Archive for the ‘Mini Cooper’ Category
Here’s the scenario – you want a car, but it has to be the right car. It’s gotta be practical and comfortable, but it can’t be a complete snooze-fest behind the wheel either. You don’t want a crossover, and a sedan isn’t gonna cut it. What you want is a hatchback, something with a little zest and personality, but something that won’t break the bank. Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there, but which to choose? To help you decide, we’ve gathered six of the top contenders and put them head-to-head in the following comparison article. Let’s get ready to rumble.
To keep it all apples-to-apples, each of the entries in our comparison comes packaged in a five-door body style, gets standard FWD, and is instilled with at least a hint of sportiness. Each is also tagged with an MSRP around the $20,000 mark. With criteria like that, we decided to include the Ford Focus ST, Honda Civic Hatchback, Hyundai Elantra GT, Mazda 3 Hatchback, Mini Cooper Hardtop Four-Door, and Volkswagen Golf GTI.
While all six of these hatchbacks are solid choices in their own right, the question remains – which is the best? Read on for our take.
Continue reading for the full comparison.
Mini showed off its new design language in the 2014 Mini Cooper, and since then, Mini brought us a four-door version of the hatch and revamped the Mini Countryman. Then in late 2015, Mini finally pulled out all of the stops and offered the next-gen Mini Clubman for the 2016 model year. The biggest change came in the size department as the Clubman is now 12.4-inches longer and 4.6-inches wider than before. Other styling changes include things like larger headlamps and fog lamps, new taillights, and exhaust pipes that are integrated into the rear bumper. At launch the Clubman was offered with a 1.5-liter three-cylinder or a 2.0-liter four-banger in the Clubman S. The latter offered 189 horsepower and a 6.9-second sprint to 60 mph. That’s great and all, but there was still room for something better, and Mini has finally made it happen with the new John Cooper Works Clubman.
Powered by a twin-turbo, 2.0-liter, the JCW Clubman delivers 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque which makes it the most powerful and torquiest production car that Mini has made to date. As is the usual case with JCW models, the new Clubman gets its own unique features like Black 18-inch wheels, performance seats, and tuned suspension. It also comes equipped with Mini’s latest iteration of the ALL4 all-wheel drive system to help keep things from getting squirrely during spirited driving or extreme maneuvers.
Thomas Felbermair, the VP or Mini of the Americas, said,” Performance and versatility are part of our DNA and our heritage so naturally there has always been a plan in place to bring the John Cooper Works variant to the Mini Clubman model. The addition of the John Cooper Works design and performance enhancements and the new ALL4 all-wheel drive system to the already versatile Mini Clubman model we have once again raised the bar in the premium compact segment.”
With that said, let’s dive on in a take a look at all the finer details of the Mini JCW Clubman.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mini John Cooper Works Clubman.
The Mini Cooper belongs in arguably one of the most competitive markets in the industry these days. When that is the case, auto tuners often find themselves in a similar position as they’re compelled to build programs that compete with their contemporaries. That’s the case with AC Schnitzer, the renowned tuner of all things Mini that just presented its new tuning program for the Mini Cooper in response to a number of other tuners building their own kits for the hatchback. In order to differentiate itself, AC Schnitzer is offering tuning kits for numerous variants of the Cooper, including power upgrades for the coupe, convertible, Cooper S, and Cooper John Cooper Works, the last of which now gets 265 horsepower.
In typical AC Schnitzer fashion, the German tuner is offering plenty of complementary pieces to this program. From the cosmetic side to the aerodynamic side, there are subtle modifications here and there that provide a unique tuning experience for the Cooper. New wheels are also being offered, as is a new suspension kit that improves the car’s handling in the wake of all the modifications on the car’s body and engine.
It’s a complete program in a lot of ways, and one that Mini Cooper owners will appreciate. It’s not going to turn the Cooper into a rocket on four wheels, but it should be able to push all the right buttons to improve the driving experience of the car.
