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The British Mini Club are again supporting Ben Gridley in he quest to be on the starting grid for MINI Challenge in 2013. Ben has numerous podium finishes including 3 in 2012 and a fastest lap in 2011.

Ben is an exciting prospect and this season he is looking to push for his first win in the MINI Challenge. To do this he requires more sponsors and has put together a very good prospectus and we are sure a MINI based company in the UK would love to help him towards his quest. 

Download the prospectus today by visiting http://www.bengridley.co.uk/bensamualracing_006.htm and be a part of a 'Parthership not just sponsorship'

Ben tells us 'As our logo says, "A partnership. Not just sponsorship." We understand that an investment is only worthwhile if your business benefits in return, whether that be an increase in sales, custom, clientele or for entertaining staff and customers. It’s a win, win, win scenario. Your target market receives the product/service they require from you, your business has a loyal customer base that increases your sales and consequently profits, and I am able to race in 2013 generating more potential customers, in an endless cycle.'

BenSamualRacing can offer a wide range of methods, which are certain to do all of the above. But how?... click the above link to find out more

Ben GridleyAbout Ben:

“I was almost eight years old, and had to make that big decision of what I wanted to do for my birthday. One Saturday evening at my grandparents’ house, my Nan told me how at work she could hear the noise of the karts coming from the track just down the road. And in that moment, I decided. I turned to Dad and said like all seven year olds asking their parents for something, “Can I have a go karting party? … Pleease.

Two weeks later on my birthday, I had won my first race. The victory drug had taken over me, a feeling like no other, I was addicted and craving for more. And now ten years later, after karting success and multiple podiums in the Mini Challenge, I still get the same sensation.

We all had childhood dreams. Mine was to be a racing driver, and to win championships."

Published in Motorsport
Tuesday, 12 March 2013 16:30

MINI Plant Oxford A Century of Car Making

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 plant has produced an array of famous cars, including the Bullnose Morris, the Morris Minor, the Mini, India’s Hindustan Ambassador and today’s MINI. It also produced Hondas for a short period in the ‘80s, as well as some slightly notorious models including the early Riley Pathfinder, the much-derided Morris Marina, the startling ’70s wedge that was the Princess and in the Austin Maestro one of the world’s earliest ‘talking’ cars.

There have been eight custodians of Plant Oxford over the past 100 years, beginning with founder William Morris who owned the factory both directly and through Morris Motors until 1952, when Morris merged with arch-rival Austin to form the British Motor Corporation. Morris himself, by this time known as Lord Nuffield, was chairman for six months before retiring. During the early ‘60s the plant had as many as 28,000 employees producing an extraordinary variety of models.

In 1967 BMC became British Motor Holdings after merging with Jaguar, and the following year that group was merged with the Leyland truck company (which also included Triumph and Rover) to form the British Leyland Motor Corporation. Nationalisation followed in 1974, the group undergoing several renamings until it became the Rover Group in 1986. Boss Graham Day was charged with privatising the company for the Thatcher government, which was completed in 1988 with the sale to British Aerospace. They in turn would sell the Group, which included Land Rover, to BMW in 1994.

BMW Group invested heavily in Rover, deciding early on that a replacement for the Mini would be a priority. But considerable headwinds, and an unfavourable exchange rate lead to BMW selling Rover to the Phoenix Consortium in 2000 and Land Rover to Ford in 2000. The MINI brand was retained together with Plant Oxford, as Cowley had been renamed, along with the associated Swindon pressings factory and the new Hams Hall engine plant in Birmingham that was for production.

Today, Plant Oxford is flourishing with the manufacture of the MINI hatchback, Convertible, Clubman, Clubvan, Roadster and Coupé. It is currently undergoing a major investment that includes the installation of a 1000 new robots for both a new body shop and the existing facility. This represents the lion’s share of a £750m investment programme, announced in the last year, which also sees the significant upgrading and installation of new facilities at the company’s Hams Hall engine plant and the Swindon body pressings factory.

The Oxford plant has generated considerable wealth for the nation, as well as for many other countries around the world during its 100 years, providing direct employment for hundreds of thousands of employees and tens of thousands more through indirect jobs. The plant has a long history of export success, Morris products accounting for nearly 30 percent of the nation’s total exports by the mid 1930s. In 1950, the plant produced its 100,000th overseas model – a Morris Minor – and by 1962 BMC was shipping 320,000 examples of its annual production of 850,000 vehicles to over 170 countries, Oxford contributing a major part of that total. BMC was the UK’s biggest exporter in the early ‘60s, just as Morris had been in the ‘30s.

