The lovely LaLa from Long Island takes us all the way to the top of Mt. Washington NH, as she attends Minis On Top 2012!
It was in 1959 that the Mini broke out onto the scene as a classless car, quickly took the world by storm and soon became a motoring icon admired by one generation after the next. Nowhere is the close bond between the classic Mini and its followers more apparent than at the International Mini Meeting (IMM).
The 36th edition of this traditional event is about to get under way, and still the classic Mini continues to transcend boundaries: this year marks the first time that the IMM is being held in Hungary. From 24 – 28 May 2012, fans of this compact British classic will descend on the resort of Balatonfüred on the northern shore of Lake Balaton.
The event’s hosts from MINI Club Hungary have put together a wide-ranging programme packed with thoughtful details, all organised with help and support from various quarters, including the MINI Clubs International Office. Two floating pedal-powered MINIs will be launched out onto Lake Balaton, for instance, while MINI wicker beach chairs will invite visitors to soak up the sun, and professionally restored classic Minis from the BMW Group Classic collection will be on show on the lakeshore alongside the brand’s current models.
Fans and drivers of today’s MINI have been equally welcome at the IMM events for years now.
The inaugural IMM took place in 1978 and has since evolved into the world’s largest gathering of classic Mini owners and friends. Some 4,000 of the brand’s fans, including representatives from over 200 MINI Clubs in countless countries, have registered for the IMM 2012. Enthusiasts from Portugal, Finland and Ireland are planning to drive there in their own Mini, and registrations have even been received from as far afield as Seattle in the US. For the day when everyone arrives, MINI Club Hungary has prepared a highly entertaining rally where the objective is not to be the fastest but to master the final stage before the journey’s end along a particularly picturesque stretch of road.
Bungalows and caravans provide accommodation for anyone attending the IMM, while the extensive campsite in Balatonfüred offers enough room for visitors to park their classic Mini and pitch their tent right next to it. The campsite grounds, furthermore, are the venue for numerous spectacular activities revolving around the classic Mini where the name of the game is sporting competition and having fun together. Plans include setting up a parts and accessories market, staging slalom races in the classic Mini, as well as a competition for the most stunning specimens from all model series, the classic Mini that is truest to the original, the oldest driver and the oldest car. Wedding bells will also be ringing amid the ranks of MINI enthusiasts when two members of the host MINI Club take their vows at the event arena before starting their new life together in true style at the wheel of a classic Mini – followed by a celebratory convoy of some 200 further examples of this British classic, whose drivers have registered in advance for the occasion.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – April 2, 2012… Enhancing its reputation as a fun-loving, cheeky, and often mischievous brand, MINI is revealing its new Roadster model in a racy, alluring way at a prime Los Angeles location.
Just a block away from the Kodak and Chinese Theatres, MINI promises ‘Live and Exotic Topless Thrills 24/7’ at the MINI Roadster Peepshow Spectacular. MINI has taken over a corner store on Hollywood Blvd and masked all the windows for a 25-day long series of fleeting, revealing shows where passers-by are encouraged to take a “peep”.
Each show will be triggered whenever a passing spectator presses one of the ‘peep’ buttons on the display, rolling back a window blind and unveiling the MINI Roadster as it rotates slowly on a turntable, complete with a disco ball above, music and smoke. Adding authentic atmosphere to the MINI Roadster Peepshow Spectacular, colored neon lighting has been placed throughout the Peepshow to illuminate the Roadster even more.
Passers-by in this pedestrian-friendly area will be lured to the Roadster Peepshow by storefront signage with racy messages such as: “Bada Bing, Bada Boom”, “Open 24 Hours” and the simple, tempting command to “Peep Here.”
“The new MINI Roadster is a devilishly fast, uncompromising two-seater soft-top with the soul of a sports car and the heart of a MINI,” comments Jim McDowell, Vice President MINI USA. “Our Peepshow reveal in this prime Los Angeles location sets the scene perfectly for our latest model which delivers more fun than one person can handle with its exhilarating ride and unlimited headroom.”
The MINI Roadster Peepshow Spectacular is surrounded by hot nightlife spots including MyHouse, Teddy’s, Tropicana Bar, Mood LA, East Lounge, Supper Club, Roxbury and Rolling Stone LA. For a free ‘peep’ at the new MINI Roadster, fans in the Los Angeles area should visit 7046 Hollywood Blvd @ N Sycamore Ave before April 22.
