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MINI Motoring

It's a MINI blog adventure.

MINI Collage

Tuesday, April 18, 2006
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Mini Cooper S – "S" is for "Smile

Friday, April 07, 2006
Mini Cooper S – "S" is for "Smile:
Mini Cooper S – 'S' is for 'Smile
by Jim Bray, TechnoFile Magazine
Wednesday, April 5, 2006

It may be called a Mini, but the driving pleasure is nothing short of Maxi.

This flatulent little road rocket provided the most fun I’ve had behind the wheel in quite a while, is cute as a bug’s ear and can actually seat four people in a pinch – no pun intended.

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News & Press Releases - Overview - BMW North America

Thursday, March 16, 2006
News & Press Releases - Overview - BMW North America:
BMW at the 2006 NHA Hydrogen Conference

Bi-Fueled V-12 Internal Combustion Engine and In-Vehicle Liquid Hydrogen Storage Tank to be Displayed

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – March 9, 2006… Hydrogen is acknowledged by experts worldwide as the most appropriate energy carrier for motor vehicles – in the long term. The BMW Group has been pursuing hydrogen research and development for decades. BMW has become the world’s leader in the practical application of this ultimate “clean fuel” to motor vehicles. BMW’s hydrogen technology employs liquid hydrogen as a fuel in internal-combustion engines.

In September 2004, BMW demonstrated its advanced state of development in hydrogen power by setting nine international speed records for hydrogen-driven vehicles with the BMW H2R research vehicle. This unique prototype is powered by a 6.0-liter V-12 engine that develops approximately 285 hp; among the records it set was 186.11 mph for the “flying-start” kilometer.

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Car 'faces' looking meaner for a reason

Sunday, March 12, 2006
Car 'faces' looking meaner for a reason:

Jonathan Welsh
Wall Street Journal
Mar. 10, 2006 10:26 AM

Kirk Perry wanted a vehicle that would haul his family and tow a bass boat. He discovered an SUV with all that plus another feature he likes - a really mean expression.

'I like the wide, snarling look,' the 50-year-old small-business owner in Lake Owassa, N.J., says of the Audi Q7, which he plans to buy when it comes out this spring. 'It reminds me of the movie 'The Mummy' - when the monster comes out of the ground and starts swallowing everything.'

Car makers have long talked about the 'face' of a car - headlights for eyes, grille for a mouth and the bumper as jaws - and auto designers say the difference between a hit and a flop may come down to a vehicle's visage. Car makers used to strive for an inviting face, but lately they're pushing an edgier look: Car faces that look meaner, angrier and, at times, even downright evil.

For its new 3-Series sedan, BMW gave the headlights a slanted effect, like downturned eyebrows. Some concept cars are more extreme, with Hyundai's HCD9 Talus featuring a gaping grille and headlights divided by a horizontal, goat's-eye-style slit. The Dodge Charger, which came out last summer, has headlight pods shaped like a tiger's eyes. 'The Charger's eyes are definitely its greatest assets. The headlights seem to make eye contact the same way people do on the street,' says Dodge and Chrysler designer Ralph Gilles. 'A mean face is what we're going for.'

Why all the anger? Menacing front ends may appeal to drivers threatened by oversized SUVs and intimidated by the dangers of the highway, some designers say. 'I'm not saying we promote rudeness on the road,' says Eric Stoddard, senior creative designer for Hyundai. But he adds that a mean-looking car may make drivers feel they can keep others at bay. 'It projects a message that a driver may be too shy or afraid to express," he says. "An aggressively styled car says, 'Get out of my way.' "

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AutoWeb - MINI Record Breaker Arrives in Australia

Thursday, February 23, 2006
AutoWeb - MINI Record Breaker Arrives in Australia:
* 200,000th 2005 MINI arrives in Australia
* More than 750,000 MINI hardtop and Cabrio models built since 2001
* Third model expected within three years

The Commonwealth Games may be little more than a month away but a Gold Standard British Record Breaker has already made its mark in Australia.

Last year, the MINI factory in Oxford achieved its aim of producing more than 200,000 cars in one year, and that milestone model has arrived in Australia.

The 200,000th MINI built in 2005; a Pepper White MINI Cooper S Cabrio is now in Sydney. To date, more than 750,000 MINI hardtop and Cabrio models have been produced since production began in 2001.

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Spy Shots: 2007 Mini Cooper

Friday, December 16, 2005
Spy Shots: 2007 Mini Cooper:
The Mini Cooper hasn't cooled off much since its introduction in 2002. In fact, its retro styling is still so well liked that the next-generation 2007 Mini Cooper won't look any different. We caught a recent prototype out testing with minimal exterior camouflage and found it hard to pick out the updates.

Up front, the headlights may be taped up but their shape isn't expected to change much from the current model. Same goes for the grille as it looks to be roughly the same design with a slightly larger air intake opening that will feed a new family of turbocharged engines. In place of the low-tech iron-block 1.6-liter will be a twin-cam, aluminum-block turbocharged four-cylinder of the same displacement. The standard Cooper will get a significant boost to 143 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque while the Cooper S will maintain its rating of around 170 hp. A non-turbocharged 115-hp Cooper may also be offered to keep the entry price low.

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Hewitt Left Stranded By Garage Cheat

Tuesday, November 08, 2005
JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT was left pushing her Mini Cooper down Los Angeles' trendy Robertson Boulevard recently after a gas station attendant pocketed $40 (GBP22.20) and didn't fill her up.

The actress was forced to ask fellow motorists for help when her car came to a standstill after she was cheated at a garage.

She explains, "I was on a very important conference call and I was in a dress so I thought, 'I'll let someone else put the gas in the car today.' I never do that.

"I gave him $40 and I drove away. It never dawned on me to check he'd actually put the gas in the car. He pocketed my $40, never put gas in the car and I get to Robertson, the one street filled with paparazzi and I'm like, 'Oh, it's not going... This is not funny.'

"I had to get out and I started pushing my Mini Cooper down the street. Thank God I don't drive an SUV or something.

"People got out and they helped me, with the paparazzi shooting photos. It was incredibly embarrassing. A paparazzi actually helped me go get gas for my car, so they're not all bad."

But Hewitt insists, despite her embarrassment, she won't be returning to the garage where she was cheated - to confront the cheeky attendant.

She adds, "He was a ginormous man; what was he going to do? He was not going to feel sorry for me. I should have checked. I've learned my lesson."

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New MINI webring