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MINI Motoring

It's a MINI blog adventure.

Part 1 - Car Care Products

Friday, August 26, 2005
First of all, I always thought people were insane for spending hours detailing their cars on the weekend. After having my MINI for a couple of months, I know exactly why. You need to LOVE your car. Not just be pleased with it, or have "fun" driving it. The MINI is not my first car, so this isn't just a case of being excited to have a set of wheels. I could go on and on about how special it is, but I'll just leave it at that.

Want to know what I use to keep my car looking great? Here's a list, including links to more information where possible.

  • Various microfibre cloths (buffing, dusting, glass, drying, cleaning)
  • 100% cotton chenille wash mitt
  • Car wash brush (for plastic trim)
  • California Water Blade (yes, I am VERY careful)
  • Wash bucket
  • Garden hose and sprayer

Keep It Clean

Keep It Shiny

cl4ying 4 t3h w1n

Well, holy shit!

I got something splattered on the side of my car that wouldn't come off no matter how I washed and washed (even with Z7). It looked almost like tiny little specks of mud. I bet it was concrete or clay from the construction around here. Anyway, I bought some Zaino Z-18 clay and got to work. It was very easy to get rid of those spots. After feeling how incredibly smooth the paint was in that spot, I had to do the entire car. All in all, it took me about 30 minutes. I can't believe all of the crap that came off of my paint. The clay was dark reddish brown when I was finished.

Of course, I had to redo my Z1 and Z2 since claying removes EVERYTHING except for the paint. I know it will look amazing like it did before, but this time it will be even smoother. It was very smooth before, so that's saying quite a bit. In the morning, I'll buff off the Z2 and put another coat on in the afternoon. Next weekend, I guess I'll do two more coats so I'll be back to where I was before the claying.

Woo hoo for Zaino. They really do make amazing stuff.

icBirmingham - Youths caged for trapping and robbing drivers

Saturday, August 20, 2005
icBirmingham - Youths caged for trapping and robbing drivers:
Aug 19 2005

Three members of a Birmingham gang who trapped and then carried out armed attacks on two terrified women drivers have been sent to custody by a judge.

At Birmingham Crown Court yesterday Justin Hadley (13) of Harcourt Road, Erdington, who was previously convicted of two charges of robbery, was sentenced to four years detention.

Barry Wright ( 16) of Dovedale Road, Erdington, was also given a four-year sentence after admitting aggravated vehicle taking and two robberies and was banned from driving for two years.

Sean Kinsella (17) of Bexley Road, Erdington, who pleaded guilty to one robbery, was sentenced to three years detention.

James Dunstan, prosecuting, said Rachel Capper was driving a BMW Mini Cooper in the Streetly area at about 11pm when she was overtaken by another vehicle which then stopped in front of her.

A youth then came towards her brandishing a large kitchen knife and she reversed for about 80 yards before heading back the way she had come.

After slowing down at traffic lights she was overtaken by the vehicle which then collided with her car forcing it to partly mount the kerb while another vehicle blocked her from behind.

A youth then got into the passenger side of the Mini Cooper waving the knife about 12 inches away from her face and forcing her to get out before her vehicle was driven off and crashed. Mr Dunstan said 40 minutes later Emma Burrows, a police officer, was driving a Mini Cooper near Sutton Coldfield when she was boxed in by two vehicles.

She managed to get away by driving on to the pavement but was trapped again and after being threatened by a youth brandishing a metal bar gave up her car keys and her vehicle was also driven away.


Tuner Trucks: Dibs Mini Cooper S

Monday, August 15, 2005

AutoWeek - The Auto Enthusiast's Online Resource:

Scoop! Mini Summer Treat: Bye-bye bonbons, hello Dibs!
Published Date: 8/15/05

POWERTRAIN: 1.6-liter, 163-hp, 162-lb-ft supercharged I4; rwd, six-speed manual

The big news here, perhaps bigger than anything else in this issue, is the Dreyer’s/Edy’s brand of bonbons is being phased out. Yes, bonbons, the date of last resort for countless single women on Friday nights, the little frozen chocolate spheres of high-calorie happiness, will be gone by the New Year.

Don’t despair, don’t threaten lawsuits, don’t have bake sale fundraisers like they did when Star Trek Whatever was cancel­ed; Bonbons are being replaced by Dibs, the frozen ice cream snack with the crunchity good, nut-covered chocolate exterior that is “the hottest snacking trend of the summer.”


