The very well known American TV host and car nut Jay Leno recently had the chance to drive the most expensive MINI built, the £1million Dakar winning Countryman All4. He discusses the All4 with 2014 champion Nani Roma.
Jay Leno loves the Mini both old and new and chats about his experiance in an exclusive interview on MINI Space. He says about the MINI All4 " The streets of Los Angeles are actually worse than the Dakar Rally so you need a car like this!!"
MINI Space asked Jay "Whats the one word you would use to describe the MINI All4?"
"Well the one word that always describes driving a Mini is fun. When the Mini came out, John Surtees, James Hunt, all these other guys drove them because they were - fun. It's not a matter of cost, and I think thats's the real key because guys with Ferraris get a huge kick out of driving MINI. A lot of guys you meet, that's their everyday car because they use it to zip around town and they use the other car for the weekend. Fun is the only word I can use to describe it. And men and women use the same word"
An interesting take on the Mini. If only we could all have one for the week and the Supercar in the garage for the weekend. One day maybe :)
Enjoy the video of his desert drive, with some fantastic photography as well, and then follow the link for the fascinating full interview www.minispace.com
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The next Generation of the MINI is set to be released in 2014 and MINI are gradually revealing snippets of what we may expect. The latest being new 3 and 4 cylinder engines. Other manufacturers are using 3 cylinder engines already. In particular Ford with much success with the 1.0 litre which is a used in many models as a high output, economical engine. We would expect the new MINI engines to be very similar. The MINI press release continues
The latest innovations in drive-train, chassis and safety will see future MINI models build on their segment-leading position.
Since 1959, the unmistakable go-kart feeling has been at heart of the British marque’s DNA. Today, every member of the MINI family has the combination of agile handling, exemplary efficiency, contemporary comfort and uncompromising safety. With the typical innovative strength expected from a premium manufacturer, MINI seeks to set standards for the future in developing vehicles and technologies that transform driving into a unique experience.
A new generation of engines is now about to optimise the balance between driving thrills and fuel consumption yet again. Future MINI models will be the first to use both three and four-cylinder engines, not only covering a broader performance spectrum, but also setting new standards in terms of output, performance, comfort and reliability. The quality of the new engines is a direct result of the unique development expertise of the BMW Group in the area of drive technology. Thanks to the brand and model-specific design, they have performance characteristics synonymous with the MINI driving experience.
The advances achieved by MINI in the area of drivetrain technology are characterised by the consistent further development of tried-and-tested design principles and the integration of innovative technology. Both in terms of design and in the coordination of all chassis variant, MINI developers will continue to emphasise sporty, agile handling.
In addition, MINI will introduce electrically adjustable dampers for the first time. The electric control of the damper valves will make it possible to vary the nature of responsiveness to uneven road surfaces. Two characteristic curves will be available for damper adjustment that can be activated at the flip of a switch. Depending on the driver’s preferences, a decidedly sporty drivetrain setting or something more balanced and comfortable can be selected.
Birthday Celebrations in Oxford: The new MINI will be presented on Sir Alec Issigonis’ 107th birthday
By now we have all seen leaked images of the next Generation 2014 MINI, dubbed the F56 it takes the car in to a new era. Quite rightly the first official appearence of this very important new car will be at Plant Oxford. Then almost straight after the MINI will be revealed in Los Angeles and Tokyo. Followed by its first motor show appearence at Tokyo Motor Show. The official release reads:
A new era of driving excitement, in-car-infotainment and premium quality in the small car segment is drawing ever closer. The new MINI will be unveiled on 18 November 2013, 107 years to the day since the birth of the man who started an automobile revolution, Sir Alec Issigonis. MINI Plant Oxford will host the world premiere, with a party in London that same evening.
The new MINI will also have its exhibition premiere in front of international audiences that same week, with an almost simultaneous unveiling in Los Angeles and Tokyo. On 20 November 2013, the limelight will shine on the new star of the premium small car segment, first at the Tokyo Motor Show, Japan, followed just hours later by the Los Angeles Motor Show in California, USA. The new MINI will go on sale in the first quarter of 2014.
