DimON

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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. 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  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
  16. MINI is collaborating with musician and fashion icon Pharrell Williams to support Polar Bears International. The collaboration is with Pharrell Williams brand ICECREAM, a global brand dedicated to giving back to the community and aligning to various causes. Each MINI x ICECREAM Save the Polar Bears Collection includes a tee, a hoodie, and a keychain, all which nod to the polar bears and will retail for $150. The price point honors the bears, as well, since Antarctica is losing 150 billion tons of ice per year, a critical habitat for the polar bear. The Keychain features a polar bear attempting to lick his head, which is topped with whipped cream and red cherryThe Hoodie pays homage to the Arctic Sea Ice Day ad, and the bear is seen hanging outside of the MINI Electric The Tee features a running polar bear honoring the Running Dog graphic which ICECREAM has become known for. On the back, the tee sports a paw print, representing the positive steps being taken towards saving polar bear’s melting habitats. The collaboration is being released on NTWRK on December 15 @ 4PM ET / 1PM PT. OFFICIAL RELEASE: Pharrell Williams & MINI release Product Capsule Supporting Polar Bears International MINI USA and ICECREAM, a sub-label of Pharrell Williams and Nigo’s streetwear brand Billionaire Boys Club have teamed up to celebrate the new MINI Electric in Nanuq White with an exclusive earth-conscious capsule collection via leading livestream shopping platform NTWRK on December 15 @ 4PM ET / 1PM PT. At the heart of the partnership, one hundred percent of the proceeds at checkout will be donated to Polar Bears International and their education and outreach efforts dedicated to informing, inspiring, and providing a powerful platform for saving the polar bears and the arctic region. Through science, media and advocacy, Polar Bears International works to inspire people to care about the Arctic, the urgent threats to its future, and the connection between this remote region and our global climate. Globally recognized brand ICECREAM is dedicated to giving back to the community and aligning with important causes that make a difference. The influential lifestyle brand is also loving fans of the polar bears, which is evident through their thoughtfully designed collection created to provoke thought and support the arctic inhabitants. As part of its shared advocacy for the polar bear, MINI USA collaborated with Polar Bears International earlier this year for Arctic Sea Ice Day (watch this adorable ad of a polar bear taking a sweet ride in a MINI Electric) where they encouraged American audiences to make donations to and consider eco-adopting a polar bear via Polar Bears International. The MINI Electric now features a new special color, Nanuq White. The color was inspired and chosen with feedback from customers following MINI USA’s ongoing campaign to support Polar Bears International, featuring the MINI brand’s special polar bear mascot, Nanuq. “MINI is always looking to find impactful and unconventional ways to affect positive change in the world, especially when it comes to sustainability.” said Rah Mahtani, head of brand communications at MINI USA. It is why we are pleased to partner with ICECREAM and NTWRK to amplify the environmental advocacy of Polar Bears International in a fun and exclusive way.” “Our team is honored to spearhead this partnership with MINI USA and ICECREAM. We are driven by bringing brands together, but we’re also driven by brands charting ways they can give to charitable initiatives. In this case, it’s ensuring a future for polar bears with the help of Polar Bears International, who’s doing just that,” NTWRK CEO Aaron Levant says. “From day one, BBC ICECREAM has been focused on inspiring others in positive ways.” Said Joseph Au, Creative Director for BBC ICECREAM. “This partnership is no different, we are very excited to be able to share this vision of a sustainable future and use our collective platform to further drive this message, together with MINI USA & NTWRK” The MINI x ICECREAM Capsule Collection will be available for purchase during a NTWRK live episode – which will feature exclusive footage of the Creative Director of BBC ICECREAM and the new MINI Electric filmed in the Santa Monica Mountains, CA. Pharrell Williams MINIThe post Pharrell Williams & MINI release Product Capsule Supporting Polar Bears International appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  17. The MINI Oxford Plant is the spiritual home of the brand since new MNI production started in 2001. In 2004 we visited the plant and found it full of new energy and incredible automation. While BMW has added contract production in Austria and the Netherlands and even leverages BMW production facilities in Germany, Oxford remains the largest producer of MINIs and is clearly a key part of the brand’s future. But what’s changes over the last twenty years since it went online? We went to Oxford to find out and see a hint of the future. When we last visited the plant in 2004 it was still ramping