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  1. 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? And could it be a blueprint for other MINI electric conversions? We find out. 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? In our short time with the car the answer is yes, and no. Yes because MINI Recharged as engineered the car to maintain the same weight and weight distribution as the original. Add to that immediate torque and you have a classic Mini that does 0-60 mph in six seconds and drives like the classics we all know and love. And before you ask, it could go faster but traction is the limiting factor. In our short time with the car we were blown away by 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. The up-cycling is handled by MINI UK and includes a modern electric motor that generates an output of up to 90 kW and accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in approximately nine seconds but can be turned up to around 6 seconds if requested. The energy is supplied by a high-voltage battery, which can be charged with an output of up to 6.6 kW and enables a predicted range of around 160 kilometers or 100 miles. The final version will have a finished boot.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. All in we were quoted around £60,000 for perfect example. For the time being its only availability is in the UK market. However the company that is patterning with MINI to bring MINI Recharged to life as 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 becoming classic cars but they have one Achilles heel – engine parts. In many ways those cars are also an ideal candidate for a conversion like this. We asked that question and stated the case that there might be a market in the US and there was general enthusiasm for 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. The post FIRST DRIVE: MINI Recharged – Official Classic Mini Electric Conversion Kit appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  2. Experiencing the Goodwood Revival is like stepping into a time machine and coming out in a dream-like, gold-tinged world of vintage motorsports. It’s a time-warp that takes the greatest hits of the 1940s, 50s and 60s motorsports and culture and creates an experience that is unlike any other in the world. Whatever expectations we had were shattered by the scale and quality of it all of every aspect of the Revival. And yes, there are Minis everywhere. Let’s back up a bit. The Goodwood Revival takes place on an estate owned by Charles Gordon-Lennox, 11th Duke of Richmond and his family. He took over the family estate in early 90’s and begun the process of refurbishing the classic 1940’s era Goodwood racetrack and introducing several motorsports events to the grounds. The famous Festival of Speed is a hill-climb that takes place on the driveway to the main house itself and nurmous other events always draw a crowd. But the Good Revival is unlike all of them. And unlike anything in the world for that matter. Yes the U.S. has the events like the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca and the WeatherTech Challenge with Brian Redman at Road American but neither come close to the scale let alone to the vibe of the Revival. And if you want racing royalty, it’s here. I saw a good half dozen former LeMans winners along with Jackie Stewart, Jenson Button, Jimmy Johnson, Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti roaming around the paddock ducking in and out or races. Jackie Stewart was one of many motorsports royalty in attendanceAnd yes, there are endless races pitting almost mythical vintage machinery against one another. In fact the racing itself was as good as any I’ve seen all year. But what really makes the Revival different is the atmosphere. I’ve checked a lot of motorsports boxes off over the years and I can assure you that nothing really compared to the Goodwood Revival. Part of that is the cars of course. But a funny thing happens when people dress up in period costume. The egos tend to melt away and are replaced by smiles. Everything and everyone feels accessible and simply happy to be there. And of course there are Minis. In the 1960’s the Cooper S was a giant killer not just in rallying but also in British touring car racing. Going up against both British and America sedans (yeah the massive ones), the Minis were a crowd favorite all weekend. Charlie Cooper (grandson of John Cooper) was in the mix all weekend ultimately crashing out of the last touring car race on Sunday. Along with the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring, the Goodwood Revival has been our bucket list for years so our expectations were high. But nothing prepared us for the scale and immersive quality of the weekend. The Revival had both the scale, quality of cars and attention to detail that make great vintage motorsports events. So much so that it might just be the single best vintage event in the world. A massive thanks to MINI for inviting us to attend and being incredible hosts throughout the weekend. +44(0)7740583906The post The Goodwood Revival – the Most Epic Vintage Motorsports Event in the World appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  3. MINIUSA is celebrating 20 years with the launch of tue MINI 20 Years Edition. Exclusively offered in as a four door hardtop, the MINI 20 Years Edition brings an exclusive look to a DCT equipped Cooper S with unique graphics and trim. The MINI 20 Years Edition is well eqiipped and will retail for $36,315 when it hits dealers this fall. Our quick take is that like all special editions, the MINI 20 Years Editions offers fair equipment for the money in a unique design. The big downside in our mind is that its stuck on tie most awkward looking of all MINIs – the four door hardtop. Official Release: MINI 20 Years Edition Woodcliff Lake, NJ, September 21, 2022. MINI USA today announced the launch of the MINI 20 Years Edition, in celebration of the brand’s 20 years in the U.S. The special edition has been produced as a 2023 MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4 Door and will arrive at dealers in the U.S. this month with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $36,315 plus an additional $850 for Destination and Handling. “We came into the industry 20 years ago when trucks and SUVs were in high demand and disrupted the mindset of America’s driving consumers,” said Mike Peyton, Vice President, MINI of the Americas. “Here we are today a small fun to drive car that still celebrates every aspect of the spirit of the MINI brand, our owner community and the passion that exists 20 years later.” Patriotic Exterior. While MINI launched in the U.S. back in 2002 