components.
    The large track width and long wheelbase of the MINI Clubman benefit the model-specific design of the suspension. What is more, new development of all front axle parts has resulted in optimisation of kinematics and component stiffness. The car's weight has been reduced by the use of aluminium swivel bearings as well as front axle supports and wishbones in highly rigid steel. The particularly stiff wheel suspension on the rear axle also enhances the agile handling properties of the MINI Clubman. In addition, spatial economy is achieved by the separate arrangement of springs and dampers, impacting positively on the room available at the rear and in the luggage compartment.
     
    Thanks to the brand's typical combination of single joint strut axle at the front with a multilink rear axle and the model-specific interpretation of this structure, the new MINI Clubman has suspension technology that is unusually sophisticated for the compact segment, too. In conjunction with the power transmission to the front wheels and the low center of gravity, this construction principle provides the perfect basis for the agile handling known as the go-kart feeling. Electromechanical power steering including speed-related steering assistance as standard also contributes to the car's precise driving properties.
     
    The dampers are decoupled at the front and rear axle by means of triple-path support bearings. The new MINI Clubman can be optionally fitted with Dynamic Damper Control. Two characteristic lines are available for damper set-up, allowing activation of either a more comfort-oriented response or a direct, sporty response to road bumps, depending on the given situation. The compression and rebound stage are adjusted by means of electrical control of the EDC valves.
     
    In addition to the anti-lock system ABS, electronic brake force distribution EBD, Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and the brake assistant, the standard driving stability control system DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) also includes a drive-off assistant, a brake dry function, Fading Brake Support and DTC mode (Dynamic Traction Control), which permits controlled slip so as to facilitate driving off on loose sand or deep snow. When the driving stability system is deactivated (DSC Off mode), there is an electronic locking function for the front axle differential known as the Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) which selectively and appropriately brakes a spinning drive wheel on tight corners, redirecting the drive torque to the other wheel. A standard feature in the MINI Cooper S Clubman, Performance Control supports agile steering for dynamic cornering prior to reaching the threshold level.
    The MINI Cooper Clubman model is fitted as standard with 16-inch light alloy wheels. The new MINI Cooper S Clubman is fitted with 17-inch light alloy wheels as standard. The range of special equipment features additional light alloy wheels sized 17 to 19 inches.
    Low weight, stable passenger cell, comprehensive safety features.
    In the new MINI Clubman, too, intelligent lightweight construction ensures maximum safety, agility and acoustic comfort by means of a torsionally stiff, rigid but also weight-optimized body structure. Highly resilient load-bearing structures, deformation zones in optimum design and an extremely stable passenger cell provide an excellent basis for keeping impact energy away from passengers and ensuring maximum occupant protection.
     
    The integrated MINI safety concept also includes a standard fitting of six airbags, three-point automatic belts on all seats including belt tensioners and adaptive belt force limiters at the front and ISOFIX children's seat attachments at the rear tire pressure display for each individual wheel is also included as standard.
     
    The full range of driver assistance systems.
    The driver assistance systems optionally available for the MINI Clubman enable selective optimisation of comfort, driving fun and safety. They include Park Distance Control with sensors at front and rear, a rear view camera, the Parking Assistant which helps the driver select and use parking spaces parallel to the road, and a cruise control with brake function.
    The Driving Assistant option comprises a camera-based cruise control and distance control function that automatically maintains a distance from the vehicle ahead, as well as the collision and pedestrian warning system with initial brake function. In critical situations, the driver is initially warned by means of visual and acoustic signals. In addition to this, an automatic brake manoeuvre is triggered in the case of an imminent collision if there is a risk of a rear-on collision in urban traffic. Other components of the Driving Assistant include road sign detection for speed limits and the high beam assistant.
     
    The likewise optional MINI Head-Up-Display promotes concentration on the road in that it projects driving-related information onto an extendible display in the upper area of the instrument panel between the windscreen and steering wheel. Here it can be read quickly and conveniently without the driver having to avert their eyes from the road. The information that can be shown includes speed in figures, navigation directions in the form of arrow graphics and junction sketches, visual signals for collision warning, display symbols generated by Speed Limit Info, and Check Control messages and entertainment program details such as radio channels and track titles.
     
    For individual premium character and additional driving fun: high-end fittings, the current MINI Connected range.
    The standard trim of the new MINI Clubman includes such features as electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, dual zone automatic climate control, a rain sensor with automatic headlights, and a 6.5 inch display with MINI Connected and AUX-IN socket and USB interface, as well as Bluetooth connectivity for phone and streaming audio. A wide range of high-end options in the areas of comfort, functionality and individuality are available to allow drivers to match the car precisely to their own personal style. In addition to seat heating for driver and front passenger, there is also a panorama glass roof with a glass surface measuring 47.2 inches in length. Customers can upgrade from a standard sports leather steering wheel to a optional MINI Yours sports leather steering wheel or a John Cooper Works leather steering wheel. The options program also includes roof rails, electrically heated and foldable exterior mirrors and the twelve-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
    The standard MINI Connected infotainment system offers extensive integration of smartphones in the car, allowing the use of internet-based services in the areas of infotainment, communication and driver experience. Numerous social media and infotainment functions for integration in the car via apps are available for both the Apple iPhone and for select Android smartphones. Operation is intuitive and reflects hallmark brand style in using the MINI Controller in the center console as well as a color display in the central instrument. The optional Wired Package includes an 8.8-inch version of the on-board computer and the MINI Touch Controller with touch-sensitive surface.
    The new MINI Clubman: an innovative concept with traditional roots.
    Offering driving fun typical of the brand, innovative technology and a maximum level of comfort and versatility, the new MINI Clubman brings the qualities of the latest model generation to an additional vehicle segment. In so doing, it draws on a principle that has defined the history of the brand and was first put into practice 55 years ago. Just one year after its debut, an additional body type was produced for the classic Mini so as to conquer new target groups, applying new techniques of creative space utilisation. Measuring 25 centimetres more in exterior length and with a wheelbase enlarged by 10 centimetres, the identically structured models Morris Mini Traveller and Austin Seven Countryman offered significantly enlarged space for passengers and luggage. As suggested by the model designations, both were designed for country outings and holiday trips with the family. Due to their still very compact exterior dimensions and customary agile handling properties, however, they continued to provide the driving experience that was typical of the classic Mini.
    The two models underscored their talents as a stylish means of transport not least by means of a luggage compartment opening at the rear that consisted of two wing doors. With each one opening at an angle of more than 90 degrees, the split doors facilitated loading of the car in tight parking spaces. This distinctive body feature contributes to optimised functionality in the new MINI Clubman, too. What is more, the split doors help make the new MINI Clubman an individual character within its segment – a modern interpretation of the tradition-steeped vehicle concept of the shooting brake, as is especially popular in the country in which MINI originated, the UK.
    The model designation Clubman first appeared in the classic Mini program in the year 1969. The original classic Mini model was still available and the newly developed car that bore the name of Clubman was positioned above it within the brand family. With a clear and sturdy-looking body design and a front section that now sported a broad radiator grille, it was offered as the Mini Clubman Estate from the outset. Again with split doors and extended transport capacity, this body variant replaced the models Morris Mini Traveller and Austin Seven Countryman, of which more than 200 000 had been already been sold by this time.
    As compared to its predecessors, the Mini Clubman Estate had grown by another 3.9 inches to an exterior length 11.2 feet. Modern functionality in the interior was provided in the form of new circular instruments: these replaced the speedometer positioned centrally in the dashboard and were now placed behind the steering wheel – directly in the driver's line of sight. The basic concept remained, consisting of short overhangs and widely set wheels, front-wheel drive and a transversely installed 4-cylinder engine at the front, while the output was increased from 34 to 39 hp. The Mini Clubman Estate remained in the program until 1982, and a total of 197,606 of this compact all-rounder were manufactured during this period.
     
    55 years of success: individualists with a sense of versatility.
    After the relaunch of the brand, too, there was soon a need for extended transport capacity and expanded variety in the model program. As the first premium model in the small car segment, the MINI offered terrific driving fun which many fans were keen to enjoy on long-distance trips, too. The MINI Clubman presented in 2007 responded to a desire for space to accommodate more passengers and luggage as well as to expectations of a 21st century automobile in terms of comfort, safety and efficiency. It took the shooting brake concept in MINI style to a whole new dimension – not just in terms of technology. The MINI Clubman surpassed its predecessor and namesake from the era of the classic Mini by more than half a meter with an exterior length of 3,945 millimeters.
    Within the MINI model program, the new addition took on the role of the extrovert individualist with a marked sense of versatility. Its unusual design – with distinctions that include a red dot award and an IF Product Design Award – combined the characteristic brand styling with distinctive proportions, the longest roof line ever seen in a MINI, a steep rear and a fresh and very striking interpretation of the legendary split doors.
    Behind the two rear doors, a luggage compartment was revealed that could be expanded to a volume of 32.8 ft3 by folding down the rear backrest. And that was not all: on the right-hand side the MINI Clubman featured an additional door that provided increased functionality in unconventional style. The rear-hinged so-called Clubdoor gave rear passengers a particularly convenient entrance and exit – stylish, unique and perfectly suited to the car's generous leg room, which had increased by eight centimetres as compared to the three-door MINI. The MINI Clubman was also available with three rear seats on request.
    The new model opened up a whole new range of ways to enrich everyday life and leisure with driving fun typical of the brand. Its unique blend of contemporary utility value, individual charisma and traditional roots took it to worldwide popularity, reflected in a total sales figure of 204,669 units up until the end of its production period. Now the latest interpretation of the shooting brake in characteristic MINI style is lined up at the start. Further matured and having grown out of the small car segment of its predecessor, the new MINI Clubman sets out to conquer additional target groups with progressive technology, clever functionality and individual style.