up various aspects of production. For instance the stamping that happened offsite back then is now in a separate facility on the plant grounds. There’s also a new level of automation – especially in that stamping plant. In fact it seems almost devoid of humans as we walked through a sea of busy robots twisting and turning metal and nearly complete chassis. The immediate take away in seeing this part of production is the precision throughout the process. BMW takes the structural design and build of its cars seriously as it had several high-profile issues in the late 90’s and early 2000s with sub-frames. Our guide explained the levels of engineering that goes into every weld and the safety checks that happen throughout the process. The result is a level of precision that wouldn’t seem out of place in an aerospace factory. The Future is Now One of the most interesting aspects of Oxford’s current production line-up is the fact that the plan produces both ICE and electric MINIs side by side. This clearly foretells the future of the brand as MINI looks to aggressively move to become an all electric brand. Perhaps most interesting were the date codes I could clearly see on many components. Each component that BMW puts in their cars has a form of a date code that states the production date of the part and the range that the part is applicable in a vehicle. In other words you could clearly see when many of the core components for the current MINIs were scheduled to be end of life. That date was marked 2027 in many components were saw. Knowing what we know about the current generation MINI we would expect that that means we’ll see some for of redesign and/or final LCI for the petrol powered F56 range. It also lines-up well with the rumored introduction of the all new electric MINI at Oxford. Our sources are telling us are MINI’s plans to expand production of the next generation J01 electric MINI Cooper and J02 MINI Aceman to the Oxford Plant later this decade. This redistribution of production will not only help future proof the Oxford Plant but also allow BMW to avoid US tariffs on the cars paving the way for their introduction to the US market. Up Close With the Rarest MINIs in the World Whether it be one of the first MINIs ever produces or a recent GP, the Oxford Plant has a small MINI museum that houses one of the best collections in the world. The 30 minute guided tour is also not to be missed as it not only walks through the collection but goes into depth on the production process, the history of the plant and the plans for the future. The trip is well worth it if you’re in the UK. It’s not only a fascinating look at the history of Mini but an inside look at the very heart of the brand. Booking a tour is as easy to heading to MINI UK’s website and buying a £21.00 ticket. The post Video: We Toured the MINI Oxford Plant & Saw a Glimpse of the Future appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  18. Silver Power Systems (SPS), battery analysis company have early findings that show EV battery life degrades faster than previously expected. This was especially present in the BMW i3 they tested which may make our dreams of a used i3 as a city car go out the window. And what about the electric MINI Cooper SE and any future battery degradation? First seen in Autocar, the study shows that there are wide variations in performance, especially within fleets of the same vehicles. SPS found that a 2015 BMW i3 with 33,000 miles had seen major reduction in range. In total the 22 kWh battery pack had degraded by 19%. Its owner claimed that on a full charge and in Eco Pro mode, the car had a driving range in summer of 85 miles. Other models fairs differently. 2014 Nissan Leafs tested showed a 23% degradation after almost six years while a 2015 Tesla Model S saw 10% degradation. It’s worth noting that some dealers are skeptical of SPS’s methods in testing these batteries. One EV specialist told autocrat that “A warm battery will give a good figure, so sellers run the car first then check it,” he said. “I’ve seen it happen when dealers are selling to the public as well as to each other. This way, they get a better price for the vehicle. The best thing is to go by the car’s range display. We’ve sold hundreds of EVs, and on this basis, we see 1-2% battery degradation each year.” Autocar then spoke to EMR, a vehicle recycler who works directly with BMW. Interestingly they are coming to a slightly different conclusion. “EV batteries are lasting far longer than anyone expected,” he said. “Although batteries degrade over time, for third owners and beyond, driving range is less of an issue. The car is probably a second or third vehicle for short trips, and in any case the car is much cheaper than a new one, so they make allowances. “I see EVs easily lasting as long as ICE cars; possibly longer because they’re simpler. It’s going to be 2045, long after sales of ICE vehicles have ceased, before we start seeing end-of-life EVs with seriously depleted batteries in large numbers.” For our money that’s an important perspective here. The degradation of batteries are inevitable but the reduction of other maintenance costs that electric cars offer should also be factored in. The total cost is something that is still