This sounds really exciting. For almost $1000 you can get trained at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Below is the official press Release from MINI USA. Motor On!
MINI USA PARTNERS WITH MILES AHEAD FOR ‘MINI PERFORMANCE MOTORING SCHOOL.’
- First performance driving program ever at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
- Instruction from professional race car drivers
- Program fleet exclusively uses MINI John Cooper Works Hardtops
Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey – March 27, 2013… MINI USA has partnered with Miles Ahead to launch a performance driving program called ‘MINI Performance Motoring School.’ Hosted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway beginning in the summer of 2013, the program will consist of performance driving instruction from internationally accomplished professional race car drivers, and offers the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a 2013 high-performance MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop. The Miles Ahead training will take place on the infield road course at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The MINI Performance Motoring School gives enthusiasts a unique opportunity to learn performance driving skills in an iconic motorsports venue. The program includes exercises for slalom / handling, precision braking, skid control, timed sector runs and instructor-driven hot laps. The John Cooper Works engine is MINI’s performance model, with a 208-hp twin-scroll turbocharged engine paired with technology developed for precision handling and responsiveness, making it the perfect MINI model for this thrilling driving experience.
“This program combines an amazing experience with learning skills that can be critical behind the wheel every day on the main roads,” said Jim McDowell, Vice President – MINI USA. “It is for the fans who really want to experience what a MINI is capable of doing, as well as test and refine their own motoring skills. The iconic track setting is an added bonus.”
This is great news for those that have MINI Connected in their MINI, I am one of them. I listen to books on Audible and listen to music/radio on TuneIn. Glympse I’ve downloaded recently and Rhapsody I don’t use. Below is the official press release from MINI USA. Motor On!
MINI USA Announces Partnerships with Audible, Glympse, Rhapsody and TuneIn.
Demo apps available for media preview at the New York Auto Show.
Additions ensure a well-rounded app portfolio for MINI Connected.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – March 27, 2013… MINI announced today that four new partners will provide integrated Apple iPhone apps for MINI Connected, MINI’s flexible and innovative infotainment platform. The addition of the new apps, Audible (spoken digital content), Glympse (location sharing), Rhapsody (on-demand music service) and TuneIn (Internet radio) ensures that the portfolio of MINI Connected Ready apps is well-rounded, addressing wider entertainment options as well as functional needs.
“We regularly identify apps that our owners rely on as part of their everyday life, and adapt them for an in-vehicle experience they’ll find safe, useful and engaging,” said Phil Johnston, Product Manager for the BMW Group Apps Platform from the BMW Group Technology Office. “Audible, Glympse, Rhapsody and TuneIn were natural additions to the family of MINI Connected Ready Apps.”
Johnston continued, “Integrating access to spoken digital content from Audible, was the next logical way to expand audio entertainment for drivers. The ability to use the Glympse app from the existing vehicle controls enables drivers to share their whereabouts and ETA in a much safer way. Music is key to vehicle infotainment, and by partnering with Rhapsody, we are delivering music to our owners in user-friendly formats they prefer. With TuneIn, MINI motorers will not only get thousands of music radio stations, but also live sports, news and talk shows from around the world.”
Previews of all four demo apps will be offered for media guests at the New York International Auto Show on the MINI stand March 27 and 28.
MINI Oxford plant is celebrating 100 years in production this month. Here’s an official press release looking back at the Oxford plant. Pictured above is the first R50 MINI produced in 2001
MINI Plant Oxford – A century of car-making.
Oxford. MINI Plant Oxford celebrates 100 years of car-making this March, against a background of rising production, increased investment and continuing expansion. Today, Plant Oxford employs 3700 associates who manufacture up to 900 MINIs every day, and has contributed over 2.25 million MINIs to the tally of over 11.65 million cars that the factory has produced since 1913.
The first car built at the factory, a Bullnose Morris Oxford, emerged on 28 March 1913 and has been followed by cars from a wide range of famous British brands – and one Japanese – including MG, Wolseley, Riley, Austin, Austin Healey, Mini, Vanden Plas, Princess, Triumph, Rover, Sterling and Honda, besides founding marque Morris and MINI. The Pressed Steel Company subsidiary occupying the same Cowley complex also built bodyshells for Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Jaguar, MG, Standard-Triumph, Ford and Hillman, as well as tooling dies for Alfa Romeo. The plant has a long and impressive history of shipping cars abroad that has resulted in more than1.7 million MINIs going to overseas customers.