Continue after the jump to read the full review.
The Mini Cooper John Cooper Works is the range-topping version of Mini’s iconic Cooper line. It boasts 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, all coming out of its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. For a hatchback, those numbers are impressive, but not so much when you’re talking to an aftermarket tuner. Manhart Racing thought so and it went about and gave the Cooper JCW a 300-horsepower upgrade. Now, it’s B&B Automobiltechnick’s turn, and just like Manhart, the German tuner has an upgrade that takes the Cooper JCW’s output in the neighborhood of 300 ponies.
Of course, B&B’s tuning program doesn’t stop there. The tuner is actually offering a three-stage engine kit that adds different amounts of ponies on the four-cylinder. It also a platter of chassis and suspension upgrades, all included to provide the Cooper JCW with improved grip and handling, not to mention the benefit of enhancing the performance hatchback’s sporty looks.
It may not have any exterior and interior modifications like what Manhart Racing is offering, but for what prospective buyers are getting, B&B’s program for the Cooper JCW is kind of kit that every type of owner of the hatchback can enjoy, all at affordable prices to boot.
Continue after the jump to read the full review.
Mini’s history runs all the way back to 1959 when British Motor Corporation released the Morris Mini-Minor and the Austin Seven – two nearly identical models that offered “an unusually generous amount of space for passengers and luggage within a minimum surface area.” The current generation of the Mini Cooper and Cooper S is said to embody the latest version of this principal, so Mini has decided to announce a new special edition model that it believes can pay homage back to the days when the Austin Seven came to be. The special edition is offered on two- and four-door variants of the Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S, but don’t get too excited yet because there isn’t a whole lot to talk about.
In Short, the Mini Seven is nothing more than a Cooper or Cooper S with a small selection of unique exterior colors, some new trim, and of course the old “Seven” name. That’s it. Mini isn’t offering any extra power, technology, or any weight savings. Be that as it may, we’ve decided to take a closer look at the Mini Seven anyway. So, grab yourself a soda, and take a little journey down the page with us as we discuss the Mini Seven and the little things it brings to the table.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Mini Seven.
Mini may forever be known as a company that’s predisposed to quirkiness, but it did itself a lot of good by introducing the John Cooper Works, considered as the most powerful Cooper that Mini has developed in its lifetime. The debut of the Cooper JCW not only showed Mini’s willingness to engage the hot hatch market, but more importantly it proved that it could actually do it. But as good as the Cooper JCW is on the road, there’s always the potential for the car to be better. That’s where Manhart Racing, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, comes into the picture.
The German tuner saw fit to commemorate the occasion with the unveiling of the “F300” program for the Cooper JCW. In a lot of ways, the tuning kit’s main focus is to improve the hot hatch’s performance and handling credentials. In doing so, it developed a program that addressed both those things, while also giving the Cooper JCW refreshing upgrades on both the exterior and interior. The result is a fascinating take on the hot hatch that not only highlights Mini’s fascination for the off-beat but more importantly, the Cooper JCW’s understated performance capabilities that fit its status as Mini’s de facto flagship model.
The program also has a few surprises along the way, but why spoil them when you can read the whole thing for yourselves.
Continue after the jump to read the full review.
The original hipster subculture of the 1940s, which referred to aficionados of the jazz music genre, might not have been a big fan of automobiles given their self-imposed poverty, but things changed radically with the contemporary interpretation of the trend. Now composed mainly of affluent or middle class young, the hipster subculture sees the automobile as an important element of its affinity for everything vintage. Mini is now trying to capitalize on that with a special-edition Cooper designed specifically for fans of music bands you’ve probably never heard of.
Suggestively named the Mini Hipster Hatch, the special-edition Cooper is available in three colors named Brooklyn Blue, Organic Pumpkin, and Monochromatic Green, all complemented by red-and-black lumberjack patterns on the front fenders, side mirrors and roof. The three-door hatch also rides on a set of three-spoke alloy wheels that scream “the 1990s called and they want you back” at the top of their lug nuts.