somewhat unknown but there is clearly a massive shift in how owners spend money on EVs versus ICE cars in regards to maintenance. What do you think? Does battery life degradation scare you in terms of electric MINIs? The post UK Study – EV Battery Life Degrading Quicker Than Expected appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  19. The MINI Aceman is the brand’s next generation crossover designed and built from the ground up as a full electric car and now it’s been seen testing in Europe for the first time. Previewed in the form a concept earlier this year, it’s a smaller crossover than the current Countryman (it’s actually similar in length to the original R60) yet it has as much interior volume due to the smaller electric drivetrain. Sound perfect? It might be if it wasn’t for one glaring issue. Before we touch on the elephant in the room for the Aceman, let’s talk about what we see above. Unsurprisingly the MINI Aceman will forgo some of the more outlandish aspects of the concept while maintaining that minimal design language MINI has been forecasting. The proportions look promising with short overhangs and an overall shape that looks far more athletic than any of the first two generations of the Countryman. How does it slots into the MINI line-up? In MINI’s words this is a crossover version of the iconic MINI three door hatch. In our words the Aceman will bridge the gap from the new electric (J01) MINI hatch and the forthcoming (larger) 2024 MINI Countryman. What that means 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 while retaining a more point and shoot driving experience that lower weight distortion of the electric platform promises. Since it’s all electric, it uses design geometry that reduces the overhangs and maximizes the interior volume. You can clearly see this in the images inside and out. And to us that’s one of the more exciting aspects of this new direction for MINI. The MINI Aceman concept – a lightly disguised version of the final car.The MINI Aceman Interior Revolution Recently MINI told us that the brand is “working up fresh ideas on the design of urban mobility in the future and the User Experience associated with the use of the display and control system of MINI makes a major contribution to the driving fun so typical of the brand.” We can begin to get a sense of that with this concept and the unveiling of that circular OLED display and the textile dash with a built-in screen. The Big Issue with the MINI Aceman The MINI Aceman, along with the all new electric MINI hatch will initially be made only in China. The fact that it’s made in China doesn’t bother us as the time when Chinese cars meant poor quality is long passed. No the issue are the US based tariff’s which will likely keep the Paceman from the US market – at least initially. Geo-politics aside, those tariff’s will make it uniquely difficult for MINI USA to bring the Paceman to the market given its razor-thin margins. And then there’s also the issue of the forthcoming electric MINI Countryman. The next generation Countryman has been designed from the ground up to better appeal to North American tastes. As we’ve reported previously it will be both larger or more rugged in its overall design. According to sources MINI USA deems the Aceman too small for the US market given how close the cost would be after tariffs are factored in to the forthcoming larger Countryman. To us that’s a massive shame given how progressive this crossover looks to be. We also love the size which feels like a grown-up four door hatch to us. There still could be a chance as rumors point to MINI bringing the J01 electric MINI Cooper to the UK for production later this decade. We could imagine the Paceman following suit as well. The MINI Aceman – The Future Of MINI Design Sharper, more angular and less retro-futuristic. Those are the themes that we see in the concept and now the initial spy photos. But the biggest theme here is reduction – something Oliver Heimler, Head of MINI Design, has been forecasting for years. We see it especially in the interior where MINI is harkening back to the original 1959 car. Outside MINI is creating a more angular design that will leverage lightning personalization in new ways. For instance you’ll be able to program the rear LEDs to have a Union Jack design or something a bit more modern. The Next Generation MINI Family The Aceman is the first of many vehicle debuts we’ll see over the next 18 months as MINI prepared to launch it’s new generation. But not all will be entirely new. What we’ve been focused on with the Aceman is the entirely new, all electric MINI platform which will be built in collaboration with Great Wall Motors in China. But there’s another, petrol powered hatch coming which might be just as, if not more important for the MINI fans. MINI intends to heavily revise the UK made F56, give it a new chassis designation and sell it as a new MINI hatch. It will be MINI’s last ICE (internal combustion engine) powered car and will be critical to the US market as it’s still unclear of any of the Chinese made electric MINIs will make it to the US. G56 / Oxford, EnglandU25 / Leipzig, GermanyJ01 / China (GWM)G56 ICE Cooper 3 doorU25 ICE CountrymanJ01 EV Cooper 3 DoorG56 ICE Cooper S 3 