Van driver dies in crash with a Cooper

Sunday, August 14, 2005
New York Daily News - City News - Van driver dies in crash with a Cooper:
A minivan and a Mini Cooper collided at an intersection along the Long Island Expressway early yesterday, killing the van driver.

Christopher Samaria, 22, of Queens, was driving his Toyota minivan south along Route 110 in Melville, L.I., at 12:05a.m. when he collided with a Mini Cooper at the intersection of the Long Island Expressway, police said.

The van flipped over, killing Samaria, said Suffolk County Police Detective Sgt. Steven Bluethgen.

The driver of the Mini Cooper, identified as James Candalino, 27, of Locust Valley, L.I., was not seriously hurt. He was taken to North Shore Hospital, where he was treated and released, police said.

At the time of the accident, an earlier thunderstorm had caused traffic lights to flash yellow along Route 110 and red along the expressway, police said. No criminal charges were filed.


Mini Mania, Inc. Announces Availability of New Cold Air Filter System for BMW MINI Cooper - PR.com

Saturday, August 13, 2005
Mini Mania, Inc. Announces Availability of New Cold Air Filter System for BMW MINI Cooper - PR.com:
MINI Cooper S owners can get the benefits of improved performance and economy with a single upgrade system from Mini Mania, Inc. The new “Cold Air Intake” system from the leader in aftermarket product development for the MINI Cooper delivers 30% more cold air to the upgraded filter system.

Mini Mania, Inc. Announces Availability of New Cold Air Filter System for BMW MINI Cooper
Nevada City, CA, August 12, 2005 --(PR.COM)-- MINI Cooper S owners can get the benefits of improved performance and economy with a single upgrade system from Mini Mania, Inc. The new “Cold Air Intake” system from the leader in aftermarket product development for the MINI Cooper delivers 30% more cold air to the upgraded filter system.

The base design of the Supercharged induction system for the MINI Cooper S puts a premium not on air temperature but also air volume. The principles of advanced air filter design require that the volume of air available to the filter be optimized. Mini Mania’s exclusive design results a cold air box that provides 378 cubic inches of cold air to be rammed into the supercharger.

“Mini Mania’s 31 year history of product development dedicated to the specific needs of the Mini Cooper owners has resulted in products for both the original Classic Mini Cooper and the new BMW MINI Cooper that are the best in the industry,” said Don Racine, President of Mini Mania, Inc. “We pride ourselves on understanding the technical needs of the cars and the desires of the enthusiast owners to bring only the best to the market. The combination of fuel economy with improved performance is a goal that we all strive for, and this new system has proven in test after test to deliver both.”


Hot wheels: 8 sexiest cars ever

Thursday, August 11, 2005
MSN Dating & Personals - Hot wheels: 8 sexiest cars ever:
Hot wheels: 8 sexiest cars ever
by Joe Bargmann

These are the ultimate hot wheels—masterpieces of engineering and design that inspire lust in all who see them…To drive one is to have your sex appeal skyrocket.

“When people talk about sexy cars, they use the same language they’d use to describe a sexy person,” says Rob Myers, co-founder of Ontario, Canada-based RM Auctions, a leading classic-car auction and restoration firm. “They talk about a car being ‘hot,’ about being ‘turned-on,’ about getting a ‘rush’ from driving it, about lines and proportions and curves in all the right places.”

Who doesn’t love a sexy car—or the idea of zipping around in one? Here, as a tribute to the cars that are the ultimate hybrids of power, style, and unstoppable heat, we present the most luscious cars of all time. We don’t expect you to go out and buy one, but do feel free to fantasize about being in the driver’s seat:

1. The car James Bond should have driven: 1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato
James Bond’s original ride, the DB5, is lovely. But the DB4 has an irresistible pedigree. It is like a wealthy English gentleman—thanks to the Aston Martin mark—but the sculptural Zagato body, crafted by hand in Milan, gives it the flair and style of an Italian lover. Which is to say, it’s not only handsome, but a smooth operator, too. One of these rare beauties recently sold at auction for almost $2.7 million.