Things become a lot more vintage inside the cabin, where the Cooper received a twin-deck cassette player, a big speaker instead of the infotainment screen, and stonewash denim upholstery on the seats. You know, to match those tight jeans that are so popular among hipsters nowadays. But wait, there’s more. The windows have been upgraded with Instagram filters so drivers can turn “any journey into a nostalgic memory at the touch of a button.” There are 12 pre-loaded filters, including the popular Lo-Fi, Clarendon, and Crema.
The powertrain is also new, with the Hipster Hatch being powered by a fixed-gear drivetrain. Essentially a five-speed transmission with four of the forward gears removed, the concept is inspired by the world of fixed-gear bicycles. Mini says it will “give the driver a greater feeling of control when popping out for a superfood smoothie.” Top speed is limited at only 25 mph to make sure no smoothie will ruin the stonewash denim on the seats.
Continue reading for the full story.
There is nothing worse than finding the one parking spot available in a parking garage, just to find that once you squeeze into it, you can’t open the doors enough to get out. Mini has decided to combat that scenario straight on and offer scissor doors as an option on Mini models going forward.
According to the brand’s press release, scissor doors will initially be available as an option on the Mini 3 door, Mini Paceman, and Mini Convertible. Come the 2017 model year, the option will be extended to the Mini 5 door, six-door Clubman, and the Mini Countryman. The doors will be electrohydraulically controlled, and will reduce the space needed for parking and easy entry/exit by nearly 30 percent. The Mini 3 door, for instance, will now require a parking spot width of just 1,930 mm when equipped with scissor doors, as opposed to the 2,681 mm that is required with regular hinged doors.
The feature comes standard with the ability to open and close the doors with a remote control, but for an addition premium, the scissor doors can be equipped with “Comfort Access,” which will allow the door to be opened by a button on the door handle. According to Dalf Rietmann, the Head of Special Equipment Management with Mini, the plan is to eventually allow the opening and closing of the scissor doors via a smartphone app.
In the safety side of things, the doors are also equipped with something call Pyrotechnic Emergency Exit (PEE,) which uses powerful propellants to blast the doors off of the vehicle in the event of an emergency, allowing first responders to have easy and fast access to passengers. The new scissor doors will be available at a premium of €1,959, which is $2,230 at current exchange rates.
Continue reading for the full story.
Picking among three of the most compelling hot hatchbacks in the segment can get a little tricky, even for well-heeled individuals who know their way around these cars. Fortunately, the fine folks over at Carfection are here to give us a little helping hand. In this episode, they lined up an American pocket rocket in the form of the Ford Fiesta ST, a French performance savant disguised as the Renault Clio RS 220 Trophy, and a retro-styled British maven that we’ve come to know as the Mini John Cooper Works. The objective? See which of these three hot hatches are worth your time, and more importantly, your money.
As different as these three cars are, they also have some things in common. That’s precisely why picking which of the three is the “best” really boils down on what you want from your hot hatchback. The Fiesta ST, for instance, gives you the purest performance and it’s also the cheapest of the three. Then there’s the Clio RS 220 Trophy, which notwithstanding its ridiculously long name, gives you more power than the Fiesta ST, resulting in a faster 0-to-60 time and a higher top speed. Finally, there’s Mini’s JCW hot hatch, which tops at 152 mph. Pretty tricky, right?
The numbers say it is, but once you get behind the wheel of these cars, those numbers take a backseat to the minutiae of how they drive and how they handle on the road. There’s no better indicator of an awesome hot hatch than its ability to make you think that you’re driving a sports car. That’s what Carfection sought to find out and for what it’s worth, their verdict is pretty much in line with mine. Go check it out, even if the entire episode runs a little north of 17 minutes. Trust me, every minute is worth it.
