Though MINI’s lineup hasn’t (literally) lived up to its name since its reboot by parent BMW, product boss Pat McKenna would like to see the Rocketman — a MINI that truly is mini — appear in showrooms all over the world.
MINI’s new Cooper and Cooper S aren’t so mini anymore — which is wonderful for the backseat occupants in your life, for starters — but the BMW brand had done its best to maintain the spirit. Under the bonnets are either a three-pot pushing 134 horses out the front gate with 162 lb-ft of torque or, for the S, an extra cylinder helping to produce 189 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque, with either engine paired to a six-speed manual or automatic.
I have to admit, I’m a fan of the Fiat 500. Yes, I know it’s just a Fiat Panda with bubbly sheetmetal. Yes I know it’s a little peculiar. Yes I know it’s trying to ride on MINI success. It doesn’t matter, the wee Fiat makes me grin every time I drive one. Whether it’s the slow-as-dirt standard 500, the ludicrously loud Abarth, the almost-convertible 500c or the totally impractical 500e, the Cinquecento knows how to brighten my day. I was therefore excited when Fiat announced the 500’s success would spawn a four door stable-mate for 2014. Is the 500L 40% more smiles for 20% more cash?
Usually, automakers never mention the competition, especially when you are BMW and the competition is Porsche. Soon, the Porsche 911, according to BMW “the flag-bearer of the German sports car fraternity,” will celebrate its 50th birthday, and BMW has a special birthday greeting. (Read More…)
Jesus Christ! Visitors of the 2013 Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta on May 10-11 will think a red Mini convertible will drive on water.
BMW’s MINI brand sponsors the festival of university and college rowing along the along the Schuylkill River. The miraculous MINI actually is a fiberglass mold of the car mounted to a boat hull. Powered by a 6 hp outboard motor, it floats down river.
BMW executes on its plan to bring at least one new MINI to every show it graces. In Geneva, it is the MINI John Cooper Works Paceman, a.k.a. the MINI with the maxi name. If we believe the press release, the car “combines mouthwatering sporting flair and inimitable style to usher in a new dimension in driving fun.”
What’s more, “the new model sees the compact Sports Activity Coupé concept wrapped up in an extra layer of muscular proportions and dynamically stretched lines.”wait, there’s … (Read More…)
Former extreme ski world champion Guerlain Chicherit did what is called the first-ever unassisted backflip in a car. Strapped into a Mini Countryman, Guerlain had to maintain exactly 60kph and be full on the throttle on the ramp to land on all fours after a somersault.
BMWtook a break from the arduous job of creating new variations of its Mini, and went to a party. Even that was strictly business, Mini was the official partner of the Grammy after party at the Chateau Marmont, a hotel famous for its dead celebrities. (Read More…)
I thought the Mini Paceman was an extraordinarily stupid idea until I saw it on the show floor. The execution is much better than the bloated Countryman. This one has the John Cooper Works engine, which means you’ll get charged an exorbitant amount for 208 horsepower, giant wheels, awful ride quality and $2 worth of badges. But it does have all-wheel drive. Think of it as a cut-rate Evoque. That still costs a lot.