doorU25 ICE Countryman SJ01 EV Cooper S 3 DoorG56 ICE Cooper JCW 3 doorU25 ICE Countryman JCWJ01 EV Cooper JCW 3 DoorG55 ICE Cooper 5 doorU25 EV CountrymanJ02 EV AcemanG55 ICE Cooper S 5 doorU25 EV Countryman SJ02 EV Aceman SG57 ICE Cooper ConvertibleU25 EV Countryman JCW*J02 EV Aceman JCW*G57 ICE Cooper S Convertible––G57 ICE JCW Convertible––4Th Generation MINI Model Line-Up (2024) * Unconfirmed by our sourcesTiming is in flux at the moment given the supply chain challenges. However we believe we’ll see the J01 Cooper debut in late 2023 potentially with the G56 Cooper. Sales will likely commence in 2024. U25 Countryman will likely debut shortly afterwards with sales beginning in 2024. The J01 MINI Aceman should follow shortly after in 2024. MINI Aceman Photo Gallery The post MINI Aceman Seen testing In Europe For the First Time appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  20. For the MINI obsessed there are bunch of choices out there for great gift ideas. Obviously there’s the aftermarket and all the mods you can throw at your car. But there’s also a raft of the latest accessories straight from MINI. But the best part is you don’t have to visit your dealer. Outmotoring.com will have anything with a MINI part number often for less with quick shipping. Have a look below and head Outmotoring.com with and use code E22 for an additional 10% off today only! Official Release: Gift ideas with style: The MINI Lifestyle Collection 2022. The MINI Lifestyle Collection 2022 is bursting with great gift ideas for family, friends or your own wish list. For many people, travelling to see family and friends is a big part of the Christmas season. To make sure they have everything they need on board, MINI fans will find many practical helpers for when they are on the move. The current collection includes the MINI Two Tone Belt Bag for securely storing your valuables, the comfortable MINI Cabin Trolley and the MINI Two Tone Traveller Bag for hand luggage when travelling. Little adventurers travel in comfort with the MINI Kids Trolley in Chili Red. On the road, the MINI Scooter, MINI Tricycle or the speedy MINI Baby Racer are a fun way to explore the surroundings. If there is a MINI Cooper miniature among one of the presents, the dream of driving a MINI begins right under the Christmas tree. The new line of apparel offers fresh styles, features lots of ideal gifts and is a real eye-catcher under every Christmas tree. The MINI Graphic Wordmark T-Shirt, for example, combines a comfortable fit with the basic colour sage and typical MINI design elements. The same colour is used for the new MINI Striped Binding Zip Hoodie with a striped pattern for the hood edging and a white MINI Wing logo. All items of clothing are available in different cuts for women and men. With the MINI Wordmark Circle Zip Hoodie Kids, the little ones will shine as brightly as the Christmas tree in their new favourite piece of clothing. The colourful MINI Graphic Bibs, available in a set of 3, will protect against stains at the feast. For those who don’t want to leave the house on frosty days, the MINI Graphic Cup is particularly suitable. It’s perfect for spending a cosy evening with a hot chocolate, a good book and a nice warm spot by the fireplace. This is also the ideal setting for rethinking your Christmas list. The MINI Graphic Triangle Notebook made of high-quality stone paper is especially suitable for writing down your wish list. At Christmas visiting the Christmas market is a must. If you like your mulled wine to-go, you can use the well-insulated MINI Graphic Travel Mug. The MINI Water Bottle in timeless colour block design, on the other hand, is perfect as a gift. If you’ve put on a few pounds over the holidays, you can take the MINI Water Bottlewith you to the gym. No more excuses now. MINI fans can decorate their Christmas tree at home in style with the adorable MINI Charms in the shape of the MINI silhouette or the Bulldog mascot. With the high-quality workmanship and the conscientiously selected materials, the products of the MINI Lifestyle Collection also make a clear statement in favour of sustainability. The charms, for example, are made 100% from leather scraps that come from MINI seat production. The post Need a MINI Gift Idea? The MINI Lifestyle Collection is Here to Help appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  21. The festive MINI is back. First started four years ago, the Festive MINI Is an Electric Cooper SE wrapped in 3,000 app-controlled twinkly lights, capable of generating customizable animations. The Festive MINI can even include light patterns and messages, and rhythms synced to your favorite song. This type of light animation is actually a hint of what’s to come with the lighting on the next generation MINI family. Official Release: The Festive MINI This year each individual light is available to sponsor for just £2, and to spread festive cheer and big love even further, Nico will be visiting as many streets as possible in his hometown throughout the festive period. The official ‘switch on’ of the Festive MINI 2022 will take place at The Lexicon Bracknell, on 25 November. In December 2020, the illuminating car came to the rescue when Christmas switch on displays were cancelled due