in Chili Red, the MINI 20 Years Edition is available in three Patriotic colors: Chili Red, Pepper White, and Island Blue. These three body colors represent the core elements of the American and British flags, a perfect way to commemorate 20 Years in America. The exterior also features a Silver Roof and Mirror Caps as well as Piano Black trim. The bonnet includes an offset stripe accented in red, white and blue on the driver side and a star adorning the passenger side. The design is offset with a host of accessories including Side Scuttle inlays, Door Sill Plates, and C-Pillar decals. Additionally, the exterior features the 17” Tentacle Spoke black wheels wrapped in All-Season Tires. Also included are Roof Rails and the Panoramic Moonroof. Sporty Interior. The interior of the MINI 20 Years Edition features sports seats in Carbon Black Leatherette and a Nappa Leather Steering Wheel with 20 Years Edition insert. Paddle shifters support a 7-Speed Sport Dual Clutch Transmission. The interior surface features Piano Black with 20 Years graphics and Anthracite Headliner. Comfort features include Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control, , Heated Front Seats, Storage Package, as well as Touchscreen Navigation Package, MINI Assist eCall, TeleServices, Advanced Real-Time Traffic Information, Remote Services, Apple CarPlay, Enhanced Bluetooth with USB, and a Dynamic Digital Instrument Cluster. The MINI 20 Years Edition units went into production in July 2022 and are expected to begin arriving at U.S. dealerships this month. The post MINI 20 Years Edition Launches to Celebrate MINIUSA’s Anniversary appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  4. Official Release: From Los Angeles to Las Vegas in the MINI Electric The morning at Santa Monica beach belongs to the surfers. Looking out over the glittering Pacific waves, noisy Los Angeles on California’s southwestern coast seems very distant indeed. Nevertheless, in the MINI Cooper SE it only takes about 30 minutes from the colourful beach houses along Ocean Avenue to the eastern end of LA. Just before San Bernardino, we head north on Interstate Highway 15 to Las Vegas. Here, Route 66, legendary since the film “Easy Rider” with Paul Newman and Dennis Hopper, once took free-spirited explorers to new adventures on almost 4,000 km of highway. On the route through the green mountain landscape around Mount Baldy, the MINI Electric can really strut its stuff. While down in the valley the traffic of the metropolis almost comes to a standstill during rush hour, the MINI Cooper SE is simply a joy to drive as it corners smoothly, hugging the rode also thanks to the lithium-ion high-voltage battery (32.6 kWh gross value) installed in the floor. The brake energy regeneration system, which can be set in two stages, decelerates the car with strong energy recuperation as soon as the driver takes his foot off the accelerator in the bends. This not only makes it easy on the brakes, but also charges the battery of the all-electric MINI Cooper SE while you are driving. Speeding towards the Mojave Desert. After almost two hours, the green of the mountains has meanwhile given way to the fascinating red and brown tones of the first desert foothills and it’s time for a restorative break with Mexican tacos in Victorville. In the shade of the palm trees, the MINI Cooper SE can also be charged to 80 percent battery power in just 35 minutes at one of the fast chargers for the upcoming leg towards the Mojave Desert. In the 113,300 square kilometre Mojave Desert, temperatures average 45 °C in July and August. A very welcome refreshing option on the MINI Cooper SE is its pre-conditioning feature, which can be activated from the restaurant table using the MINI Connected remote app. This allows you to pre-cool the car’s interior. The next 150 km lead deeper and deeper into the vast, barren landscape to Baker. The small town is right in the middle of the Mojave Desert and at the southern end of the route to Death Valley National Park, one of the hottest areas in the USA. To keep an eye on the record temperatures here at all times, Baker is home to the world’s highest thermometer at 134 feet and refers to the highest temperature measured on site of 134 ° Fahrenheit, which corresponds to 57 °C. You simply can’t miss it on and it also reliably points the way to another fast charger stop. In a place like this they they naturally get their sustainable energy from solar panels, which also serve as a welcome sunshade when you plug in the charging cable. Pleasant temperatures in the hottest place in the USA. As we drive on, the highway gives us a view of the majestic mountain ranges of the Mescal Range after a few kilometres. The MINI Cooper SE was not designed exclusively for such extreme temperatures as here, but it stands up to the heat test with aplomb. The high-voltage battery remains cool, as does the interior, and the battery power drops only very gradually. The reason for this is a highly effective overall cooling system that acts particularly efficiently thanks to the integrated heat pump technology. Beyond the mountains, Interstate 15 leads straight to Paradise on the last 80 kilometres, the town immediately south of Las Vegas. Stopping at the imposing Allegiant Stadium, home of the three-time Super Bowl winning Las Vegas Raiders football team, the MINI Cooper SE can be charged with the Flexible Fast Charger charging cable for the relaxed cruise to Las Vegas. When night falls, no navigation system is needed to find your way to the legendary “strip”. Sparkling facades, a sea of neon lights and the legendary “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign reliably show where the nightlife is raging. Since it first opened, the 6.8-kilometre-long boulevard has attracted numerous show stars from Elvis Presley to Britney Spears, Elton John and Lady Gaga. Between the perfect replicas of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Egyptian pyramids and Venetian canals, the electric MINI Cooper SE finds its way almost silently to the well-deserved hotel check-in at the end of this tour. The post Los Angeles to Las Vegas RoadTrip In the Electric MINI appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  5. After being unavailable for better part of a year, the manual transmission will return to the MINI. According to MINI USA themselves, the parts shortage that led to the elimination of the manual transmission (among other options) is beginning to ease. The result is that we should see the option return for November production and available globally. The global semiconductor shortage and the Russian invasion of Ukraine had forced MINI into the decision to eliminate