2. Prince's Little Red Corvette: 1963 Corvette C2 Sting Ray Coupe "Split Window"
When Prince sang about the little red Corvette, saying, “Baby, you’re much too fast,” this is the car he had in mind... and he sure wasn’t complaining. Detroit’s answer to the Ferrari is a bit more in-your-face than a Euro speedster, which is part of the Sting Ray’s charm.

3. The playboy's dream car: 1957 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing
No less an expert than Hugh Hefner called the Gullwing the sexiest car of all time, and this beauty remains one of the most sought-after cars on the planet. The Mercedes Gullwing’s signature: doors that lift up and out, like—you guessed it—wings. Elegant, bold, and a little eccentric, it’s the Uma Thurman of the automotive world.

4. The ultimate Italian: 1957-1960 Ferrari LWB California Spyder
Only 49 of this model California Spyder were produced. But even if the car weren’t so scarce, it would still be sexy. Why? Designed by the man Ferrari normally used to produce its race cars, the low-slung California Spyder exudes power and confidence. And it’s cute: The oval grill brings to mind a seductively parted pair of lips, waiting for a nice, deep kiss. Oh, and the standard color is blazing red, like a beating heart.

5. Steve McQueen's muscle car of choice: 1968 Mustang 390 GT
Steve McQueen made this baby famous in the movie Bullitt, driving like a maniac on the California coast, chasing bad guys. Steve McQueen? Chase scenes? California coast? Can you spell s-e-x-y? The fastback Mustang strikes such a romantic, nostalgic chord that Ford brought the car back in 2004.

6. The second most famous star of The Graduate: 1966 Alfa Romeo Spyder
Speaking of romantic, this is the car that Dustin Hoffman drove in The Graduate. You can debate who’s sexier in the flick—Mrs. Robinson or her daughter—but lots of us really fell for this car, and hard. It’s a cute little number—rather phallic, if you want to see it that way—with room for two and no more, thank you very much.

7. Because sometimes bigger is better: 1964 Lincoln Continental Convertible
The classic “Kennedy” Lincoln proved that even a massive car (5,000 pounds, more than 18 feet long) can exude a sexy sort of elegance. As compared to the Caddy, its chrome-laden competitor of the era, the Lincoln bore a minimal, modernist design and a sleekness that belied its size. Riding in a 1964 with the top down provides total exposure to the elements, maximum sensory stimulation, and style beyond compare. Jump in there with five or six of your closest friends and see where it takes you.

8. Good things come in small packages: 2005 Mini Convertible
As if the hard-top version of the classic Austin Mini Cooper weren’t cute enough, BMW decided to make us all swoon a little more by creating a “topless” version for 2005. This is bound to be the summer ride of 2005—the ideal car for driving while wearing scant clothing.

Car-obsessed New Yorker Joe Bargmann has written for GQ, Esquire, and The New York Times, among others. He’s owned everything from a 1962 Triumph TR4 to a 1964 Rambler to a 1973 Cadillac Eldorado.


BMW Announces First Application of High Definition Radio (HD RadioTM) in a Production Car

Wednesday, August 10, 2005
News & Press Releases - Overview - BMW North America:
BMW Announces First Application of High Definition Radio (HD Radio™) in a Production Car

Option will be Offered on 2006 Model Year 7 Series starting this Fall

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – August 5, 2005…
High Definition Radio (HD Radio™) will be available as an option on 2006 BMW 7 Series models, beginning with September 2005 production.

HD Radio™ Technology, developed by iBiquity Digital, is one of the most significant advances in radio broadcasting in recent history. This technology offers radio broadcasters and listeners enhanced digital audio quality, while extending future possibilities for an on-demand interactive radio experience. Many AM and FM stations across the country have started employing the HD Radio™ technology to broadcast both in analog and digital formats.

With this option, customers will have the choice of listening to their favorite AM/FM stations in the traditional analog format or switch to digital, provided that those stations broadcast using HD Radio™ Technology. The benefits of the HD Radio™ broadcast include:

* Enhanced sound quality on digital AM stations.

* CD-like sound quality on digital FM stations.

* Clear reception with no static noise, hisses or pops.

* Possibility to receive streamed data, including artist and song information, from those radio stations that provide such content within their digital broadcast.

Nearly 500 radio stations are already using this new broadcast technology in the US, and many more are expected to join in. A list of radio stations can be found at the following link: http://www.ibiquity.com/hdradio/hdradio_hdstations.htm.

