DimON

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DimON last won the day on September 14 2019

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  1. Over the past few months we’ve been exclusively reporting on the next generation MINI Cooper and Countryman, showing off some radical new details that will usher in a new era for the brand. However we haven’t had clarity on launch dates for each of the models until today. What we’ve found, through the help of our sources, is a radical approach that will rapidly revamp MINI’s entire family quicker than any of us expected. In an ongoing series, we’re exclusively reporting on the launch dates of the next generation MINIs, starting with the iconic petrol powered (ICE) MINI Cooper. The F66 MINI Cooper testing in the Arctic circle last week.The 2024 F66 MINI Cooper MINI isn’t letting go of internal combustion engines (ICE) yet. In an unprecedented move there will be two next generation MINI Coopers (hatches) built on opposite ends of the planet on two different platforms. This move will allow MINI to offer innovative electric offerings while still selling to the traditional ICE market for as long as possible. But key to this will be upgrading the F56 to a more modern spec in terms of tech. The F66 MINI Cooper – not the camouflage designed to make it look like the F56.As you can tell by its codename, the F66 is an evolution of the F56 which is shared a chassis with. However MINI is refreshing the exterior design to better match the all new J01 electric MINI Cooper. That means we’ll see revised lights front and rear and even a slightly shortened front overhang. The key theme appears to be creating design consistency with the future of the brand – the all electric J01 MINI Cooper. The goal is clearly to unify the design language across all models allowing consumers to have a choice that feels strictly about the propulsion system and nothing else. But what we didn’t know was MINI’s aggressive launch plans. As you can see below MINI will start production of the heavily revised F66 in March of 2024. Deliveries should start in April (for the UK and EU) and May for the US market. F66 MINI Cooper (ICE) / Oxford, EnglandStart of ProductionF66 ICE Cooper 3 door03/2024F66 ICE Cooper S 3 door03/2024F66 ICE Cooper JCW 3 doorTBDF65 ICE Cooper 5 doorTBDF65 ICE Cooper S 5 doorTBDF67 ICE Cooper Convertible03/2025*F67 ICE Cooper S Convertible03/2025*F67 ICE JCW ConvertibleTBD* Unconfirmed by our sourcesFor all of our reporting on the next generation F66 ICE MINI Cooper, check out the F66 section of MotoringFile. 2024 F66 MINI Cooper Gallery The post Exclusive: Next Generation 2024 F66 MINI Cooper Launch Dates appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  2. A few weeks ago we brought you are first look at the next generation G56 MINI Cooper. The G56 is a substantial refresh of the F56 and will be MINI’s last internal combustion car when it debuts in 2024. As you can see in these photos, it’s been designed mimic the look of the all new J01 electric MINI Cooper. The idea it to create the semblance of one model offering two distinctly different drivetrains. However under the skin that couldn’t be further from the truth. Don’t let the camouflage fool you. What you see to the right is how the new G56 MINI Cooper will look.This completely undisguised J01 electric MINI Cooper gives us a clear view of what the G56 ICE MINI Cooper will resemble.The Design of the 2024 G56 MINI Cooper We know that the G56 will be MINI’s last family of ICE (internal combustion engine) cars along with the last MINI offered with a manual. But these new photos show us much more. Below you can clearly see that MINI has retained the overall shape of the F56 but refined details including slightly reducing the front overhang. We’ve heard for years the brand had been toying with new crash materials that could pass pedestrian safety standards with less space needed. We also know that Oliver Heimler has gone as record several times that the current car’s front overhang is too large and not in fitting with the brand. Looking deeper the key theme appears to be creating design consistency with the all electric J01 built in China. The goal is clearly to unify the design language across all models allowing consumers to have a choice that feels strictly about the propulsion system and nothing else. While the overhang won’t shrink to R50 or even R56 lengths, it will be fractionally shorter than the F56. Comparatively the J01 electric MINI Cooper will see a decidedly shrunk overhang.MINI is radically changing the shape of the hatch to mimic the design choices made on the J01 electric MINI you see above. That means we’ll see fully customizable LED rear lighting that be a big departure from what we’re used to. Additionally MINI will introduce plastic trim that will stretch across the hatch connecting the rear lights. Finally it’s worth nothing that the Cooper models will have hidden exhausts. Given the brand is moving to all electric in the years ahead we expect that MINI wanted to visually reduce certain elements like exhausts on base models. The Cooper S and JCW models will retain them. Wheels and tires sizes should stay the same as the F56 but we’ll see an entirely new family of designs throughout. Why is MINI evolving the F56 after ten years in production? We’ve been talking a lot about the upcoming all electric MINI offerings (the electric Cooper, Aceman and Countryman EV) but MINI isn’t letting go of internal combustion engines (ICE) yet. In an unprecedented move there will be two next generation MINI Coopers (hatches) built on opposite ends of the planet on two different platforms. This move will allow MINI to offer innovative electric offerings while still selling to the traditional ICE market for as long as possible. But key to this will be upgrading the F56 to a more modern spec in terms of tech. G56 MINI Cooper Massive Upgrade In Technology In the G56 MINI Cooper There will be a biggest we can clearly see a camera and sensor module integrated into the top of the grille allowing this next generation of F56 MINIs to make use of L1 and perhaps even L2 autonomy features seen on some BMWs. Currently MINI has only one vaguely autonomous feature – adaptive cruise. While helpful it really does one thing – follow the car in front. MINI’s aim is to introduce this technology as an option meant primarily for highway purposes and likely only on automatic equipped MINIs. BMW’s current Active Driving Assistant Pro (optional on most mid-sized to larger BMWs) allows for Level 2+ below 81 MPH for 2023 models. That means you can take your hands off the wheel entirely as long as your eyes are on the road. The car will stop, go, turn and even change lanes on command. When that hits MINI models is yet to be seen but there’s no question it will eventually come. Note the faux F56 lights covering up the angular G56 lightsBut perhaps the most pressing reason for MINI to upgrade the Cooper’s camera system is newly introduced EU safety legislation that goes into affect in 2024. More specifically MINI needs to comply with the intelligent speed assistance (ISA) requirement that has the ability to limit cars speed in urban environments. Yes you read that right. Yes that is a massive circular screen and it will be present on all next generation MINIs. What you see above is the screen sitting camouflaged plastic enclosure. The final version will allow the screen to float similar to what we saw a few months ago on the upcoming 2024 MINI electric hatch. Beyond the massive screen there’s a lot to take in here. The switches and knobs (which are actually marked) are also identical to what we saw in the electric hatch leak meaning that MINI is moving to a consistent user experience across all models no matter where they’re produced or what platform they’re on. The automatic transmission gear lever is now going to be on the dash and next to it the return of a twist to start rather than a button. From there MINI will have it’s “experiences” toggle (more to come on that) and volume knob. The all-new electric Cooper will influence the heavily refreshed F56 ICE MINIThe G56 MINI Cooper Engine Line-Up Being the last of the line in terms of ICE engines, the key will be evolution and not revolution. The petrol powered range will use an evolved version of the current B48 engine range with mild-hybrid added to decrease CO2 and add performance. As we detailed in our recent preview of the next generation MINI Countryman, every petrol powered engine is a revision of an existing one. So things will look familiar but we believe numbers might rise slightly. The 1.5 three cylinder could use a more powerful BMW tune that would see it rise to 137 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. Then there’s a series of 2.0 four cylinder that could also use various BMW tunes; 170 hp and 206 ft-lbs and 218 hp and 265 ft-lbs. Most petrol engines will get a 48 volt mild hybrid system and will be mated to a revised 7-speed dual clutch with an all new gear selector design. The manual transmission’s days may be numbered but we believe it will stick around in a couple trim levels on the new F56 through the end of the decade. When Will The Refreshed Next Generation G56 MINI Cooper Launch? With the test mules progressing quickly, we believe we’ll see the refreshed F56 (likely not to be called the F56) sometime in late 2023 