the iconic option in an effort keep production flowing. What that allowed for was a simplified production process and a focus on options and components that can be more easily maintained in its parts inventory. In MINI’s own words the move was made to “ensure production stability” for the entire range. Thankfully those days now appear to be behind us and we should see the manual transmission and as of November 2022 manual transmission production will resume for the following MINI Hardtop and Convertible models equipped: F56 MINI Cooper 2-door HardtopF55 MINI Cooper 4-door HardtopF56 MINI Cooper S 2-door HardtopF55 MINI Cooper S 4-door HardtopF56 MINI John Cooper Works 2-door HardtopF57 MINI Cooper ConvertibleF57 MINI Cooper S ConvertibleThe post The MINI Manual Transmission is Back! appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  6. For a MINI fan there are a few must-see attractions around the world. One, the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring we had a chance to attend earlier this year. Now we are getting a chance to experience two more in the span of as many days. First up is the spiritual home of the brand, the Oxford MINI Plant. We’ll have not just the normal guided tour but an inside look at the brand, it’s history and even how it will evolve in the future. Then it’s on to another coveted motorsport tradition – the Goodwood Revival. The Revival is nothing short of the world’s greatest historic motor race event and the only sporting event of its kind to be staged entirely in a period theme. It’s an entire weekend of the most amazing historic racing cars on earth going wheel to wheel in actual races. But it’s perhaps best known for the period correct nature of the event that requires throw-back clothing and a complete lack of technology. You can follow our experiences right here on MotoringFile.com and get quick updates on Instagram as you roam the English countryside. The post Follow Us As We Tour The Oxford MINI plant and the Goodwood Revival appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  7. Both MINI and BMW have given us plenty of hints a move to vegan interiors was coming but this is the first official word. Beginning in the 2023 calendar year both MINI and BMW will begin offering entirely vegan interior. But it’s not all about saving the cows. BMW is positioning this change also about the CO2. According to the brands replacing leather will reduce the CO2 emissions from interior production by 85%. There are some hurdles to overcome including that all important feel. However according to Uwe Kohler, Head of Develpment Body, Exterior Trim Interior at BMW Group, they believe they’ve found a solution. “With a steering wheel made from a high-quality vegan surface material, we are fulfilling the wishes of our customers who do not want to make any compromises in terms of look, feel and functionality. The innovative material withstands wear and tear caused by abrasion, perspiration and moisture and has all the desirable properties of leather.” Official Release: MINI and BMW to Introduce Vegan Interior in 2023 The BMW Group plans to launch its first vehicles featuring completely vegan interiors in 2023. This is being made possible primarily through the development of innovative materials with leather-like properties. It will also be possible to use these materials for steering wheel surfaces, which must fulfil demanding criteria when it comes to feel, premium appearance and wear resistance. Fully vegan interiors will be available for both BMW and MINI models for the first time from 2023. The BMW Group is thus serving the demand for vegan and leather-free interiors, which is set to increase further in the near future, especially in the US, China and Europe. The reduction of CO2 emissions over the entire life cycle of a vehicle is the central goal of the BMW Group on the road to climate neutrality, which is to be achieved by 2050 at the latest. Material selection has a key role to play in achieving this goal. Replacing raw materials of animal origin makes a significant contribution to increasing sustainability in vehicle production. The introduction of a new surface material for steering wheels will see the proportion of vehicle components that contain traces of raw materials of animal origin fall to less than one percent in the respective BMW and MINI vehicles. As a result, these materials will now only be found in areas that are not visible to the customer, for example in various waxy substances such as gelatine used in protective coatings, lanolin in paints, tallow as an additive in elastomers and beeswax as a flux for paints. The BMW Group has for a long time been offering various fabric alternatives to leather. Now, for the first time, it is possible to offer a suitable substitute for leather for the most important interface between driver and vehicle. The steering wheel surfaces must fulfil demanding criteria when it comes to appearance, wear resistance and durability. “With a steering wheel made from a high-quality vegan surface material, we are fulfilling the wishes of our customers who do not want to make any compromises in terms of look, feel and functionality. The innovative material withstands wear and tear caused by abrasion, perspiration and moisture and has all the desirable properties of leather,” says Uwe Kohler, Head of Develpment Body, Exterior Trim Interior at the BMW Group. The only distinguishing feature of the new material will be a new grain effect on the steering wheel rim. Leather-free surfaces reduce CO2e emissions by 85 percent. The fact that there is now a high-quality vegan surface material with equivalent properties to the real leather previously used in the production of steering wheels represents another major step towards CO2 reduction. The new steering wheel surface material reduces CO2e emissions along the value chain by around 85 percent compared to leather. Up to now, most of the emissions produced, around 80 percent, were in the form of methane gas from cattle rearing. The remaining 20 percent was accounted for by processing of the cowhide, which is highly energy- and water-intensive. Climate neutrality and a circular economy are the top priorities. To achieve the goal of climate neutrality, the BMW Group is relying on the use of green electricity in production and in the supply chain, a consistently increased proportion of secondary materials and natural raw materials, highly efficient electric motors and combustion engines and a high recycling rate in line with the principles of a circular economy. It’s all in the detail: The floor mats for various models are made from mono-material, thus avoiding material mixes that are difficult