For those of us residing in the northern hemisphere, January kicks off the gradual countdown to spring – that long thaw to lengthier days and warmer temperatures. But that means summer is already in full swing south of the equator, which provides the right sort of climate for one of the most ruthless long-distance races on the planet – the Dakar Rally. Spanning well over 5,500 miles of brutal, car-killing, spine-shattering terrain, the Dakar is a challenge unlike any other, but for four years running, Mini has walked away with top honors. This year, the marque looks to add a fifth notch to its belt, as evidenced by this desert shakedown video.
Hit play, and one thing will become abundantly obvious – this is no ordinary Mini. The composite body panels are fashioned after the showroom model, but that’s where the similarities end. Underneath, the beastly machine you see here is actually a tube-frame chassis stuffed with a torque-monster diesel engine, ultra-heavy-duty suspension components, and copious underbody skid protection.
Of course, that’s to be expected, considering what the Mini is up against. Sharp gravel, high heat, treacherous mountain passes, hidden boulders – it’s all in a day’s work when racing the Dakar.
It’s been nearly two years since Mini unveiled the new-generation 2014 Mini Cooper, which brought many design and drivetrain changes to Britain’s iconic nameplate. Having already introduced a four-door version of the hatch and a revamped 2015 Mini Countryman, Mini has now launched an updated version of the Clubman.
As expected, the new wagon borrows heavily from the hatch as far as styling goes, but with major changes at the rear, the area that makes the Clubman a Clubman. Also, the new-generation car is significantly larger than its predecessor, confirming yet again that Mini has repositioned the Cooper in a niche of its own.
Surprisingly enough, the brand selected the Clubman as the first Mini to use an eight-speed automatic transmission borrowed from BMWs using the same UKL platform. However, it’s not yet available on all trim levels of the Clubman and it remains to be seen in which versions of the Cooper it will become available in the future.
The updated wagon will go on sale later this year for the 2016 model year.
Updated 09/25/2015: Mini announced prices for the all-new Clubman which will go on sale in January 2016. Prices will start from $24,100 for the Cooper model and from $27,650 for the Cooper S version.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Mini Cooper Clubman.
It’s about time somebody did something with the new MINI Cooper S. The poor car hasn’t received much love from the tuners since it was launched last year, getting only a few mild styling tweaks. Now ADV1 has hooked it up with something worthwhile.
Granted, it’s just a set of wheels they have provided the car with. But they are pretty special wheels and they do a good job enhancing the looks of MINI Cooper S. They’ve gone for a set of ADV05C Track Spec CS rims finished in Titanium to match the slate gray paint job on the car.
They could of course leave it at that, but attention to details is what sets ADV1 apart from other brands in this business. They went the extra mile and painted the outer lips of the rims in Gloss Manbronze, making the unique design of the wheels pop and adding a nice twist to the whole design. This rather simple addition transforms the whole thing and make it classier and easier on the eyes.
Size-wise, the rims on this MINI Cooper S are 19×8 inch on all four corners which is the perfect size for filling up the fenders on this small but athletic car.
It’s been only 13 years since BMW revived the Mini brand in 2001, and the Cooper has already been treated to a second overhaul for the 2014 model year. The redesign brought many changes inside and out, including fresh drivetrains. The Cooper S was upgraded to a larger four-cylinder engine that not only delivers more power and torque, but better fuel economy too.
The most striking fact about it, though, is that it’s longer and wider than it has ever been. Not only that, but Mini also launched its first-ever five-door Cooper, a body style that seemed unlikely with the Clubman still around. Moreover, the performance-oriented Cooper S also received one and a JCW is probably underway as well. The reasoning is simple here. Buyers are asking for increasingly larger interiors and the previous Cooper didn’t have much to offer in that department.