or early 2024. We’d expect a tiered launch starting with the Cooper and Cooper S, followed by a JCW model. This will all happen in the shadow of the entirely new and all electric MINI Cooper built in China and meant primarily for Asia and Europe. We’ll have more on that car and MINI’s plan to get it to the US soon. The post Exclusive: New Photos And Details On 2024 G56 MINI Cooper appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  3. The all new 2024 MINI Countryman is coming – sooner than you might think. Larger in every dimension and with loads more technology onboard, the new model will move MINI into direct competition with the ultra competition small crossover segment. And until recently it was unclear exactly when we’d see this new, larger Countryman. However thanks to our sources we now have a clear understanding of the timing. MINI will debut the 2024 MINI Countryman in the second half of 2023 with an all-out model onslaught. Based on our sources, this is what we expect to see in terms of production timing: U25 / Leipzig, GermanyStart of ProductionU25 ICE Countryman11/2023U25 ICE Countryman S03/2024U25 ICE Countryman JCW11/2023U25 BEV CountrymanTBDU25 BEV Countryman S03/2024U25 BEV Countryman JCWTBDThe obvious surprise here is that MINI will be staggering the launch of the ICE models but in a way not expected. They’re launching with the base and the top of the line JCW models. The model that will likely be the biggest seller in many markets, the Countryman S, will arrive in March of 2024. However not surprisingly MINI will be waiting to launch the electric Countryman (likely called the Countryman E) with production beginning in March of 2024. 2024 MINI Countryman Engines And Transmissions Given the investment going into electrifying the model range, MINI is playing it conservative when it comes to the ICE power plants. Because of that every petrol powered engine is a revision of an existing one. So things will look familiar but numbers will rise slightly. Based on what we know about the evolved three and four liter family of engines from BMW, we should see something close to the following: The 1.5 three cylinder which will be rated at 137 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque2.0 four cylinder with varying tunes; 170 hp and 206 ft-lbs and 218 hp and 265 ft-lbs. JCW branded 2.0 four cylinder with 330 hp and a mild hybrid systemAll petrol engines will get a 48 volt mild hybrid system and will be mated to a revised 7-speed dual clutch with an all new gear selector design. The manual transmission will be eliminated in all models.The All Electric 2024 MINI Countryman Yes it’s coming and it’s powerful. The FAAR platform was designed from the ground up to accommodate a battery pack and electric motor as part of the brand’s plans to transition all products over the next decade. Again the BMW X1 (in this case the iX1) gives us a clue. Assuming MINI will be leveraging the same technical layout (which we’ve heard is the plan), we should expect the electric Countryman to have a peak output is 308 horsepower and 364 pound-feet of torque. Potentially branded as a JCW, the power comes from a modest 64.7-kWh t-shaped battery pack that produces 266 miles of range using the WLTP testing protocol. That would likely translate into something around 240 miles using the EPA testing. The iX1 supports DC fast-charging at up to 130 kW, which can charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in only 29 minutes. Will it comes to the US? BMWNA cancelled the electric BMW iX1 due to range vs price concerns. The Countryman will have a similar range but could make more sense given its price will be slightly lower and aimed at a different demographic. The 2024 MINI Countryman – The Most Maxi MINI Yet Based on these photos and our sources, the all new 2024 MINI Countryman will be about 203 mm (almost 8 inches) larger – specifically in the rear. While MINI chose to modify the UKL chassis to shorten the rear giving the current Countryman slightly more MINI-like proportions, our sources tell us that this next generation car will more closely follow the BMW X1 in overall size. This will allow for a larger cargo area and more rear legroom. What about weight? Our sources are telling us that MINI will make use of advanced chassis design and plenty of new aluminum components to reduce the weight gain we’ll see. We can get an idea of weight by looking at the new BMW X1 which has a 3,750 lbs curb weight. That only up 24 lbs despite being marginally larger and being offered with more standard equipment. Given this we’d expect the next generation Countryman All4 will be close to the current car’s 3,726 lbs curb weight. The post 2024 MINI Countryman Launch Dates appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  4. Last year we published our first look at the all-new 2024 MINI Countryman (badged a 2025 in the US). Sources are telling us that this will a total re-think of the Countryman making it both larger and more rugged in appearance. These exclusive spy photos confirm this with a clear increase in all dimensions as well as a new, more rugged design. But beneath that yellow camouflage there’s even more to uncover. Riding on the same FAAR platform as the BMW X1, the U25 Countryman will grow in a very noticeable way. As you can see in the photo below it’s clearly longer and taller than the current F60 Countryman. But we’ll also see a revised exterior design that will represent a departure from the overall aesthetic we’ve seen since the original R60 Countryman in 2010. The increase in length is one of the first things you notice about the new 2024 MINI CountrymanThe new design will move away from the squared off, bulldog silhouette to a more sleek and aero efficient design. The headlights will be more angular and will have a crossbar design similar to what we’ve seen in the spy shots of the all electric Cooper. The rear taillights will grow and become personalization friendlyAround back you can just make out the larger taillights which look both more technical in design and could house some form of LED personalization similar to what we’re seeing on the new ICE and EV Cooper. What is LED personalization? From our sources it’s a way for , MINI owners to change how their front and rear lights look when on and active. Want Union Jack tail lights? Or how about something more minimal? MINI will offer a number of different designs that will help owners differentiate their cars. 2024 MINI Countryman – Sizing Up Based on these photos and our sources, the all new 2024 MINI Countryman will be about 203 mm (almost 8 inches) larger – specifically in the rear. While MINI chose to modify the UKL chassis to shorten the rear giving the current Countryman slightly more MINI-like proportions, our sources tell us that this next generation car will more closely follow the BMW X1 in overall size. This will allow for a larger cargo area and more rear legroom. What about weight? Our sources are telling us that MINI will make use of advanced chassis design and plenty of new aluminum components to reduce the weight gain we’ll see. We can get an idea of weight by looking at the new BMW X1 which has a 3,750 lbs curb weight. That only up 24 lbs despite being marginally larger and being offered with more standard equipment. Given this we’d expect the next generation Countryman All4 will be close to the current car’s 3,726 lbs curb weight. U25 2024 Countryman will grow in width and height as well as length.2024 MINI Countryman Engines and Transmissions There are no clean-sheet designs in the internal combustion world these days and there’s no exception here. Every petrol powered engine is a revision of an existing one. So things will look familiar but numbers will rise slightly. Based on what we know about the evolved three and four liter family of engines from BMW, we should see something close to the following: The 1.5 three cylinder which will be rated at 137 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque2.0 four cylinder with varying tunes; 170 hp and 206 ft-lbs and 218 hp and 265 ft-lbs. JCW branded 2.0 four cylinder with 330 hp and a mild hybrid systemAll petrol engines will get a 48 volt mild hybrid system and will be mated to a revised 7-speed dual clutch with an all new gear selector design. The manual transmission will be eliminated in all models.The All Electric 2024 MINI Countryman Yes it’s coming and it’s powerful. The FAAR platform was designed from the ground up to accommodate a battery pack and electric motor as part of the brand’s plans to transition all products over the next decade. Again the BMW X1 (in this case the iX1) gives us a clue. Assuming MINI will be leveraging the same technical layout (which we’ve heard is the plan), we should expect the electric Countryman to have a peak output is 308 horsepower and 364 pound-feet of torque. Potentially branded as a JCW, the power comes from a modest 64.7-kWh t-shaped battery pack that produces 266 miles of range using the WLTP testing protocol. That would likely translate into something around 240 miles using the EPA testing. The iX1 supports DC fast-charging at up to 130 kW, which can charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in only 29 minutes. 