to lockdown, spreading much needed joy and bringing cheer and positivity to people on their own doorsteps, whilst also raising awareness and over £5,000. Ahead of this year’s fundraising period, Nico said, “I’m delighted to be bringing the Festive MINI back for 2022 to raise more money for charities that are really close to my heart. I love having the opportunity to cheer people up whilst raising funds for the MS Trust and Duchenne UK”. “My mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis seven years ago and the MS Trust were instrumental in supporting her to understand her condition and how to cope. Back in 2019 I was asked to take the Festive MINI to surprise an incredible young boy, Marcus Rooks, who had been diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy – a genetic condition that causes degeneration of muscles. It was incredible to see his smile light up and a reminder that the Festive MINI is truly special and brings joy to many each year”. The Festive MINI is once again supported by MINI UK and MINI Plant Oxford, helping Nico spread Big Love in his local area and beyond. Nico added: “The continued support from MINI is amazing and its brilliant to have the team involved again this year – while driving a MINI Electric helps to reduce my emissions whilst driving”. Federico Izzo, Director, MINI UK said, “We’re very proud to support the Festive MINI Electric again this year, helping Nico’s incredible fundraising mission. It’s a fun and festive way to bring people together, spread big love and raise funds for some amazing charities.” For more information on the Festive MINI tour and to keep updated on where it’s headed visit www.festivemini.comor follow his journey on @drivingwithnico. The post The Festive MINI is Back appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  22. MINI USA didn’t have an official presence at the LA Auto Show this year but the brand certainly had an impact. Harkening back to the early 2000s that saw MINI use various gorilla marketing strategies to get attention, the brand unveiled a giant RC car controller that actually charges electric cars via a 240v Level 2 system. Read the full release below for all the hilarious details. Official Release: MINI USA Unveils Giant RC Car Controller That Charges Electric Vehicles Before getting behind the wheel for the first time, many of today’s drivers found their love for cars at an early age with electric remote controlled, or RC, cars. Today, MINI USA looks to bring back that playful, childhood element to full-sized electric vehicles, many of which are expected at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show kicking off this week. Playing on MINI’s small size and fun-to-drive spirit, MINI has erected a giant 240V Level 2 electric vehicle charger in the shape of an attention-getting “MINI-fied” RC controller. The oversized charging station is located in close proximity to the Los Angeles Convention Center, at 698 West Olympic Boulevard at the corner of Flower Street. The RC controller-shaped charger will be in place and fully functional November 18-19, the first two days of the LA Auto Show. EV owners interested in plugging into the RC charger can look for a parking space with the message “OUT-FUN THE COMPETITION” spray-painted within, as well as signage on either side pointing arrows and the message “CHARGE THIS WAY.” “At MINI we always like to bring a splash of excitement that reminds people of the fun and creativity inherent to MINI’s culture,” said Rah Mahtani, Brand Communications Manager, MINI USA. “We strive to keep that fun and excitement alive for everyone that loves to drive, and this project unites the ideas of today’s electric vehicles with our collective nostalgia for the electric RC cars of our youth.” The giant sized charger sits at approximately nine feet tall and is finished in Nanuq White, the newest color offered on the MINI Cooper SE, with a name chosen by MINI fans. The top of the charger is painted in a contrasting black which pays homage to the signature MINI contrast roof, and the giant wheel control on the side is an actual full-size MINI wheel and tire. In the base of the charger is a 10-inch interactive screen that features video content of MINI USA’s most recent “Nanuq the polar bear”, campaign spot. A QR code is also displayed that allows people to access the MINI Electric augmented reality filter to explore and have fun learning about the MINI electric while they wait for their EV to charge. Following its stint at the LA Auto Show, the MINI RC charger will go on tour, with its temporary installation at several local MINI dealers throughout California, before being packed up in a giant cardboard box and stored in the attic at mom’s house. The post MINI USA Unveils Giant RC Car Controller That Charges Electric Vehicles appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  23. The campaign for the new 2023 MINI Cooper Electric SE kicked off on Earth Day in April starring a cute polar bear character in the passenger’s seat. As things work the polar bear went viral, leading to a huge outpouring of love from the MINI community and an invitation to give it a name. Nanuq, which means polar bear in Inuit, was the chosen name that has now become the name of MINI’s