Mini Crossman Spy Video

December 16th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Mini Crossman, heavily camouflaged, in the snow

Mini E electric car

December 15th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

A Mini with no engine sound

Mini Coupe and Roadster on sale 2011

December 11th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

After the recent unveiling of the Mini Roadster and Mini Coupe at the Frankfurt Motor Show, new reports are now suggesting both models could be in production as early as October next year and on sale early in 2011.

Around 1000 new jobs are expected to be created at MINI’s Cowley assembly plant in the UK to help build the new Minis, according to a recent report.

Mini confirmed in September that the production Coupe will make use of the same turbo-charged 1.6 litre petrol engine that drives the MINI John Cooper Works, developing 155kW and 260Nm of torque.

The Roadster is more likely to be fitted with the 126kW 1.6 litre turbocharged engine found in the Cooper S instead of the John Cooper Works-sourced unit.

Like the Coupe, the Mini Roadster Concept has a shorter bootlid and a far more reclined windscreen than the standard Mini’s body.

Unique to the Roadster is its manually-folding fabric roof, which matches the profile of the Coupe’s roofline and gives the Roadster a very low 1356mm overall height.

Mini announced back in September that it would postpone production of its other new model, expected to be named the Mini Countryman, to make room for the Roadster and Coupe.

Mini Coupe and Roadster on sale 2011

December 11th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

After the recent unveiling of the Mini Roadster and Mini Coupe at the Frankfurt Motor Show, new reports are now suggesting both models could be in production as early as October next year and on sale early in 2011.

Around 1000 new jobs are expected to be created at MINI’s Cowley assembly plant in the UK to help build the new Minis, according to a recent report.

Mini confirmed in September that the production Coupe will make use of the same turbo-charged 1.6 litre petrol engine that drives the MINI John Cooper Works, developing 155kW and 260Nm of torque.

The Roadster is more likely to be fitted with the 126kW 1.6 litre turbocharged engine found in the Cooper S instead of the John Cooper Works-sourced unit.

Like the Coupe, the Mini Roadster Concept has a shorter bootlid and a far more reclined windscreen than the standard Mini’s body.

Unique to the Roadster is its manually-folding fabric roof, which matches the profile of the Coupe’s roofline and gives the Roadster a very low 1356mm overall height.

Mini announced back in September that it would postpone production of its other new model, expected to be named the Mini Countryman, to make room for the Roadster and Coupe.

Rolls-Royce customised Mini ready to roll

November 23rd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Rolls-Royce customised Mini

It was reported recently that Rolls-Royce and Mini would be teaming for a special Rolls-customised version of the iconic car. Apparently the project has just been given the green-light.

If the reports are true it means, BMW as owner of both British marques – has approved the limited run of bespoke Minis.

The special edition Rolls-Royce customised Minis are expected to offer a more luxurious interior, while few modifications to the exterior design or fit-out are expected.

Apparently the special MINIs will be totally individual and that the aim of the project is to create niche vehicles for the new owners.

Bespoke coachbuilt MINIs are not an entirely new concept, with the likes of actor Peter Sellers paying up to four times the car’s sticker price in the 1960s to have custom super-luxury versions built.

Mini creates 10 cool art cars (+video)

November 10th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Mini washme art car 4

If you thought the Mini 50th Anniversary celebrations were over, you were wrong. Mini is borrowing ideas from parent company BMW and has released a “Wash Me” art car video showing off the latest batch of art cars from the Mini lineup. BMW has long been known for its art cars, and the latest push, complete with a book based around these art cars, is to start Mini off with that same sort of history.

It’s a familiar story, by using the Mini as a canvas, 10 different artists present 10 different takes on what an art car should be and how radically they can customise the vehicle.

Playing on the theme of casual art drawn into dirty cars, the “Wash Me” video shows how a single car can express many different themes, depending on the personality of the artist.

Check out the video below and images in the gallery.

Team McMillan pull out a Mini woodie

October 22nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Mini Woodie Team McMillan s

Team McMillan Mini of Auckland, has dressed up a demo model Mini Cooper S Clubman with graphics resembling the classic exterior wood framework of English and American station wagons.¨The vinyl graphic has been applied to the car’s body similar in a style similar to the old Mini Countryman and Clubman Estate models of the 60’s and 70’s. ¨Team McMillan Mini Sales Manager Jonathan Highton is a self-confessed Mini fanatic, and is keen to promote and increase the Mini brand in the NZ marketplace.

Historically, the term “Station wagon” was applied to vehicles used at Railway Stations whose steel car bodies were modified and replaced with wood paneling to enable the carrying of cargo and luggage. These vehicles became popular with car manufacturers who adopted the wooden paneling styling design into their model range. The Surfing fraternity of California adopted older vehicles in the early 1960’s as a means of transporting surfboards and makeshift accommodation on the beaches of the West Coast of USA.

The term “woodie” was popularised by the pop group “The Beach Boys” in their songs of surfing and lifestyle.¨The Woodie Mini Clubman captures the spirit of the outdoor and surfing lifestyle, and is fitted with roof-racks to carry surfboards to distant summer destinations.

BMW to develop 0 Series on Mini platform

October 9th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Mini John Cooper Works fq

The 3 Series was once the smallest car in BMW’s range, but it’s put on some serious weight over the past few generations. So to meet demand for smaller vehicles, BMW has put a lot of work into creating smaller models to slot in below it. Reports now indicate that BMW is preparing a new 0 Series to bridge the gap between the 1 Series and the Mini.

According to recent reports, BMW will base the new 0 Series on the next Mini’s platform, which means it will break with company convention and go front-wheel-drive.

The new 0 Series is expected to arrive in three- and five-door hatchback body styles, and possibly be the base for a compact roadster as well. One reason for the 0 Series is to help the company bring down its environmental impact overall, while also offering premium buyers a smaller, more efficient package.