Mon, 18 Nov 2013 10:00:00 EST
There are occasions in life when something happens in the outside world and I think, "Damn. I wish Dad was here so we could talk about this."
Sat, 12 Oct 2013 14:01:00 EST
In the past 13 years, that's happened every time Mini unveils a new model. And that's been quite often in the 12 years since the car was reintroduced - it has expanded to include seven different models, which is a testament to how quickly the updated Mini caught on. My Dad, who passed away in 1996, loved the brand. His first car was a Mini, and he'd race it in illegal rallies around the Irish countryside in his 20s, before he emigrated to the US and tried to (mostly) stay on the right side of the law.
Mini released photos and specs for the third-generation "original" hardtop car today. The company had to slap in the term "original" in there to differentiate it from the Convertible, longer-wheelbase Clubman, Countryman crossover, Paceman three-door crossover, Coupe and Roadster. Coming out with that many nameplates in 13 years is unprecedented growth for a company that's essentially brand-new in the US.
The first generation of the reimagined, BMW-backed Mini was a simple things, confined to two body styles - hatchback and four-seat convertible. It wasn't until the second-generation platform came along that Mini began truly expanding, offering a long-wheelbase model, a roadster, a coupe, a five-door crossover, and a three-door, um, thing?
Mon, 12 Nov 2012 11:57:00 EST
BMW is aiming for 10 to 12 different vehicles from just two brands off one platform.
According to an interview between Automotive News Europe and the BMW board member that oversees Mini, Peter Schwarzenbauer, the funky British brand will be expanding far beyond the seven body styles it currently offers. "With the new ULK architecture, we currently have in mind eight to 10 models," Schwarzenbauer told ANE. That architecture he mentions, will also underpin the BMW 1 Series GT and the BMW X1, meaning that BMW is aiming for 10 to 12 different vehicles from just two brands off one platform (and that's only what we know about).
Not Too Odd, Not Too Maxi. Is This Mini Just Right?
We recently got our first time behind the wheel of the latest iteration of the Mini Countryman, the 215-horsepower John Cooper Works model, and were left less than enthused despite the inherent fun factor that a JCW badge brings. Our time with the crossover suggests the Countryman is just too weighty and soft to properly wear the badge.
We have also spent loads of time in various Mini Clubman trims and, despite the oddity of its configuration, this model may be our overall favorite in the current Mini lineup. But it is decidedly not a volume seller, which Mini needs.