to recycle. As a result, the BMW Group saves around 23,000 tonnes of CO2 and an additional 1,600 tonnes of waste every year, since the recycled floor mats and waste material are also reused within the production process. Research and development in the field of secondary raw materials and sustainable materials are a top priority. Future vehicle generations will offer other attractive alternatives to leather. The BMW Group is working with startup companies to develop innovative bio-based materials. Compared to the synthetic leathers previously used, these result in around 45 percent lower CO2 emissions. Mirum, which is 100 percent bio-based and petroleum-free, has the potential to mimic all the properties of traditional leather. Anothernew material, Deserttex, is made from pulverised cactus fibres with a biobased polyurethane matrix. With these materials, replacing raw materials of animal origin can be combined with a significant reduction in CO2. The post MINI and BMW to Introduce Vegan Interiors in 2023 appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  8. Today MINI is taking the wraps off of its first special edition cars to feature the unique “Multitone” roof. The MINI Multitone Edition is a range of vehicles that brings together the multitone roof with some special styling elements. And as one of the last special editions for the current generation, it may be one of the cleanest and most successful to date. What is the Multitone roof? The multitone top is a wet on wet paint job that is the first of its kind in the industry. This paint process is the first in the industry. As it involves painting layers on wet paint every single one will be subtly unique to the car. It’s also great example of how the brand strives to be different. That differentiation has been important to owners as they look to make a style statement or simply stand-out in a sea of drab mid-sized crossovers. A key part of that differentiation has been the iconic contrast roof. For decades the contrast roof has been an iconic option in the MINI design palette that made the cars stand out and truly look different. And MINI customers have loved it as the desire for customization and new design ideas have grown over the last decade. And other automakers have taken note and have begun offering their own contrast roofs on all types of cars and crossovers. The Multitone roof is an answer to that. OFFICIAL RELEASE: World Premier: MINI Multitone Edition The unusual design of the MINI roofs has always been a special feature of the British premium models, which customers have used to emphasise their own individual style. From the colourful 26-colour striped version of the MINI Paul Smith to the British Union Jack and the elegant colour gradient of the Multitone Roof, the roof has always been the perfect canvas for individual and expressive design throughout the history of MINI. The new MINI Multitone Edition celebrates the diverse MINI community and adds exclusive exterior and interior details to the expressive design. The colou variations of the new special edition allow MINI fans to express their own personality and be part of the progressive MINI journey. With the Multitone Roof, the MINI Cooper SE pioneered this innovative form of roof design. The MINI Multitone Edition is available for the MINI 3 door and MINI 5 door in the premium small car segment as well as for the MINI Clubman, which is successful in the premium compact car segment. The new colour gradient of the MINI Multitone Edition extends from the windscreen frame to the rear across the entire roof. From the light Aspen White in the front section of the roof, the colour scheme transitions elegantly to the more subdued grey shade of Melting Silver II, then changes to Jet Black in the rear section. The unique aesthetic appeal created by this colour gradient is complemented in the MINI Multitone Edition by an abstract, white rainbow on the roof, which is also featured throughout the design of the special edition. The high-contrast colour gradient on the roof is unique in the competitive environment. It emphasises the characteristic three-part MINI silhouette and becomes an expression of personal style. The special look is made possible by the innovative wet-on-wet painting process used by the British MINI plant in Oxford. With this Spray Tech paint finish, the three colour shades are applied directly one after the other. Due to changing environmental conditions, deviations in the colour pattern may occur, making each MINI Multitone Edition vehicle unique. The MINI Multitone Edition conveys a friendly, positive attitude to life and picks up on the many different “facets of life” in terms of colour. Both the MINI 3 door and the MINI 5 door are available exclusively with Sage Green paintwork, while the MINI Clubman is offered in Indian Summer Red finish. The graphic rainbow of the special edition stands for diversity as well as a positive attitude and is depicted as an abstract white logo on the two complementary colours red (Indian Summer) and green (Sage). In this way, the central design feature of the MINI Multitone Edition features on the iconic side scuttles on the exterior as well as the C-pillar with a PU sticker. In addition, the wheels have exclusive wheel caps in a two-tone colour scheme. Depending on the vehicle model, 17-inch light alloy wheels in the Scissor Spoke 2-Tone design or 18-inch light alloy wheels in the Pulse Spoke 2-Tone or Multiray Spoke design complete the positive aura of the special edition. The name-giving “Multitone” lettering, together with the rainbow on friendly complementary colours, characterises the design of the door sill trims and reappears as a badge on the driver’s and front passenger’s floor mats. The abstract rainbow sweeps across the dashboard and adorns the sun visors. The multifunctional sports leather steering wheel with the Edition emblem on the lower spoke is a pleasure to hold, as is the 3D printed, customised key cap of the MINI Multitone Edition. The post World Premier: MINI Multitone Edition appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  9. The MINI Aceman is our first look at the new MINI design language and its range of next generation cars. This is a bold new step for the brand that leans into both driver experience and digital experience as core to the brand. All of this is wrapped in a minimal design language that is a radically departure from the retro futuristic aesthetic that MINI has relied on for two decades. And now we have our first real-world photos of the concept. The MINI Aceman – The Future of MINI Design But first a little recap. While the word concept is in the title, rest assured this is a lightly