It’s not exactly a minivan (though it could become one at this rate), but the roomier interior and added legroom should bring more people into Mini dealerships. What’s more, the Cooper S 5-Door has just started a new career as a family hauler, something the Fiat 500 Abarth, for instance, can’t brag about yet. Hoping Fiat doesn’t get a “bright” idea soon, let’s have a closer look at the third-gen Mini Cooper S.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mini Cooper S.
Compared with our friends in Europe, where hot-hatches are as plentiful as 500-year-old cathedrals and socialized medicine, we in the United States and the rest of North America have been fairly limited in our hot-hatch options. That’s changing. The Volkswagen Golf GTI has always been the constant — not always great, but excellent in recent years. It had the market all to itself until the first Ford Focus ST and Mini Cooper S were introduced in the early 2000s. Three generations later, the Focus got bigger, but the Mini stayed more-or-less the same size. So, to cover its bases in the junior hot-hatch segment, Ford launched the Fiesta ST for the first time in the U.S.
That pretty much brings us up to date. On paper, the current Mini Cooper S and Fiesta ST couldn’t be more evenly matched. Both have torque-happy turbocharged engines producing between 190 and 200 horsepower. Both are roughly the same size to within a few inches. Performance figures and fuel mileage are so similar that you would need a data logger to detect the difference. But despite having similar mission briefs, these are two very different cars with different personalities, tailored to appeal to different end users. Lets take a closer look at both to see which you should put in your driveway.
Continue reading to find out which of the two cars we find better.
Even before the third-generation Mini Cooper Hardtop was unveiled in late 2013, spy photographers had already captured pictures of the drop-top variant wearing light camouflage. Now, with the 2016 Mini Cooper Convertible getting closer to its unspecified on-sale date, our photographers have once again caught up with the cute convertible only this time Mini’s engineers are testing the car with the soft top fully retracted.
It’s no surprise that the styling of the new Cooper Convertible won’t differ too much from the two-door Cooper it is based on, but there is one key area where the 2016 Cooper Convertible will vary from the current convertible. From what there is to see in these images, the more rounded tailgate and added rear overhang should help improve the Convertible’s cargo capacity. One of the images even shows the current convertible right alongside the 2016 model, giving a better comparison of the two cars’ rumps.
Speaking of the rear end, this car is definitely the Cooper S Convertible as evident from the center-mounted exhaust outlets. This means that the 189-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder will add even more fun to the top-down driving experience.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Mini Cooper Convertible.
For the uninitiated, here’s a bit of background info: the Dakar rally raid is quite simply one of the most punishing race events in the world. It’s an ultra-long off-road event that sees pros and amateurs alike blasting across over 5,000 miles of some of the roughest terrain Mother Nature can muster. Vehicle classes encompass cars, ATVs, bikes, and enormous heavy-duty trucks. To even finish is considered a gigantic accomplishment, but the Mini ALL4 Racing team has taken gold in the car category four years running. “Capable” doesn’t even come close to describing the abilities of this world eater, but that didn’t stop Jalopnik’s Raphael Orlove from getting it stuck in the middle of the UAE desert.
Of course, I mean no offense towards our comrades in gasoline, but still, it is a bit humorous, which is a point not lost in the video: “BMW gave me every preparation to drive this thing,” Orlove says. “They flew me out to Dubai, they built the simplest, easiest Dakar winner in modern history, they gave me as much instruction as possible, and access to some of the best engineers and drivers in the world. But look, sometimes you’re shifting down from flat-out in fifth gear on the desert floor into the dunes, and you crest a rise, and you go to downshift, and you pull for fourth gear instead of push for second. So the engine bogged and the wheels sunk and we were stuck.”
No worries, Orlove, it happens to the best of us. Next time, though, make sure to bring an extra water bottle. You know, just in case.
When Mini introduced the new John Cooper Works Hardtop model at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show we had no idea the BMW-owned brand was also working on a convertible model. That became apparent about a month later when a camouflaged Mini Convertible wearing a front bumper identical to the JCW Hardtop was spotted by our trusty paparazzi. And while Mini still hasn’t confirmed there’s a JCW drop-top underway, a second test car sporting the aggressive fascia we’ve seen on the hatchback back in January hit the streets for more real-world action. This time around, the prototype is painted red and, more importantly, most of the camouflage is gone.