latest white paint color (replacing the beloved Pepper White). As part of the campaign MINI USA partnered with Polar Bears International to convert the enthusiastic reaction towards the campaign into a chance to help real polar bears through an Eco-Adoption site. The new Nanuq White is now available across the MINI range for 2023. Official Release: MINI USA Reveals 2023 Electric MINI Cooper SE New Nanuq White Following the celebration of International Polar Bear Week, (October 30-November 5), MINI USA announces the launch of a new Nanuq white paint finish on the 2023 MINI Electric Cooper SE. The new paint color, named Nanuq White was inspired by the name of the loveable polar bear character created by the brand’s creative agency Pereira O’Dell along with enthusiastic feedback from the MINI owner community. The campaign for the 2023 MINI Cooper SE Electric first launched in April 2022 on Earth Day, features a partnership with MINI USA and Polar Bears International to encourage eco-adoptions from the MINI community – and the polar bear love grew from there. In response to the campaign, MINI USA received an outpouring from the MINI community with questions asking where they could get hold of a polar bear bobble head featured in the campaign. The overwhelming engagement of the MINI community with the polar bear character led to the idea to let the community give it a name. Nanuq – Inuit for “polar bear” – was the chosen name, which led to the new MINI Cooper SE paint color with the same name to be revealed following International Polar Bear Week by MINI USA. “We’re excited to see the strength of our MINI owner community and our commitment to sustainability intersect in a very creative way to help support Polar Bears International.” said Rah Mahtani, Brand Communications Manager, at MINI USA. “MINI is a brand that is not only about having fun, but also about amplifying the voice of its customers and community to affect positive change.” The 2023 MINI Cooper SE stays true to what owners love about MINI, while providing the broader benefits of full electrification. The MINI Cooper SE provides MINI’s signature electrified go-kart feeling and driving fun, while helping to minimize its environmental footprint. The model is an important step in MINI’s stated goal of offering an all-electric line-up of vehicles around 2030. The original campaign ran with paid media across DOOH, Social, Digital, and was featured on the MINI and PBI websites. A fun case study video was created to highlight the creative journey from initial campaign to fan engagement that led to the name of both the polar bear mascot and the new paint color. “This was supposed to be a story about a car that is good for the environment and super fun to drive.” said PJ Pereira, Creative Chairman at Pereira O’Dell. “Maybe about the charm of this not-so-little mascot too. But then it snowballed into an even better story about enthusiasm, passion and creativity of the MINI community.” To give that enthusiasm an even bigger impact, MINI USA partnered with Polar Bears International (PBI) on the 2023 MINI Cooper SE Hardtop campaign. PBI is the only non-profit organization dedicated solely to polar bears and Arctic sea ice, and MINI USA’s partnership aims to promote awareness of the NGO’s polar bear conservation efforts. Anyone that donates $40 or more to PBI via the PBI Eco-Adoption page during the month of November will receive a polar bear bobblehead and a thank you card while supplies last. Customers who pre-order a MINI Cooper SE during the month of November will also receive a bobblehead while they wait for their MINI. MINI USA are also refreshing their paid assets to feature the new Nanuq white paint color, which will include social and digital assets driving to the MINI Electric Pre-Order page. “We’re grateful to MINI USA for their generous support and pledging their polar promise in protection of polar bear conservation efforts and the company’s dedication to a more sustainable future,” said Krista Wright, Executive Director of Polar Bears International. “By participating in this campaign, we hope to inspire conversation around the important steps we can each take in preserving the planet for future generations.” Scientists predict that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, most polar bears could disappear by 2100 due to lack of sea ice. State-of-the art climate models indicate that an ice-free Arctic in summer will likely occur by the middle of the century if greenhouse gas emissions aren’t regulated. Anyone can make a difference and encourage their community to slow climate change. The post MINI USA Reveals 2023 Electric MINI Cooper SE New Nanuq White appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  24. The 2024 MINI Countryman will be offered in several configurations highlighted by an all electric model and a mild-hybrid four cylinder. Built alongside the X1 and X2 in Leipzig German, the next generation 2024 MINI Countryman will also grow larger and will be designed to appear more to outdoor enthusiasts. But today we’re here to talk the new drivetrains and what to expect in the next 18 months. The ICE 2024 MINI Countryman – More Power and Tech For the ICE models, MINI is moving 7-speed