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MINI

The new addition to the HP Mini family

Those on the go who like to do it in style will be pleased to hear that HP has added three new models to its popular HP Mini companion PC range. The new editions offer a host of customizable designs and configurations, all in a small package that’s light on weight but heavy on features.  Read More

The Mini turns 50

The Mini, perhaps the most iconic automobile in history, is about to turn 50 years of age. Runner-up in the Car of the Century competition, the Mini was catalysed by the fuel rationing resultant from the 1956 Suez Crisis. Its price and frugality at the pump made the BMC Mini a symbol of freedom for baby boomers and its status as an emblem of the swinging sixties was reinforced in 1966 when The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein, gave each of the Fab Four a Mini Cooper S as a gift. George Harrison had his Mini painted with psychedelic images, yantras and Sanskrit mantras and it subsequently starred in The Beatles’ film Magical Mystery Tour. BMW, which now owns both Mini and Rolls Royce, has come up with a fresh interpretation of the extravagant original Mini to coincide with the brand’s 50th birthday.  Read More

Asus Eee S101H vs HP Mini 2140 vs Kogan Agora Pro vs Sony VAIO P

Less than two years ago, the arrival of a tiny, obscurely-named Asus laptop caused quite a stir. It was affordable, portable, and “good enough” to do most of the things people do with computers that cost several times as much. These small form factor laptops geared for web browsing and email usage have exploded into the marketplace since then, with seemingly every PC manufacturer adding at netbook to its lineup. Over at The Mobiler, Tim Hanlon has been putting four recently released netbooks to the test - the Asus Eee S101H, HP Mini 2140, Kogan Agora Pro and Sony VAIO P (although Sony doesn't use the the term netbook) - and unlike our last showdown between the iPhone 3G, BlackBerry Bold and T-Mobile G1, a clear winner has emerged.  Read More

Surf's up: The Mini Clubman Airstream trailer design concept

A collaboration between MINI, Airstream trailers and Danish furniture designers Republic of Fritz Hansen has resulted in this hip, beach-ready design study made up of a modified MINI Cooper S Clubman and a customized 6.8m long Airstream trailer. While largely retaining the familiar metallic look of the iconic Airstream trailer on the exterior, the inside of the trailer is kitted-out with wood panel flooring, ergonomic Egg chairs and, in keeping with the sun-loving vibe, neoprene lining and floral prints add to the interior trimming while a bisected surfboard provides the shelf space. But the killer app is an electrically operated fold-out side panel that incorporates an open air day bed where you can kick-back while waiting for the tide to turn. Traditionalist may disagree but, parking issues aside, we think the concept definitely points to a stylish advance on throwing your surfboard and a sleeping bag into the back of a Combi Van.  Read More

New MINI Convertible due in March 2009

Busting out of simulated ice blocks in one of the more notable pieces of razzle dazzle at last week's Detroit Auto Show preview was MINI's new convertible. Due for release in March, the 2009 MINI convertible gets new generation turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engines (118 hp for the MINI Cooper Convertible and 172 hp for the MINI Cooper S Convertible), a pop-up rollover bar activated by the car’s central safety electronics, a redesigned storage compartment and an electrohydraulic-powered soft-top roof that can be opened in 15 seconds at speeds of up to 20 mph. There's also a new "Openometer" feature which keeps track of the time spent traveling with the roof down. Gimmicky? Yes, but it will give you one unique stat that your non-MINI convertible driving friends can't match.  Read More

MINI E unveiled in Los Angeles

Following a preview a few weeks back, the all-electric MINI E has hit the boards at the LA Motor Show for its world premiere. With its lithium-ion powered 150 kW (204 hp) electric motor driving it from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.5 seconds, an electronically limited top speed of 152 km/h (95 mph) and a range of 156 miles, the MINI E will make an impressive test bed for the BMW Group as it heads towards series production of all-electric vehicles.  Read More

All-electric MINI E plugs-in to L.A. Auto Show

In a further sign that full-electric drive vehicles are headed for the mainstream, BMW Group will showcase a lithium-ion battery powered version of the MINI at next month's Los Angeles Auto Show ahead of a pilot project that will see 500 of the cars evaluated on US roads in 2009. Based on the current MINI Hatch, the MINI E will initially appear in two-seater form with rear seats dropped to make way for the battery pack. Rather than an in-hub motor arrangement, an electric motor mounted under the bonnet drives the front wheels through a single-stage helical gearbox derived from the Cooper S, and being all-electric, the full power kicks-in from a standing start delivering quite adequate acceleration of 0-62 mph in 8.5 seconds with a top speed electronically-limited to 95 mph.  Read More

2008 Paris Motor Show round-up

As the curtain falls on the Paris Motor Show for 2008 we take a look back at some of the biggest surprises and brightest innovations to emerge from this massive global automotive extravaganza. As a starting point it's hard to go past Lamborghini, which emulated its 2007 most-talked-about crown by showing its Estoque concept. As a mid-engined four-door coupé with a V10 motor and permanent four-wheel drive, it's not really eco-inspired but a weapon to behold for the family man. Mazda definitely made our short-list for the most striking design with the aerodynamic Kiyora Urban compact and Citroen also floated some compelling concepts including the colorful Hypnos luxury hybrid crossover and the virtual-meets-real-world GTbyCITROEN which will appear on-screen in the next installment of Gran Turismo.  Read More

MIN Crossover Concept to debut in Paris

Previews from the upcoming Paris Motor Show keep rolling in, this time from MINI in the form what it calls a 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 Crossover Concept design study - four doors, four drive wheels, four single seats and four meters long. With the wheels pushed to the corners and familiar styling it looks like a MINI, but the unique four is the doors - three of the doors are stock standard but the rear drivers' side door slides backwards. The rear door also swivels to one side to ease process of getting your gear into a MINI which boasts more storage space than any other. If the reaction to the debut is positive there's a good chance it will hit the showroom floor in the not too distant future.  Read More

Mazda’s Smart Idle Stop System uses Direct Injection Engine Technology

September 9, 2008 The imperatives of better fuel economy and reduced emissions are breeding some fascinating developments of the good ol’ Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). One of the most logical ideas could have been invented by any schoolboy – turn off the engine when it isn’t being used. VW was the first to trial the idea and BMW, MINI, smart, Citroen and Peugeot have followed suit, all using electrical power to restart the engine, requiring beefed up starting systems to cope with ever-more-congested urban conditions (25% of European driving time is now spent at standstill). Now Mazda has come up with a better idea - restarting the engine through combustion. Mazda’s system initiates engine restart by injecting fuel directly into the cylinder while the engine is stopped, and igniting it to generate downward piston force.  Read More

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