Stand-out-from-the-crowd style can also be amazingly practical – and practicality can be surprisingly attractive. The MINI Clubvan Concept paves the way for an innovative vehicle concept without parallel in the premium small car segment. The MINI Clubman-based concept car, scheduled for its world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show 2012, combines the driving fun for which MINI is renowned with increased load-carrying capability. The MINI experience will therefore find its way into new areas of life, the brand’s distinctive character gaining new popularity among target groups not previously on the MINI radar.
The closed-off load area behind the front seats and the opaque rear side windows of the new concept set it apart most strikingly from the MINI Clubman, the platform used as its base. The MINI Clubvan Concept uses its broader skill-set to open up new usage possibilities – both business and leisure. Where a business’s customers, product range or operating environment demand a particular style for its vehicles, this premium model can make the perfect delivery solution.
For example, a car in the mould of the MINI Clubvan Concept would fit excellently into the fleet of a fashion designer, art gallery owner or catering service. And its abilities as an all-rounder also tick the right boxes for a photographer with a stack of camera, tripod and lighting equipment to ferry around during the week – and bulky sports and leisure gear to pile on board at the weekend. The MINI Clubvan Concept pulls off the trick of blending enhanced practicality and a well-judged lifestyle focus with natural ease. This ability is based on the impressive adaptability that goes to the heart of the MINI brand’s heritage.
Calls for maximizing the load capacity of the classic Mini began as early as 1960, just a year after the car’s birth; and they were soon heeded. With its 10-centimeter-longer wheelbase (3.94 inches), separate load compartment and split rear doors, the Morris Mini Van was perfectly equipped for commercial use. It also provided the basis for the fully glazed, four-seat Morris Mini Traveller, one of the precursors of today’s successful MINI Clubman. And so, more than 50 years on, the MINI Clubvan Concept sees history repeating itself – albeit in a slightly different order.
Two seats, five doors, endless usage potential.
Limiting the car to two seats creates the capacity its owners will need on a day-to-day basis, as well as opening up a whole new world of customization potential. The load compartment of the MINI Clubvan Concept embodies the car’s fresh and rigorous interpretation of the principle used in the classic Mini – of providing the maximum amount of interior space on the smallest possible footprint. The load area reaches from the split rear doors right up to the partition grille behind the two seats. The totally level floor makes full use of the interior’s depth, and that allows the concept car’s load capacity to exceed the maximum achieved by the MINI Clubman.
Six attachment loops recessed into the load compartment floor use elasticized straps to hold items of varying lengths, heights and widths in place – without the risk of them sliding around. The partition grille, which is fixed securely to the car body, ensures that items stowed in the load compartment are kept safely away from the front seats. The lower section of the partition is made from solid aluminum, while the upper section consists of a silver-colored stainless steel honeycomb grating. The side walls and floor of the load compartment are trimmed in high-quality anthracite-colored cloth. The anthracite roof liner, meanwhile, extends along the full length of the interior. This uniform color scheme emphasizes the pure-bred, practicality-oriented character of the MINI Clubvan Concept.
Like the MINI Clubman, the MINI Clubvan Concept is a five-door car with a twist. Two front doors for the driver and front passenger, two side-hinged doors at the rear and the rear-hinged Clubdoor on the right-hand side create comfortable access to the interior. The Clubdoor gives owners the option of loading or unloading smaller items from the side of the car as well as the rear.
The generous levels of space on board the concept car can be exploited in a variety of ways. Commercial users will be particularly pleased to discover the scope for configuring the load compartment to personal requirements. For example, tools and goods can be stored neatly and securely in made-to-measure drawers or shelving units. 12-volt plug sockets in the rear area of the load compartment provide additional practicality.
Exterior design: shields from prying eyes, cuts a distinctive figure.
Impressive practicality and the brand’s time-honored style lend the MINI Clubvan Concept its unmistakable character. Sharing the exterior dimensions of the MINI Clubman and boasting cleverly increased storage capacity, the concept car is the first premium model in the small-car-based van segment. The exterior appearance of the MINI Clubvan Concept marks it out immediately as a MINI – and therefore as a premium product. The function-led design modifications have no impact on the car’s proportions and hallmark MINI design language, but they do give customers the opportunity to combine the demands of commercial use with an appreciation of individual style.