Steptronic Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) and will be offered with a revised family of mild-hybrid four cylinders. The revised B48 engine will have a second-generation 48V mild hybrid technology comprised of an electric motor integrated into the seven-speed double clutch. The transmission will act as a starter generator and is able to both ease the load on the engine and act in unison with it. It produces nominal power of 19 hp and nominal torque of 41 lb-ft. Depending on the driving situation, the electric motor delivers additional drive power that translates into a more rapid response both when pulling away and when putting in a sudden burst of speed. The starter generator also enables more comfortable operation of the Automatic Start/Stop and coasting functions. The BMW X1 28i with what will be an identical drivetrain to the forthcoming MINI Countryman SMild Hybrid with Adaptive Recuperation The system in the next generation Countryman will be the same as the one just launched in the new BMW X1. Based on that we know the energy required for providing the electric power boost is stored in a 48V battery located under the luggage compartment. As well as the electric motor, it also supplies the car’s 12V electrical system via a voltage transformer. The 48V battery is charged by means of adaptive recuperation in overrun and braking phases at a rate of up to 15 kW. This provides an efficient means of recuperating previously unused kinetic energy generated by braking. Here, the system uses data from the navigation system – even when route guidance is not activated – and driver assistance system sensors. In this way, upcoming roundabouts or vehicles traveling in front, for example, can be detected in order to adapt deceleration accordingly as soon as the driver takes their foot off the accelerator. Our sources tell us that the Countryman will use an identical system. 2024 MINI Countryman – Likely Engine Configurations The 2024 MINI Countryman S will see a major increase in power from the 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit and 48V mild hybrid technology. There are two tunes from the X1 that could be used – 218 hp and a 241 hp. Our guess is that we’ll see the 218 hp tune giving the forthcoming 320 hp JCW more room. The 218 hp would be made up from the 204 hp engine and a 19 hp electric motor. Having driven a version of the revised engine in our recent BMW X1 test, what you’re struck my immediately is it’s power boost function during acceleration. The peak torque of 265 lb-ft (developed by the combination of the combustion engine with up to 236 lb-ft at 1,500 – 4,000 rpm and the integrated electric motor with up to 41 lb-ft is key here. The US spec X1 28i gets to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds with this system. The upgraded three-cylinder engine in the new BMW X1 sDrive18i will see duty in the base Countryman. That engine has a maximum output of 136 hp and maximum torque of 170 lb-ft from its 1.5-litre capacity. The Electric 2024 MINI Countryman SE – An Electric MINI For The Rest of Us We love the current electric MINI Cooper SE but with an EP rated 110 miles of range its use cases don’t work for everyone. That’s why the 2024 electric MINI Countryman S with over 200 miles of range is a game changer. Based on the new BMW iX1, the electric Countryman SE will be the first all-electric variant for the model. The 2024 electric Countryman SE will likely be powered by one electric motor at the front axle and another at the rear, each sitting together with the accompanying power electronics and transmission within a single, compact housing. These integrated drive units deliver a combined output of 313 hp (including temporary boost) and post overall torque of 364 lb-ft. The power-to-weight ratio of both the eDrive 5.0 M170SF drive unit at the front axe and the eDrive 5.0 M170SR drive unit at the rear is 1.5 kW/kg. Yes this thing will be JCW fast and might even be marketed as a JCW. The BMW iX1 with an identical electric drivetrain to the forthcoming Countryman SEThe same system found in the slightly heavier BMW iX1 xDrive30 reaches the 100 km/h (62 mph) mark from rest in 5.6 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 112 mph. The MINI Countryman SE will make use of the fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology charging technology and the battery tech providing 64.7 kWh of usable energy. The battery’s high energy density of 152 Wh/kg in relation to its weight or 199 Wh/l in relation to its volume, and the drive system’s efficiency, with combined electric power consumption in the WLTP cycle of 18.1 – 16.8 kWh per 100 kilometres (figures in NEDC cycle: –), form the basis for a range of 417 – 440 kilometres (259 – 273 miles). The EPA figures are all guesses at this point but sources are telling us to expect something over 200 miles. Assuming the Countryman SE uses the Combined Charging Unit in the BMW iX1 xDrive30, we should see single- and three-phase AC charging at a rate of up to 11 kW, which can be optionally increased to up to 22 kW (three-phase AC). This allows the high-voltage battery to be fully recharged from empty in 6.5 hours as standard and in just 3 hours 45 minutes as an option. DC power can be taken on board at a rate of up to 130 kW, making it possible to boost the high-voltage battery’s energy reserves from 10 to 80 per cent of total capacity in the space of 29 minutes. Within this charge level range, enough energy can be sourced from a high-power-charging point in just ten minutes to increase range by 120 kilometres / 75 miles. 