Tue, 06 Aug 2013 10:59:00 EST
The next-generation Mini lineup could see some big changes, according to a report from Australian site CarSales. Starting with the debut of the third-generation Mini Hardtop at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show, we could see a regular string of Minis on the stages of the world. But the bodystyles we see might not be what we've grown used to.
Wed, 14 Aug 2013 10:31:00 EST
A four-door sedan could eventually arrive, while the polarizing Mini Coupe and Roadster are likely to be replaced by a dedicated sports car with unique sheetmetal and uprated engines. While the rest of the line is switching to three-cylinder, turbocharged engines, the new sports car, which will be available in both soft- and hardtop variants, will use some version of BMW's 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder. The Aussie site also claims that the interior treatment could take inspiration from the Mini Vision concept car, while showing off the know-how BMW gained when working carbon fiber into the i3. The new model(s) would likely arrive in late 2015 or early 2016.
According to CarSales, we'll see the three-door Hardtop at the 2013 LA Show, along with a five-door hatch that is different from the Clubman at the 2014 Paris show. The Clubman, meanwhile, will arrive in Geneva in 2015, while the Convertible is slated for later that same year. The current Countryman and Paceman are expected to be around for some time, before being joined by an MPV. Eventually, the larger Minis will share their architecture with the BMW X1.
As we approach the November 18 debut of the new Mini Hardtop, the trickle of news is starting to increase. We've already shown you the exterior of the new hatchback, and now we can show you the interior. These images, captured by Car News China, show a cabin that maintains a few key Mini styling items, but is a fairly progressive evolution of the current R56 model.
Fri, 04 Jul 2014 15:01:00 EST
Mini's most iconic interior treatment, its center-mounted speedometer, is now gone. The new speedo sits atop the steering column, flanked by a (too tiny, in our opinion) tachometer. In the speedometer's former position are the radio controls. Our friends in China put it best when they say, "The large dial is much uglier than before." There's a mass of buttons and unfriendly black plastic that, at first glance, look far cheaper than the rest of the cabin. Of course, we'll wait to see how this is all ironed out for the production-spec car.
The other parts of the interior, however, look quite good. There's a small bank of toggle buttons at the bottom of the center stack, and the checkerboard dash insert looks clean as well. The seats sport extensions for the bottom cushions, meaning there'll be the option of more support for drivers with longer legs. GTI fans might also notice the plaid bolsters on the seats. Mini's treatment is a bit more subtle than what you'd see on a Volkswagen, though.
A French marketing firm with the impenetrable name of Street Glory Mappers is literally turning cars into billboards. Of course, we've all seen vehicles painted up for promotional use, but this company is taking that concept even further by including video.
Street Glory Mappers equips the vehicles with a large video screen behind the windshield to play whatever is being advertised. According to the company's promo, it may even be possibly to sync up the vehicle's lights with the show, as well. The firm claims that it's a great form of temporary, mobile marketing because the car can arrive at the location, play the video and then go away when the prospective audience leaves.
While it doesn't necessarily seem any more effective than other forms of advertising, the firm's idea is at least unobtrusive. After all, it's easier to ignore a stationary car than a person handing out flyers. However, vehicle flashing its lights and playing video could certainly distract other drivers.