2024 MINI Countryman – New Technology and Autonomous Features Based on the underlying Android Auto technical framework, MINI is introducing a massive circular display that will be the literal and figurative centerpiece of the brand’s tech moving forward. Looking at the spy photos of the interior the second think you notice (after the giant screen of course) is the lack of switch gear and a very different console design than what we’re used to seeing. Of course the switchgear is there but it’s been re-routed into a temporary space where cupholders will ultimately be. Beyond the massive screen there’s a lot to take in here. The switches and knobs (which are actually marked) are also identical to what we saw in the electric hatch leak meaning that MINI is moving to a consistent user experience across all models no matter where they’re produced or what platform they’re on. That’s an essential move if MINI wants that digital experience to be a selling point of the brand. Final, non-camouflaged version as seen in the U25 electric MINI Cooper The gear selector (which will be almost identical to BMWs) is actually not here in production form but will be a small lever or toggle where the white plastic is in the top photo. Also gone is the iDrive multi-function controller. In it’s place will be a digital experience that’s more touch-based and (we’re told) easier to use. We expect MINI to eventually rollout an optional Level 2 autonomous driving features for all of the brand’s next generation cars. Level 2 allows for the car to use adaptive cruise as well as follow the clearly marked roads with hands on the wheel. Keep in mind this isn’t just a lane keeping function but technology that will follow the road as it curves. This is optional on most BMWs currently. But what will be really exciting is L2+. While it’s unclear if we’ll see this at launch, we do eventually expect Level 2+ to be part of the G60 product plans. The system will likely be identical to BMW’s new L2+ system which allows for hands-free driving up to 81 mph an hour (130 KPH) making it massively more helpful for the majority of drivers and likely to be used much more. While MINI drivers are more likely to want to drive their cars, it’s hard to argue with a robot taking over duties on long, straight highway drives. 2024 MINI Countryman Launch Details With the test mules progressing quickly, we believe we’ll see the 2024 MINI Countryman make its debut in the second half of 2023 as a 2024 model in the US. We’ll likely see petrol powered Countryman and Countryman S models first before MINI launches its first ever all electric Countryman. We’d expect the JCW variant to come shortly after launch. The post Our Best Look Yet at the 2024 MINI Countryman appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  5. Parts shortages have wreaked havoc on MINI and other automotive brands all year. Despite this MINI USA is reporting a massive increase in sales year over year. For Q4 MINI USA saw sales increase from 7,860 in 2022 to 10,319 in 2023 – up 31.3%. How did this break down in terms of models and what did this do to overall 2022 sales? Let’s take a look. For the full year 2022, MINI brand sales decreased slightly by 1.4% on total sales of 29,504 vehicles compared to the 29,930 vehicles sold in 2021. With several plant shutdowns and order times ranging from months to over a year, the slight decrease is a total surprise. In fact it’s fairly incredible that MINI has had such a strong year with product that is reaching a decade in the marketplace. Key to Q4 success is a massive increase in the two door and Countryman sales. Good signs for MINI has they are prepping a massive product onslaught including an all new Countryman and heavily revised hardtop. One note interesting note. The immensely profitable BMW X7 (which starts at almost $80k) outsold the entire MINI brand in the US. Let that sink in a bit. The post MINI USA Sees Huge Sales Increase in Q4 2022 appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  6. 2022 wasn’t full off new metal for MINI. The refreshed hatch and Countryman debuted in 2020-2021 and the Clubman before that. The electric hatch is a known commodity and the hybrid Countryman is getting a bit long in the tooth. Yes MINI is continually bringing out great looking special editions but in terms of something truly new, there isn’t much. Unless you look beyond the BMW MINI brand. Enter the MINI Recharged. We had a chance to drive the an early model from the MINI Recharged program while attending the Goodwood Revival earlier this year and saw a glimpse of the future in the past. But perhaps more interesting it felt spot-on to the original concept of the brand what exactly the type of thinking that needs to drive it in the future. What is the MINI Recharged? MINI RECHARGED is MINI’s official answer for those wanting to convert their classic Minis to electric and we’ve driven it! But does it still feel like a Mini? The early answer is a resounding yes. In many ways the classic Mini was a revolution in mobility not that different than a modern electric car. It was a car that rethought everything and in the process introduced new and novel ideas to the automotive world. And they stuck, influencing almost every small to mid-size car in the decades that followed. But can it still be relevant today? Recharged Heritage Limited (MINI’s exclusive partner for the program) has engineered the car to maintain the same weight and weight distribution as the original. Add to that immediate torque (making it feel even more point and shoot) and you have a classic Mini that both drives like a classic but feels even more responsive. And this is just the start. As the folks at Recharged Heritage Limited explained to us, making it even faster is just a couple of software settings. However they found quickly is that traction is the limiting factor as you start to turn up the torque to 100%. Perhaps the most surprising thing is just how normal it all felt. The only interior giveaway is the modified shifter and vintage looking range gauge/ Otherwise you are in a classic Mini. Recharged Heritage Limited offers the driver the choice between two driving modes: Pure Performance and Sport. In Pure Performance Mode, their electric drive achieves 56 kW/75 hp of torque of 110 Nm at 2,000 rpm, accelerates from 0 to 62 in 11.5 seconds and achieves a top speed of 78mph – equivalent to the Classic Mini 1275 S. In sport mode, the drive system is equipped with 72 kW/97 hp and 163 Nm at 2,000 rpm, reaching 0 to 62 in 8.5 seconds and travels at a top speed of 92 mph. Both modes are powered by an 18-kWh lithium-ion battery with a predicted range of 103 miles (WLTP). With a 6.6 kW onboard charger, the battery can be charged in three hours on a 7kW wall-box or nine hours on a standard 3-pin plug house connection. This is not a roadtrip car but you wouldn’t want it to be. Instead this is the perfect urban vehicle for commutes, errands or that trip into the canyons. Don’t worry, the final version will have a finished boot.Three Models and Infinite Customization There are three models offered; Pure, Sport and Bespoke. And there are three ways to build one. The easiest is to simply convert your current classic Mini. A thorough 100 point health check will be carried out, certifying everything is in perfect order, then you decide specification, before the transformation starts. Costs starts at £42,500. You can also have MINI Recharged procure a car. You’ll select from the specially selected Minis they have available, or they will find that one. Once the specification is decided we will begin the transformation. Prices start at £60,000. Finally there’s the fully bespoke model which is a truly one-off creation designed by the owner. Prices are obviously determined by the build. How Can I Get One? The 107bhp Classic Mini electric comes with 12kW battery and will cost £10,620 including VAT. However there is more cost associated with the procurement of a clear classic Mini and the actual conversion itself. Prices start from £42,500 for the full conversation. For the time being it’s only availability is in the UK market. However Recharged Heritage has ambitious to open up shop in the US sometime next year. Which begs the question – what about the R50/R53 generation of new MINIs? They’re becoming classic cars but they have one Achilles heel – replacement engine parts. In many ways those cars are also an ideal candidate for a similar conversion. We asked that question and stated the case that there might be a market in the US. The team at Recharged Heritage was genuinely interested in the idea, but as with all things, the market will dictate the offering. So with that said would you be interested in a electric conversion of classic Mini or even an R50 or R53? Let us know below. Electric MINI Recharged Specifications Mini PURE 19 KWh Battery pack (WLTP range over 100miles exact tba)City Mode driving performance (9.5 seconds 0-60mph)Regenerative brakingDirect electric motor drive (0 – 11,000 rpm)Retro Gear selectorNew front Sub-frameCentralised ‘Smith’ EV analogue instrument gaugesImmobiliserEngine undertray for protection and aerodynamicsRetro Mini style charging capConversion information interior floor platePTC HV heater conversionTrunk floor boardRear trunk ‘Recharged EV’ badgingDVLA EV registration & Green Band Number platesFull conversion service and 12 month warrantyCar history and EV conversion bookMini SPORT 19 KWh Battery pack (WLTP range over 100miles exact tba)City Mode driving performance (9.5 seconds 0-60mph)Regenerative