Is Mini constricting its staggering array of model variants or expanding it? That depends largely on which way you look at it. Because while some models may not make the cut as the second-generation family is gradually replaced with the third, others appear to be joining the fold. They just might not bear different model names.
Contrary to popular belief, it seems that Mini's growth plans do have a limit both in size and number of models. During the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, it unveiled the six-door Clubman concept (pictured above) that was 4.4-inches longer and about two-inches wider than even the current Countryman crossover. Mini design chief Anders Warming says that this is the new size limit for its models, and the BMW subsidiary isn't building a larger, seven-passenger vehicle above the current Countryman.
Coming in just over 10 inches longer and 6.5 inches wider than the 2013 Mini Clubman, the new Mini Clubman Concept that you see above is set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show next week. Let's get the maximum mini jokes out of the way right off the bat... Done? Okay, moving along.
With the next-gen Mini Cooper hardtop set for its big debut next week at the LA Auto Show, we're getting a good look at what will be coming next for the BMW brand. Mini will follow up the introduction of the Mini Cooper with the new convertible model, but our spy shooters have proof that a plus-sized model (rumored to be called Traveller or Spacebox) is coming along quite well.
Mini is committed to applying the brand's trademark special-edition formula to the company's long roof. The Clubman Bond Street bowed under the lights of the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, complete with its unique black-and-champagne color scheme. Like the Mayfair and Camden and Bayswater and Baker Street special editions that came before it, the Bond Street pays homage to a famous London street with mirror caps and a roof dipped in contrasting paint. The Cool Champagne color pops against the body's Mi
During an event in Ponce, Puerto Rico last week where Mini introduced members of the media to the 2013 Paceman and John Cooper Works GP, product planners discussed that the brand's lineup could expand to eventually include up to 10 bodystyles. Currently, the Mini range consists of seven models: the Hardtop, Clubman, Convertible, Countryman, Coupe, Roadster and Paceman.
Mini again plucks a London landmark as the appellation for a special edition, the Mini Clubman Bond Street joining the Mayfair and Camden, and Bayswater and Baker Street editions of the recent past. You'll recognize the formula of primary color and polished contrasting color, in this case its Midnight Black Metallic for the main event and Cool Champagne for the highlights like the roof, mirror caps and trim rings on the 17-inch alloy wheels. Inside it's Carbon Black leather set off by surfaces i
The two-door Mini Cooper is getting two additional portals in its next generation. A coming five-door Cooper S with central exhaust has been spotted out testing, the idea presumably being that it will pose a better challenge to other small, premium hatches in the segment like the A1 Sportback from Audi. Based on the same UKL platform that will support the production version of the BMW Concept Active Tourer, the wheelbase has been lengthened to make more room for rear passengers.
Britain is not without its automakers, even if they are all foreign-owned, but Mini certainly ranks among the most quintessentially British of them all. Parent company BMW has cashed in on this with a succession of special editions that celebrate its Anglophilia.
Color us unsurprised. Car and Driver reports that Mini officials have confirmed a production version of the company's Clubvan concept first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March. We expected as much – after all, parent BMW has demonstrated real adeptness at building a myriad of derivatives from the basic Mini Cooper architecture, and the boutique brand already markets more spinoffs than Law & Order, so what's one more?
Much as we love the Mini Clubman and its rear-hinged, passenger-side door, this would be an incredibly stupid idea. Functionality is one thing, but ruining the design of the fetching Mini Cooper hardtop would be a downright shame.
Think there are a lot of Mini variants already? Hold on to your hats, because BMW is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. Next month the new Mini Roadster will hit American showrooms, and next year, a two-door crossover (presaged by the Paceman concept from Detroit last year but carrying the Countryman Coupe in production form) should be available as well. But that's only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
Well, this certainly brings quite literal meaning to the word 'minivan'. According to Auto Motor und Sport, sources within BMW have reportedly confirmed that a new Mini-branded panel van – possibly dubbed Mini Cargo – will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
Starting next March, Mini buyers will be able to grab a set of Recaro seats off the option list for their cars. The upmarket buckets will be available for all Mini models except the Countryman and Convertible.
The two millionth Mini has rolled off the line in Oxford, UK, a feat which took around ten years and sent Minis to 90-plus countries across the globe. According to Mini, if placed bumper-to-bumper, two million Minis would stretch 4,627 miles. Of course, two million Ford F-150s would stretch, um, further.
Sometimes, the key to a good lap time is to drive in such a way as to not lose the hard-fought momentum you've already gained. Such is the case when you don't have a lot of power underhood and you've got more road-holding grip than horsepower.
Driving a manual transmission is a dying art these days. More and more automakers are moving to faster-shifting dual-clutch transmissions for performance cars, and the high-volume best-sellers only offer stick-shifts on the very base models (if at all). Of course there's Porsche, an automaker that is currently putting the finishing touches on its seven-speed manual transmission. But that's Porsche.