    William Maley

    A BMW Board Member Says There's Too Many MINIs

    With every new generation of MINI, the lineup has grown and grown. In the first-generation, there was three models. Now, the lineup consists of seven models. However, a BMW board member wants to see MINI cut back the number of models it has.
    Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW board member for Mini and Rolls-Royce tells Autocar that he would like to see brand to pare down the lineup as he believes the rapid expansion is hurting the brand. He said BMW had to be “sensitive about the number of variants and about size. It is better to go in a different direction to concentrate on doing less but better”.
    What would Schwarzenbauer's MINI lineup look like? It would comprise of what Schwarzenbauer calls his ‘hero cars' which include a three-door hatch, a convertible, and a SUV.
    “Each model must be a hero in its own market and have the trademark personality, style and go-kart handling,” Schwarzenbauer said.
    By reducing the amount of models in MINI's lineup, Schwarzenbauer says this will allow Mini’s research and development to concentrate more on improving design and quality.
    Source: Autocar
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    Poor MINI Sales? Blame the EPA the Company Says

    If you have been paying attention to MINI sales for the past few months, then you've noticed that sales have been slipping. This despite the new Cooper Hardtop coming to dealers. So what is going on?
    Jalopnik thinks its due to supply. A quick search on Cars.com shows that the nationwide supply of Cooper Hardtops is just under 1,100. MINI explained the reason for the small supply is due to pending fuel economy certification.
    "Sales have dropped because our supply has been so limited. MY 2015 MINI Hardtops have also not been able to go on sale pending the final results of federal fuel economy certification," the automaker said in a statement.
    MINI goes onto say that the "good news is as of October 1st, three out of the four 2015 MINI Hardtop 2 door models, the Cooper with manual transmission, the Cooper with automatic transmission, and the Cooper S with manual transmission, have been released for retail sales and deliveries."
    Source: Jalopnik
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    MINI's Plans for Expansion..? Yeah, about that...

    For awhile, we've been reporting on MINI's plans to expand their lineup to possibly ten models. But now, the company is reversing that decision. Bloomberg reports that MINI's parent company, BMW has decided that MINI has too many models and is cutting it down from eight to five models.
    Peter Schwarzenbauer, MINI's brand chief says the automaker will focus on “superhero” vehicles such as the three-door hardtop.
    “Like a superhero, each of these cars has its own personality and unique capabilities. It is important to find the right balance between growth on the one hand and profitability on the other,” said Schwarzenbauer.
    Schwarzenbauer goes onto say that this new focus means that three to four of the current models will remain in the lineup, though he doesn't say which models will be cut. Likely models to be cut include the MINI Coupe and Roadster.
    Even with these cuts, MINI isn't giving up on introducing new models. Schwarzenbauer says that the automaker is planning to introduce an electric vehicle “soon” once it appears that zero-emission driving becomes a must in urban areas.
    Source: Bloomberg

    William Maley

    MINI The Latest Automaker To Get Their Numbers Revised

    The EPA has been on a bit of a tear with revising fuel economy numbers on a number of vehicles since the whole Hyundai/Kia fuel economy fiasco. Ford had to revised their numbers on a couple of their vehicles, and recently Mercedes-Benz had to do same with the new C-Class. Now MINI is the latest automaker to change their numbers.
    Announced this week, MINI will be changing the fuel economy numbers on four different models. This comes as the result of an audit done by the EPA, and joint re-testing done by BMW and the EPA. The models affected include the three-door Cooper and Cooper S models. The old and revised numbers are listed below,
    Cooper w/six-speed manual: Old - 30 City/42 Highway/32 Combined; New - 29 City/40 Highway/33 Combined
    Cooper w/six-speed automatic: Old - 29 City/40 Highway/33 Combined; New - 28 City/39 Highway/32 Combined
    Cooper S w/six-speed manual: Old - 25 City/38 Highway/29 Combined; New - 24 City/34 Highway/28 Combined
    Cooper S w/six-speed automatic: Old - 27 City/38 Highway/31 Combined; New - 26 City/35 Highway/30 Combined

    Source: EPA
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2

    EPA Requiring BMW to Correct Fuel Economy Labels for Four Mini Cooper Vehicles
    Washington - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is revising estimates for four 2014 BMW Mini Cooper vehicles to ensure consumers are given accurate fuel economy values.
    The EPA performed a fuel economy audit on the BMW Mini Cooper and obtained values that differed from those BMW submitted to EPA for certification. With EPA oversight, BMW conducted new emissions and fuel economy testing, and EPA conducted its own testing at its National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As a result of this subsequent testing, EPA is requiring BMW to relabel four of its 2014 Mini Cooper models with lower fuel economy values.
    The specific changes to fuel economy stickers are listed in the table below.
    2014 BMW Mini Cooper Fuel Economy Value Updates
    Old Label Values
    New Label Values
    Model


    Transmission

    Combined (mpg)



    City
    (mpg)



    Highway (mpg)



    Combined (mpg)



    City (mpg)



    Highway (mpg)


    Cooper 3-door

    MT



    34



    30



    42



    33



    29



    40


    Cooper 3-door

    Semi-Auto



    33



    29



    40



    32



    28



    39


    Cooper S 3-door

    MT



    29



    25



    38



    28



    24



    34


    Cooper S 3-door

    Semi-Auto



    31



    27



    38



    30



    26



    35


    "Fuel economy values matter to consumers and automakers," said Christopher Grundler, director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality. "To provide consumers with the most accurate, reliable and repeatable fuel economy values, we are continuing to strengthen our oversight to ensure fair competition among automakers."
    EPA's National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory conducts fuel economy testing on vehicles each year to ensure that their performance matches the mileage and emissions data automakers submit to EPA. These audits are part of the oversight program that helps ensure all carmakers are following the same procedures for calculating mileage estimates. The oversight program also helps the EPA verify that vehicles on the road meet national tailpipe emission standards to protect public health and the environment.

    William Maley

    Haven't You Wanted A Four-Door Cooper?

    Do you happen to be one of those people who look at the new MINI Cooper and think: You know what this vehicle needs? Two extra doors. Well if you happen to be, then this announcement from MINI should be of interest.
    The brand announced last night the 2015 MINI Hardtop 4 door which offers added versatility to the MINI family. The four-door model is about 6.3-inches longer overall and rides on a wheelbase that is 4.3-inches longer than standard Cooper Hardtop. This allowed MINI to fit full-size rear doors to the vehicle. The increase in length also expands cargo space from 2.3 to 9.8 cubic feet.
    Powertrains for the 2015 MINI Hardtop 4 door are much the same as on the standard Cooper. Base is a turbocharged 1.5L inline-three with 134 horsepower, while the S gets a turbocharged 2.0L four with 189 horsepower.
    MINI says the Hardtop 4 door will be available starting next January and start $1,000 above the base price of the standard Cooper.
    Source: Mini
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    MORE MINI, MORE POSSIBILITIES: THE NEW MINI HARDTOP 4 DOOR
    The new MINI Hardtop 4 door can be seen at U.S. dealerships at the end of this year
    The MY 2015 will be available for retail in January 2015 and priced at $1,000 over the MINI Hardtop 2 door