2024 MINI Countryman Launch Dates We should see the 2024 Countryman launch in late 2023. Rumors point to the ICE and electric version launching simultaneously with sales in the US beginning in the spring of 2024. Pricing will be launch likely in Q1 of 2024 for the US market. Head over to the U25 Countryman section within MotoringFile for a deeper look at this new MINI. The post Next Generation 2024 MINI Countryman To Offered With In Electric and ICE Models With a DCT appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article
  25. We’ve spent an enormous amount of time in the previous X1 and its close cousins the MINI Clubman and MINI Countryman. While the X1 was decent take on a front-wheel drive BMW crossover, it did little to excite it and was often overshadowed by the slightly smaller and more engaging MINI Clubman and Countryman. Now BMW is back with a larger X1 that turns up the design, quality and performance making it one of the most dramatic generational improvements we’ve ever seen from BMW. It’s also a great preview of the next generation MINI Countryman that will be based on it. For the first time since the original, 3 Series based X1, we have something that feels closer to what you’d expect from the Roundel. In fact rarely have we seen such a dramatic increase in design, quality and performance from one generation to the next. The BMW X1 28i is offered with the familiar B48 four cylinder turbo with a 241 hp, 295 lbs of torque tune. That propels the car from 0-60 in 6.2 seconds – a respectable number but one that will improve with the forthcoming M40i model our sources have informed us about. We’d expect similar figures with both the forthcoming Countryman S and Countryman JCW. Unlike the previous X1, xDrive is standard and is offered exclusively with a 7 speed dual clutch transmission. In our time with the car the DCT felt both quicker and overall smarter than the previous Aisin sourced 8 speed auto. Shifts were less noticeable which helps the entire package feel a bit more refined. This will be a welcome change in the Countryman line-up as well. One area that is particularly improved is the steering and suspension tuning. In Comfort the steering resistance is noticeably lighter than before to the point of being surprising at first. The X1 we tested at the Adaptive M Suspension which has more range than before. In Comfort the ride is compose but focused on exactly what you’d expect – comfort. In Sport however the X1 comes alive with an heavier steering that feels artificial but does provide positive feedback to the point that you can place the car with trust anywhere in a corner. Along with the hardware and tuning, the .8″ wider track is certainly a part of that. There’s precision here that surprised us and is a clear step forward from the previous X1. The Sport suspension is also a noticeable improvement with better body control and less lean while being no more harsh over expansion joins or rough pavement. In fact with the one inch longer wheelbase it feels more refined and comfortable even in sport than the previous X1. BMW Makes Some Major Changes to Standard Equipment The X1 28i comes standard with BMW’s excellent all wheel drive system xDrive and for the first time in the US. Dynamic Cruise control and Navigation are standard along with wireless CarPlay and Android Auto. SensaTec is the only interior material available as BMW has quietly eliminated leather from the X1’s ordering books. While that may sound like a downgrade, BMW’s latest version of SensaTec is a clear step-up and feels better to the touch than mid-grade leather the X1 had before. It will also surely be more durable. We’ll also see this change in the upcoming 2024 Countryman as MINI goes entirely vegan over the next several years. The X1 comes with 18″ wheels as standard but can be optioned with 19″ and 20″. And finally BMW is offering an optional trailer hitch with a towing rating of 3500 lbs. Expect this option to be available next year and eventually on the Countryman as well. All of these changes serve to position the X1 better against it’s less premium rivals in the US while increasing both the quality and driving experience. What This means For the 2024 Countryman? In this redesign BMW has brought this 3rd generation X1 closer to the rest of the BMW crossover range in design, material quality and performance. Everything from the proportions to the technology to the material quality has been improved. Even the feel, feedback and overall driving engagement has been noticeably improved over its predecessor. All of that bodes well for the Countryman which we can imagine will see most if not all of these benefits in a slightly smaller package. But slightly smaller to the now larger X1 means we will still see that car grow noticeably in size. The post 2023 BMW X1 28i- The Best X1 Since The Original & a preview of The Next MINI Countryman [Video] appeared first on MotoringFile. View the full article