With no black-and-yellow tape covering the front bumper, I’m now 100-percent positive this is indeed the soft-top version of the nippy JCW Hardtop. Yes, there are important details missing, such as the racing stripes on the engine hood, the JCW badge on the grille and the unique, two-tone wheels, but these features will likely appear as the vehicle moves closer to production.
As a brief reminder, all these JCW-specific goodies will come alongside a new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine rated at 228 turbocharged horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. That’s a 20-horse and 29-pound-feet increase over the previous model, making the new JCW the most powerful production Mini ever, as of 2015. Expect those numbers to translate into six-second 0-to-60 sprints and top speeds in excess of 150 mph.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mini JCW Convertible.
When BMW took over production of the Mini in the year 2000, it started churning out a long list of special editions and new conceptualizations of the iconic British compact. Over the years, there have been several Mini iterations, some with additional doors, some with no roof, and most with an increase in size and weight. However, no matter the model, they are all both sporty and nimble.
That tradition continues with the introduction of the Mini Sport Pack. Now, buyers of any three-door or five-door hatch are offered this optional equipment package, which comes with new exterior features, interior improvements, and suspension upgrades.
Mini says these new accessories can add up to 25 percent to residual resale value, which should entice buyers into more liberal use of the option list when considering the purchase of a new Mini Cooper.
But is it worth the extra outlay? Hit the jump to find out.
Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Cooper Sport Pack
The 2015 Detroit Auto Show brought a meaner and quicker Mini JCW hardtop to the market. Equipped with larger air inlets, a new front grille, a new diffuser, and more importantly, a new four-banger, this latest Mini to sport a John Cooper Works badge is also the most powerful Mini to come from the BMW-owned company. Naturally, the new setup will spread to other Mini models sooner than later, and while I have a hunch the British won’t sell JCW-badged coupes or roadsters, our trusty paparazzi just got proof there will be a convertible version.
Of course, with the previous-gen Mini JCW still available as a drop-top in dealerships it was safe to assume the Brits were working on a successor, but it’s good to know the performance-oriented convertible is already in its testing phase. The drop-top will probably arrive just in time for the 2016 model year, with the big reveal to occur within the next few months. Until that happens, have a look at my speculative review below to learn what to expect from the upcoming John Cooper Works convertible.
Click past the jump to read more about the Mini John Cooper Works convertible.
Much like any other fashion statement, Mini Coopers don’t come cheap. For instance, the base two-door hardtop model costs more than a Toyota Corolla and it’s nearly as expensive as the Camry at $20,700 before options. Add a John Cooper Works badge and the sticker jumps to $30,100, only $2,850 short of the base BMW 3 Series. Yes, I know I’m comparing apples to kumquats, but there really is no car to compare it to except for the Fiat 500. And that’s mainly because Mini chose to turn the tiny, revolutionary vehicle of the 1950s into a larger accessory on wheels that comes in many shapes and sizes. With people complaining about the price tags of the new Mini, the British company rolled out the Mini One in 2014. Powered by a new 1.2-liter three-cylinder and sporting slightly fewer features, the One became the cheapest offering of the Mini lineup, costing around 10 percent less than the base Cooper. For 2015, however, Mini is lowering the nameplate’s starting price even more with a new model that goes by the name One First.
Launched as a five-door model at first, the One First makes use of the One’s 1.2-liter three-cylinder, but output drops well below 100 horsepower. Although there’s significantly less power traveling to the pavement, the hatch’s improved fuel economy is likely to make drivers forget about the sluggish acceleration. Let’s have a better look at this brand-new trim after the jump.
Click past the jump to read more about the Mini One First 5 Door.