    Woodcliff Lake, NJ – June 4, 2014… Just a few months after the market launch of the new MINI Hardtop 2 door, the British premium brand expands its model range with the addition of an entirely new body variant. The MINI Hardtop 4 door combines the legendary go-kart handling that MINI customers love with newly added utilityin the form of two new added doors. The iconic exterior design of the original in the small car premium segment is authentically transferred to the specific proportions of the new 4 door body. With the wheelbase expanded by 2.9 inches and the body lengthened by 6.3 inches as compared to the new MINI Hardtop, the 4 door model provides greater freedom in terms of interior use. At the rear of the MINI Hardtop 4 door there are three seats, and passengers here benefit from the fact that headroom is increased by 0.6 inches as compared to the 2 door model, with headroom enlarged by 0.5 inches and interior width increased by 1.8 inches at shoulder height. What‘s more, the luggage compartment space is 0.5 cubic feet larger than in the new MINI Hardtop with a total of 9.2 cubic feet.
    The British premium brand is now represented with a 4 door model in the small car segment for the first time in its history. The MINI Hardtop 4 door instantly sets new records within its competitive environment in terms of legroom, headroom and luggage compartment volume. The car's high level of variability is also supported by the 60 : 40 folding split in the rear backrest.
    At the market launch of the MINI Hardtop 4 door there are two engines with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology to choose from. A 3-cylinder engine with a peak output of 134 bhp powers the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 door. 189 bhp is the output of the 4-cylinder engine in the MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door. Once again in the MINI Hardtop 4 door, the latest generation of engines ensures an exceptionally favorable balance between driving fun and fuel consumption with the likewise newly developed 6-speed manual and 6-speed Steptronic transmissions as well as extensive MINIMALISM technology. Typical MINI go-kart feeling is guaranteed due to a model-specific version of the refined suspension technology. Dynamic Damper Control with adjustable dampers is optionally available for the MINI Hardtop 4 door. The MINI driving modes ensure made-to-measure sporty flair and comfort.
    The MINI Hardtop 4 door also benefits from the high standards of the new model generation in terms of the quality of materials and workmanship, safety, acoustic and vibrational comfort as well as innovative equipment features. The new display and operating concept can be optionally supplemented with an on-board computer of up to 8.8 inches in size in the center instrument as well as the MINI Controller with touch-sensitive surface. A LED light ring for the center instrument provides feedback on driving condition as well as on numerous functions activated by the driver. Other equipment features available include the LED headlight, LED fog lamp, extended ambient lighting and Comfort Access. The range of optional driver assistance systems includes the Head-Up Display which extends above the steering column, the Driving Assistant system including camera-based active cruise control, collision and pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant, road sign detection, Parking Assistant and rear view camera.
    What‘s more, the diversity of the MINI Connected in-car infotainment program is unique within the competitive field with numerous additional functions which can be integrated in the vehicle via apps in the areas of social networks and infotainment are now available for both the Apple iPhone and for smartphones using the Android operating system.
    Exterior design: characteristic proportions, clear lines.
    The new MINI Hardtop 4 door is the second body variant of the new MINI Hardtop. The functional qualities of the 4 door model are also reflected in the clarity of its lines. The unique roof line and the emphasis of the rear section draw attention to the extended length, while the increased overall height reflects the improvement in headroom. The design reflects the car's historical roots as well as being an evolutionary refinement of the contemporary vehicle concept. Characteristic MINI proportions ensure a compact and powerful appearance which underscores the agility of the MINI Hardtop 4 door as well as its consistent orientation towards driving fun.
    The body of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door is 157.4 inches long (MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door: 158 inches), 56.1 inches high and 68 inches wide. This makes the MINI Hardtop 4 door 6.3 inches longer and 0.4 inches higher than the 2 door version - the width remains the same. The wheelbase has been extended in the MINI Hardtop 4 door by 2.9 inches to 101.1 inches, while the track is identical to that of the 2 door model. Cornering agility is in no way inferior to that of the 2 door version. Interior comfort has been tangibly enhanced: due to the extended wheelbase, rear passengers now have an additional 1.5 inches legroom available to them, while the increased space also provides for a third seat in the back row as well as more comfortable access to the rear. The increased vehicle height can be felt in an additional 0.6 inches of headroom. Meanwhile the car's interior width at the shoulder is now increased by 1.8 inches. The luggage compartment has a volume of 9.2 cubic feet - an increase of 0.5 cubic feet.
    Like all MINI models, the new MINI Hardtop 4 door also has an unmistakable appearance. This is due to the car's proportions as well as the typical brand styling and characteristic three-way structure of its body. The corpus, greenhouse and roof on top are clearly separated from one another in visual terms. The window graphics taper off visually to the rear, contributing to a dynamic wedge shape from the side perspective and indicating the forward thrust of the MINI Hardtop 4 door even when stationary.
    The wide track and short overhangs emphasise the striking expression of the vehicle's corpus as it sits powerfully on top of the wheels. The athletic stature of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door is underscored by a striking sill line between the front and rear wheel arches. Meanwhile the character line below the side windows provides a dynamic downward thrust which directs attention to the large wheel apertures.
    Traditional design features include the hexagonal contour of the radiator grill, the side indicator surrounds known as side scuttles, the circular headlights, the upright rear light clusters and the black periphery around the bottom edge of the body. The contours of the headlights, rear lights and wheel arches are emphasised by means of precise edging. The single-section, seamless chrome frame of the radiator grill brings out the hexagonal shape particularly clearly. The visual effect of the side scuttle elements and the additional headlights in the front apron is enhanced by means of striking lines on the adjacent surfaces in each case.
    In the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 door model, the ribs of the radiator grill and the tailgate handle are finished in White Aluminum. The bumper trim, integrated in the radiator grill and also acting as a number plate carrier, is finished in high-gloss black, while the exhaust tailpipe has a chrome cover. The MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door model draws the distinctive and striking sporty flair from such features as a radiator grill with honeycomb pattern, a bumper trim in high-gloss black, an additional opening in the bonnet, brake air ducts integrated in the lower air inlets and a separate rear apron with exhaust tailpipes arranged at the center. This model variant also bears a red "S" logo with a chrome border, not only on the side scuttle elements but also on the chrome bar of the radiator grill.
    Unique within the competitive field: LED headlights, adaptive light distribution, LED turning light, LED fog lamp.
    The circular headlights are bordered by a wide chrome ring and have clearly structured light sources, with the arched turn indicators arranged in the lower section. In the standard version, the daytime driving light and the side light are generated inside the additional headlights, while fog lights can also be included here as an optional extra.
    The new MINI Hardtop 4 door is the first car in its competitive category to offer the option of LED headlights. The bright white LED units provide the light source for both low and high beam. They are also surrounded by an LED daylight driving ring, the lower section of which reaches down to the white turn indicators. Another option is that of LED headlamps with additional functions, ensuring optimum illumination of the road surface and roadside - depending on the situation and route profile - and also including an LED turning light. The optional fog laight (standard for Cooper S) are also available in halogen, or else in LED technology in conjunction with LED headlights. What is more, cars fitted with LED headlights also have LED units for the rear lights.
    For the market launch, the range of exterior paint finishes for the new MINI Hardtop 4 door consists of three solid and nine metallic colors. In all models, the roof and exterior mirror caps can be finished in a contrasting color - white or black - as an option and at no extra cost. Roof rails for roof rack mounting are also available for the new MINI Hardtop 4 door. Individual accents include white or black bonnet stripes and Chrome Line for the exterior.
    Interior design in hallmark MINI style, innovative display and operating concept.
    Precise lines, high-end color and material combinations and modern functionality highlight the orientation of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door towards driving fun and a premium interior ambience. The horizontal structure of the cockpit and the circular or elliptical contours of central features such as air vents, instruments and door trim are among the classic MINI design elements. The innovative display and operating concept is ideal for safe, intuitive and convenient handling of the various driver assistance systems, infotainment and comfort functions.
    The instrument cluster on the steering column displays road speed, engine speed and fuel supply by means of superimposed circular instruments. The speedometer scale includes a color panel for Check Control messages, vehicle status displays and visual indicators relating to driver assistance systems currently activated.
    As soon as the key is inside the car, the engine of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door can be started by pressing the toggle-type start/stop button located in the middle of the center console, which lights up red. Above the toggle switch there are three circular control switches for heating and air conditioning. The operating switches for the headlights and fog lights are located on the instrument cluster next to the steering wheel. The electrically controlled power window lifts are integrated in the door trim panels.
    Center instrument with a wide range of functions and exclusive lighting configuration.
    With its indicator elements and extended functionality, the hallmark MINI center instrument significantly intensifies interaction between driver and car. Depending on the car's fittings, the center of its interior surface serves as a 4-line TFT display or else a color screen up to 8.8 inches in size which shows operating feedback for vehicle functions, air conditioning, infotainment and communication, navigation maps and route directions as well as the special graphics for MINI Connected Services. The selection and control of these functions is facilitated by a Controller in the center console which comes in conjunction with the Radio MINI Visual Boost, the MINI navigation system and the Wired Package. Rotary, pressure and shift movements as well as one-touch and bookmark buttons allow for intuitive, safe and convenient operation based on the principles of the BMW iDrive system. The features included with the Wired Package include a Touch Controller whose touch-sensitive surface enables entry of characters.
    The innovative display and operating concept is supported by a lighting design in the area of the center instrument which is unique to MINI. LED units around the outer edge of the circular instrument - available in six colors - can respond to the current situation on the road and to specific operating procedures according to driver preference. For example, the the road speed and engine speed dials displayed in the instrument cluster are underpinned by parallel light impulses at the edge of the center instrument. When Park Distance Control is activated, the remaining distance to obstacles is shown by means of a ring of light which is illuminated in green, yellow or red - supplementing the graphic display. A change in the desired interior temperature is confirmed by LED units which light up in blue or red. Route guidance information provided by the navigation system is also visually supported by the illuminated ring: the closer the car gets to the turn-off point, the smaller the lit-up area at the edge of the center instrument.
    Extended functionality and hallmark MINI diversity of colors and materials in the interior.
    The extended space along with numerous clever details makes the new MINI Hardtop 4 door extremely functional and practical. The rear backrest with a 60 : 40 split can not only be folded down but also angled more steeply so as to create more luggage space. The belt for the central back seat is integrated in the backrest. Numerous cupholders and storage facilities make it easy to take drinks and travel utensils along in the car, and there is an additional storage compartment behind the trim strip on the passenger side. A storage package is also optionally available that includes a double dual-section load compartment floor, additional lashing eyes and floor net for the luggage compartment, along with map pouches for the backrests of the front seats.
    Seats in a cloth/leather combination or leather finish are offered as an alternative to the standard leatherette version. The MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door is fitted with sport seats as standard, which are also available as options in the Cooper model. The sport seats offer excellent lateral hold as well a as seat depth adjustment function. The optional leather lounge seats have a tube-like visual structure and offer top-quality upholstery for a high level of seating comfort. A wide range of possibilities for interior customization is offered by the model-specific selection of upholstery colors, interior surfaces, Color Lines and other design features - including Chrome Line for the interior and an anthracite headliner - as well as numerous new MINI Yours program features.
    Powerful engines with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology.
    At the launch of the MINI Hardtop 4 door, there are two engines of the latest engine generation to choose from with three and four cylinders respectively as well as MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology. In the power units of the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 door and the MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door, turbocharging and direct fuel injection are combined with variable camshaft control on the intake and exhaust side (double VANOS) and variable valve control in the form of VALVETRONIC, as patented by the BMW Group. In combination with extensive MINIMALISM technology, the new engine technology in the MINI Hardtop 4 door also ensures a particularly favorable balance between driving fun and fuel consumption.