disguised version of the forthcoming electric MINI Aceman crossover coming in 2024. There are design details we won’t see (that funky fabric on the seats) and some we will (that massive circular display). The biggest theme here is reduction – something Oliver Heimler, Head of MINI Design, has been forecasting for years. Along with the clear and reduced exterior and interior design, the digital user experience, lighting and even sound reimagine what’s possible in terms of driving experience. How Big is the MINI Aceman? In MINI’s words this is a crossover version of the iconic MINI three door hatch. In other words it bridges the gap from the new electric MINI hatch and the forthcoming (larger) 2024 MINI Countryman. What that means to us is that the MINI Aceman is almost the same size as the original R60 MINI Countryman at 4.05 meters in length, 1.99 in width and 1.59 in height. Inside it promises to be even larger. Read more about the MINI Aceman and why we’ll likely not see it in the US market here. MINI Aceman Concept Hands-on Gallery The post First Hands-on Look at the Electric MINI Aceman Concept appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  10. What looks like a purely conceptual exercise from MINI is actually a clear view at groundbreaking interior experience MINI plans to launch with its next generation cars. The Aceman is getting it’s first public display this week at Gamescom while also giving us a sneak peak at the future of MINI’s “experience modes”. But we’ll have more on that soon. In the meantime read-on for a look at MINI’s wild Pokémon collaboration. OFFICIAL RELEASE MINI will be the main sponsor at this year’s gamescom in Cologne. From 24 August to 28 August 2022, the convention will gather gaming fans from all over the world on 220,000 square metres of exhibition space, around 1,100 exhibitors and hundreds of thousands of gaming fans from all over the world. MINI is the main sponsor of the gamescom merch area “powered by MINI” and the official mobility partner of gamescom 2022. With its commitment, the company is the first non-endemic sponsor from the automotive sector of the world’s largest games event and is living up to its brand promise to enrich the lives of MINI fans with joy and variety. “A major feature of MINI is the positive and future-oriented approach to individual mobility as well as the distinctive design of the vehicles. Gamification will play an increasingly important role in the MINI of the future and offer a unique experience for our customers. In cooperation with Pokémon, the shared joy of the franchise brings two iconic characters, that are a perfect match, together with millions of fans. This is how we reach a whole new target group at gamescom 2022, as an event for modern fandom, gaming and pop culture,” says Stefanie Wurst, Head of MINI. The main sponsorship of the exhibition hall, which is geared towards exclusive collectables, is therefore an ideal way for MINI to connect with the enthusiastic gaming scene. The various limited MINI editions also make the hearts of loyal fans beat faster time and again and quickly become coveted collector’s items. The vehicle concept of the MINI Concept Aceman is characterised by a playful, novelty-seeking approach to challenges. The brand’s authentic driving fun uniquely inspires and brings together a steadily growing MINI fan community worldwide – for example at the MINI Community Meetings that take place all over the world. Gaming fans are also enthusiastically diving into ever new worlds and actively shaping the story of their heroes. At gamescom 2022, that is why MINI is encouraging all fans to continue playing with the “PLAY ON!” campaign and is promoting an open and diverse society with playful enthusiasm. Visitors to gamescom 2022 can relax on the numerous seating areas in Hall 5.2 at Stand B10 / D19 in the MINI Arena, recharge their own energy stores with water and popcorn, while bringing their smartphone back up to 100 percent at one of the USB charging stations and listening to DJ sets. The MINI Concept Aceman is full of surprises Visitors to the gamescom merch area powered by MINI can discover the MINI Concept Aceman featuring an additional exclusive vehicle mode. During gamescom, Pikachu, the iconic character from Pokémon, takes over the OLED display as the new central instrument when operating the Experience Mode toggle. Through advanced projection technology, the animation also extends across the dashboard, front doors and apron projection. In the animated loop, the Poké Ball first appears in the OLED display and moves, then opens in a blue glow that moves impressively from the OLED display via the dashboard and the light bar of the doors as well as the apron projection through the vehicle interior. In another loop, Pikachu appears in the display at the start. The famous electric Pokémon launches a bright yellow lightning attack that also travels through the vehicle via the interior doors as well as the apron projection. The design team behind the MINI Concept Aceman have also created an exclusive MINI Art Toy to coincide with gamescom 2022. Like the concept car, the MINI Art Toy embodies agility and a self-confident presence. The X-O symbols, for example, are reminiscent of the interior design as well as the playfulness of the MINI Concept Aceman and are a perfect fit for gamescom and the huge gaming scene in attendance. In addition to the MINI Concept Aceman, the concept car will also be presented as an Action Pack at gamescom 2022. In the clear box packaging typical for action figures and with special design features, like a Poké Ball in the centre of the wheel rim, the unique MINI Concept Aceman Action Pack becomes the ultimate collectible for MINI fans and gaming enthusiasts. Pokémon is one of the most successful entertainment franchise which first launched in 1996 in Japan, with the release of Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green. The video games capture the wonder of discovering, collecting and training Pokémon when taking on the role as a Pokémon Trainer. MINI could not have chosen a more suitable Pokémon than Pikachu for the cooperation. After all, the iconic Pokémon is small, special and and has electric abilities. With the fifth model generation, MINI is consistently pursuing the path of electrification and will be a fully electric brand by the early 2030s. Sales of the MINI Electric almost doubled last year, showing that the MINI community is growing and moving more and more in the direction of electric mobility. The MINIverse focuses on shared fun Parallel to the premiere of the MINI Concept Aceman at gamescom, the company is launching the MINIverse and creating a fascinating