The MINI Clubvan Concept comes with British Racing Green exterior paintwork, which extends to the roof, C-pillars and exterior mirror caps. As is usual for vehicles charged with transportation tasks, the rear side windows of the MINI Clubvan Concept are opaque. Polycarbonate sections – their outer surfaces painted in the car’s body color – and heavily tinted glass for the rear doors make it difficult to see into the load compartment.
The unbroken paintwork along the car’s flanks offers extensive scope for individualization, which the MINI Clubvan Concept highlights to eye-catching effect. The sealed side windows bear the logo of a sign design company based in the MINI’s native Great Britain. The hand-applied graphics lend the vehicle a personal look. Indeed, the ultra-versatile MINI carries both its cargo and the company’s promotional message with a uniquely stylish verve. The MINI Clubvan Concept presented in Geneva lends this form of customization a piquant authenticity – on two fronts. The British company that has literally left its stamp on the MINI Clubvan Concept creates similar vehicle graphics for its customers. And the MINI Clubvan Concept showcases how these might look when applied to a MINI van.
[Source: MINI USA, Woodcliff Lake, NJ – February 18, 2012]
The annual North American International Auto Show is one of the world’s most important car shows. As the traditional curtain-raiser to the year, it will point the way for the entire automotive industry once again in 2012. Over 150 exhibitors from every corner of the earth will come together in Detroit’s Cobo Center to present new models and other product innovations. The organizers are expecting more than 5,000 media representatives from around the world to attend the event, along with some 750,000 members of the public.
The NAIAS 2012 is the venue for the world premiere of the MINI Roadster. The first open-top two-seater in the MINI model range provides a spontaneous, unadulterated recipe for urban driving fun. A contemporary take on the compact, open-top sports car concept, the MINI Roadster boasts advanced drive and chassis technology, and a classical, manually operated soft-top roof which can be opened and closed quickly and easily.
Of course, you knew that already, dedicated Miniologist that you are..
The design and technology of the MINI Roadster are geared squarely to laying on open-top driving fun for two. With its inspiring agility and cutting-edge efficiency, expressive design and remarkable practicality, the youngest MINI representative gives the brand’s traditional qualities a fresh new twist. All of which will see the MINI Roadster unveiled at the NAIAS on January 14 – 22, 2012 welcomed not only as an attractive addition to the current model range, but also as the world’s first premium model of its kind in the small car segment.
We’ll spare you the rest of the marketing fluff, but hey, anyone who already has their hands on a roadster or is going to NAIAS, feel free to send us pics and vids and what not. We’ll be sitting here in on the west coast recovering from the holiday festivities, and keeping ourselves toasty warm in the California sun.. In fact, that’s the perfect place for a MINI roadster, somewhere you can drive topless (we mean a convertible, er, that’s our story anyway) .. Cheers!
[Source: Highly edited from BMW's press release, Woodcliff Lake, NJ – December 15, 2011]
MOASF (the Mini Owners of America, San Francisco chapter) will gather at Redcoats Pub on Monday, November 21 at 7 PM. They will discuss their annual Toys for Tots charity run (December 10th), and next year’s Hayward Field Meet. You don’t need to own a classic Mini to attend, though if you drive one to the meetings people will surely be impressed The meeting, which may include eating and drinking of the usual pub fare, takes place here:
336 St. Marys St.
From 680 (North or South) take the BERNAL AVE off ramp.
Continue East on BERNAL about a mile, pass under the overpass and get in the left lane.
Turn left on MAIN ST.
Go five blocks to ST. MARY’S ST. There is a stop sign and a cute little old fashioned gas station on the corner.
Turn left and it’s on your left, half way down the first block. 336 ST. MARY’S STREET.
There is a big parking lot in the back. To get to the parking lot, go to the corner, turn left, go half way down the block and turn into the parking lot.
SEE YOU THERE !
[Source: Nick Becker, MOASF]
Miniology’s nearly live WRC coverage continues in Wales, which returned to typical November weather for day two of its World Rally Championship event.
Rain meant the crews were greeted with wet and slippery stages as they left Llandudno this morning. While the MINI John Cooper Works WRC of Kris Meeke (GB) and Paul Nagle (IR) will start day three of Wales Rally GB eighth overall, the sister car of Dani Sordo (ES) and Carlos del Barrio (ES) will be in the SupeRally after crashing out on the second stage of the day.
It wasn’t an easy day for either of the MINI WRC Team crews. On the second stage of the day the Spaniards went off the road after braking too late. Even though they could not get back on the road, the damage was not bad and they will be re-starting from Cardiff tomorrow morning. For Meeke it was a spin that resulted in him losing an alternator belt on stage seven and dropping two and a half minutes. Luckily a spare was carried in the car, so the repairs were carried out by the crew. Even though this dropped Meeke down from sixth to 11th overall, he was soon back in his stride setting the second fastest time on stage eight and the fastest on stage nine. This is the first fastest stage time set on this event by a British driver since 2005.
Today was the longest of the rally in terms of stage distance, with 141.43 kilometres. Tomorrow there are another six stages and 128.06 kilometres of competition. The cars have travelled back to Cardiff tonight from the service park in Builth Wells, and will leave the Welsh capital tomorrow from 06.00 to arrive back at service just before 08.00.
Dave Wilcock, Technical Director reported in saying, “All in all a day of highs and lows. Unfortunately for Dani he went off on the second stage this morning, just missed his braking point and, with the low grip conditions, just dropped the car off the road and into a ditch. Luckily there was not much damage so we shall get that car back and into SupeRally tomorrow. As for Kris, he had a small spin and an alternator belt problem on stage seven, which dropped him back. Then on the final stage he was hampered a bit running in the dark. He set some competitive times this morning, and then this afternoon really started to feel his feet with a stage win and a second fastest. He is still very competitive in eighth, and he looks likely to jump comfortably into sixth after the first couple of stages in the morning. It will be a bit more difficult for him tomorrow as they are stages he has not competed on for many, many years, so the guys who competed here last year have already driven these. Like the early part of the year, he will be on new notes so that will hold him back a little bit. We are pleased with the way he is going at the moment, and he just needs to keep that momentum going.”
Dani Sordo (MINI John Cooper Works WRC No 37) said, “I am disappointed about this. I just braked really late and it was my mistake. The conditions were really slippery, I saw the lines of the first cars and I was a little bit confused, as I thought this was the braking point. As soon as I braked I knew from the first second it was too late. I have to admit that from the beginning of the rally I haven’t felt confident in the stages in these conditions. The car wasn’t badly damaged so I am looking forward to getting back into action tomorrow.”
Kris Meeke (MINI John Cooper Works WRC No 52) summed it up by saying, “It felt simple and easy and I am delighted to have my first fastest time on tarmac in Spain and now here on gravel, so things are heading in the right direction. The car is working really, really well. This afternoon was very good, but I am just a bit frustrated with the problem we had on the first loop. We spun and about a kilometre or a kilometre and a half after that the warning light came on. The alternator belt that controls the water pump had come off, and when the water is not circulating in the engine the temperature goes up. We lost over two minutes in the stage, which was unfortunate, but that is the way it is. It is nice to be able to fight back and now we are only a few seconds off sixth place. My target is fifth, but it is a long, long way to go. We were able to learn a lot about the car on that loop, and the most important thing this weekend is to learn about it on gravel. On this rally all the little things have to work and they are doing that perfectly, which you need in these conditions.”
We wish them better success, even though this year was just a trial run and all, it would be sweet if they ended up with a top placement now wouldn’t it?
We have a selection of similarly sweet photos for your viewing pleasure, here they are:
[Source: BMW Group PressClub Sport, Wales, 11th November 2011.]
Miniology’s continuous coverage of MINI WRC brings you..
Strasbourg, 30th September, 2011. The MINI WRC Team is leading Rally France-Alsace at the end of day one after Dani Sordo (ES) proved just how fast he is with his MINI John Cooper Works WRC on tarmac stages. After taking 1hour 23 minutes to complete the 148.38 kilometres over eight stages Sordo and Carlos del Barrio (ES) were a second ahead of Petter Solberg (NO) in his Citroen. It was also a good day for Kris Meeke (GB) and Paul Nagle (IR) on their debut in this event as they were fourth overall in the number 52 MINI.
The rally has not been without its dramas as on the third stage, which at 36 kilometres is the longest on the rally, World Champion and local hero, Sebastian Loeb (FR), retired his Citroen. Also on this stage the Fords of Mikko Hirvonen (FI) and Jari-Matti Latvala (FI) also encountered problems. However, the MINIs ran like clockwork and both survived moments when hitting marker poles put there to stop drivers cutting corners that had come lose.
The story of the day was Sordo and Meeke seventh and eighth after stage one, fifth and seventh after stage two, third and fourth after stage three, and then with his second fastest stage time Sordo took the lead on the last stage of the day. Ahead of the crews on day two are another nine stages over 148.39 kilometres, but this time they will have a remote service in Colmar and only return to Strasbourg in the evening.