    Spontaneous power delivery and high revving are also characteristic of the 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine in the MINI Cooper Hardtop door. This mobilizes a peak output of 134 bhp and a maximum torque of 162 foot-pound (170 foot-pound with overboost) which goes on stream at 1,250 rpm. As a result, acceleration from zero to 60 mph the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 door takes 7.6 seconds (automatic: 7.7 seconds), with a top speed of 129 mph in each case.
    With a peak output of 189 bhp, the 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine gives the MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door a real dash of sporty flair. The maximum torque of the engine is 207 foot-pound and goes on stream at 1,250 rpm. It can even be briefly increased to 221 foot-pound by means of an overboost function. This enables a sprint from standing to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds (automatic: 6.5 seconds). The top speed of the MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door is 145 mph (automatic: 144).
    Cutting-edge manual and automatic transmissions.
    The new MINI Hardtop 4 door features state-of-the-art manual and automatic transmissions which exhibit a high level of efficiency. It is fitted as standard with a 6-speed manual transmission that is characterized by low weight and improved shift comfort deriving from the use of carbon friction linings for the synchronizer rings. A centrifugal pendulum in the dual-mass flywheel compensates for torsional vibrations, thereby enhancing the acoustic and vibrational properties of the drive system when travelling at low engine speeds for greater fuel efficiency. A gear sensor also enables active engine speed adaptation, or rev matching, for especially sporty shifting when accelerating and increased comfort when shifting down.
    The 6-speed Steptronic transmission available for all variants of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door offers improved efficiency, enhanced shift comfort and increased shift dynamics. It offers both automatic and manual changes in drive position using the gear selector switch. The new MINI Hardtop 4 door also combines the 6-speed Steptronic transmission with the automatic engine start/stop function, preventing unnecessary fuel consumption caused by idling at junctions or in congested traffic. Another option for the new MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door is a 6-speed Steptronic sports transmission that offers even shorter shift times and comprises shift paddles on the steering wheel for use in manual mode.
    In conjunction with the MINI navigation system, the 6-speed Steptronic transmission is also able to take account of the route profile in controlling gear shifts. Based on navigation data, the appropriate drive position is selected to match the imminent situation on the road ahead, e.g. directly prior to junctions or on corners. This prevents unnecessary upshifts between two bends in quick succession.
    The MINIMALISM technology which comes as standard includes not only the automatic engine start/stop function and extensive measures to optimize weight and aerodynamic drag in the new MINI Hardtop 4 door but also a shift point display function for vehicles with manual transmission, brake energy recuperation and needs-oriented control of the fuel pump, coolant pump and other ancillary units. The electromechanical power steering operates energy-efficiently, as do the map-controlled oil pumps in all engines.
    Depending on the model variant, a significant optimization of aerodynamic properties is achieved by such measures such as extensive underbody trim and air ducting elements in the upper section of the C columns. With a drag coefficient (Cd value) of 0.30 (MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 door) or 0.32 (MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door), the new MINI Hardtop 4 door is at the forefront its segment in terms of aerodynamics, too.
    MINI Driving Modes: sporty flair and efficiency at the turn of a switch.
    The MINI Driving Modes provides an excellent basis for fuel efficient motoring. A rotary switch at the base of the gear or selector lever is used to activate either the standard MID mode, SPORT or GREEN mode. In SPORT mode, the accelerator pedal characteristic curve and steering are switched to a sporty set-up (as are the shift times in cars fitted with the 6-speed Steptronic transmission). In GREEN mode, a more relaxed and also more fuel-efficient driving style is supported by intelligent control of energy and climate management as well as by systems such as shift point display. In cars fitted with 6-speed Steptronic transmission it is also possible to use the coasting function. The drivetrain is decoupled at speeds of between 31 and 99 mph as soon as the driver's foot is removed from the accelerator pedal. The new MINI Hardtop 4 door then rolls at idling engine speed and at a minimum rate of fuel consumption.
    Optimized suspension technology: low weight, lots of go-kart feeling.
    The suspension technology of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door retains the well-established principle of the single-joint spring strut axle at the front and the multilink rear axle - which is unique within the competitive environment. Every component has been optimized in terms of material selection and geometry. All measures are aimed at making experience of the agile MINI handling properties - commonly known as the go-kart feeling - just as intense in the new MINI Hardtop 4 door. In addition to allowing for the model-specific qualities of the 5 door body variant, the set-up of the wheel suspension, body mounting, vehicle suspension, damping, steering and brakes also takes account of the high level of engine power and the typical MINI concept consisting of front-wheel drive, transversely mounted engines at the front, low center of gravity, short overhangs, wide track and a rigid, weight-optimized body structure.
    In order to achieve a low weight and a high level of component rigidity, the front axle is fitted with aluminum swivel bearings as well as axle supports and wishbones made of high-strength steel. The front axle kinematics supports the agile turn-in response and precise steering sensation of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door. High-strength steel types are also used for the rear axle. Tube-shaped stabilizers at the front and rear axle likewise contribute to weight reduction. The innovative axle bearing benefits both ride comfort and agility.
    Dynamic Damper Control in the new MINI Hardtop 4 door.
    One of the particular features of the optimized suspension and damping systems is their low weight. The dampers are decoupled at the front and rear axle by means of triple-path support bearings. As an option, the new MINI Hardtop 4 door can also be fitted with Dynamic Damper Control. Two characteristic lines are available for damper set-up, allowing activation of either a more comfort-oriented response or a direct, sporty response to road bumps, depending on the given situation. The compression and rebound stage are adjusted by means of electrical control of the EDC valves.
    In the electromechanical power steering, so-called torque steer compensation prevents self-steering tendencies caused by differing degrees of torque at the drive wheels. Steering precision is also ensured when it comes to sudden avoidance swerves and when taking bends in very sporty style. Standard features also include the speed-related steering assistance system Servotronic.
    In addition to the anti-lock system ABS, electronic brake force distribution EBD, Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and the brake assistant, the driving stability control system DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) in the new MINI 5 door also includes a drive-off assistant, a brake dry function, Fading Brake Support and DTC mode (Dynamic Traction Control), which permits controlled slip at the drive wheels so as to facilitate driving off on loose sand or deep snow. When the driving stability system is deactivated (DSC Off mode), there is an electronic locking function for the front axle differential which selectively and appropriately brakes a spinning drive wheel on tight corners, redirecting the drive torque to the other wheel. This system, known as Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC), thereby promotes the car's forward momentum without negatively influencing self-steering response. The MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door also features the Performance Control system, which counteracts any tendency to understeer prior to reaching the threshold level so as to support an agile yet neutral driving response on bends.
    The 15-inch forged light alloy wheels in the new MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 door have a particularly low weight as well as favorable aerodynamic properties. The new MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 door is fitted as standard with 16-inch light alloy wheels. Other light alloy wheels up to a size of 18 inches are available as part of the program of options and accessories.
    Comprehensive safety technology including pedestrian protection.
    The standard safety fittings of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door comprise knee, front and side airbags as well as curtain airbags for the front and rear seats. All seats are fitted with 3-point seat belts and there are belt tensioners and belt force limiters at the front; ISOFIX child seat mountings are provided at the rear.
    There are also impact absorbers and precisely defined deformation elements, all of which are elements that minimize the risk of injury to pedestrians.
    Innovative driver assistance systems increase convenience and safety.
    There are numerous driver assistance systems available for the new MINI Hardtop 4 door. These include the MINI Head-Up-Display which shows information relevant to the driver on an extendible monitor in the upper section of the dashboard between the windshield and steering wheel. The MINI Head-Up Display promotes concentration on the road by displaying information directly in the driver's line of sight. It can then be read quickly and conveniently without averting one's eyes from the road. The information that can be shown in the MINI Head-Up Display includes speed in figures, navigation directions in the form of arrow graphics and junction sketches, visual signals for collision warning, display symbols generated by Speed Limit Info, Check Control messages and entertainment program details such as radio channels and track titles. The graphics on the high-resolution screen are clearly visible in all light conditions.
    Other innovative driver assistance systems in the new MINI Hardtop 4 door include the optional Driving Assistant. This comprises a camera-based cruise control and distance control function which automatically maintains a distance from the vehicle ahead, as well as the collision and pedestrian warning system with initial brake function. In critical situations, the driver is first provided with a visual signal in the form of a graphic symbol that appears in the instrument cluster; this is supplemented at the second warning level by an acoustic signal prompting the driver to react. In addition to this, an automatic brake maneuver is triggered in the case of an imminent collision with a pedestrian or if there is a risk of a rear-on collision in urban traffic. Here the new MINI Hardtop 4 door is decelerated at medium brake force. Depending on the situation, this can either prevent an impact from occurring altogether or else significantly reduce the severity of the accident. As the automatic deceleration is activated, the driver is also given an unmistakable prompt to intervene.
    Other elements of the Driving Assistant are a road sign detection function which registers and displays speed limits on the current route, and also the high beam assistant which takes into account environmental brightness as well as oncoming vehicles and those travelling ahead when controlling the high beam.
    A rear view camera and Parking Assistant are also available for the new MINI Hardtop 4 door. The video images supplied by the rear view camera positioned underneath the tailgate handle are shown on the on-board computer in the center instrument as an aid when maneuvering and reverse parking. Meanwhile the Parking Assistant facilitates selection and use of parking spaces parallel to the road. The system automatically detects suitable parking spaces at the roadside. As the car then maneuvers into the chosen space, the Parking Assistant takes care of all the necessary steering movements on behalf of the driver. All the driver has to do is operate the accelerator, brake pedal and gear selection in order to maneuver the new MINI Hardtop 4 door safely and conveniently into the parking space.
    High-end features for comfort, functionality and individual style.
    The standard features of the new MINI Hardtop 4 door include electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, door sill cover strips with model-specific inscription, Color Line in Carbon Black and the MINI Radio including AUX-IN and USB interface. In addition to dual-zone climate control and rain sensor as standard equipment, seat heating for driver and front passenger, a panorama glass roof, a harman kardon hi-fi speaker system are all available as options. The sports leather steering wheel and multifunction buttons and cruise control are also standard features in both the MINI Cooper and Cooper S Hardtop 4 door models.
    Other options include Comfort Access, Park Distance Control, roof rails, electrically folding exterior mirrors, and both interior and exterior mirrors with automatic anti-dazzle function. For customization of the exterior and interior in hallmark brand style, options also include various decorative trim styles for roof and exterior mirrors, bonnet stripes, seat upholsteries, interior surfaces and Color Lines.
    MINI Connected: apps now also available for Android smartphones.
    The option MINI Connected is also available in conjunction with the Radio MINI Visual Boost and the MINI navigation system. It offers extensive integration of smartphones in the car, allowing the use of internet-based services in the areas of infotainment, communication and driver experience. These are provided via apps whose functional diversity is being continuously expanded. The MINI Connected program provided through smartphone apps includes vehicle-related functions such as Mission Control, Dynamic Music, Driving Excitement and MINIMALISM Analyzer, as well as online-based services such as a web radio function, the use of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and Glympse, the reception of RSS news feeds and entertainment features such as AUPEO!, Stitcher, Audible, Rhapsody, TuneIn, Pandora and Amazon Cloud Player. With the color display in the center instrument, all functions can be operated in typical MINI style - and more comfortably, intuitively and safely than ever before.