Plant Oxford has contributed to the industrial activities of a surprising number of far-flung countries too, by producing tens of thousands of cars for export in CKD (Completely Knocked Down) form for assembly in overseas factories. Countries that have built cars from kits include Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Cuba, East Africa, Ghana, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Malaya, Mexico, Nigeria, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Trinidad, Turkey, Uganda, Uruguay and many others. By 1967 CKD cars formed 40 percent of BMC’s exports, the kits assembled in 21 plants around the world. Morris Oxfords, Minors, MGAs, Minis, Morris 1100s and commercial vehicles were among the many models built in these distant factories. Plant Oxford’s export record is equally impressive today, no less than 1.7 million MINIs having been exported to over 100 countries since 2001.

Today, Plant Oxford forms the central element of BMW Group’s UK production network, which includes the Hams Hall engine factory in Birmingham and the Swindon pressings plant, formerly a part of Pressed Steel. The network faces a bright future as the next generation MINI family enters production over the coming years amid a trend of rising sales and exports.

 

The Cars

Many famous cars have been produced at Plant Oxford, several of them revolutionary. Here are some highlights:

‘Bullnose’ Morris Oxford 1913-26

William Morris’s first car, actually named the Morris Oxford but known as the Bullnose because of its distinctive, rounded radiator cowling in brass. A bold series of price cuts saw Morris becoming the UK’s biggest selling marque by 1924.

Morris Minor 1928-32

A small, affordable car whose price Morris eventually cut to £100, ensuring considerable popularity. Together with the baby Austin Seven, it made the motor car significantly more attainable in Britain.

Morris Eight 1935-48

A big pre-war and post-war hit, this barrel-bodied Morris developed through several iterations and remained a common sight right into the ‘60s.

Morris Minor 1948-71

A major step ahead in handling, steering, braking and roominess, the Alec Issigonis-designed Minor was a huge success. The Minor was the first British car to sell over a million, a milestone celebrated with a limited run of Minor Millions painted in a dubious shade of lilac. It was sold as a saloon, a semi-timbered Traveller estate, a convertible, a van and a pick-up.

Morris Oxford III 1956-58

The ‘50s Oxford was a family car staple of the Morris range, besides continuing with the model name that had started Morris off. An unremarkable car, except that it was the basis of India’s once hugely-popular Hindustan Ambassador, Morris shipping all the Oxford III tooling to the company in 1957. The Ambassador – or Amby, as it is fondly known – remains in small-scale production today.

BMC Mini 1959-69

The revolutionary Mini was another creation from Alec Issigonis, its transverse, front-wheel drive powertrain and space-efficient packaging redefining small car design. Go-kart handling soon inspired the sportier Coopers and giant-slaying, headline-making competition performances. Classless, fashionable, much-loved and widely exported, it introduced a word to the English language and became Britain’s most famous – and most produced - car. Plant Oxford manufactured it for 10 years from 1959, its counterpart Longbridge, Birmingham factory remaining the chief UK source until its demise in 2000.

BMC 1100/1300 1962-74

The second front-drive Issigonis model, essentially an enlarged Mini with Pininfarina styling and Hydrolastic fluid suspension. The most advanced small family car on sale at the time, it sold even faster than the Mini to become Britain’s best-seller for 10 years. Launched as a Morris, it was also sold as an Austin, MG, Riley, Vanden Plas and a Wolseley, and was offered in two-door, four-door and estate bodystyles.

Morris Marina 1971-80

Much derided at the time, but the Ford Cortina-bashing Marina was a top five best-seller for years despite its simple mechanicals, and a mainstay of the plant through the 1970s. Unusual for offering a coupe version that was cheaper than the saloon, it was replaced by the lightly restyled Ital in 1980, this car destined to be the last Morris. Like the Minor it replaced, the Marina achieved sales of over one million.

Triumph Acclaim 1981-84

Essentially a rebadged Honda Civic, the Acclaim was a stop-gap model that was the product of an unusual deal struck in 1979 by BL Cars and Honda. The goal was to providing BL with a new model offering between the 1980 launch of the Austin miniMetro and 1983’s Austin Maestro, the Acclaim’s Honda-designed production lines also prompting the installation of the first robots at the Oxford plant. The Acclaim was also significant for being the first Japanese car to be built in the UK, and the last Triumph. The BL-Honda partnership eventually led to the Japanese company setting up its own UK factory at Swindon.

