Auto blogWed, 06 Mar 2013 03:01:00 EST
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 Midnight Black Metallic, and buyers can expect to find a set of 17-inch alloy wheels on hand as well.
Inside, the Clubman Bond Street gets Carbon Black leather seating with Deep Champagne accents. Each Bond Street comes equipped with the Chrome Line package. Under the hood, a 122-horsepower gasoline four-cylinder serves up thrust, though a 143-horsepower turbo-diesel mill can also be had for a little extra coin. Check out the full press release below for more information.
French drivers Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret drove a Mini Countryman to a class win at this year's Dakar Rally, and to commemorate their win, Mini has introduced a limited-volume car that will only be sold in France. The Mini John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4 Dakar Winner 2013 might be a mouthful to say, but it's a fitting tribute to Peterhansel's eleventh Dakar win as this Countryman is painted to look like the rally car and only 11 will be sold in the Peterhansel's home country.
Sporting a similar green-over-matte-black paint scheme as the Dakar Countryman, the JCW Countryman ALL4 Dakar Winner 2013 also adds green accents to the full-length top and side stripes, the side marker lights and also contrasting stitching inside the cabin. Adding to the car's rally look, this special edition will also include the racers' number card on the front doors, Dakar decals on the front and rear and Peterhansel's signature on the hood. Grille-mounted rally lights, bright red brake calipers and unique 19-inch wheels with dark-painted inserts finish off the exterior design.
French stuntman Guerlain Chicherit hit the ski slopes of Tignes, France over the weekend - not to enjoy the fresh snow but to perform the first-ever unassisted backlip in a car, which was teased last month.
The unassisted part of the stunt comes from the fact that he Chicherit, in a special rally-prepped Mini Countryman, uses a regular, solid ramp rather than any specially modified ramps that have been used in the past to pull off this stunt. Unfortunately, after 18 months of practice, you'd think the video would be more entertaining by showing more closeups or better angles of the stunt.
Either way, you can check out Chicherit and his Countryman nail the back flip in the video posted below, and Mini has provided a press release and some high-res shots for the stunt as well.
In just over a decade, Mini has expanded its modern range from the singular Hardtop model (launched in 2002) to a full range of little runabouts. The latest of these is the Paceman, and while European Editor Matt Davis gave us the full scoop on this model late last year, we recently spent time with the all-wheel-drive model just outside of Ponce, Puerto Rico.
It's weird, this Paceman. It slots in between the Hardtop and the Countryman (on which its based) in terms of size and functionality, and Mini says that it will appeal to a more style-conscious shopper. Key competitors range anywhere from the Nissan Juke on the low end to the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque on the high end.
After spending lots of time with the Countryman, we're convinced that maxi can still be Mini. And the same is true with this Paceman, too.
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.
Speaking to members of the media, David Duncan, Mini USA sales manager, said that these new models could fall into a range of niches - "any segment that makes sense for a small car." No specific vehicle classes were discussed, but Duncan stated that the possibilities are endless, "as long as we're the smallest player in any segment."
Well, nearly endless. We've been hoping that Mini would re-think its decision to nix plans to create a vehicle smaller than the Hardtop - a notion previewed by the excellent Rocketman concept (shown above) from the 2011 Geneva Motor Show - but the automaker once again stated that this is absolutely off the table. In order to create a vehicle of the Rocketman's size, a completely new platform would have to be engineered (that's expensive), and while Mini has looked into acquiring existing architecture from another brand, parent company BMW has reportedly put the kibosh on such an act. If a Rocketman is ever to be born, BMW/Mini will do it on its own, and right now, that simply isn't in the cards.
If you're a manufacturer, there are only so many ways you can say "sorry" after your automated e-mail system goes berzerk and spams everyone on your mailing list with hundreds of the same message. Mini recently found itself in that very spot, and rather than respond with a sheepish mea culpa, the company's PR team took a different tack by sending owners a very unique gift box. How unique? Inside, one owner found a set of chocolate roses, a roll of duct tape and a genuine can of Spam.
In an accompanying note, the company said it hoped the sweets would help patch things up between the company and the victims of the e-mail barrage, but in the event that wasn't enough to do the trick, the duct tape was there to help out. And the can of Spam? That tagged along just for stress release. Apparently the canned meat is squeezable. We wouldn't know. You can check out full photos of the gift box here.
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 in Deep Champagne and the Chrome Line package.
It will premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in March before going into production for a limited run that same month. Four engines will be offered, with on-the-road prices ranging from 20,275 pounds ($31,961 US) in the UK for the 122-horsepower gas engine to 24,045 pounds ($37,918 US) for the 143-horsepower SD diesel version. A press release below will tell you all you wish to know.
If there's one thing we're never going to complain about, it's that Mini has found it necessary to put the John Cooper Works treatment on every single one of its models. We love the JCW package across the board, and the final installment of the high-performance chapter (for now, anyway) comes in the form of the John Cooper Works Paceman, debuting here at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
The John Cooper Works formula hasn't been altered in any way here, and like the JCW Countryman on which the Paceman is based, it comes standard with Mini's All4 all-wheel-drive system. We're sure it'll be a total hoot, and with 218 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque on tap, how could it not?
Look for the Mini JCW Paceman to hit dealerships in March of this year. Need to know more? Scroll down.
Not too long ago, the idea of doing a backflip seemed almost impossible on two wheels let alone four, but now the stunt is routinely performed using everything from dirtbikes to monster trucks. Now Mini is getting into the game by attempting to perform a backflip with French stuntman Guerlain Chicherit behind the wheel of a highly modified Countryman, which it claims is the first-ever attempt at doing so with a car.
Another unique element of the jump that Mini is claiming is in regards to the ramp. Past automotive backflips, including Rhys Millen's 2009 jump to ring in the New Year, have used special ramps that help rotate the car, but the ramp Chicherit uses is "unassisted" and the backflip is attempted using only "a gas pedal and a prayer" according to a Mini spokesman for the event.
The video posted below is only a teaser showing the car launch up into the air, but while we have to wait until February 10 to see the final result, it sounds like the landing was a success. According to the Chicherit's Facebook page, practice for the stunt took 18 months of work with "lots of crashes."
The Mini John Cooper Works Paceman, the seventh in the JCW line and called "the first Sports Activity Coupe in its class," is here. It takes its place at the top of the Paceman food chain with a 1.6-liter, twin-scroll turbocharged engine putting out 218 horsepower, with 201 pound-feet of torque on tap and 221 lb-ft available with overboost. Those numbers get the JCW Paceman from zero to 62 miles per hour in 6.9 seconds with either the six-speed manual or automatic transmission, but top speed with the automatic is one mile per hour shy of the manual's 140 mph. Fuel economy has been rated at a combined 35.8 US mpg on the EU cycle.
It earns its JCW stripes with a suspension that's been lowered by 10 millimeters over 18-inch lightweight alloys, Mini's ALL4 all-wheel drive, an aero kit to beef up its profile, plus a sports exhaust with dual chrome pipes. Inside, a sport steering wheel and plenty of contrasting materials represent the lineage, further emboldened by Chili Red accents to match the exterior.
The Mini JCW Paceman will say "'Allo, guv'nor" to the world at the Detroit Auto Show next month, then hit showrooms in March. The press release just below can tell you all you want to know about it until then.