    William Maley

    The Paceman could live on in spirit with a new model

    It is no secret that the MINI Paceman wasn't a great seller and that production will be ending this year. But it seems there is a successor under consideration, a spiritual one.
    Auto Express spoke with BMW Group design chief Adrian van Hooydonk who revealed that the company is looking at an adding another variant of the Countryman with a coupe-like roofline.
    “Part of the issue was the three doors. We have looked into a lot of things, but all of our [BMW] SUV coupes are five-door vehicles. As much as people probably drive the cars with only one or two people, they like the comfort of an extra set of doors. They want to carry extra stuff – throw a bag in the rear or take someone,” said van Hooydonk.
    It is unknown whether or not it will be part of the Countryman lineup or be a separate model. But it will use the UKL1 platform that underpins MINI's current models and feature a range of three and four-cylinder gas and diesel engines if given the go-ahead.
    Source: Auto Express

    William Maley

    MINI announces their first hybrid vehicle

    MINI is getting ready to introduce its first hybrid vehicle with the upcoming second-generation Countryman crossover. In a statement released yesterday, MINI said the model would use an internal-combustion engine to power the front wheels and an electric motor to power the rear wheels. This also gives the model an all-wheel drive setup. Many believe the Countryman Hybrid would use the powertrain found in the 225xe Active Tourer - a 1.5L turbocharged three-cylinder and an electric motor delivering a total output of 224 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque. A 7.7 kWh battery pack provides an electric-only range of 25 miles and can be fully recharged in 3 hours and 15 minutes. 
    In terms of looks, the Countryman Hybrid will look mostly the same as the standard model aside from an additional cap on the front fender for a charging port. The Countryman Hybrid will go on sale sometime next year.
    Source: MINI 
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Charging ahead – The MINI goes electric.
    Head of MINI brand management Sebastian Mackensen and Head of MINI series management Peter Wolf preview the first plug-in hybrid model by the British premium brand. Munich. Hallmark MINI driving fun combined with zero tailpipe emissions. With the introduction of the first plug-in hybrid model by the British premium brand, this will soon be a reality. The series development process for this car has almost been completed. It features a combustion engine and an electric motor enabling purely electric propulsion for the first time in a MINI. This marks the beginning of a new phase for MINI, and offers a glimpse into a future that is charged with excitement for MINI customers and those drivers yet to experience the thrill of a hybrid.
    Head of MINI brand management Sebastian Mackensen and Head of MINI series management Peter Wolf offer insight into this new near-series test vehicle, and explain how it retains go-kart feeling in the true spirit of a MINI during a test drive of this model.
    “With this model we want to convince MINI customers of the benefits of hybrid drive”, says Mackensen, “and impress everyone who already has hybrid driving experience with MINI’s unique go-kart driving feel.” The key to achieving this lies in intelligent energy management which is used to control how the combustion engine and electric motor operate together. For this reason, the first MINI plug-in hybrid model is not solely focused on efficiency, but uncompromising in pursuit of driving fun.
    At first glance, you wouldn’t recognise the test car as a hybrid model. And that’s not because of the camouflage foil used. The charging socket for the high-voltage battery is discreetly integrated in the left Side Scuttle. Everything also looks familiar in the cockpit. The start/stop button in the centre of the dashboard glows yellow instead of red. As usual,  you simply press the button to start the car – this vehicle, however, remains silent as the hybrid model always starts in electric mode. The rpm counter in the instrument cluster on the steering column has been replaced with a power display. Keeping a close eye on this display is particularly worthwhile for the first few kilometres as it informs the driver about the electric motor’s power reserves before the combustion engine fires up. When exactly the combustion engine starts varies depending upon on the vehicle’s speed and the intensity with which the driver operate the accelerator pedal.
    “After a short time, the driver gets a feel for this”, promises Wolf. And this new driving experience promises a lot of driving fun. The hybrid MINI makes full use of the electric motor’s entire torque, which is available right from standstill, allowing for catapult-like acceleration. Even after leaving the slower pace of the city, this vehicle maintains its zero-tailpipe emissions at motorway speeds. The high-voltage battery under the rear seats provides power for long-lasting electric driving. AUTO eDRIVE standard mode permits speeds of up to 80 km/h, whilst in MAX eDRIVE mode speeds of up to 125 km/h are possible. For Mackensen this is a question of character: “In a hybrid MINI model, driving electrically must also be an exhilarating experience. This means that entirely electric driving is not limited to speeds of 30 or 40 km/h, but to speeds well beyond city traffic pace."
    Testing the vehicle himself, Mackensen puts the car through its paces and demonstrates that you need to step on the accelerator peddle very firmly indeed to activate the second power source. Then things really start happening. With the combined output of both drives, the first MINI hybrid vehicle demonstrates unparalleled acceleration performance when compared with its combustion-only siblings.
    However, MINI’s go-kart driving characteristics consists of more than just fast acceleration. Above all, this hybrid MINI has to prove how precisely it handles when taking bends on the most exciting, twisting roads. This is where MINI’s plug-in hybrid concept plays its next trump card. “As far as the chassis and suspension are concerned, nothing changes from the conventionally driven model variants”, says Wolf, “and the set-up benefits a lot from the hybrid concept”. Thanks to the eDrive components, which are positioned very low down at the rear, the car’s centre of gravity is lowered and the weight is evenly balanced between the front and rear axle – ideal for achieving an even higher level of legendary MINI agility.
    The Hybrid concept provides yet another benefit: the electric motor transmits its power to the rear wheels, the combustion engine to the front wheels. Since the intelligent energy management is linked to the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), traction and drive stability are optimised via the drive system. “As soon as there is any risk of drive slip, the second drive unit is activated to provide additional traction when starting off or ensuring a high level of steering precision when cornering”, explains Wolf.
    Intelligent energy management offers a further opportunity for both power sources to work together effectively. Driving on the motorway, Mackensen activates a third mode with the eDrive toggle switch: SAVE BATTERY. In this mode, the combustion engine powers the car whilst at the same time, the high voltage battery can retain charge at a constant level or indeed increase charge via a generator. Extended driving in SAVE BATTERY mode enables enough power generation for purely electric driving later.
    After driving in SAVE BATTERY mode, the MINI drives back into town in silence at the end of the test drive. The status display in the cockpit reminds the driver to recharge the battery via wallbox or power socket. Refuelling is not necessary yet because the MINI plug-in hybrid model merely took a small sip from the fuel tank. Yet another new dimension of MINIMALISM.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    September 29, 2013
    We're just a couple months away from MINI showing off the next-generation Cooper at MINI's factory in Oxford, Great Britain. To keep us interested, MINI has revealed the powertrain lineup and chassis for the Cooper.
    The standard Cooper will get a new 1.5L turbocharged three-cylinder with 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque (170 pound-feet for a few seconds with MINI's overboost function). The Cooper S gets a new 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque (221 pound-feet with overboost). These power figures are thanks in part to TwinPower turbocharging and direct injection from BMW.
    Transmissions are a six-speed manual or automatic. The automatic has a clever trick where it can communicate with the optional navigation system to adapt gear selection to the current route. This sounds similar to what Rolls-Royce is using with the new Wraith.
    Chassis-wise, the Cooper will stick with the damper strut front suspension and a multi-link rear setup. New is a optional adjustable dampers that offer two settings; normal and sport. Steering is a revised electric system.
    Source: MINI
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Innovative technology for typical MINI MOTORING pleasure:
    New generation of three and four-cylinder engines
    All-new chassis technology
    Passive safety, protection for passengers and pedestrians

