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MINI

The MINI continued its remarkable evolution overnight with the news there will be a sixth derivative of the breed, this one likely to set the hearts of enthusiasts beating with anticipation - the first open-top two-seater in its history. For a car already voted the second most significant model in the century of the automobile, the MINI is having a stellar year, having just won the Dakar Rally. Read More
New names dominated the Dakar Rally from start-to-finish this year - MINI being the most obvious with a 1-2, but also Iveco broke the Eastern Block stranglehold on the truck section. Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel won his tenth Dakar (six on motorcycles, four in cars) ahead of MINI teammate Nani Roma (a prior motorcycle winner). MINI's new owner BMW must be delighted to add the world's toughest race to its illustrious heritage, even if that MINI looks a tad bigger than your average Countryman. Read More
The FIA, governing body of internal-combustion-engined motorsport, appears to have finally recognized the bleeding obvious (that electric vehicles will become mainstream) and is planning a high profile electric racing championship series beginning in 2013. The FIA Formula E Championship series has not been publicly framed as yet so it is not known if the series will be run at the same venues as the Formula One series but it can be expected to be held at a range of international venues and will logically serve as the first official championship for electric vehicles. Whether the series will have world championship status ... Read More
MINI has unveiled the final production version of its MINI Roadster which is set to join the company's rapidly-expanding lineup next year. Looking pretty similar to the Roadster concept unveiled alongside the MINI Coupe concept at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the sixth model to join the current MINI line-up is the first open-top two-seater in the company's history. It features a manually-opening soft-top roof and will be offered in four different engine variants. Read More
The move from concept vehicle to production vehicle is almost becoming standard practice for Mini. So much so that when the company first unveiled the Mini Coupé concept vehicle alongside the Roadster concept vehicle at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, it was made clear the Coupé would be going into production. Mini subsequently announced a 2011 release date and, true to its word, the Coupé will be hitting showrooms this year, while the soft-top Roadster topless version is set to be released early next year. Read More
French automotive manufacturer Peugeot is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, and has promised quite a few significant announcements before the year is out. Its first electric car, the Peugeot iOn, is a rebadged Mitsubishi iMiEV, but the EX1 concept it showed last year is all its own work and looks to be a rip-snorter of a performance car to boot. Last week, the twin-electric motored 250 kW (340 bhp) EX1 set a new electric record for the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit of 9:01.338 at an average speed of 138 km/h in adverse conditions whatsmore. Read More
The MINI INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD has little to do with the Goodwood Festival of Speed, for which the small pocket of Southern England is best known. Goodwood is also the location of the Rolls-Royce Design division, and now that Germany's BMW owns both British marques, it is using the brand values of Rolls Royce to craft an unmistakably upmarket, limited edition MINI by using Rolls Royce materials and craftsmanship. Read More
With the number of MINI concept vehicles that have been rolled out in recent times, you’d be forgiven for thinking the company is overcompensating for the Mini's diminutive size. But MINI says the concept vehicles, many of which – such as the Paceman – have made the transition from concept to production, are one of the keys to the brand’s success, with their creative use of space one of the driving principles of the vehicles. This principle is evident in the latest MINI Rocketman Concept that will be unveiled to the public at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, which kicks off next week. Read More
The MINI Cooper S name first graced the classic Mini back in 1963 and during the ensuing half century it has represented the ultimate performance Mini, having won the Monte Carlo rally three times plus countless other races and rallies around the globe. Now for the first time there’s a diesel version too – though not as fire-breathing as the petrol Cooper S, the SD’s 2.0-litre turbodiesel four produces 143 bhp at 4,000 rpm, and an almighty torque figure of 305 Nm (225 lb-ft) from 1,750 to 2,700 rpm endowing it with rapid acceleration all the way to its top speed of 215 km/h (134 mph). It’s the ecologically balanced nature of the pocket rocket which appeals most though, as despite this performance, it’ll return EU test cycle figures of 4.3 litres per 100 kilometres (65.7 mpg imp) with CO2 emissions of 114 grams per kilometre. The Cooper SD will debut in Geneva in March and hit showrooms in Q2. Read More
MINI’s track record of producing near production-ready concept vehicles is set to pay dividends again with the MINI Paceman Concept vehicle. The concept car, which made its world debut at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, will be used as the basis for the seventh production model in MINI’s lineup. Described by MINI as the first crossover coupe in the premium small car segment, the Paceman Concept is based on the same platform as the MINI Countryman but with the styling of a coupe. Read More
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