digital world in which the MINI community can playfully discover the new concept car. Various excitingly designed digital city districts as well as numerous interaction options and gaming elements invite you to explore the MINI Concept Aceman. The virtual world can be accessed simply via URL on the smartphone and on the desktop, without having to install anything else. Varied multiplayer games offer MINI fans the opportunity to meet up on the online platform and experience the digital world full of BIG LOVE together. Together with the MINI Concept Aceman in the exclusive “Pokémon Mode” and as the ultimate Action Pack Collectable, MINI is underlining its commitment at gamescom 2022 and promoting a playful view of the world. The post MINI Aceman Pokémon Mode Shown at Gamescom appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  11. Today MINI released a slew of photos of their collaboration with Pokémon at Gamescom in the form of the MINI Aceman. However what caught our eye is the first photos of MINI’s new “Experience Modes” which is set to play a large role in the future of customization for the brand. With the circular OLED display as the centerpiece, MINI is showing how small projectors can transform the interior of the car through color, shapes and even moving images. Even more interesting MINI is creating a modes that will create a certain mood that would enhance personalization on the fly. While MINI hasn’t released any official information on Experience Models it’s clear with these photos that the brand intends it to play a large role in the future of customization. What is also unclear is what cars will get the technology and what will ultimately be included (ie those projectors). The post MINI Aceman Concept Shows Off The Future of Customization With Experience Modes appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  12. If you’ve been following our recent articles in MINIs move to electric, you’ll likely be aware of a major flaw in the plan. In 2018 the US government imposed a 25% on all electric vehicles (and components) coming into the country from China. At the time MINI was in the middle of finalizing its plans with Great Wall Motors to collaborate on a platform that would form the basis of the next generation MINI Cooper (J01) and MINI Aceman crossover (J02). This sudden geo-political twist mandated a shift in strategy for MINI and the decision to bring the Chinese made, electric MINIs to the US was effectively cancelled. The plan was to rely on the heavily modified F56 two door and F55 four door (to be called the F66 and F65) along with the all new, German made Countryman (U25) for the US market. But a funny thing happened. The pace of adoption of electric vehicles increased beyond expectations and sales of the electric F56 have been far better than expected. An early, undisguised look at the J01 Chinese made electric MINI Cooper.How could MINIUSA overcome the 25% tariff on a small car with razor thin margins? There are several scenarios. The first (and the only one discussed publicly) would be to combine a slightly higher price with a reduction in dealer margin to make the car (slightly) profitable. The rational would be to build the brand’s EV credentials in the near term. But why can’t MINI simply move all production to the UK? Given the thousands of components in the car (many Chinese), a move like that would be incredibly hard from a supply chain perspective. It would also not solve the tariff issues given those Chinese components would still be affected. What about sourcing new components? That’s a clear strategy and one that we believe MINI is focused on. But sourcing, testing, validating, pricing and ultimately bringing them into the supply chain for production will take years. If we read between the lines, we believe MINI is working on several strategies in parallel to keep the latest MINI products in the US market. The first would be to use several economic levers to make the next generation (Chinese made) electric MINI Cooper financially viable in the US. The second is to begin a parallel sourcing of components (along with what could be a mid-cycle refresh) to bring these next generation cars to Oxford to be produced in MINI’s historical home. The last point would be critical if MINI wants to transition entirely to electric cars by the early 2030s. They’ll need to solve these issues sooner later, why not solve both problems at once and have the J01 and J02 be made in England paving the way for their successors around 2030. Or MINI could simply carry over the current F56 based electric hatch into the new G66 and call it a day for the US markets. But that seems counterintuitive for a brand so focused on the future. What would you like to see from MINI USA and are you excited about the Chinese made all electric MINI Cooper? The post Once Killed by Tariffs, the Next Generation Electric MINI Could Still Make it to the US appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  13. 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. A revised F56 MINI will form the basis of the “new” ICE 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. Recently Autocar got their hands on some spy photos of the forthcoming revise F56 and what it shows is a heavily clad JCW model with some clues as to what to expect. 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. Massive Upgrade in Technology Elsewhere 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 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. MINI’s new circular center screen as seen in a recent 2024 Countryman prototypeYes 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. How much of a refresh? 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. The petrol powered range will use an evolution 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. The post Not All MINIs Going Electric: Next Generation MINI Cooper (ICE) Caught Testing appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  14. File this under un-verified but interesting. The German publication Automobilwoche (via Electrive) is reporting act MINI has held initial talks with America start-up Canoo to provide a platform for a production version of the MINI Urbanaut. According to Automobilwoche, the Arkansas & Oklahoma based start-up could produce the electric MINI Urbanaut using its skateboard chassis designed for van-like delivery vehicles. How in the world is Canoo connected to MINI and BMW? Ex BMWi head Ulrich Kranz was an earlier leader at Canoo and had reportedly brokered the conversations. While the project stalled earlier this spring due to a change in the MINI brand management, the report goes on to say that if the “numbers are right, the