    Woodcliff Lake, NJ – September 29, 2013… The latest innovations in drivetrain, chassis and safety will see future MINI models build on their segment-leading position.
    Since 1959, the unmistakable go-kart feeling has been at the heart of the British marque’s DNA. Today, every member of the MINI family has the combination of agile handling, exemplary efficiency, contemporary comfort and uncompromising safety. With the typical innovative strength expected from a premium manufacturer, MINI seeks to set standards for the future in developing vehicles and technologies that transform driving into a unique motoring experience.
    A new generation of engines will once again optimize the balance between driving thrills and fuel consumption. Future MINI models will be the first to use both three and four-cylinder engines, not only covering a broader performance spectrum, but also setting new standards in terms of output, performance, comfort and reliability. The quality of the new engines is a direct result of the unique development expertise of the BMW Group in the area of drive technology. Thanks to the brand and model-specific design, they have performance characteristics synonymous with the MINI motoring experience.
    The advances achieved by MINI in the area of drivetrain technology are characterized by the consistent further development of tried-and-tested design principles and the integration of innovative technology. MINI developers will continue to emphasize sporty, agile handling for all chassis variants.
    In addition, MINI will introduce electrically adjustable dampers for the first time. The electric control of the damper valves will make it possible to vary the nature of responsiveness to uneven road surfaces. Two characteristic curves will be available for damper adjustment that can be activated at the flip of a switch. Depending on the driver's preferences, a sporty drivetrain setting or something more balanced and comfortable can be selected.
    The new generation of engines.
    Maximum motoring fun and the most economical fuel consumption – a two-fold victory in terms of performance and efficiency has helped the latest MINI models to score top marks over their rivals in comparative tests regarding engine technology and driving performance. This is made possible by a new generation of engines and MINIMALISM technologies which will be available in all models as standard.
    For the first time, the MINI models of the future will use both three and four-cylinder engines that not only cover an even broader range of performance, but also set new standards in terms of output, efficiency, comfort and reliability. Both brand and model-specific design ensures that they have performance characteristics typical of MINI.
    More power and lower CO2 emissions thanks to MINI TwinPower turbo technology.
    A common feature of the new drive units is the MINI TwinPower turbo technology, which optimizes both performance and efficiency. In the case of the petrol engines, this technology package includes turbocharging, direct fuel injection, variable camshaft control on the intake and outlet sides (dual VANOS) and, in the more powerful versions, fully variable valve control according to the model of the BMW Group's patented VALVETRONIC system.
    All-new engines were designed for the transverse configuration typical of the MINI and feature a compact and lightweight design. They also comply with exhaust standard EU6. The engines are equipped with an aluminum crankshaft in a closed-deck configuration. A forged steel crankshaft with integrated balancing shaft drive, weight-optimized piston and forged conrod contributes to the high level of performance within the engine through reduced frictional coefficients. The three-cylinder engines each have a countershaft to enhance smooth operation, while the four-cylinder model has two such shafts that counter-rotate. The cylinder head in all engine variants is made of aluminum.
    For the market launch of the new drive generation, MINI is presenting a three-cylinder combustion engine that generates an output of 100 kW/134 bhp from a cubic capacity of 1.5 liters and a 141 kW/189 bhp variant of the newly developed four-cylinder combustion engine that has a cubic capacity of 2.0 liters.
    A new generation of engines with typical MINI performance characteristics.
    All of the new petrol engines feature spontaneous responsiveness, high torque characteristics and supreme power delivery. The 1.5 litre three-cylinder engine reaches its maximum torque of 220 newton meters at an engine speed of 1,250 rpm; this can be increased briefly to 230 newton meters by means of the overboost function. The 141 kW/189 bhp four-cylinder model actually achieves a torque of 280 newton meters with the same engine speed (300 nm with overboost). The maximum speed of all new petrol engines is 6,500 rpm.
    The engine's sporty character is favored by the position of the turbocharger integrated in the exhaust manifold. The short path of the exhaust stream enables the charging system to be activated promptly and effectively. In addition, the emissions pattern of the engines is optimized by the positioning of the catalytic converter and an electronically regulated waste gate. An efficient and precisely dosed fuel supply system facilitates direct injection with centrally positioned injectors between the valves and directly next to the spark plugs. The electronic control for camshaft positioning and the stroke of the intake valves are further technological elements that optimize the responsiveness and the consumption and emissions readings of the new petrol engines for MINI.
    Newly developed manual and automatic gearboxes will further contribute to the intense motoring pleasure that MINI has to offer, and will enhance the efficiency of the drive technology. The new manual gearboxes feature an innovative gear sensor which adapts the engine speed when shifting gears. This permits fast and sporty shifting with always the right engine speed available during gear shifts.
    The automatic start-stop function can also be used in future MINI models in conjunction with the automatic gearbox, avoiding unnecessary fuel consumption when stopped at junctions or when caught in heavy traffic. For cars equipped with a navigation system, gear selection can be adapted to the current route. This way, the suitable gear is selected before reaching junctions or before cornering.
    Chassis Technology.
    Thanks to the continued optimization in the areas of wheel suspension, spring system, damping, steering and braking, motoring is set to become even more enjoyable in future MINI models. In combination with the features so characteristic of any MINI, such as the vehicle's low centre of gravity, wide track gauge, short overhangs, transverse engine, rigid bodywork and intelligent lightweight design, innovative solutions in the chassis area make for even more precise and sporty handling. The agility that characterizes all MINIs is also combined with further advances in the area of driving comfort. This is the first time that MINI is to offer electrically adjustable dampers that can be used to optimize sportiness and driving comfort.
    Tried-and-tested construction principle, completely redeveloped components.
    The complete redesign of the chassis for future MINI models continues to focus on the tried-and-tested structure of the single-link spring strut axle at the front, and the multi-link rear axle - unique among MINI's competitors. It also includes component optimizations in terms of material choice and geometry. The dampers on the front and rear axles are uncoupled from the bodywork by means of complex struts. In combination with the reduction of the unsprung inertial masses, this makes it possible to increase both agility and driving comfort. Newly developed and aerodynamically optimised light alloy wheels are manufactured in a forging process requiring the use of less material.
    In its latest incarnation, the front single-link spring strut axle features increased component rigidity. In combination with a modified axial kinematic movement, this creates ideal conditions for particularly agile manoeuvrability and steering control that is largely freed from the influence of the drive mechanism. The wider track gauge also makes a further contribution to optimizing sporty characteristics.
    Consistency in lightweight design also influenced driving performance. The use of aluminum in the pivot bearing and high tensile steels in the front axle bearing and in the transverse rocker arms reduces the unsprung inertial masses. The innovative torque roll axial bearing enables both agility and comfort to be tangibly increased. This component consists of an engine and a transmission bearing that together absorb the weight of the engine and also support the torque in conjunction with the engine swivel support. The engine block is hydraulically attenuated, further enhancing the increase in comfort because this design prevents the engine from surging under the influence of uneven road surfaces.
    By further developing the multi-link rear axle, MINI is building on its unique position in the competitive field. Key changes – wider track gauge, the use of high-strength steels and greater rigidity in the wheel suspension – take place in tandem with the modifications to the front axle. The spatial design of the rear axle also leads to improved entry comfort and to more space in the rear as well as a larger luggage compartment volume which is also easier to load.
    More precise, more comfortable: electromechanical power steering.
    The next generation of the EPS (Electronic Power Steering) used for MINI models offers speed-dependent support for the steering force. In the future it will take less steering force to operate this, while the system will also meet the requirements for the use of a parking assist function.
    The further development of the steering system will promote agility, driving safety and comfort in equal measure. Thanks to the complex wheel suspension system, the steering ratio can be implemented very directly. Likewise, the optimization of the front axle has a direct impact on the steering, as it facilitates a sensitive steering style when negotiating bends in a sporty style. This effect is further enhanced by the use of so-called torque steer compensation. This torque steering compensation counteracts a tendency towards self-steering in powerful front-wheel drive vehicles due to differences in torque between the right and left front wheels. In the future, active rotational damping will provide for gentler and therefore more precisely controllable vehicle reactions in rapid evasion manoeuvres and when negotiating particularly sporty bends.
    Advanced brake system for more comfort and security.
    Another important contribution to motoring pleasure is derived from the improvements in the function and weight of the brake system, which is more closely tailored to the specific models. The new system impresses with its excellent durability with low unsprung inertial masses. This results in greater comfort, more precise dosability and a longer service life. The efficiency of the MINI can also be increased through targeted innovations in the brake system. Thus, optimized coatings help to reduce the residual braking momentum, thereby enhancing the vehicle's rolling friction.
    Excellent long-lasting properties are achieved through improved surface protection on the disc brake chamber and brake callipers. Another plus point is the optimization of the brake cooling system through refined brake protection plates and a redesigned brake cooling shaft.
    A first for MINI: adjustable dampers.
    In an effort to emphasize the MINI character even more, the spring and damper adjustment will be optimized. On the front axle, spring struts made of aluminum and steel and two-pipe compression dampers with coated pistons and a degressive damper characteristic curve are used. The support bearings on the front and rear axles will have three paths in future. The characteristic curves of the support bearing and additional springs have also been optimized on a functional basis, as have the helical springs installed on both axes. The stabilisers on the front and rear axles have holdings bearings and will have a tubular design, helping to reduce weight in the chassis area.
    In addition, MINI will be introducing adjustable dampers for the first time. The electric control of the damper valves allows the characteristic response to uneven road surface to be varied. Two characteristic curves are available for adjusting the damper and these can be activated at the flip of a switch. The traction and compression level in the shock absorber can be adjusted by selecting the appropriate setting. Depending on the driver's preferences, it is possible to choose either a sporty or a balanced, comfortable chassis. This means that it is possible to enjoy greater driving comfort in poor road conditions or a sporty driving style on an even road surface.
    Passive safety, protection for passengers and pedestrians.
    Premium vehicles by MINI hold an excellent position within their vehicle class not just in terms of motoring pleasure, but also in the area of passenger protection. In the event of a collision, precisely defined support structures and generously proportioned crumple zones help to protect the passenger cell while highly efficient restraint systems offer MINI passengers optimum protection in all types of crashes.
    Top scores in international crash tests confirm the effectiveness of the overall concept for maximum passive safety, which is under continuous development for new models to ensure that the latest standards are met. In addition, innovative solutions in the area of pedestrian protection are also being developed for future MINI models, helping to reduce the risk of injury for other road users.
    Reduced weight and increased safety thanks to intelligent lightweight construction.
    The focus of developments in the body area is on structural improvements that have a positive influence on both driving features and crash performance. Intelligent lightweight construction enables MINI to combine the reduction of weight with an increase in rigidity and this promotes both agility and passenger protection. The use of second generation high-strength multi-phase steels plays a key role. Their excellent forming properties allow for much more complex structures than would be possible with conventional materials, while still permitting no compromise on strength. Parts that are of particular relevance to structural rigidity are made from micro-alloyed steels. In addition, hot-formed steels are used in the safety-related zones.
    So-called tailored welded blanks and tailored rolled blanks also contribute to the optimization of weight. Welded and rolled sheet metal joints are widely used for the first time in cars from the small vehicle segment. The reinforcement of the B pillars with a coating of galvanised, hot-formed steel, which acts as a cathodic anti-corrosion finish, means that additional, weight-increasing measures could be dropped.
    Despite the reduced weight, the intelligent mix of materials for the highly resilient support structures in the front and rear and in the roof and side frame. In the event of the vehicle rolling over, the reinforced pillars and roof supports secure the survival space of the passengers even more intensively than ever. Reinforced structures in the B pillar and sill area, high-strength side impact bars in the doors and stable seat braces will further minimize the degree of deformation and the speed of intrusion in the event of a side impact.
    This concept establishes the right conditions for maintaining the passenger cell as a survival space in a wide variety of accident scenarios and forms the basis for the high level of effectiveness of the restraint systems. The integrated safety electronics ensure that the triggering of the airbag and belt systems is adapted to the type and severity of the accident. The coordinated interaction of all components ensures the best possible protection, irrespective of the position of the passengers at the time of impact.
    Crumple elements on the front for extensive pedestrian protection.
    The front section of future MINI models will have extra crumple elements. In addition to the yielding sections of the engine cover, a shock absorber between the bumper bracket and the cladding is intended to reduce the risk of injury. The pedestrian protection system will also be part of the standard equipment supplied with new MINI models.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    July 6, 2012
    Back in March, we reported that the MINI Paceman concept shown at the Detroit Auto Show would be wearing the Countryman Coupe nameplate. Well, cross that off as MINI's senior vice president, Dr. Kay Segler said this week the Paceman will be the new name.
    "The Mini Paceman is the world’s first sports activity coupe in the premium compact segment. It combines a clear appetite for extravagance and infectious driving fun in a style that only Mini could pull off with such authenticity.”
    The new Paceman will be shown at the Paris Motor Show later this year, with sales beginning in 2013.
    Source: Automobile Magazine
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 24, 2012
    The Mini Rocketman, a concept shown at last year's Geneva Motor Show, showed what a smaller Mini could look like. Over the past couple of months, rumors have swirling about Mini developing a production model of the Rocketman. However, a new report from Car says the project has been shown the door.
    The reason as to why is due to exorbitant costs to develop a production model to meet regulations; specifically, handling, stability and crash standards.
    Sources say the smaller Mini could have gone into production in 2016. But for now, the smallest Mini you will be able to buy is the Cooper.
    Source: Car Magazine