Rover 800 1986-9/Honda Legend 1986-8

These executive cars were unusual for being the progeny of an engineering collaboration between Rover and Honda, the two sharing inner bodywork, suspensions and some drivetrains while presenting unique body and interior designs. Plant Oxford not only built the Rover 800 but for a short period, the sister Honda Legend model too. The 800 was also part of a major export initiative to the US in the mid ‘80s, under the Sterling brand name. This much deeper collaboration furthered a fruitful period in which Japanese just-in-time and continuous improvement techniques were introduced to the plant, eventually leading to significant gains in vehicle build quality.

Rover 75 1999-2000

The first and only Rover wholly developed under BMW ownership, the elegantly styled 75 saw a wholesale improvement in both quality and dynamic standards for the brand. Production transferred to Longbridge, Birmingham, after BMW sold Rover in 2000 and ended prematurely in 2005, although variations of the model live on in China as Roewes and MGs.

MINI 2001-06

The all-new MINI recalibrated the Mini as a larger, vastly more sophisticated premium supermini in an evolution that defined a new market, just as the original car did. Widely praised for styling that honoured its predecessor with contemporary and hugely appealing flair, it also won plaudits for its handling, imaginative interior design and build quality. The MINI also introduced personalisation on a scale never before seen in a small car, firing the gun on a trend now widely copied. It exceeded its sales targets from the start – unlike the classic Mini – and was joined by a Convertible in 2002.

MINI 2006 to date

The next generation MINI hatch further refined the 2001 concept with more space, more sophistication, more advanced engines – now mainly UK-built – more equipment and more choice. This was expanded considerably by the introduction of the Clubman estate in 2007, the Coupé and Roadster in 2012 and the Clubvan in the same year. A renewed version of the highly popular Convertible appeared in 2007.

Published in Mini News

MINI teamed up with Monster Energy to prove that anything Red Bull can do a MINI can do more....

It can win the Dakar Rally twice in a row. It can conquer more than 100 markets worldwide. But what about defying the laws of gravity and showing snowboarders how to nail the perfect backflip? Extreme sportsman, freestyle skier and rally driver Guerlain Chicherit rocked up at the winter sports resort of Tignes in his native France to prove it can do that as well. Chicherit pulled off the first such manoeuvre ever performed in a car using a static ramp, the driver and his MINI coming back down to earth – or, more specifically, a bed of fresh powder snow – unscathed after a perfectly executed backflip on a special prepared track. Check out the jump in full below

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The successful airbound stunt crowns an already impressive career in extreme sports for Chicherit. The 34-year-old is equally in his element on snow as he is behind the wheel of a rally car. Four times a freestyle skiing world champion, he has also won the French rally championship on two occasions. The Frenchman is also a veteran of the X-raid Team (which wrapped up back-to-back Dakar Rally titles in January 2013 with the MINI ALL4 Racing), having made his debut for the German outfit back in 2006. In 2011 Chicherit was in the driver’s seat as the MINI ALL4 Racing turned its first wheels in South America for the world’s toughest rally.

The MINI Backflip show event in Tignes gave Chicherit the chance to bring together every facet of his passion for extreme sports. Tignes is one of France’s best-known winter sports locations and provided the venue for the freestyle skiing competitions in the 1992 Winter Olympic Games.

The MINI Backflip show event in Tignes gave Chicherit the chance to bring together every facet of his passion for extreme sports. Tignes is one of France’s best-known winter sports locations and provided the venue for the freestyle skiing competitions in the 1992 Winter Olympic Games.

The backflip had previously been attempted by other drivers. But Chicherit has now become not only the first automotively-propelled artist to execute a perfect landing, he also did it “unassisted” – in other words, without the aid of a special ramp with moving elements to boost the car’s rotational movement. For his take-off, Chicherit used a static ramp that fits the same template as a quarterpipe on a freestyle course. With the ideal ramp breakover angle in place, Chicherit needed only two other things to record a successful attempt: an extremely light touch with the accelerator and a MINI with a suitably buoyant spring in its step.

Published in Mini News
Monday, 10 December 2012 13:40

MINI Visits Santa and sets World Record

MINI recently paid a visit to Santa Cluas and set a Guinness World Record for the longest wish list ever sent to the great man himself, and treated to a display by Mini rallying legend Rauno Aaltonen

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.

Published in Mini News
Tuesday, 06 November 2012 15:25

MINI JCW GP2 Passenger Test

Recently MINI took a handful of MINIacs to Goodwood and let them loose with all the cars in the MINI range and then later in the day they got a treat they will probably not forget for a long time. Strapped into  the passenger seat of the brand new MINI John Cooper  Works GP2 

We thought the GP was driven by Channel 5 Fifth Gear presenter and occasionaly Top Gear man Tiff Needell  to be 'sedately' driven around the Goodwood track in what is the fastest prodcution MINI ever. Tiff is one of the UK's best known drivers.  if you have ever seen him drifting you will know he can certainly control a car. In fact when the last Stig was unmasked he was 'alledgedly' used as the stand in until a new Stig was unearthed!! 

