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Spy Shots

Given the spate of new models Mini has introduced in the past few years, from the Clubman to the Countryman to the Coupe to the Roadster, it sometimes seems like BMW has forgotten about the original model, the plain old Mini Cooper hardtop. It was last redesigned for the 2007 model year, which seems like a long time ago because, well, it is. Which is why Mini will shortly introduce an all-new hardtop Cooper, which our camera spies have captured testing in Europe.

Official

Back in October, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating certain turbocharged Mini models for vehicle fires. The investigation came after reports of at least 12 vehicles lighting up, and now the investigation has officially lead to a recall.

Official

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.

Report

Mini and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have announced an investigation into certain Cooper S models after reports of engine fires on at least 12 vehicles, five of which resulted in a total loss. Interestingly enough, Bloomberg reports that in eight of those cases, the fires occurred while the vehicles were parked and turned off.

Further Evolving Sir Alec Issigonis' Original Idea

2011 Mini family – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mini vs. Porsche – Click above to view the videos after the jump

Last we checked, Road Atlanta was a famed professional 2.54-mile racetrack, not an oversized autocross layout on a training skidpad. Somebody may need to remind Mini USA, as the maker of famously small cars has just announced the "track" (their word, not ours) for its overly-publicized "Rumble on the Racetrack" (their title, not ours) challenge pitting the Mini Cooper S against the race-bred Porsche 911 Carrera S.

After Mini's many attempts to coax Porsche into a race, including videos, posting an online petition and even flying a banner plane over the automaker's North American headquarters, the lights have all gone dark in Atlanta, and it looks like Mini is out of luck.

Mini boss Jim McDowell responds to Porsche – Click above to watch the video after the jump

2011 Mini Cooper – Click above for image gallery

Mini takes on Porsche – Click above for high-res image gallery

2010 Mini Cooper - Click for high-res gallery

Those folks concerned with All Things Mini over at Motoringfile have some more salacious gossip regarding the rumored coupe and speedster variants. A conceptual version of the fixed-head sportster is expected at the Frankfurt Motor Show this autumn, and according to the website, the model will carry the moniker 'Broadspeed Coupe.' (Quick history lesson: A team by the name of Broadspeed raced Mini Coopers back in the 1960's, and they even went so far as to produce a racier coupe version of the of

2009 Mini Cooper S Convertible – Click above for high-res image gallery

Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 MINI Cooper S Convertible

Click above for a high-res image gallery of the new MINI Cooper Convertible

Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2008 MINI Cooper S