brakingDirect electric motor drive (0 – 11,000 rpm)Retro Gear selectorNew front Sub-frameCentralised ‘Smith’ EV analogue instrument gaugesImmobiliserEngine undertray for protection and aerodynamicsRetro Mini style charging capConversion information interior floor platePTC HV heater conversionTrunk floor boardRear trunk ‘Recharged EV’ badgingDVLA EV registration & Green Band Number platesFull conversion service and 12 month warrantyCar history and EV conversion bookSports Mode capability (7.8 sec 0-60mph)Sports Button – Choose City to Sport modesEnhanced Braking System with colour coded alloy calipersSports Suspension Sports leather steering wheel with coloured stitchingYokohama tyres‘MINI’ Morse-code start-up sound card (bespoke sound option)‘Recharged’ side graphicsMini BESPOKE 19 KWh Battery pack (WLTP range over 100miles exact tba)City Mode driving performance (9.5 seconds 0-60mph)Regenerative brakingDirect electric motor drive (0 – 11,000 rpm)Retro Gear selectorNew front Sub-frameCentralised ‘Smith’ EV analogue instrument gauges ImmobiliserEngine undertray for protection and aerodynamicsRetro Mini style charging capConversion information interior floor platePTC HV heater conversionTrunk floor boardRear trunk ‘Recharged EV’ badgingDVLA EV registration & Green Band Number platesFull conversion service and 12 month warrantyCar history and EV conversion bookSports Mode capability (7.8 sec 0-60mph)Sports Button – Choose City to Sport modesEnhanced Braking System with colour coded alloy calipersSports Suspension Sports leather steering wheel with coloured stitchingYokohama tyres‘MINI’ Morse-code start-up sound card (bespoke sound option)‘Recharged’ side graphicsELECTRIC MOTOR Motor72kW (max 14,000 revs/min )TorqueBespoke up to 175 NMMaximum power *100 BHP (74 kW)Maximum torque *175 NmBATTERY TypeLithium-IonCapacity19 kWhFront battery split11.25kWhRear battery split7.75kWhRecommended operating ambient temp-5 to 45 Degrees CelsiusGEARBOX Forward and reverse direct drivesNo gear change or clutch required** Towing in neutral 5mph max on front wheels otherwise wheels to be lifted PERFORMANCE Range based on WLTP103miles (166 Km)Charging6.6 kW per hour(liquid cooled with customer optionbi-directional charging adapter)Charge time with wall box3 hoursCharge time with home/domestic plug9 hoursTop SpeedTBCAccelerationsub 6 seconds 0-60 mph (0-100 kph) achievableDIMENSIONS & WEIGHT DimensionsAs originalDry weightAs originalWeight distributionAs originalBoot capacityAs originalThe post The Best MINI We Drove All Year Isn’t New But It is an Electric Mini appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  7. Editors note: It’s the holidays and we’re doing something a little different this week. We’re going to be reviewing a few of the most interesting cars we’ve driven this year within the BMW family that aren’t MINIs. We started at the top with the Rolls Royce Ghost Black Badge. now lets take a look what some might consider a JCW alternative. If this is the end of BMW’s small, rear wheel drive petrol powered coupes, this is a glorious end. That’s our lasting impression after our initial time on the road and track with the all new BMW M240i. But before we get to that, let’s take a step back and talk about discuss what this all new 2 Series coupe means for BMW and for you. The new rear wheel drive 2 Series wasn’t suppose to be. As we understand it, the original plan was to base all 2 Series models off of the new FAAR front-wheel drive platform underpinning MINIs and all small BMWs. But something got in the way – buyers. The previous rear wheel 2 Series was so well received it created a problem. How could BMW walk away from such a critically acclaimed package? So the decision was made to base this all new 2 Series on a scaled down CLAR platform – the same that underpins everything from the 3 Series to the 7 Series. The great news is that move allowed allows BMW to retain the rear wheel drive foundation. However it required a couple of key trade-offs which subtly alter the personality of the 2 Series. This decision has led to an increase of 209 lbs, a 3.4″ increase in length and a 2″ increase in wheelbase. That’s only 2″ shorter than the E92 M3 for those playing at home. It’s also increased the front track by 2.1″ and the rear by 1.5″. BMW has combated this with a whopping 47 hp increase. http://www.bimmerfile.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/M240i_9067-1600x1200.jpegDriving the 2022 BMW M240i The net of these increases means the 2022 BMW M240i is a car that feels all-around faster but also slightly less eager and playful. But don’t think that this car has grown into a 3 Series as there’s still plenty of playful character here. The chassis’ has increased 40% which increases isolation and but also allows for greater steering precision. That wider front track houses a revised suspension with has more negative camber giving you a bit more bite upfront. The updated suspension is also on point in creating that duality. On the South Palm track at the Thermal Club the M240i was stable and utterly predictable at the limit. While it didn’t process the magic of the M differential there was plenty of adjustability in power delivery and a surpring amount of steering precision. On the road the other side of that duality shined. The M240i’s suspension soaked up the broken desert pavement and its expansion joints mile after mile offering much more isolation than the previous generation. Also onboard was plenty of new tech starting with iDrive 7 which we secretly prefer over the all new massive screened iDrive 8. That includes a 10.2″ digital cluster, active cruise, drive recorder, remote engine start and even M colors interior lights. Not offered yet is Active Driving Assistant Pro which we expect along with iDrive 8 later in the car’s life-cycle. http://www.bimmerfile.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/M240i_9113-1600x1200.jpegThe Beaver is Dead We don’t talk much about the new beaver tooth BMW grille seen on many models these days because frankly its the least of our styling concerns. But it is reassuring to see a smaller, more conservative approach to the grille design. Further than classic three box shape is here as well eschewing the fastback look of the 4 Series. Then there are the subtle boxed fender flares which are a not so subtle ode to the E30 M3. While there are still parts of the overall design that feel over stylized (that front bumper and those rear lights are working a little too hard hard in our eyes) the 2022 BMW M240i is a bit of a relief. http://www.bimmerfile.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/M240i_9063-1600x1200.jpegConclusions At a MSRP $57,295 as tested a lot should be expected. As many will point out, that’s M2 money from just 5 years ago. But the what this all new M240i delivers is next level in its versatility. BMW has gifted this car with both more comfort and control while giving it just as much (if not a touch more) feedback through the wheel. While the xDrive blunts some of that (we can’t wait to drive the RWD version), there’s little question this new M240i moves the ball forward in almost every way in terms of performance and livability. This is no M2 (and certainly no 1M) in engagement and exhilaration, but the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive neatly straddles the line between outright performance car and near luxury. In 2022 terms we can’t think of a small coupe we’d rather daily. Except for maybe the forthcoming rear wheel drive version. http://www.bimmerfile.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Screen-Shot-2021-11-01-at-7.39.02-PM-1600x1022.pnghttp://www.bimmerfile.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/M240i_9113-1600x1200.jpeghttp://www.bimmerfile.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/M240i_9105-1600x1200.jpeghttp://www.bimmerfile.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/M240i_9068-1600x2134.jpeghttp://www.bimmerfile.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/M240i_9067-1600x1200.jpeghttp://www.bimmerfile.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/M240i_9063-1600x1200.jpeghttp://www.bimmerfile.