HOWEVER a tweet from Tiff tells us that it was infact a female racer called Tiffany Chittenden who  races karts and cars. We should have realised this by the blonde hair :) sorry Tiffany. We were certainly impressed by the way she handles the MINI JCW GP plese feel free to give Tiffany a follow on Twitter @TiffChittenden and visit her website to find out more http://www.tiffchittenden.com/

Watch this short clip to see their reactions

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Published in Mini News

Paul Moran, a first time entrant with his beautiful Mini Pick-Up wins the British Mini Clubs Premier Concours  Silver Trophy at the 1st attempt. An incredible achievemnent considering the quality of the competition at Mini Fest 2012. Paul was so proud to lift the trophy and a cheque for £500. In fact we think he still can not believe what has happened!! Paul has now earned the right to call his Mini Pick Up the Best In The Country for 2012. His Mini will now be displayed on the British Mini Clubs stand at the Classic Car show at the NEC in November. With our top judges in action, like Dereks Mini Centre, Wayne Brownhill, Vaughan Horden and company we knew it was going to be a very tough competition

It was even harder to win the coveted trophy this year as we had no heats due to the bad weather at previous events. All the classic Mini class winners at Mini Fest were then looked at again by the British Mini Clubs Chief Judges, who decided on the winner. With Paul scoring an incredible maximum mark of 200 pts in his class win. He was against the likes of previous winners Claire Serrel and Tracey Lippett. We could not take points scored into consideration as all judges mark differently. A very tough job indeed. After much deliberation, and sould searching it was decided Pauls Mini just had to be the winner for 2012. It would have been hard for visitors to disagree, although it was a very close run thing between all the class winners and caused much stress deciding on the Mini Fest Premier winner. A massive well done to everyone for taking part in this years Classic Mini Premier Concours.

The new MINI did not let us down as they never do, every year the quality of these cars just gets better, with the likes of  David Hobbs, Brett Deackon, Stever Moore and Richard Prior taking part we knew it was going to be an interesting afternoon, and just as tough as the classic Mini's. We introduced a new class of 2008 onwards to try and split the cars up a bit this year. Again we revisited the class winners to try and decide on an overall MINI of the day. This award going to a well deserved Richard Prior with his superb Mini Cooper. The British Mini Club always welcome the news MINI to our events, unfortuantly we did not have enough entrants this year for a Premier Trophy, but we are are looking to reintroduce this top prize. Please don't be shy bring your MINI along to a BMC event and take part in this wonderful competiton.

For the first time we introduced Show 'N' Shine to a British Mini Club event and with some 50 Minis taking part, both classic and new, this proved a massive success and attracted some beautiful cars including a dancing new MINI complete with air suspension. All entrants were provided with a judging slip and asked to vote for the car of their choice. We were very pleased with how this went and it seemed to evelove during the day into its own little community as well, with everyone looking so relaxed as well, and the cars attracting a lot of attention. Thank you to all for taking part and we will continue to run Show N Shine at our future events. 

 Pleae scroll down to view all the results. A massive thank you to all our judges, entrants and everyone who took part at Mini Fest.

Premier Concours Results for Mini Fest 2012 – September 2nd at Uttoxeter Racecourse.