operating systems are compatible and the quality does not cause any problems, the first American-made Mini should definitely have a chance in the Munich boardroom”. Ironically that would make the only American made MINI the one least likely to sell well in America. That’s our opinion of course but small van-like products (MVPs as they’re called in Europe) have never found sales in the US market. Still it’s an interesting turn of events for MINI and it shows the brand it exploring all options as it moved towards electrification. The post Rumor: MINI to Partner with Canoo to Build Urbanaut appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  15. The MINI Aceman concept is massively important for MINI not only because it’s our first look at the brand’s new visual direction. It’s also MINI’s first vehicle built from the ground up to be electric. But what will the Aceman be in the line-up and what does it mean for the rest of the line-up? Even more important what does the future of MINI and the iconic Cooper look like? To get some answers we went straight to the best sources in the world. We sat down with both Adrian van Hooydonk (BMW Group’s Design Director) and Oliver Heimler (Head of MINI Design) to talk about the concept and what it means for MINI as it becomes all electric. It was a wonderfully free flowing conversation and both unlocked some of the thinking behind MINI’s new design direction as well as the Aceman itself. Oh and it gives more than a few hints of what’s the come. If you’re fan of the brand, this is a must read. Adrian Van Hooydonk, Head of all BMW Group Design MotoringFile – In your words, tell us what does the Aceman tell us about the future of MINI Adrian Van Hooydonk – Industry going through changes and most aren’t going away. For us as designers this represents the opportunity. When tech change, designers can make bigger, bolder changes in design and we’re about to do that in all of our brands. It also has a strong connection to the original 1959 in philosophy. In the next few months you’ll see these type of big leaps with all of our brands. The Aceman gives us clues where the brand will go combining electrification and digitalization and heritage. This show car does all of that. It specifically shows a new level of digitalization. At the moment it’s not so good in that area but this will be a tremendous jump. Oliver Heimler, Head of MINI Design MF – What inspired you to make such a bold move & what are the challenges with making such a radical departure? Oliver Heimler – Our goal is to be fully electric by 2030 (early 2030s in the US). The Aceman fills the gap between the Countryman and the forthcoming electric MINI Cooper which comes next year. Many markets have been asking for a larger Countryman which has opened space for something smaller in the family. This was a big opportunity to go into a new direction in terms of form language, making each of the characters unique. The Mini Cooper is the icon internally and has to be developed more carefully. The countryman has to be for the family. The Aceman is a new family member that is fresh and young – the edge is what we call it internally MF – How does the MINI Aceman compare to the Countryman in terms of size? Oliver Heimler – Electrification was an enabler for what mini stands for – maximize interior volume. The Aceman is slightly shorter than the first generation countryman but much more interior space. Our approach for the MINI Cooper will be different, we know we need to keep it as small as possible. Adrian Van Hooydonk – Ironically making something smaller takes more time and energy MF – How much can MINI experiment with the shape of its cars? Oliver Heimler – Proportions are important and have to be right. But form language is where we see there are chances for experimentation. We are well aware of those fantastic proportions MINI has. Wheels in the corner, short overhangs etc. As long as we are driving my ourselves we can’t lose. The first countryman did something different than the hatch but it stayed true to those proportions. Adrian Van Hooydonk – The family look is important. But within the family we need distinct characters not that different than a real family. MF – What is the biggest challenge in redefining the design language of a brand where heritage matters so much? Oliver Heimler – This question is something we work on every day! We started three projects same time thinking about this question. Part of the MINI history is disruption – (Alec) Issigonis didn’t care about what came before when he designed the original. For us, it’s how do deal with these elements when we don’t need all of them. We are always trying things and asking what is still necessary – which is what’s Issigonis asked. What do you need for a modern car today and what is MINI about it? The Cooper will be the successor of the hatch. It will still feature deep round headlights – those are some of the elements we won’t touch. This new car is more high-tech than ever but it’s as simple as the original 1959 Mini. Because of that design will be closer to the original but will feel all new. The Aceman will be most compact vehicle in the segment. It should look like it punches above its weight – like the original. It has a certain edginess and feel that it can do more than you would think We love this brand – we want to take care of it. It’s the only brand in the world that everyone loves! While Alec Issigonis did this in one car… we’ve done that across a family of MINIs. MF: What pushed you to be so radically simple with the interior? With the interior we looked at 1959 for inspiration and paid no attention to any iterations between then and now. In the original there’s a steering wheel, a central an a toggle bar. With this new family it’s the same thing. With digitization we were able to achieve that exact experience as the original Mini. The team fell in love with the toggle bar from the original 1959 car. We even brought back the turn-key as a movement to turn on the car. The design team wanted to bring back a tactile experience that felt connected to the original. We’re still human beings and we wanted to keep this tactile experience. MF: Tell us about electrification, range and how it’s impacted the way you design. Adrian Van Hooydonk – Battery tech is progressing rapidly. MINI was the first ev from the BMW Group and we learned a lot from it. We also learned a lot from its successor the BMW i3. We learned about range anxiety and how customers always drove less than they thought they would. We’ve also leaned that when the public sees a small car they don’t expect a huge range at this point. But still we’ve pushed for as much range as possible and