The MINI John Cooper Works Paceman combines mouthwatering sporting flair and inimitable style to usher in a new dimension in driving fun. The seventh top-class athlete in the John Cooper Works range blends the overall concept of the first Sports Activity Coupé in its class with powertrain and chassis technology developed on the back of extensive motor sport expertise and the standard presence of ALL4 all-wheel drive. The driver and passengers can lap up the resultant sensation of race competition and the interior’s characteristic sports car ambience from four individual seats.
A new addition to the compact segment: a Sports Activity Coupé with a racing flavour.
The MINI John Cooper Works Paceman takes to the stage as the stand-out sporting tool in a new category of car. The new model sees the compact Sports Activity Coupé concept wrapped up in an extra layer of muscular proportions and dynamically stretched lines.
The performance-maxing character of the MINI John Cooper Works Paceman is further emphasised by an aerodynamic kit, which features as standard alongside lowered sports suspension and 18-inch light-alloy wheels. The selection of exterior paint finishes includes Chili Red, which can also be specified – exclusively on the John Cooper Works model – as a contrast shade for the roof and exterior mirror caps, as well as for the Sport Stripes.
Engine and gearbox: top performance as standard, automatic transmission optional.
The 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine powering the MINI John Cooper Works Paceman boasts a twin-scroll turbocharger, petrol direct injection and variable valve control based on the BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC technology. It develops output of 160 kW/218 hp and peak torque of 280 Newton metres (207 lb-ft), which can be increased to 300 Newton metres (221 lb-ft) for short periods between 2,100 and 4,500 rpm courtesy of the overboost function. The sports exhaust system provides this power delivery with a suitably stirring soundtrack.
MINI sets a world record approved by Guinness World Records™ for the longest wish list ever delivered to Santa Claus.
In its usual unconventional style, MINI has completed its Christmas mission. The MINI Goes to Santa Claus project has made it possible for MINI to set a Guinness World Records record, collecting 75.954, the biggest number of wishes ever delivered to Santa Claus. The delivery directly to the hands of Santa Claus of the longest wish list in the world (3798,5 metres) took place today at the Santa Claus Post Office in Rovaniemi. The wish list was put together by joining the wishes end-to-end and using a special paper that has a minimal impact on the environment.
The MINI Goes to Santa Claus project
A fleet of eight MINIs traveled from one end of Europe to the other, heading for the Arctic Circle in order to deliver to Santa Claus the Christmas wishes written by children and adults the world over. To set a Guinness World Records record, MINI got a total of 16 countries involved in the collection of the wishes: Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Portugal, Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Russia, United States of America and Singapore.
The MINI Family’s journey to Rovaniemi
Saturday, 24 November, the MINI Family departed from the headquarters of the BMW Group in Munich with Rovaniemi as its destination. Along the way, covering more than 3,500 km, the MINI Family passed through some of Europe’s most beautiful cities, such as Copenhagen and Stockholm, where the collection of the wishes continued.
The new MINI Paceman
The new MINI Paceman, the seventh model in the MINI family, welcomed the MINI Goes to Santa Claus caravan upon its arrival in Rovaniemi. With its unique personality, the MINI Paceman offers an innovative combination of sporty and extroverted design. It is the first Sports Activity Coupé in the premium compact segment and is available with the MINI ALL4 four-wheel drive system.
An outstanding guest: Rauno Aaltonen
In Rovaniemi the MINI Family was welcomed by a very special guest: Rauno Aaltonen. The Finnish driver showed off his exceptional talent at the wheel of a new MINI Paceman, bringing to life for the international press the MINI Ice Driving Experience. Rauno Aaltonen won the European Rally Championship in 1965 and, thanks to his incomparable driving style and the intelligent choice of tyres, he was victorious in the historic 1967 Monte Carlo Rally behind the wheel of a classic Mini. Rauno Aaltonen has also been nicknamed “the Flying Finn” and “the Rally Professor”, and he has to his name an incredible number of prizes, awards, and accolades.
In collaboration with Rovaniemi
To realize the MINI Goes to Santa Claus event, MINI could count on the collaboration of the city of Rovaniemi, “the Official Hometown of Santa Claus” and “the Heart of Lapland”. Rovaniemi is located on the 66
parallel inside the Arctic Circle, about 800 km from Helsinki and 2,600 km from the North Pole. The city is situated between the Ounasvaara and Kokalovaara hills, at the confluence of the river Kemijoki and its tributary, the Ounasjoki. The name “Rovaniemi” has often been thought to be of Lapp origin, since in the Sami language “roavvi” means a wooded hill; whereas in the Finnish language “rova” means a “pile of stones” or “rock”. The capital of Lapland is a magic city. As a matter of fact, although Christmas comes but once a year, in Rovaniemi it is possible to run into Santa Claus every day of the year.
So in the picture of the interior of the 2013 MINI Countryman you can see a 2 spoke steering wheel like the R50 and R53 had standard up to a certain model year (not sure which year). I do know that when I was ordering my 2004 R53 I had the option of a 3 spoke steering wheel (which I bought). To be honest I’m not the biggest fan of the 2 spoke steering wheel. But you decide. Will this be an option or will it come standard in the US is the question.
Below is the US press release. The previous post I did was of the global press release.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – November 1, 2012. In the two years since its launch onto the world’s car markets, the MINI Countryman has developed into a driving force behind the continuing growth of the brand. The transference of hallmark MINI qualities and values into a new vehicle segment has won over new target groups worldwide to the brand’s unmistakable style. Autumn 2012 will see the British carmaker’s first model to offer all-wheel drive benefiting from an extensive round of modifications which will further enhance the allure of its boundless driving fun. Detailed refinements to the car’s design and the selection of materials available for the interior shine the spotlight even more brightly on a premium character none of the MINI Countryman’s rivals can match. The spacious five-door’s optimized ease of use underlines its very modern appreciation of practicality.
The modifications designed for the MINI Countryman will be rolled out across all model variants from November 2012. Open one of the front doors and the newly designed rings encircling the Center Speedo and four air vents immediately stand out. They will now be presented across the board in the color shade Carbon Black and also have an inner ring in high-gloss black or – as part of the Chrome Line Interior option – in chrome. Both in standard trim and with options specified, the fresh appeal of the colors and materials adds further luster to the high-quality character of the MINI Countryman interior.
Newly designed door inserts also help to enhance the car’s premium ambience, comfort and practicality. Remodeled door armrests provide even more comfortable support for the arms, and the controls for the electric windows are now also positioned in the door trim. A full control panel is integrated into the door armrest on the driver’s side. The switches clustered here include the controls for all the windows, the deactivation facility for the rear window controls and adjustment for the exterior mirrors. Moving the window controls away from the centre console also optimizes access to the larger storage compartment below it. From autumn 2012 the MINI Countryman will come as standard with a three-seat rear bench, while a pair of individual seats will be available as a no-cost alternative.
As well as changes to the range of interior colors, interior trim elements and Color Lines, the selection of exterior paint finishes will also be given a refresh in autumn 2012. New additions include the suitably expressive color shades Brilliant Copper metallic and Blazing Red metallic. Plus, a restructuring of the equipment packages on offer to customers will make it even easier to customize the MINI Countryman to reflect their tastes.
Customers in the U.S. can choose from three engine variants for the MINI Countryman. The standard 1.6 liter, four cylinder MINI Cooper engine (121 hp) is the standard powertrain, while the turbocharged Cooper S engine is an option delivering 181 hp. There is also the ultra-sporty MINI John Cooper Works Countryman, powered by a turbocharged 208 hp engine. The ALL4 all-wheel-drive system fitted as standard on this top-class performance variant is also available as an option for the MINI Cooper S Countryman. All models can be ordered with a six-speed automatic gearbox as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual. The impressive efficiency of the engines and gearboxes along with extensive MINIMALISM technology ensure all the MINI Countryman variants achieve an exemplary balance between driving fun and fuel economy.
Here’s the official press release with highlighting changes to the 2013 MINI Countryman. Keep in mind that this is a global press release, so in some cases some options won’t apply to US, like the engine options. Enjoy!
Munich. In the two years since its launch onto the world’s car markets, the MINI Countryman has developed into a driving force behind the continuing growth of the brand. The transference of hallmark MINI qualities and values into a new vehicle segment has won over new target groups worldwide to the brand’s unmistakable style. Autumn 2012 will see the British carmaker’s first model to offer all-wheel drive benefiting from an extensive round of modifications which will further enhance the allure of its boundless driving fun. Detailed refinements to the car’s design and the selection of materials available for the interior shine the spotlight even more brightly on a premium character none of the MINI Countryman’s rivals can match. The spacious five-door’s optimised ease of use underlines its very modern appreciation of practicality. Read the rest of this entry »