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/M240i_00710-1600x1200.jpegThe post First Drive: 2023 BMW M240i Is The Rear Wheel Drive Swan Song We Deserve appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  8. Editors note: It’s the holidays and we’re doing something a little different this week. We’re going to be reviewing a few of the most interesting cars we’ve driven this year within the BMW family that aren’t MINIs. We started at the top with the Rolls Royce Ghost Black Badge. now lets take a look at the future of luxury. When we first saw the covers pull back on the BMW i7 and 760i, there were audible gasps from the assembled journalists. It’s a shocking car visual as much as it is daring technically. The exterior design was and still is challenging (even though it’s becoming more compelling with time). But it was the technical aspect of what BMW was doing with the i7 and the 760i that was so novel; offering both electric and an M derived ICE powertrain on one platform. How could BMW do both without making sacrifices? It turns out BMW has done just that and in the process built the most compelling 7 Series in two decades. In fact this new 7 Series might just be the most impressive new BMW in years full stop. Based on a modular architecture changes the scale of the 7 Series, it’s a tour de force of luxury, technology and performance that takes it to the top of the luxury segment and into Rolls Royce and Bentley territory. Trust us, we were just as surprised experiencing it for the first time as you are reading this. This new 7 Series also introduces a new (and contentious) new design direction for the brand that is nothing if not bold. But that bold look (perhaps not surprisingly) has quickly aged well since its introduction this spring and in person look a bit more tolerable. In fact if it wasn’t for the excessive front overhang (surely dictated by pedestrian safety standards) this might be the most interesting BMW design in a decade. But you can’t talk about the design of the car without touching on it’s overall presence. The new 7 Series has grown by 5.1 inches in length to 212.2, by 1.9 inches in width to 76.8, and by 2 inches in height to 60.8. This is a big boy that demands attention in not just its look but in its size. And yet it was the way it drove that really impressed. The 2023 BMW i7 vs the 760i Both of these cars are excellent at being 7 Series and possess all of the best qualities you’d want a large sedan with a roundel. And both were surprisingly engaging as driver’s cars. However it was the BMW i7 that immediately stood out. Not has an electric rocket ship like the Model S or Lucid Air. Its character is much more well rounded and focused on being both the ultimate driving machine as well as the ultimate executive transportation. Even driving the recently released Rolls Royce Ghost Black Badge reinforced the point that the i7 has a legitimate claim to the best driver oriented luxury car in the world. The i7 is effortless performance in elegance and sophistication eclipsing every rival we’ve driven – including the new Mercedes EQS. From the serene roads of Palm Springs to the mountain canyons above the Cochella Valley, the i7 xDrive60i was near faultless. Motivated by a front and year motor producing 536 hp and 549 lbs of torque, the i7 is quick but surprisedly not as quick as the ICE 760i. But despite that the i7 felt more capable in every scenario we threw at it. The fluidity of this 5,917 lbs car going from apex to apex and and the feedback was shocking. While the steering wheel feel isn’t compelling, the feedback builds linearly and consistently. But more impressive is how the suspension deals with it all while still delivering a sense of confidence and even enthusiasm for corners. This 6,000 lbs car showed an eagerness and even precision on our mountains road test route that didn’t initially compute. How could a car this big and heavy feel this good? A 101 kWh battery delivers 318 miles of range but we saw estimates of near 350 with spirited driving. With DC fast charging getting you 80 miles in 10 minutes or from 10% to 80% charge in 34 minutes. This isn’t the 800 watt architecture you see elsewhere but given the state of charging infrastructure in the US I’m not sure you’ll miss it all that much. Back to back with the 1,000 lbs lighter, M engined (S68) 760i was even more shocking. With so much weight so low, the i7 was able to feel both eager and effortless. There’s no question that, on paper, the 760i is everything that we would have preferred. With an M engineered S68 engine under the hood, the 760i has an output of 536 hp and 553 lbs of torque – almost identical to the i7. Given the weight you’d assume the 760i would be the driver’s car here. Yet everything that a great electric drivetrain provides turns out to be exactly what you want in a car like the 7 series. Effortless acceleration, an eagerness in corners and an overall seamless experience is what the ultimate driving machine in this class should be. The Technology in the New 2023 BMW i7 and 760i But numbers only mean so much and this is a BMW. More importantly this is a 7 Series which has a history of ushering in new technology since it was introduced in the 70s. Here we have the first fully electric 7 Series as the headline. But dig deeper and the changes are even greater. In the rear you have that the massive rear screen with Amazon Fire integration and a HD camera for Zoom calls. In the doors are small (phone-like) Android devices that allow rear seat passengers to control just about everything in the car. Then there’s the reclining rear seat and footrest that allowed all 6′ 2″ of me to lay back in total bliss while I watched the latest Rings of Power episode. Upfront the tech is everywhere. iDrive 8 is here along with the massive twin screens that debuted on the iX. Also here are the confusing seat controls and crystal finishes. But where the iX felt a bit hurried, the new 7 Series feels honed. Doors open automatically with a button (or your phone) and interface sits on the glass trim itself inside the car. The shifter is now a very small lever that feels so intuitive that you wonder why it took BMW so long to get to this point. But the highest for us was the Highway Assist. Allowing for total control of the car up to 82 mph, Highway Assist is a game changer for road trip as it takes over full control of driving on all major highways in the US. And with a cost of only $2,100 it actually feels reasonably priced given what it can do. The 2023 BMW i7 and 760i – Conclusions BMW has a history over the last twenty years of not holding anything sacred and not being afraid to rethink some of the very core aspects of the brand. Here, in a quest to rethink what luxury can be, BMW has rethought almost every aspect of exterior and interior design, human interface and even what powers the car. The 2023 BMW 7 Series as much a revolution for the brand as it is a rethink of the 7 Series itself. And as great as the M engined 760i is, no where is that more evident than the all electric i7 model. This is BMW’s first real attempt and electrifying a product core to the brand heritage. And from our first impressions behind the wheel, BMW has pulled off the seemingly impossible by offering everything while giving up nothing. 2023 BMW i7 and BMW 760i Gallery The post Review: The 2023 Electric BMW i7 & BMW 760i Are the New Kings of Luxury appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  9. Editors note: It’s the holidays and we’re doing something a little different this week. We’re going to be reviewing a few of the most interesting cars we’ve driven this year within the BMW family that aren’t MINIs. And what better place to start than the top of the food chain. Much like the current F56 MINI JCW hatch is harkens back to the best of Mini, the the 2022 Rolls-Royce Ghost Black Badge is the ultimate expression of a modern Rolls Royce. Stylized to appeal to an audience that’s more Off-White than Yves Saint Laurent, the Black Badge is a modern approach to ultra luxury. But what makes it different beyond the black trim? We took a turn behind the wheel (and lounging in the backseat) in Palm Springs to get answers. If JCW is for MINI owners that love to drive, the Black Badge is a Rolls for owners who like to be in command. Designed with a touch more power, a retuned suspension and even a sportier sounding exhaust, the Ghost Black Badge has just enough driver engagement to make things interesting. But let’s not confuse interesting with involving. This isn’t a car for those looking to feel the tarmac under the tires or understand where adhesion limits are. This is the Rolls you grab from the garage when you don’t mind hearing an exhaust note. In a word the Black Badge is about the experience. From the moment you enter the cabin to the moment you hit start, you’re met with tactile delight. Inside the material quality is as high as I’ve ever seen in a car. Everything that is shiny is either metal or crystal. Everything that appears to be leather is hands-down the best quality hide I’ve ever felt in a car. And every physical control as the perfect weight and reaction. In a world of plastic is design to look like metal and foam masquerades as leather, The Ghost Black Badge drips with authentic materials. However, from a technology perspective the Rolls Royce Ghost (in Black Badge form or not) is woefully behind the times. It’s all last generation stuff that has been probably out of production in BMWs for for several years now. Not that it’s bad mind you. In someways, I almost prefer the tactile buttons and the simpler version of iDrive offered here. But if you’re looking for the latest ADAS system or massive screens you’re in the wrong car. As an owner you spec everything. Want a special commissioned black umbrellas in the rear door? It’s as easy as writing a $1,675 check. Purple extended piping? No worries as long as $2,225 isn’t a problem. And what about that Burnout Grey color you’ve been lusting after? It’s as easy as coughing up an extra $15,900. All well and good but what’s it like to drive you ask? The Black Badge denotes performance purely in Rolls-Royce terms. This is a car that is about experience, delivering you to your destination in the upmost luxury, comfort and safety. It’s not so much a car as it is an experience. Buying a $492,000 Rolls-Royce Ghost is also a very different process than walking into a BMW dealer to look at an X5. You craft this car in collaboration with Rolls Royce to your exacting specification. And you likely know the process well because, according to Rolls Royce’s own customer data, it’s likely your third or fourth Rolls Royce. It’s also at least your 10th car across all of your various houses. In those terms this is just another link in the chain of luxurious experiences an owner has in their lives. One thing that makes this latest generation of Ghost quite a bit different from the previous is that it uses a platform bespoke to Rolls Royce and not a BMW 7 Series cast-off. This has allowed Rolls Royce engineers and designers to craft an experience that feels more isolated and incredibly comfortable. Of course the irony is that we drove the brand new electric BMW i7 back to back with this Ghost and found the i7 to be even more comfortable and quiet. But that’s an unfair comparison given the nature of electric propulsion and the fact that there’s a 6.75 twin-turbo V12 under the hood here. Side note, electrification would suit this brand incredibly well. After a quick drive around Palm Springs we came away not only completely relaxed but also a bit reprogramed. The very question of this car living up to that price tag felt irrelevant. In the terms you and I equate to cars, it of course it can’t possibly be worth $492k. But for its owner, the calculus is entirely different. Does it deliver on the same level as the experiences its owners surround themselves in? Absolutely. Can it wash away the outside world and create an alternatively reality for its drivers and passengers? Effortlessly. Are we already looking on eBay for ragged used ones? Absolutely. The post Quick Drive: The Rolls Royce Ghost Black Badge Is the Car We Didn’t Know We Wanted appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  10. The MINI Convertible Seaside Edition may be a purely cosmetic special edition but it’s one of the best we’ve seen from MINI in years. With a variety of unique trim pieces as well as unique Caribbean Aqua exterior paint, the Seaside is also a celebration of the MINI convertible’s 30th anniversary. Starting with February 2023 production, the Seaside Edition will be available in either Caribbean Aqua or Nanuq White. The car comes standard with Double decorative stripes in white run from the side doors to the rear of the vehicle, and the exclusive exterior design is rounded off with a unique graphic on the front apron, where a stylized 30 once again refers to the model’s anniversary. What’s really interesting is the unique interior trim and the white door handles and gas cap. Read on for the full press release and all the details of MINI’s latest special edition. Official Release: World Premier: The MINI Convertible Seaside Edition Waves rolling gently onto the beach and the endless horizon in view – a day at the seaside offers refreshingly expansive perspectives and a feeling of freedom. In line with this, the MINI Convertible in the Seaside Edition celebrates 30 years of individual style and maximum fresh-air driving fun. To mark the anniversary of the open-top four-seater, MINI now presents the sporty classic with exclusive equipment and design features – optionally in a shimmering blue Caribbean Aqua paint finish or in the light Nanuq White bodycolor. The Seaside Edition of the MINI Convertible is available as the Cooper and the Cooper S. Currently the world’s only premium convertible in the small car segment and with an impressively distinctive look in traditional brand style, the MINI Convertible embodies individual open-air driving pleasure. In the MINI Cooper S, a 2.0-litre, 131 kW/178 hp 4-cylinder power unit with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology enables acceleration from a standstill to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds. The MINI Cooper also provides typical MINI go-kart feeling, featuring a 3-cylinder petrol engine with an output of 136 hp. The black, electrically operated soft top takes things at a more leisurely pace: it can be opened or closed automatically up to 30 km/h. From February 2023, the limited Seaside Edition of the MINI Convertible will accentuate this stylish model’s hallmark features with an edition-specific design in the exterior and interior. Double decorative stripes in white run from the side doors to the rear of the vehicle, and the exclusive exterior design is rounded off with a unique graphic on the front apron, where a stylised 30 once again refers to the model’s anniversary. This contrasts elegantly with the maritime-inspired paint finish Caribbean Aqua, emphasising the sporty character of the open-top four-seater. In the Nanuq White finish, the consistently light-coloured bodywork has a particularly elegant appeal: here the MINI Convertible is reminiscent of spotted clouds against a deep-blue summer sky. The side scuttles with the edition’s discreet “Seaside” lettering pick up on the 30th model anniversary with graphically designed numerals in light and dark blue. The round birthday is also celebrated with exclusive “Seaside” lettering in sporty orange on the rear. Meanwhile the 18-inch alloy wheels in Pulse Spoke design are reminiscent of pulsating waves in the water. By contrast, the specific wheel caps stand still: here, the number of the anniversary appears once more. A weight behind them ensures a perfect appearance at all times. Even as you enter the vehicle, the trim strips on the vehicle doors in edition design with two white stripes and Seaside lettering convey the exclusive aura of the interior. The Carbon Black leather seats with comfortable knee rolls and armrests in the doors offer comfort as well as harmonising perfectly with the two exterior finishes Caribbean Aqua and Nanuq White when the soft top is open. The decorative trim strips on the front dashboards also appear in edition-specific design: both the printed pattern and the lettering bring the round anniversary to mind once again. This pattern also appears on the floor mats in the form of a graphic badge. The lower spoke of the sports leather steering wheel features the eponymous “Seaside” lettering of the new MINI Edition. The vehicle key featuring the edition-specific graphic wave pattern in iridescent blue tones picks up on both the open atmosphere and the pure elegance of the sea, enabling the owner to take a piece of this exclusive edition home with them. The integrated “Seaside” lettering underlines the model’s unique flair – definitely ruling out any potential key mix-ups. For the driver, the latest generation of the MINI operating system optimizes quick and intuitive control of the vehicle functions, audio program, communication, navigation and apps, while newly compiled equipment packages enable specific individual preferences to be fulfilled in terms of driver assistance and connectivity. The MINI Convertible Seaside Edition – Photo Gallery The post World Premier: The MINI Convertible Seaside Edition appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  11. Following our first look inside the new 2024 MINI Countryman earlier this year, we wanted to talk about the elephant in the room – almost literally. Yes the next generation 2024 MINI Countryman will be by far the largest MINI ever produced. Riding on the same FAAR platform as the BMW X1, the next Countryman will grow in length in a very noticeable way. How noticeable? Based on some recent sources, we have an idea. Based on these photos and our sources, the all new 2024 MINI Countryman will be about 203 mm (almost 8 inches) larger – specifically in the rear. While MINI chose to modify the UKL chassis to shorten the rear giving the current Countryman slightly more MINI-like proportions, our sources tell us that this next generation car will more closely follow the BMW X1 in overall size. This will allow for a larger cargo area and more rear legroom. What about weight? Our sources are telling us that MINI will make use of advanced chassis design and plenty of new aluminum components to reduce the weight gain we’ll see. We can get an idea of weight by looking at the new BMW X1 which has a 3,750 lbs curb weight. That only up 24 lbs despite being marginally larger and being offered with more standard equipment. Given this we’d expect the next generation Countryman All4 will be close to the current car’s 3,726 lbs curb weight. You ca see size of the new G60 2024 Countryman next to the new 2024 ICE MINI Cooper in the row of cars above.2024 MINI Countryman Engines and Transmissions There are no clean-sheet designs in the internal combustion world these days and there’s no exception here. Every petrol powered engine is a revision of an existing one. So things will look familiar but numbers will rise slightly. Based on what we know about the evolved three and four liter family of engines from BMW, we should see something close to the following: The 1.5 three cylinder which will be rated at 137 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque2.0 four cylinder with varying tunes; 170 hp and 206 ft-lbs and 218 hp and 265 ft-lbs. JCW branded 2.0 four cylinder with 330 hp and a mild hybrid systemAll petrol engines will get a 48 volt mild hybrid system and will be mated to a revised 7-speed dual clutch with an all new gear selector design. The manual transmission will be eliminated in all models.Note the The All Electric 2024 MINI Countryman Yes it’s coming and it’s powerful. The FAAR platform was designed from the ground up to accommodate a battery pack and electric motor as part of the brand’s plans to transition all products over the next decade. Again the BMW X1 (in this case the iX1) gives us a clue. Assuming MINI will be leveraging the same technical layout (which we’ve heard is the plan), we should expect the electric Countryman to have a peak output is 308 horsepower and 364 pound-feet of torque. Potentially branded as a JCW, the power comes from a modest 64.7-kWh t-shaped battery pack that produces 266 miles of range using the WLTP testing protocol. That would likely translate into something around 240 miles using the EPA testing. The iX1 supports DC fast-charging at up to 130 kW, which can charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in only 29 minutes. 2024 MINI Countryman – New Technology and Autonomous Features Based on the underlying Android Auto technical framework, MINI is introducing a massive circular display that will be the literal and figurative centerpiece of the brand’s tech moving forward. Looking at the spy photos of the interior the second think you notice (after the giant screen of course) is the lack of switch gear and a very different console design than what we’re used to seeing. Of course the switchgear is there but it’s been re-routed into a temporary space where cupholders will ultimately be. Beyond the massive screen there’s a lot to take in here. The switches and knobs (which are actually marked) are also identical to what we saw in the electric hatch leak meaning that MINI is moving to a consistent user experience across all models no matter where they’re produced or what platform they’re on. That’s an essential move if MINI wants that digital experience to be a selling point of the brand. Final, non-camouflaged version as seen in the U25 electric MINI Cooper The gear selector (which will be almost identical to BMWs) is actually not here in production form but will be a small lever or toggle where the white plastic is in the top photo. Also gone is the iDrive multi-function controller. In it’s place will be a digital experience that’s more touch-based and (we’re told) easier to use. We expect MINI to eventually rollout an optional Level 2 autonomous driving features for all of the brand’s next generation cars. Level 2 allows for the car to use adaptive cruise as well as follow the clearly marked roads with hands on the wheel. Keep in mind this isn’t just a lane keeping function but technology that will follow the road as it curves. This is optional on most BMWs currently. But what will be really exciting is L2+. While it’s unclear if we’ll see this at launch, we do eventually expect Level 2+ to be part of the G60 product plans. The system will likely be identical to BMW’s new L2+ system which allows for hands-free driving up to 81 mph an hour (130 KPH) making it massively more helpful for the majority of drivers and likely to be used much more. While MINI drivers are more likely to want to drive their cars, it’s hard to argue with a robot taking over duties on long, straight highway drives. 2024 MINI Countryman Launch Details With the test mules progressing quickly, we believe we’ll see the 2024 MINI Countryman make its debut in the second half of 2023 as a 2024 model in the US. We’ll likely see petrol powered Countryman and Countryman S models first before MINI launches its first ever all electric Countryman. We’d expect the JCW variant to come shortly after launch. The post The All-New 2024 MINI Countryman Will Be the Most Maxi MINI Ever appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  12. We managed to rally together one more time before closing out 2022! A quick not to the affliates, we do go long. We are pretty sure all y’all won’t mind. Catching up, db sold his MINI (and replaced it with a bicycle). His garage is now home to a BMW X3, which there will be more words about that coming (like, it really should be a wagon). Then, the latest news from MotoringFile, as usual! If you missed Gabe’s review of the BMW X1, go check it out if you want to find out what the next version of the Countryman will be like. We get filled on on life with a non-JCW MINI in Gabe’s garage with a horrible name, product code relevations and spy shots of the G56, plus some other information you will find to be very interesting. Oh, yea. Feather bowling is totally a thing. For those of you that have missed it, we are still recording Black Roof Radio!. Click through for access to the most recent episodes, all available **FREE OF CHARGE**! Also, as db mentioned, RSS is not dead! You can still follow and subscribe to your favorite sites using any of the latest versions of RSS Readers. Check out NetNewsWire (yes, it’s back!) for OSX/IOS, Aggregator for Android and Newsflow on Windows! Any of these will let you subscribe and help break you of your social media habit! The post White Roof Radio 687: db Sold His MINI appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  13. MINI is re-thinking its long-standing rear design for its iconic MINI Cooper. Since 1959 MINI has used a vertical layout for its lights. That was extended and rethought slightly for the R50 in 2001 and evolved since then over the last 20 years. However for MINI’s next generation of Coopers the brand is completely re-thinking it’s traditional approach. MINI is leaning into digital customization inside and outside. Inside there’s the massive circular OLED screen that will house all of the car’s settings and digital functionality. According to sources that interface and experience will be customizable along with an all new interior lighting concept. But where things get even more interesting is on the outside. The G56 MINI Cooper (ICE) and it’s camouflaged rear tail lightsLeveraging LED technology, an owner of the new J01 or G56 Cooper can change how their front and rear lights look when on and active. Want Union Jack tail lights? Or how about something more minimal? MINI will offer a number of different designs that will help owners differentiate their cars. The J01 MINI Cooper (EV) seen here with no camouflage and rear lights exposed. You can clear see the individual blocks of LEDs and how they would allow for customization.Finally here’s a still from a MINI video showing how they would light-up with a Union Jack designThe post Next Generation MINI Rear Tail light Design To Introduce Radical Customization appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  14. In a MotoringFile exclusive we have our first real look at the next generation G56 MINI Cooper. Whereas the J01 electric MINI Cooper represents a lot of firsts for the brand, the G56 the more than a few lasts. It’s likely going to be MINI’s last ICE (internal combustion engine) car along with the last MINI offered with a manual. But beyond that little has been known about the G56, until now. Th Overview of the G56 MINI Cooper A revised F56 MINI will form the basis of the “new” ICE G56 MINI Cooper and will be built at the Oxford plant. We use the word “new” carefully because this will be an extensively revised F56 and not just a refresh focused mostly on design but the actual structure of the car. While the overhang won’t shrink to R50 or even R56 lengths, it will be fractionally shorter than the F56. Comparatively the J01 electric MINI Cooper will see a decidedly shrunk overhang.For starters MINI looks to have slightly decreased the front over-hang. We’ve heard for years the brand had been toying with new crash materials that could pass pedestrian safety standards with less space needed. We also know that Oliver Heimler has gone as record several times that the current car’s front overhang is too large and not in fitting with the brand. Why is MINI evolving the F56 after ten years in production? We’ve been talking a lot about the upcoming all electric MINI offerings (the Cooper, Aceman and Countryman EV) but MINI isn’t letting go of internal combustion engines (ICE) yet. In an unprecedented move there will be two next generation MINI Coopers (hatches) built on opposite ends of the planet on two different platforms. This move will allow MINI to offer innovative electric offerings while still selling to the traditional ICE market for as long as possible. But key to this will be upgrading the F56 to a more modern spec in terms of tech. This completely undisguised J01 electric MINI Cooper gives us a clear view of what the G56 ICE MINI Cooper will resemble.What’s The G56 MINI Cooper Going to Look Like? MINI is pulling out all the stops to make the G56 as similar to the J01 design as possible. The goal will be to unify the design language across all models allowing consumers to have a choice that feels strictly about the propulsion system and nothing else. Most don’t realize that the 2007 R56 was a major refresh of the previous generation R50/R53 chassis. Will we see similar radical refresh of the F56? Likely not for two reasons. MINI is intending to keep the current engine line-up and refine them to meet tightening emissions standards. So no new engines but likely different tunes. MINI also doesn’t need to fix any significant issues like they did on the R50 which was never engineered to BMW quality standards. While this will be a heavy refresh, we believe that the changes we’ll see on this refresh/next generation F56 will be focused on design and technology with important tweaks to performance. MINI’s new circular center screen as seen in a recent 2024 J01 prototype in China. The G56 ICE MINI Cooper will have the same screen with the same digital