optimized for aero because of it. Additionally we’ll see a new generation of battery with these cars that will allow for a huge leap in range. MF: How important is being small to the future of MINI? Oliver Heimler – The Countryman is designed around families. And we’ve heard from owners they need more space. With the hatch our goal was different – to make it smaller than before. Important for many reasons but key is the driving dynamics We also try to reduce as many components as possible to make things simpler and lighter. For instance the Aceman’s door panels are extremely simple to keep things simpler and lighter for both production and weight both also with sustainability in mind. Adian Van Hooydonk – We want to offer the smallest car in the segment. With the hatch we will always try to make it smaller. It’s only safety regulations that make the new hatch larger than the original. We could make as small than the original but crash standard get in the way. We are prepared to go the extra mile. A good design always start with a good proportion and both our designers and engineers understand that. Global requirements keep moving the goal posts but we never give up on that. MF – What’s the motivation in moving away from chrome and leather? Oliver Heimler – Lets talk about chrome – when we started with the new gen we started with a creative mindset. Started with these four mindsets: HeartbeatCuriosity Repsonbliity Daredevil We believe chrome isn’t modern anymore. Not for a young fresh brand. It also takes a lot of energy to produce and we look at the environmental impact across every component. We’re focused on zero emissions at the tailpipe but we want to go further and think about everything that goes into the car. With all this in mind MINI Design team felt strong that the brand should go no leather and chrome – which will be a first for the BMW Group. The textile in the dash and in the door is one idea we have to replace these. This also allows or new ideas. Currently there’s zero chance to change colors in your car. In the future you can change the color the yarn and fabric easily which can change the look of the car. MF – What inspired you to The Biggest Design Change Since the R50? What are the challenges with making such a radical departure? Adrian Van Hooydonk – Zietgiest – we’re living in a world that is changing in double speed. You either go at that speed or get left behind. When you go electric you have to make a big step. It also depends what stage the brand is at. BMW showed respect for the brand and the heritage and it became a success. Carefully BMW added new family members that stayed close – maybe too close to the oringal. Now we can say MINI is established in markets where the original as never sold. Now we can have the confidence to make each character in the family strong and unique. Of course there will be a core MINI but around it we can move a little more free. These chances warrant a bigger step and more courage This is about turning the page in terms of MINI design Oliver Heimler – The R50 is the grandson of the original. The Aceman is the entirely new family member. With this car we had more freedom similar to the original Countryman. We wanted to define a perfect character. It’s not the younger brother to the Countryman but defining something entirely different. What we did in the design process was to do clinics and get feedback from current customers and young potential customers. The feedback we got was overwhelmingly that finally MINI is getting young and fresh. MF – How are you innovating in Digital Connectivity? Light played a large role – how does that relate to the mini brand moving forward? Digitalization is offering opportunities to simplify technology. At MINI if we’re doing something for the customer it has to feel human. It’s not just lighting but animation, projections and sound. It’s happening inside and outside. The taillights – a big topic at MINI is personalization. We saw an opportunity to give customer what lighting signature the customer would like to have. That’s the idea behind the matrix lights which can change based on what a customer wants. The concept is personalization in a friendly and playful way. The experience creates an atmosphere around you that goes beyond function. This happened at the same time as we had decided to reduce the dashboard. MF – How is MINI creating something unique as google and apple fight to take over the in-vehicle experience? Adrian Van Hooydonk – We want to do vehicle interface ourselves. We have a strong and growing UI and UX team and you have to do it as part of your brand design. We will allow Carplay and Android Auto but if we were to hand over keys to Apple and Google, they wouldn’t go the extra mile to make it fit the brand expression we have carefully crafted. Oliver Heimler – We’ve created a fit that is much better but you also have a natural connection to our brand new MINI app. It’s all an experience that is all brand specific. The forthcoming personalized experience mode adds things that these companies never could. Some of those modes are connected to the driving dynamics – another advantage we see for us. While we have a great relationship with Apple and Google, we are a small player to them. Will JCW remain an important part of the brand? Oliver Heimler – That work is ongoing but not defined quite yet. I had the chance to drive the new Cooper and was just fascinated. The architecture is so good for driving dynamics… it’s even more go-kart feeling than today’s car. Oliver Heimler in the the MINI Strip concept. How much is sustainability influencing design decisions moving forward? Oliver Heimler – In everything we do we start by asking, is this idea sustainable or not? If not, it’s done. Aesthetics don’t overrule sustainability at MINI. While the materials you touch might be sustainable what about what’s underneath – this is what we’re thinking about across the BMW Group We want to design even for disassembly. It’s not easy because we also need our suppliers to think this way. The MINI Strip allowed us to get more ideas in that direction. Adrian Van Hooydonk – We can now completely recycle aluminum cast wheels and turn them into new ones for instance. Every design we create we think about the energy that will go into forming that shape and is it worth it? Do you see going electric and becoming more sustainable is a way for MINI to grow? Oliver Heimler – We believe the world will turn more in the direction of mini… the world is becoming more MINI (said smiling). The post Exclusive: Adrian Van Hooydonk & Oliver Heimler on the Aceman & the Future of MINI appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article