Born in Great Britain, built in the best tradition.
Just like its predecessor, the new MINI will be produced in Oxford. The start of production and the world premiere will mark additional highlights in a jubilee year for the MINI Plant, where automobiles have been built for more than 100 years at the historic Oxford location.
The world premiere will pay tribute to MINI’s origins and the creator of the original icon. With the introduction of the Mini in 1959, Alec Issigonis revolutionised the automobile industry. A transversely mounted engine, front wheel drive, wheels set in all four corners and an advanced undercarriage not only delivered unparalleled cabin space for passengers and luggage on a small footprint, but also exceptional driving agility.
The concepts Issigonis introduced in the Mini became the foundation for many generations of small and compact cars. In their most modern form, those principals will continue to live on in the new MINI. Completely new engines and chassis technologies, MINI Connected innovations and refined premium quality will make it the new benchmark for driving enjoyment in its class.
If you can not wait that long AUTOBLOG recently revealed 27 spy shots. Interestingly the fuel filler has moved to the other side, what does this mean for the suicide door on the Clubman we ask? Also the side indicators appear to now be within the door mirrors to meet Euro regulations.
Motoring File have been following the F56 for some time and have some interesting articles on the new car: http://www.motoringfile.com/section/f56/
Virtually no other historical motor-sport event transports visitors back to the flair and glamour of yesteryear as stylishly as the Goodwood Revival. The successful racing history of Minimakes the Goodwood Revival the focal point for presenting some fascinating vehicles taken from the illustrious past of both of the Mini
This year Mini will compete for the St. Mary’s Trophy. A very new scion from the motor-sport collection will line up at the start for Mini. Since the beginning of this year, an Austin Mini Cooper S Competition from 1964 has been completely rebuilt in the workshop of the motor-sport division at BMW Group Classic. “We want to remind everyone that MINI also brought home numerous victories on racing tracks alongside its outstanding successes in rally racing,” explains Friedrich Nohl, Head of the Motor-sport Division at BMW Group Classic, commenting on the motivation for the restoration project.
Manufacture of the racing versions of the Mini-Cooper S powered by a 1275 cc engine commenced in 1964. John Fitzpatrick won the 1300 cc class and took second place in the British Touring Car Championship. John Rhodes dominated the 1300 cc class in this championship from 1965 to 1968. He also drove this car to victory in the European Championship in 1968. The car competed in Group 2 and normally had a displacement enlarged to 1293 cc. “We thought that Goodwood was the ideal venue to showcase this British success story with a view to driving the Cooper S in the first race,” continued Nohl. The classic Mini will be driven by Claudia Huertgen, successful racing driver and chief instructor at BMW and MINI Driving Experience, and by Jörg Weidinger, who comes from the hillclimb scene and has been working as a driver trainer at BMW and MINI Driving Experience for many years
As we all know the MINI is available in the massive auto market that is China. The China Daily decided to mark this occasion by charting the Mini history and how it became MINI over the 50 years of Minis amazing life
Part of the article reads:
"Mini becomes MINI, passion for the feisty little car continues
Compact body, flat top, bug-eyed headlights, hexagonal grille - the Mini is easy to recognize on the road. A star on both race track and city streets, the nimble and fashionable car has attracted a wide range of customers from ordinary people to celebrities.
Born in the late 1950s in Britain, the iconic brand was at first a response to the fuel shortage following the Suez Canal crisis. To the surprise of many who doubted the prospects for a small car, it was an immdeiate hit inside and outside Britain. The cars popularity proved to be long lasting, thanks to the original design, go-cart driving feel and personalized style. More than 5.3 million Minis were made and sold all around the world during its incarnation from 1959 to 2000.
Along with the brands of Rover Group, Mini was acquired by BMW in 1994, The premium German car maker introduced a new generation Mini in 2001 after production of the Mini ceased. The brand was changed to MINI, all capital letters to mark the beginning.
The MINI was introduced to the Chinese market in 2003. The half-century old brand, with millions of fans all over the world, is now firing the passion of more and more Chinese motor enthusiasts"
Please be sure to read the full and interesting article: