Of all the automakers in the United States, perhaps the one with the largest enthusiast following is Mini. Sure, brands like Porsche, BMW and even Subaru have their own clubs and cult followings, but when it comes to eccentricity and personality, no one does it like Mini.
In that spirit, the pint-sized automaker is once again embarking on its Mini Takes The States cross-country road rally, an event that first occurred in 2006 and then again in 2008. This time, Mini is gathering its owners to celebrate the launch of the 2011 Countryman crossover, and we've been asked to tag along. We'll be scoring some seat time in the Countryman as well, so stay tuned for our initial impressions.
Our trip started in New York and will take us to Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Columbus and finally Indianapolis before we hop a plane back home. Many of the other participants will head all the way out to Denver, where they will meet up with other groups doing similar drive routes in different parts of the country. Mini has a full host of festivities planned for the Denver crew, and many other local Mini enthusiast clubs are providing some entertainment along the way.
Mini has provided us with a Cooper S Camden Edition for the trip, which means we'll experience turbocharged small car thrills along the highways of America. We already spent a considerable amount of time with the Camden-ized Cooper, and we've been getting many a thumbs-up from Mini owners out on the road. (We've opted to leave the Camden's Mission Control system in the "off" position.)
Keep your eyes peeled for caravans of Coopers and Clubmans, folks. This not-so-mini road rally is taking America by storm. Want to vicariously join in on the fun? Follow the trip's progress on Mini's Facebook page.