experience.Massive Upgrade In Technology There will be a biggest we can clearly see a camera and sensor module integrated into the top of the grille allowing this next generation of F56 MINIs to make use of L1 and perhaps even L2 autonomy features seen on some BMWs. Currently MINI has only one vaguely autonomous feature – adaptive cruise. While helpful it really does one thing – follow the car in front. MINI’s aim is to introduce this technology as an option meant primarily for highway purposes and likely only on automatic equipped MINIs. BMW’s current Active Driving Assistant Pro (optional on most mid-sized to larger BMWs) allows for Level 2+ below 81 MPH for 2023 models. That means you can take your hands off the wheel entirely as long as your eyes are on the road. The car will stop, go, turn and even change lanes on command. When that hits MINI models is yet to be seen but there’s no question it will eventually come. Note the faux F56 lights covering up the angular G56 lightsBut perhaps the most pressing reason for MINI to upgrade the Cooper’s camera system is newly introduced EU safety legislation that goes into affect in 2024. More specifically MINI needs to comply with the intelligent speed assistance (ISA) requirement that has the ability to limit cars speed in urban environments. Yes you read that right. Yes that is a massive circular screen and it will be present on all next generation MINIs. What you see above is the screen sitting camouflaged plastic enclosure. The final version will allow the screen to float similar to what we saw a few months ago on the upcoming 2024 MINI electric hatch. Beyond the massive screen there’s a lot to take in here. The switches and knobs (which are actually marked) are also identical to what we saw in the electric hatch leak meaning that MINI is moving to a consistent user experience across all models no matter where they’re produced or what platform they’re on. The automatic transmission gear lever is now going to be on the dash and next to it the return of a twist to start rather than a button. From there MINI will have it’s “experiences” toggle (more to come on that) and volume knob. The all-new electric Cooper will influence the heavily refreshed F56 ICE MINIThe G56 MINI Cooper Engine Line-Up Being the last of the line in terms of ICE engines, the key will be evolution and not revolution. The petrol powered range will use an evolved version of the current B48 engine range with mild-hybrid added to decrease CO2 and add performance. As we detailed in our recent preview of the next generation MINI Countryman, every petrol powered engine is a revision of an existing one. So things will look familiar but we believe numbers might rise slightly. The 1.5 three cylinder could use a more powerful BMW tune that would see it rise to 137 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. Then there’s a series of 2.0 four cylinder that could also use various BMW tunes; 170 hp and 206 ft-lbs and 218 hp and 265 ft-lbs. Most petrol engines will get a 48 volt mild hybrid system and will be mated to a revised 7-speed dual clutch with an all new gear selector design. The manual transmission’s days may be numbered but we believe it will stick around in a couple trim levels on the new F56 through the end of the decade. When Will The Refreshed Next Generation MINI Cooper Launch? With the test mules progressing quickly, we believe we’ll see the refreshed F56 (likely not to be called the F56) sometime in late 2023 or early 2024. We’d expect a tiered launch starting with the Cooper and Cooper S, followed by a JCW model. This will all happen in the shadow of the entirely new and all electric MINI Cooper built in China and meant primarily for Asia and Europe. We’ll have more on that car and MINI’s plan to get it to the US soon. The post Exclusive: First Look At the Next Generation G56 MINI Cooper appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  15. Did you know there was something known as the Caribbean of Scandinavia? Apparently MINI does as they took a full loaded Countryman Cooper SE complete with an AUTOHOME roof tent out into the back country of Sweden for an epic getaway. The MINI here is the the MINI Countryman Cooper SE Untamed Edition – the plug-in hybrid version. For those scoring at home this is the Countryman with the 3-cylinder petrol engine with 125 hp generated from a 1.5 liter going to the front wheels. In back is a 95 hp electric motor powering the rear wheels making a total output of 220 hp. And there’s an electric only range of 37 miles which is incredibly handy for commutes if you’re looking to stay away from gas stations. Back to the Caribbean of Scandinavia, here’s MINI themselves to talk about the trip. Official Release: Exploring the Swedish Archipelago in the MINI Countryman Untamed Edition Always follow your nose – that was the fisherman’s advice in the small harbour of Björknäs, when asked about the best route towards Björnö. And it indeed proved to be true, because while the widely spread archipelago area east of Stockholm becomes more and more expansive, the route at Mörtviken approaches the open coastal landscape on the Baltic Sea. And that’s not only something for your eyes to feast on, but also for your nose. The cool winter air in this region is wonderfully fresh, salty and invigorating. So it’s great that the MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 can be driven locally without any emissions in the Untamed Edition, thus keeping the sea air unclouded. Just a few kilometres after starting off in Björknäs, the 222 motorway heads east through the Ekobergets nature reserve, repeatedly crossing the fjords cutting deep inland on gently curving, airy bridges. At Gustavsberg, the turnoff leads slightly south into the extensive road network towards Ingarö and deeper and deeper into the wintry landscape. With the off-road suitable plug-in hybrid MINI model, going on excursions off paved roads is also a welcome adventure to go in search of the typical Swedish wooden houses in bright red that lie hidden away. The classic Scandinavian colour used for these houses is due to the high copper content in the earth pigments needed to mix the paint. With the cold temperatures and less and less traffic, road conditions become increasingly wintry. No problem for the perfectly matched drives of the MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4. Its 3-cylinder petrol engine with 92 kW/125 hp generated from a cubic capacity of 1.5 litres powers the front wheels, while a 70 kW/95 hp electric motor transmits its power to the rear wheels. With an output of 220 hp overall, the MINI is thus ideally equipped for anything that might come its way. The top speed in purely electric driving mode is 135 km/h. There are always great views of the brilliant white ice up in the high forest around the picturesque Fiskmyran lake. Time for a short break and always enough time to open the AUTOHOME roof tent for taking a relaxed look at the nature surrounding us. What was previously almost indistinguishable from a conventional roof box when closed can now be automatically extended upwards in the blink of an eye by opening two safety latches at the front and back and with the help of four gas pressure springs. Inside, you have almost a metre of space to the top. Rain and wind are of no concern to you. The material keeps you dry and well protected. Your picnic tastes all the better on the comfortable mattress with cotton cover. Travelling to the island landscape of the Swedish archipelago is nothing for the unprepared. This is because the diverse region is too rugged to have a café or restaurant on every corner. After all, that’s what nearby Stockholm is for. Here it’s all about experiencing nature and exploring the wilds off the beaten tourist track. As the MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 Untamed Edition continues its journey towards Björnö, the route passes picturesque Baldersnäs, from where the coastline offers sweeping views towards the southern archipelago. The widely spread-out islands visible from here give you an idea of how many places there are to discover in this region, even from the sea, in the warm season. For example by going on a fishing tour or canoeing – two of the most popular hobbies of Swedish residents. The MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 in the Untamed Edition offers plenty of space for all your equipment with a luggage space with a volume of up to 1,275 litres. As we enter the Björnö nature reserve, the cloud cover opens up to give us a splendid view of the Baltic Sea. The Swedes really appreciate these brief sunny moments, especially in winter – and exploit them in ways that really take some getting used to. At Björkvik’s Båtklubb on the Baltic Sea, there is still plenty of room for beach towels, but the steps down to the ice-cleared water are well filled with swimmers and the bathing season never quite seems to end in this part of Sweden. To warm up, we recommend a visit to the Björkvik bistro opposite, with a view of the other offshore islands of the archipelago. Gazing out over the deep blue of the water, we begin to understand why some of the locals refer to their spot of the world as the “Caribbean of Scandinavia”. The post Exploring the Swedish Archipelago in the MINI Countryman Untamed Edition appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article