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    October 14, 2013
    When the first-generation of the new MINI was introduced back in the early 2000's, it was very simple. There was a three-door hatchback, a convertible, and a long-wheelbase wagon. Come to the second-generation and the family grew. Alongside the three models of the first-generation, MINI added a three-door and five-door crossover, two-seater coupe, and roadster. Now with the third-generation MINI waiting in the wings, there is the possibility of the family growing again.
    "With the new ULK architecture, we currently have in mind eight to 10 models," said Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW's board member in charge of Mini to Automotive News Europe.
    The ULK architecture Schwarzenbauer is referring to the new front-wheel drive architecture that will underpin the next-generation of MINIs and some upcoming front-drive BMWs. When asked about if the brand will offer direct replacements to their current lineup or introduce new styles, Schwarzenbauer said the company is still thinking about it.
    Schwarzenbauer revealed some interesting details concerning powertrains. He said the company is considering whether or not to add diesel engines to the lineup.
    "I think that the U.S. market is ready for diesel engines now and this is something we definitely have to consider also for Mini," he said.
    Schwarzenbauer also said a plug-in hybrid model is coming. As for electric power, that is currently under investigation.
    Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required)
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 27, 2012
    Mini Boss Kay Segler has revealed some interesting information to Car & Driver this week. First, Segler talked about Mini’s John Cooper Works possibly becoming something like BMW’s M performance brand. This idea comes with good and bad news - if it was implemented, that would mean JCW models would be positioned as stand-alone models, which means more power to differentiate them.
    Unfortunately, Selger said that AWD was currently too expensive to implement in Minis unless the brand sees a large sales volume increase. Executives and engineers know they’re almost hitting the wall on how much power can be sent to the front wheels with the JCW models. The question of how power will be added is up in the air at the moment.
    Segler also talked about diesels. He said that the most common request American customers is diesel engines.
    “We’re delighted to hear it. We are looking into this not for the short term, but for the medium term,” Segler said.
    In other words, expect a diesel option after the third generation Mini is launched.
    Source: Car & Driver

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    February 16, 2013
    We known for a time that the Mini lineup would be growing to ten models, but we weren't quite sure how that would happen. Well Car and Driver had the chance to talk with Mini U.S. product planning manager Patrick McKenna about the possibilities.
    Model eight is the new Mini Clubvan, while nine and ten will not be a new body style. Instead, nine and ten will be a front-wheel-drive hybrid and a second-generation electric Mini, both based on the three-door Cooper.
    Also in the pipeline is the new Cooper which will debut in November and come with a turbocharged three-cylinder engine and a next-generation Clubman.
    One model that will not be coming is the Rocketman, that has been canned.
    Source: Car and Driver
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    April 23, 2012
    At the Geneva Motor Show in March, Mini showed off a cargo van concept based on their Clubman called the Clubvan. The Clubvan drops the back seats and windows, and in their place comes in a flat load floor, steel grill to separate cargo and the front seats, and other items you expect in a cargo van.
    Car & Driver has learned that the Clubvan will go into production and come to the U.S. later this year as a 2013 model. The production model will come with a stainless-steel grille separating the passenger and cargo area, an aluminum cargo rail in the rear hold, six tie-down hooks, a cloth-trimmed load floor with a matching roof liner, and an integrated power socket in the cargo area.
    Mini says the Clubvan will offer increased load capacity compared with the Clubman, but didn’t give out a number.
    As for engines, Mini isn’t saying if the Clubman’s 121 HP naturally aspirated four, or if the Clubman S’s 181 HP turbocharged engine will be available.
    Source: Car & Driver

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 16, 2012
    Last year, we reported on Mini growing their lineup to ten vehicles within the next few years. Mini currently has six vehicles on sale; the hardtop, convertible, Clubman, Countryman, coupe, and now arriving Roadster. A seventh model, a production version of the Paceman concept will be shown sometime in 2013.
    Now, Automotive News has learned about three new Minis that could reach the goal of ten. First up is a Mini station wagon (think a longer version of the Clubman). The wagon will use BMW’s new FWD platform and premiere alongside the new second-generation MINI Cooper hardtop in 2014. Next up is the Mini van; that will use the Countryman’s platform and come out sometime after the wagon.
    Finally, there is talk about a Mini sedan. The sedan is being considered for the Chinese market. This is causing a commotion at Mini HQ.
    "The Mini sedan is now being hotly debated," a source said.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    July 17, 2013
    MINI had a unique entrant in the small cargo van area. Taking their Clubman wagon,MINI removed the backseat and blacked out the windows to create the Clubvan. MINI said the model would go on sale in the U.S. sometime this year. The Clubvan did go on sale and then left. Wait, what?
    According to MINI USA Communications Manager Nathalie Bauters said the MINI Clubvan was sold in the U.S. for short time. Sales totaled 50 Clubvans. So why did MINI pull the Clubvan from the U.S.? Blame the 25 percent Chicken Tax on commercial vehicles.
    Source: Green Car Reports
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 18, 2012
    One automaker you wouldn't quite expect to go into the commerical vehicle market is Mini. And yet their showing at next month's Geneva Motor Show will just be that.
    Called the Clubvan concept, the car is a Clubman minus the rear seats. Mini puts in its place a flat, carpeted load floor, which stretches from the split rear doors to an aluminum bulkhead just behind the front seats. The regular windows are taken out and replaced with polycarbonate panels. And yes, the third door on the passenger side is still there.
    So why is Mini doing this? Mini says the Clubvan "combines the driving fun for that Mini is renowned with increased load-carrying capability," and that, "The Mini experience will therefore find its way into new areas of life, the brand's distinctive character gaining new popularity among target groups not previously on the Mini radar."
    Press Release is on Page 2

    MORE SPACE FOR STYLE: THE MINI CLUBVAN CONCEPT.


    Compact lifestyle van for business and leisure
    First concept of its kind in the premium segment
    World premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show 2012

    Woodcliff Lake, NJ – February 18, 2012 – Stand-out-from-the-crowd style can also be amazingly practical – and practicality can be surprisingly attractive. The MINI Clubvan Concept paves the way for an innovative vehicle concept without parallel in the premium small car segment. The MINI Clubman-based concept car, scheduled for its world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show 2012, combines the driving fun for which MINI is renowned with increased load-carrying capability. The MINI experience will therefore find its way into new areas of life, the brand's distinctive character gaining new popularity among target groups not previously on the MINI radar.
    The closed-off load area behind the front seats and the opaque rear side windows of the new concept set it apart most strikingly from the MINI Clubman, the platform used as its base. The MINI Clubvan Concept uses its broader skill-set to open up new usage possibilities – both business and leisure. Where a business's customers, product range or operating environment demand a particular style for its vehicles, this premium model can make the perfect delivery solution.
    For example, a car in the mould of the MINI Clubvan Concept would fit excellently into the fleet of a fashion designer, art gallery owner or catering service. And its abilities as an all-rounder also tick the right boxes for a photographer with a stack of camera, tripod and lighting equipment to ferry around during the week – and bulky sports and leisure gear to pile on board at the weekend. The MINI Clubvan Concept pulls off the trick of blending enhanced practicality and a well-judged lifestyle focus with natural ease. This ability is based on the impressive adaptability that goes to the heart of the MINI brand's heritage.
    Calls for maximizing the load capacity of the classic Mini began as early as 1960, just a year after the car's birth; and they were soon heeded. With its 10-centimeter-longer wheelbase (3.94 inches), separate load compartment and split rear doors, the Morris Mini Van was perfectly equipped for commercial use. It also provided the basis for the fully glazed, four-seat Morris Mini Traveller, one of the precursors of today's successful MINI Clubman. And so, more than 50 years on, the MINI Clubvan Concept sees history repeating itself – albeit in a slightly different order.
    Two seats, five doors, endless usage potential.
    Limiting the car to two seats creates the capacity its owners will need on a day-to-day basis, as well as opening up a whole new world of customization potential. The load compartment of the MINI Clubvan Concept embodies the car's fresh and rigorous interpretation of the principle used in the classic Mini – of providing the maximum amount of interior space on the smallest possible footprint. The load area reaches from the split rear doors right up to the partition grille behind the two seats. The totally level floor makes full use of the interior's depth, and that allows the concept car's load capacity to exceed the maximum achieved by the MINI Clubman.
    Six attachment loops recessed into the load compartment floor use elasticized straps to hold items of varying lengths, heights and widths in place – without the risk of them sliding around. The partition grille, which is fixed securely to the car body, ensures that items stowed in the load compartment are kept safely away from the front seats. The lower section of the partition is made from solid aluminum, while the upper section consists of a silver-colored stainless steel honeycomb grating. The side walls and floor of the load compartment are trimmed in high-quality anthracite-colored cloth. The anthracite roof liner, meanwhile, extends along the full length of the interior. This uniform color scheme emphasizes the pure-bred, practicality-oriented character of the MINI Clubvan Concept.
    Like the MINI Clubman, the MINI Clubvan Concept is a five-door car with a twist. Two front doors for the driver and front passenger, two side-hinged doors at the rear and the rear-hinged Clubdoor on the right-hand side create comfortable access to the interior. The Clubdoor gives owners the option of loading or unloading smaller items from the side of the car as well as the rear.
    The generous levels of space on board the concept car can be exploited in a variety of ways. Commercial users will be particularly pleased to discover the scope for configuring the load compartment to personal requirements. For example, tools and goods can be stored neatly and securely in made-to-measure drawers or shelving units. 12-volt plug sockets in the rear area of the load compartment provide additional practicality.
    Exterior design: shields from prying eyes, cuts a distinctive figure.
    Impressive practicality and the brand's time-honored style lend the MINI Clubvan Concept its unmistakable character. Sharing the exterior dimensions of the MINI Clubman and boasting cleverly increased storage capacity, the concept car is the first premium model in the small-car-based van segment. The exterior appearance of the MINI Clubvan Concept marks it out immediately as a MINI – and therefore as a premium product. The function-led design modifications have no impact on the car's proportions and hallmark MINI design language, but they do give customers the opportunity to combine the demands of commercial use with an appreciation of individual style. The MINI Clubvan Concept comes with British Racing Green exterior paintwork, which extends to the roof, C-pillars and exterior mirror caps. As is usual for vehicles charged with transportation tasks, the rear side windows of the MINI Clubvan Concept are opaque. Polycarbonate sections – their outer surfaces painted in the car's body color – and heavily tinted glass for the rear doors make it difficult to see into the load compartment.
    The unbroken paintwork along the car's flanks offers extensive scope for individualization, which the MINI Clubvan Concept highlights to eye-catching effect. The sealed side windows bear the logo of a sign design company based in the MINI's native Great Britain. The hand-applied graphics lend the vehicle a personal look. Indeed, the ultra-versatile MINI carries both its cargo and the company's promotional message with a uniquely stylish verve. The MINI Clubvan Concept presented in Geneva lends this form of customization a piquant authenticity – on two fronts. The British company that has literally left its stamp on the MINI Clubvan Concept creates similar vehicle graphics for its customers. And the MINI Clubvan Concept showcases how these might look when applied to a MINI van.