The HD Radio™ Option marks another historic first for BMW. The 7 Series will be the first production car in the world to offer this leading edge technology, adding to the many technological and design innovations it has pioneered so far in the US and worldwide.

The HD Radio™ Option marks another historic first for BMW. The 7 Series will be the first production car in the world to offer this leading edge technology, adding to the many technological and design innovations it has pioneered so far in the US and worldwide.

The HD Radio™ Option will have a Suggested Retail Price of $500.


BMW Group Confirms Outlook for 2005

News & Press Releases - Overview - BMW North America:
BMW Group Confirms Outlook for 2005

Business on course despite difficult market conditions
Earnings per share of euro 0.98 for second quarter 2005

The BMW Group’s performance held up well during the second quarter 2005 despite difficult market conditions, with dynamic sales volume growth allowing it to extend its lead in the premium segments of the international car markets. With 354,324 cars sold, the BMW Group recorded a sales volume increase of 10.4% (second quarter 2004: 321,010 units). The sales volume for the first half of the year therefore totalled 646,531 units, an increase of 9.4% (first half-year 2004: 590,983 units). Sales volume growth was bolstered in particular by newly introduced models such as the BMW 1 Series and the MINI Convertible.

As already forecast for the full year, reported revenues and earnings for the second quarter 2005 have also been affected by external factors such as the currency impact, higher raw material prices and more intense market competition, so that the record figures reported in the previous year could not all be matched. Revenues in the second quarter 2005 increased by 2.1% to euro 12,159 million (second quarter 2004: euro 11,910 million). On a half-year basis, revenues fell marginally (-0.9%) to euro 22,516 million (first half-year 2004: euro 22,715 million). Profit before tax for the second quarter 2005, at euro 916 million, was down by 15.5% (second quarter 2004: euro 1,084 million). Profit before tax for the first half of 2005 therefore amounted to euro 1,728 million (first half-year 2004: euro 1,935 million / -10.7%). One-off tax-related issues had a positive impact on group net profit. The net profit for the second quarter was euro 663 million (second quarter 2004: euro 671 million / -1.2%); for the first half of the year it fell by 1.0% to euro 1,182 million (first half-year 2004: euro 1,194 million).

Number of jobs virtually unchanged
The BMW Group had a worldwide workforce of 105,888 employees as of June 30, 2005, 0.5% more than one year earlier (June 30, 2004: 105,388 employees) and 0.1% less than at the end of 2004 (December 31, 2004: 105,972 employees).

Expansion of model range still in line with schedule
With the launch of the revised BMW 7 Series and that of the BMW M6 during the second quarter 2005, the BMW Group has taken further major steps to implement its product and market initiative. The market introduction of the new BMW 3 Series Touring and of new engine versions for the BMW 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7 Series is expected to give further momentum to sales volumes, so that the number of cars sold during the full year is still forecast to increase by a high single digit percentage.

Automobiles segment: sales volume growth remains robust
Revenues of the Automobiles segment for the second quarter 2005 increased by 3.4% to euro 11,911 million (second quarter 2004: euro 11,515 million), and thus at a slower rate than the increase in sales volume. This was attributable mainly to the impact of exchange rate changes and product mix shifts. The picture is similar on a half-year basis, with revenues increasing by 2.9% to euro 21,865 million (first half-year 2004: euro 21,259 million). The Automobiles segment’s profit before taxes was below the level reported for the equivalent quarter and half-year periods last year. Segment profit for the second quarter fell by 16.8% to euro 808 million (second quarter 2004: euro 971 million); for the first half of 2005 it fell by 11.9% to euro 1,510 million (first half-year 2004: euro 1,713 million).

298,745 BMW brand cars were sold during the second quarter 2005, 9.3% more than in the previous year (second quarter 2004: 273,429 units). The equivalent figure for the first half of 2005 was 538,132 BMW cars, 8.6% higher than in the previous year (first half-year 2004: 495,496 units).

In the fifth year after launch, the MINI continues to enjoy strong growth rates. The sales volume in the second quarter 2005 totalled 55,420 units, 16.9% more than in the previous year (second quarter 2004: 47,402 units). 108,114 MINI brand vehicles were sold during the first half of 2005, an increase of 13.6% compared to the same period last year (first half-year 2004: 95,168).

159 Rolls-Royce Phantoms were handed over to customers during the second quarter 2005, 20 fewer (-11.2%) than in the previous year (second quarter 2004: 179 units). Between January and June 2005, 285 Rolls-Royce Phantoms were sold, 10.7%, or 34 vehicles, fewer than in the previous year (first half-year 2004: 319).


New Vice President Named at BMW Manufacturing Co.

News & Press Releases - Overview - BMW North America:
New Vice President Named at BMW Manufacturing Co.

Dr. Thomas Arlt has been named vice president of logistics and information technology at BMW Manufacturing Co. He replaced Manfred Stoeger, who has assumed responsibility for after sales technical services and market development in Munich.

Most recently, Arlt was manager of logistics product planning at BMW’s Regensburg plant in Germany where he was responsible for supply chain planning, packaging planning, and supply chain quality for car projects.

He began his career with BMW in September 1996 after receiving a doctorate from the Technical University in Munich, Germany and has since held numerous positions within BMW’s Regensburg and Spartanburg plants.

From 1996 though 1999, Arlt worked at BMW’s Regensburg plant in structure planning, vehicle control and logistics.

From August 1999 to 2001, Arlt worked at BMW Manufacturing Co. to support the X5 launch. In 2001, he returned to Germany to central transport logistics and in 2002, moved to central logistics planning.

He and his wife, Petra, have four children.


2005 MINI Cooper S Cabriolet Road Test

Tuesday, August 09, 2005
2005 MINI Cooper S Cabriolet Road Test - Roadtests - Auto123.com - Canadian automotive network:
A Literal Breath of Fresh Air

The MINI puts the smile back on my face and makes me look forward to driving no matter what the circumstances are. (Photo: Alexandra Straub, Canadian Auto Press)
It's coming up on a 12-hour work day. I'm tired and I just want to go home. But home is another 45 minute drive away. Sigh. Yet, as I walk to the parking lot and spot my 2005 MINI Cooper S Cabriolet, the exhaustion and stress of my tedious job melt away (and I'm not talking about my writing gig). In fact, I run up the parking lot stairs in excitement because, after a day of scattered showers and sunny patches, the sunny patches remain enabling me to drop the top of my test MINI for a breezy and speedy drive home.

If someone were to ask me if I could sum up the MINI Cooper's personality in one word, a while ago I would have said 'fun'. Now I would say 'rejuvenating'. Rejuvenating? Yes, the MINI's personality taps into the tank of extra energy and excitement I thought I had exhausted throughout the day. It puts the smile back on my face and makes me look forward to driving no matter what the circumstances are, except maybe for rain, because then I can't go topless.



Sunday, August 07, 2005
After a conversation I had with a co-worker, I did a search for front wheel drive skid on Google. I figured this might be a good idea since I have always driven rear wheel drive / 4WD vehicles. This is the first site that came up. The title made me think, "Okay, this is just some person who hates front wheel drive and thinks it should be illegal". This is not the case.

The author simply wants to ensure that all owners of FWD cars know that they react differently than RWD after they lose traction. Knowing the difference before you get in a situation where you have to apply that knowledge can save your skin. I highly suggest reading through the entire article.


If it is, there are a few things you should know about driving one of these babies in slippery conditions. You may have been driving it for years without any problem, not knowing that when and if you encounter a condition of front-end skid, or fwd understeer, you life may well depend on knowing what to do, and most importantly, that you don't want to do what was correct with Rear Wheel Drive.

Front Wheel Drive automobiles, although they have been in production in various parts of the world for most of this century, first came to America in any kind of quantity with the advent of the Austin/Morris Mini, first introduced here around 1959. Prior to this time, although there were the odd Tucker, Saab, or Citroen to be found here and there, Front Wheel Drive was a rarity. But what the Minis started caught on, becoming much more popular with the introduction of the Volkswagen Rabbit, and then springing up under the badge of just about every major manufacturer, from Audi to Oldsmobile.

This was a Good Thing for some reasons - the unitized drive line inherent in FWD made production cheaper and easier, for example. And, once you hit the 'edge' of adhesion, such as in snow and ice, FWD makes for a much more controllable car - But You Have To Know How To Drive It!


This isn't absolutely true; when the traction is good, and/or when the vehicle is being driven slowly enough, there is virtually no apparent difference between controlling a front wheel drive vehicle and doing the same with its Rear Wheel Drive Counterpart. Consequently, there are people all over the planet who have been driving their FWD cars for years in a completely blissful state of pure ignorance that there are fundamental and important differences between FWD and RWD. But all this completely changes on that snowy day when you find yourself just a little fast in a corner that's just a little too slippery - when you get to "the edge."

Yet, for some reason, it doesn't yet seem to be popular knowledge that a front wheel drive vehicle is completely different creature to control once the limits of adhesion are reached. I have asked many drivers of FWD cars if they are aware of the different driving style required in event of a skid, and I don't remember finding a single one who knew what I was talking about. I have, however, encountered a few who won't drive their FWD in winter, saying it just acts "too squirrely" on ice and snow.

Rally drivers, for whom the Mini became the ne plus ultra within a year or two of its introduction, (there were other, less popular fwds, such as Saab and Citroen) found the differences very quickly. Sports car magazines of the time were full of praise for the way FWDs "pulled their way around corners," in slippery conditions, while the best one could do with the rear wheel drives was to "cross them up" and hope for the best - using power to the (rear) drive wheels to control how far outward the rear end slews, and correcting for the inevitable outward skid by steering the front end outward to compensate. A little too much power, of course, and the car would inevitably sail right off the outside of the corner - sideways - or come to a halt after spinning around for a while.



Saturday, August 06, 2005

Aaaah ...

The car has been broken in for about a week now. It feels great to be able to go over 4500 RPM!

I went to lunch with my co-workers this week, and they were all fighting for a seat in the MINI. Nobody wanted to sit in the back seat, but once they got there, they realised it was actually comfortable. I just found that out a few days ago when I let my brother take his girlfriend for a spin with me and my dad sitting in the back seat.

There are a few little glitches with the MINI so far, but nothing that can't be cured with a software upgrade. I'm bringing the car in to BMW/MINI on Wednesday to have that taken care of.

Anyway, I just stripped all of the wax off the car so I can use Zaino to make it shine in a way no car has any business shining! I'll take some pictures with my crappy camera when I'm done, even though it's a piece of shit. Of course, no car shines like one with black paint, but I'm already washing mine twice a week as is. Imagine how often I'd wash it if it was all black, instead of just the roof. I'd probably wash it every evening, then dust it down after I get to work. With the SUV, I didn't have to keep it so clean, because they are allowed to get a bit dirty.

I put Zaino on the wheels too, since they are painted. Hopefully it helps to repel the evil brake dust.

BBR MINI Cooper S 300T

BBR MINI Cooper S 300T | Car Previews | Auto Express:
BBR MINI Cooper S 300T

on't be fooled by the mild-mannered exterior. This MINI might appear familiar, but it eats Subaru Imprezas for breakfast and snacks on BMW M3s for lunch. It is the ultimate proof that looks can be deceptive.

Built by tuning expert Brodie Brittain Racing, this is a Cooper S like no other. With its supercharger junked in favour of a turbo, the BBR 300T pumps out a mighty 307bhp and 424Nm of torque. That's enough to propel it to a top speed of 160mph, and sprint from 0-100mph in the time it's taken you to read this paragraph.

Extracting so much power from the MINI's humble 1.6-litre engine takes a huge amount of work. Starting with a standard Cooper S unit, BBR strips and rebuilds it using a new cylinder head with bigger valves and polished surfaces to improve gas flow. The camshaft is replaced, and there's a new air intake and cooling system to force-feed the extreme motor.

Complex reworking of the electronic control systems and engine mapping is also required to enable the unit to run with a turbo rather than the supercharger. A three-stage throttle-actuated boost controller works to tame the 300T's rampant muscle. Naturally, it's not only the engine which has come in for attention.

Fitted with BBR's own Power Grip suspension and uprated brakes from AP, the MINI's already capable chassis has been improved in an effort to cope with the vastly increased performance.

So, what does a 307bhp, 160mph MINI feel like? Explosively fast is the short answer. However, you need a steely nerve to guide it, for although essentially well mannered at modest speeds, the Cooper S 300T bares its sabre-like teeth when you push the throttle pedal to the carpet.

Under hard acceleration on the test track, the nose tugs and pulls at every bump and camber change, to the point where you need both (sweaty) hands on the steering wheel. Thanks to a limited-slip differential, wheelspin is kept in check to a remarkable degree, at least on dry roads. Once in fourth and fifth gears, the 300T's 100 per cent increase in torque ensures it surges forwards like an Impreza STi or Mitsubishi Evo.

Sadly, such performance does not come cheap. The full BBR 300T conversion costs £18,950 on top of the donor Cooper S - although the firm will be converting the first handful of cars at the special price of £16,000. However, if you want the ultimate giant-slayer, there's nothing else to touch it.
Paul Bailey


Inside Line: Hot 210-hp Mini Cooper S Coming Soon

Inside Line: Hot 210-hp Mini Cooper S Coming Soon -:
OXFORD, England — A hot new version of the Mini will be available in October when the 210-hp John Cooper Works (JCW) engine tuning kit will be available as a factory-fit option on the Mini Cooper S hatch and convertible.

The most powerful and quickest official Mini on the road will cost an extra $6,400 at U.K. prices, but the JCW Mini Cooper S has a top speed of 143 mph and a 0-to-60-mph time of just under 6.6 seconds. The kit features a modified cylinder head with higher compression, modified engine electronics and increased throughput injectors.

The factory option will also include 16-inch disc brakes and calipers, exhaust pipe finisher, front apron and tailgate badges, and certificate of authenticity. A limited-slip differential is also included.

Mike Cooper, managing director of John Cooper Works, has been heavily involved in the introduction of the kits at Plant Oxford. He said: 'I'm pleased that the partnership with the new Mini has been such a success. The kits offered as a factory-fit option show how closely we work together and will provide us at John Cooper Works with more time to develop further high-performance products.' John Cooper developed the original Mini Cooper, which won Monte Carlo Rallies in the 1960s.

What this means to you: This could be the ultimate cult Mini — fantastic performance with a genuine motorsports pedigree.


Record July Sales for BMW and MINI Brands

Wednesday, August 03, 2005
News & Press Releases - Overview - BMW North America:
BMW Group in the U.S. Reports Record July Sales for BMW and MINI Brands

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – August 2, 2005...
The BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI brands combined) reported July sales of 26,840, an increase of 11 percent over the 24,086 vehicles sold the same month last year. The BMW Group also reported year-to-date sales of 171,683 vehicles, up 2.4 percent over the 167,732 vehicles sold in the first seven months of 2004.

BMW Brand
BMW reported an 8 percent increase in July sales of automobiles and Sports Activity Vehicles, to 23,178 vehicles, making it the strongest July on record. This compares to the 21,479 reported in July 2004.

Year-to-date, sales of BMW brand vehicles were about the same (-0.9 percent) from last year, for sales of 146,042 vehicles compared to 147,313 vehicles sold in first seven months of 2004.

BMW Automobile Sales
July sales of BMW automobile sales were up 19 percent, to 16,555 cars, compared to 13,974 sold in the same month a year ago. Year-to-date, sales were down 4 percent, to 107,152 automobiles compared to 111,580 in the same period a year ago.

BMW Sports Activity Vehicle Sales
SAV sales were down 12 percent for the month for 6,623 vehicles, compared to 7,505 vehicles sold in July 2004. Year-to-date, sales of BMW’s two SAV models are up 9 percent, to 38,890 vehicles compared to 35,733 in the same period of 2004.

Certified Pre-owned
BMW also reported July sales of Certified Pre-owned BMWs. Monthly sales of Certified Pre-owned vehicles were 6,738, up 3 percent over the 6,550 vehicles sold in the same month last year.

Year-to-date, BMW CPO sales were up 2 percent, for 43,150 vehicles over 42,405 for the same period a year ago.

MINI Brand
MINI Automobiles
MINI USA continued to experience strong demand, with July sales up 41 percent, for the strongest July since MINI automobiles went on sale in 2002. The division reported sales of 3,662 cars this month compared to 2,607 last July. Sales of MINI automobiles in the first seven months of 2005 are up 26 percent with sales of 25,641 cars over the 20,419 cars reported in 2004.


MINI Technical Terms

Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Ever been confused by all of this ABS, ASC+T, CBC, DSC, EBD, LSD, OBC, PDC, RSC stuff? Well take a look at some of the MINI Technical Terms on the MINI.com website!


New MINI webring