Dave Wilcock, Technical Director:
“What a day. We came here on a high after Germany. We managed a day of testing between then and here, which was half a day with each driver, so to be here at the end of day one in first and fourth is great. This is our testing year, and if it continues this way with the rate of development then hopefully it won’t be long before the MINI gets its first win. There is still an awful long way to go on this rally, but we shall enjoy this for now as these positions far exceed our expectations. Dani is in a fantastic position and mentally is taking it all in his stride. He really knows how to pace and control himself. Kris is performing really well and is a star in the making. This is only his second WRC tarmac event and he is improving all the time.”
“It is good to be leading, but to be honest I am really happy today as for the whole time we have been fighting with the leaders. It is really incredible to be fighting with the Fords and Citroens. Tomorrow we shall try to do the same. It is another big day so we need to do a big push, drive flat and perhaps take some risks to keep this position. However, we have to remember that this is just day one and there are still two days of rallying to go. I enjoy these stages and the MINI has been really good to drive and reliable.”
“I think from the team’s point of view it is very, very good that Dani is leading the rally. We haven’t done much testing since Germany, but certainly the car is working very well, which has shown in our times. Dani has the experience on this rally and in the WRC, but all credit to him for leading the rally with the car in its first year, as that’s something really special. For me I have to be quite happy, although I was a bit disappointed in the last stage as I had a big spin and lost about ten to 15 seconds. To be holding my own in fourth place first time here is good. We are comfortably on the pace of Mikko Hirvonen, if not a little bit faster, but after our mistake it has now let Jari-Matti Latvala within about twenty seconds of us. ”
[Source: BMW Group PressClub Sport]
Thanks to its MINIMALISM technology MINI is ranked within the top five motoring manufacturers for its low CO2 emissions throughout its whole range. The MINI Cooper D offers drivers the legendary ‘go-kart’ handling and iconic design, as well as a bundle of economical and environmentally friendly benefits such as being exempt from the London Congestion Charge.
Chas Hallett, What Car? Editor in Chief said; “What Car? has long been a fan of the British-built MINI. The MINI 1.6D Cooper proves that being green does not mean you have to wave goodbye to driving enjoyment. It has very low running costs, because it emits just 99g/km of CO2 and does 74.3mpg. The Cooper D is without question the most fun way to go green and keep a bit more cash in your pocket.”
Celebrations were under way today at Plant Oxford as the first MINI Coupé rolled off the production line. Andrew Smith MP and Oxford City and County councillors joined plant managing director, Jürgen Hedrich, and members of the plant’s project team to welcome the new model.
The Coupé is the fourth member of the five-strong MINI family to be manufactured at Plant Oxford and will be built on the same production lines as the Hatchback, Clubman and Convertible. A two-seater Roadster will complete the line-up early next year.
Jürgen Hedrich said: “The car has a unique and strong design but still retains MINI’s exciting and distinctive go-kart feel.
“The aim with the MINI Coupé is to give its new owners the most thrilling MINI driving experience possible. Every aspect of the car – from the engines and chassis set up to the weight distribution and aerodynamics – is focused on delivering the optimum dynamic performance”
The Coupé is MINI’s first two-seater, since BMW Group developed the new MINI at Oxford, and has already seen strong interest and a healthy order bank developing.
Andrew Smith, MP for Oxford East, said: “This is a great day for the Oxford plant. To see yet another model join the line-up shows just how strong demand is for MINI in the 90 markets around the world where MINIs are sold.
“This new model, along with BMW Group’s recently-announced £500m investment into UK manufacturing, demonstrates the company’s commitment to a long-term future for Plant Oxford.”
The Coupé will see a range of new features, including the sport stripes on the body work, and increased boot space. The unique spoiler is housed in the bootlid and reduces lift at the rear axle to improve aerodynamic balance and road grip. As with all MINIs, a wide range of accessories and personalisation choices will be available.
The MINI John Cooper Works Coupé has the fastest acceleration and top speed of any Oxford-produced MINI to date.
Miniology producers Rob “Califzeph” and Chris “StarLord” (or is his rally name Udødelig now?) were there onsite to drive the first car off the line and join the release party, but.. I WISH! This is just a photoshopped pic, don’t get all excited..! We’re sure MINI UK will send us a proper invite next time