    William Maley
    The past week has been abuzz with a report from Britain's Car Magazine stating that the MINI Superleggera Vision concept - shown last year - would go into production in 2018 as a replacement for the slow selling Roadster model. However, MINI's top executive put the kibosh on that report somewhat.
    Peter Schwarzenbauer, head of MINI told Automotive News Europe that the concept is still under discussion.
    “I cannot confirm that it has been approved yet,” said Schwarzenbauer.
    Schwarzenbauer has been a big proponent of the concept, saying it would be a “great addition to the Mini range” and has been pushing for the model to enter production.
    Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription Required)

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    May 30, 2012
    The MINI Cooper in the U.S. has gotten one consistent complaint since its launch in 2002; its too small and and not very practical. MINI however has a plan to rectify this complaint.
    According to Motoring File, the brand is working a five-door variant, codenamed F55, to appear sometime after the revamped three-door model bows in early 2013. The five-door is aimed at the U.S. and European markets.
    The five-door will have the back doors hinged on the B-Pillar and extend over the rear wheel arches and all the way to the gas cap. The addition of the two-doors will add two inches of rear legroom.
    To avoid the five-door looking like an awkward long-wheelbase MINI hatch, designers will implement a sleeker C-pillar that will give it a more rakish profile.
    Source: Motoring File

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    September 14, 2012
    Almost two years since the introduction of the Paceman concept at the Detroit Auto Show, Mini is showing the production version at the Paris Motor Show this month.
    The Paceman is essentially a Countryman, minus two doors and some design changes. The roofline is more rakish, the rear fenders are more muscular, and the back is completely different and features a new set of taillights.
    Inside, the Paceman is a four-seater only. Backseat passengers get their own seats. Cargo space measures out to be 38 cu. ft. when the seats are folded down.
    Powertrains for the U.S. model are going to be the base 1.6L four-cylinder producing 122 HP and 118 lb-ft of torque, and the turbocharged 1.6L producing 184 HP and 177 lb-ft of torque. Both engines have the choice of either a six-speed manual or automatic and front- or all-wheel drive.
    The Paceman rides lower than a Countryman and comes with MacPherson struts with forged crossmembers in front, while the rear gets a multilink setup. Electric power steering will come as standard.
    The Paceman will go on sale in the first quarter of 2013.
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    SETTING A NEW PACE FOR MINI: The all-new MINI Paceman
    13.09.2012 -- A sporty new exterior design, lowered suspension for a dynamic ride and an exciting reinterpretation of the familiar interior – feast your eyes on the all-new MINI Paceman, set for UK launch in March 2013.
    Styled as a coupé interpretation of the Countryman, four versions will be available when it arrives in showrooms next spring, including the MINI Cooper S Paceman which will have a 0-62mph of just 7.5 seconds. The seventh unique member of the family, it will sell alongside the Hatch, Clubman, Convertible, Countryman, Coupé and Roadster.
    Packed with MINI character and obvious design cues which tie it to the rest of the range, the three-door Paceman's unique exterior styling is what immediately catches the eye. Built on the Countryman platform, bumper to bumper the car is 4,109 mm (4,115mm for MINI Cooper S Paceman and Cooper SD Paceman), which makes it almost identical in size to its sibling.
    With a contemporary and expressive body shape, the Paceman has been created to appeal to a new type of design-conscious customer. The prominent horizontal lines and dynamic curved surfaces give the promise of sporting performance, yet there is an elegant simplicity to the overall form of the car.
    The upright front grille, complete with hexagonal radiator grille and broad chrome surround, gives the Paceman genuine presence. Its coupé-style stretched side profile features long doors, while the blacked-out pillars create a 'floating' roof concept, as already seen on the MINI Coupé. Available in either black, white or body colour, the roof gently slopes towards the rear of the car, ending at the integrated spoiler. The horizontal arrangement of the rear lights, which accentuates the car's width, is a first for MINI. The Paceman is the only member of the brand's line-up to be identified by a rear nameplate.
    The car's interior has been designed specifically for this model. Its highlight is the innovative rear seat, which has been styled around a lounge concept. Two individual chairs provide generous levels of head, shoulder and knee room with outstanding comfort and support. Armrests have been integrated into the rear trim. A two-section version of the MINI Centre Rail storage and attachment system – first seen in the Countryman – comes as standard. A full-length variant is available as an option.
    The Paceman is a strict four-seater, though practicality has not been sacrificed. Folding down the rear seats expands the rear load-carrying capacity from 330 litres to a maximum of 1,080 litres. Access is via a large and high-opening tailgate, offering extra practicality for owners.
    In the front, the raised seating position gives the driver and passenger an excellent view in every direction. The instrument panel includes many familiar components, including the large round central speedo. However, its black surround and decorative inner rings in high-gloss black or chrome are new, as are the redesigned air vent surrounds. Buttons for the windows, which have been toggle switches below the speedo on every MINI to date, have moved to the door trim panel.
    MINI's trademark go-kart handling will be a key part of the Paceman's appeal, enhanced by the optional all-wheel drive transmission. Lowered sports suspension as standard will help provide customers with an outstanding driving experience, though regular suspension and ride height are available as a no-cost option.
    From launch, Paceman customers will have the choice of four powerful four-cylinder engines, two petrol and two diesel. All come with a six-speed manual gearbox, or the optional six-speed automatic with Steptronic function for manual control.
    For petrol buyers, the MINI Cooper Paceman features a 1.6-litre 122bhp unit offering a 0-62mph time of 10.4 seconds, fuel economy of 47.1mpg with CO2 emissions of 140 g/km. The MINI Cooper S Paceman uses the same engine, tuned to deliver 184bhp. It will sprint to 62mph in 7.5 seconds. Fuel economy is 46.3mpg and emissions are 143g/km.
    For those who prefer diesel, the MINI Cooper D Paceman uses a 1.6-litre 112bhp turbocharged engine with a 0-62mph time of 10.8 seconds. It will provide owners with a frugal 64.2mpg fuel economy and 115g/km emissions. The flagship diesel is the MINI Cooper SD Paceman, which gets a 2.0-litre 143bhp engine. Its 0-62mph time is 9.2 seconds. Fuel economy is 61.4mpg with an emissions figure of 122g/km.
    For buyers who want the reassuring grip that comes with four-wheel drive, MINI's ALL4 system is available on the Cooper D, SD and Cooper S Paceman, models. And for those seeking the ultimate in MINI performance and desirability, a John Cooper Works Paceman version is in development.
    Under the Paceman's body shell, sophisticated chassis technology includes MacPherson spring struts and forged cross members at the front axle, a multi-link rear axle and electric power steering with Servotronic function. These combine to provide a sure-footed yet dynamic driving experience. Extra fun can be summoned via the sport button, optional on Cooper and Cooper D, which tweaks the engine's responses and the power assistance provided by the steering.
    Driver aids include Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) as standard across the range, with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) including Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) on the MINI Cooper S Paceman, Cooper SD Paceman and Cooper D Paceman ALL4. Light alloy wheels in 16-inch and 17-inch sizes are standard, with 18-inch or 19-inch on the options list.
    The state-of-the-art powertrain and suspension technology is married to MINI's acclaimed MINIMALISM environmental systems, which are fitted as standard. They include Auto Start/Stop, Shift Point Display, Brake Energy Regeneration and on-demand operation of ancillary units, all of which help cut fuel use and reduce emissions.
    Outstanding occupant protection is provided by an extensive range of safety equipment including front and side airbags. Side curtain airbags are fitted in both the front and back. ISOFIX child seat attachments in the rear and a tyre pressure warning are on every Paceman.
    Other standard equipment includes air conditioning, powered door mirrors and front sports seats. Popular options will include Xenon Adaptive Headlights, Park Distance Control, an electrically operated glass roof plus the MINI navigation system. Advanced infotainment functions are available via MINI Connected. A range of optional equipment packages will also be available providing customers excellent value and helping to promote strong residual values.
    Eight exterior paint shades are available including the new Brilliant Copper and Blazing Red. Starlight Blue also previously unseen and unique to the Paceman. As always with MINI, personalisation is expected to be very popular and there is an extensive choice of bonnet stripes, upholstery variants, interior surfaces and Colour Lines.
    It will go sale on 16 March 2013 with prices starting at just £18,970 on the road.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    April 4, 2013
    Jim McDowell, vice president of Mini USA told Edmunds that Mini's lineup could be experiencing a shake-up.
    "When we start to replace models, I think you will see that we won't replace every model exactly," McDowell said.
    Currently, Mini has seven models on sale: Cooper Hardtop, Convertible, Coupe, Roadster, Clubman, Paceman, and Countryman. Two of those models, the Countryman and Cooper Hardtop make up account for about 75 percent of Mini sales.
    "When I joined Mini, we knew that we would have two models. Ultimately, we (now) have seven. We are starting the next generation a year from now. We know that we will have a pretty broad lineup. You may actually put your chess pieces on the board differently if you know that you can have seven," said McDowell.
    Source: Edmunds
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    March 14, 2012
    Back in August, we reported that Mini approved the Paceman concept shown at Detroit Auto Show. Now, we have learned a new name will be appearing.
    Car & Driver reports the new car will wear the Countryman Coupe nameplate when it comes out next year. The reason is due to the design of the Countryman Coupe being about 95% the same as the regular Countryman.
    Source: Car & Driver

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    June 22, 2012
    From the well that's an odd vehicle to test on the Nürburgring; new spy photos emerged of the now officially named Mini Countryman Coupe doing some laps on the ring.
    The Countryman Coupe differs from the standard Countryman with a sloping roof, rising beltline, and a redesigned rear end with a set of new taillights. The Countryman Coupe will sit on the Countryman's platform, however the coupe will be slightly longer and lower.
    Expect the Countryman's power and drivetrain lineup to be shared with the Coupe.
    The new Countryman Coupe will be revealed in September.
    Source: CarScoop, Car & Driver
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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