Classic Mini Premier Class

1st Paul Moran TTR 764T Mini Pick Up

2nd Claire Serrell F525 KTW Mini Limited Edition

3rd Ian Matthews STG 95F Mini Cooper and S

New MINI Of The Day

Richard Prior W10 RKP MINI 2001-2006

GP Trophy in memory of Mick Walsh  presented to GP0752

Classic Mini 1959 – 1969

1st: Jason Field NF0 644 177pts

2nd Sandra Britton PAE 360F 175pts

3rd  John Derby VMR 889 147pts

Classic Mini 1970 – 1979

1st Eric Madeley ACH 224W 151pts

2nd Paul Smith ERW 940L 144pts

3rd Dennis Hollins ABM 187L 86pts

Classic Mini 1980 – 1989

1st James Connor G339 POD 168pts

2nd William Dudgeon E114 JLH  104pts

3rd Chris Cartledge F937 CKW 102pts

Classic Mini 1999 – 2000

1st Martin Wixon X174 UFC 173pts

2nd Daz Cartwright M720 TAK 160pts

Mini Clubman All Marques

1st Wayne, Vicky and George Brownhill YDH 721X 192pts

2nd Alan Slater TAK 489J 191pts

3rd Callum Lovell HRF 909N

Classic Mini Van and Pick Up

1st Paul Moran TTR 764T 200pts

2nd Andrew Nash UBD 625W  199pts

3rd Adam Padmore KMB 551C 198pts

Variants

1st Trina Roberts Q318 RCA 182pts

Modified

1st Andrew Elsdon and Tom Vandebilt MWA 154P 189pts

2nd Paul Dawson C13 PAD 185pts

3rd Mark Willis K170 VNX 168pts

Classic Mini Cooper and S

1st Ian Matthews STG 95F 186pts

2nd Matthew Critchley KBY 836E 168pts

3rd Paul Slater GUY 492J 151

Custom

1st Gary Parker J322 MTM 170pts

2nd Paul Porter ROH 751R 163pts

Limited Editions

1st Claire Serrell F525 KTU 197pts

2nd Richard Sutton G160 NRB 188pts

3rd Amy Dale F544 JFO 135pts

Classic Cabriolet

1st Tracy Lippett M821 CLN 198pts

2nd Julie Cairns L59 TBD 192

3rd Nigel Jarvis A12 LNJ 187pts

MINI 2001 – 2006

1st Richard Prior W10 RKP 198pts

2nd Mike Strudwick W6 MST 185pts

3rd Steve Moore H4Y GP 181pts

MINI 2007 onwards

1st David Hobbs F1 DJH 195pts

MINI Clubman

1st Brett Deacon V2 BRD 192pts

2nd Daniel Sturgess KJ08 AEL 177pts

3rd John Moore DE60 NLX 175pts

SHOW ‘N’ SHINE Results

Classic Mini

1st H7 ESD

2ndM139 WUD

New MINI

1st S7 HBW

2nd VK59 WNR

Concours Best Of Section

Best Paint Classic Mini UBD 625W

Best Paint New MINI F1 DJH

Best Engine Classic Mini G339 POD

Best Engine New MINI V2 BRD

Best Interior Classic Mini YDU 721X

Best Interior New MINI W10 RKP

Best Presented Classic Mini KMB 551C

Best Presented New MINI H4Y GP

Published in Mini Events

Big on performance, small in number: The MINI John Cooper Works GP. Fastest MINI ever built – Best lap of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife: 8 min. 23 sec. – Extensive use of motor sport technology – Racing feeling transferred to the road – Revealed to the public at the MINI United festival – Production limited to 2,000 cars.

The new MINI JCW GP has been long awaited by many MINI fans, we know of one GP owner who has been counting down the days to the unveil on Facebook!! To go around the Nurburgring nearly 19 seconds quicker is quite incredible. Even Top Gears Jeremy Clarkson would be struggling to beat that time :) We have a feeling the engine will be tuned to at least 250bhp as the same engine is the Citroen running 250bhp... Below is the MINI press release, can't wait to see some videos on You Tube. Check out the gallery below as well of this incredible MINI. Maybe not to the Classic Mini owners taste but we love it!!

 

Only once has there been anything like it, but even that wasn’t as quick. With the MINI John Cooper Works GP, the British premium brand has come up with another car of exceptional talent designed to deliver extreme performance on both the race track and the road. The sportiest road-registered MINI ever made will go on sale later this year in a limited run of 2,000 cars. It is currently completing a programme of testing in preparation for series production, part of which has involved setting an impressive fastest lap of the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit. The MINI John Cooper Works GP lapped the erstwhile Grand Prix course in 8 min. 23 sec. In so doing, the new model has put clear asphalt between itself and numerous sports cars from loftier perches – and beaten the lap time set by its predecessor, the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit, by almost 19 seconds.

Underpinning the performance characteristics of the MINI John Cooper Works GP is exclusive powertrain, chassis and aerodynamics technology inspired directly by motor sport. Its twin-scroll turbo engine generates outstanding torque, displays remarkable elasticity and demonstrates a healthy appetite for revs. Specially developed, adjustable race suspension channels this superlative output into spectacular yet precisely controllable handling.

As well as being undeniably imposing visually, the design of the body also gives the MINI John Cooper Works GP ideal aerodynamic balance in extreme driving situations – a key element in delivering that handling flair. Large front and rear aprons, striking side skirts and a bespoke roof spoiler are complemented by a newly developed rear diffuser which optimises airflow around the underbody. The interior of the MINI John Cooper Works GP also contributes to the car’s inspirational racing feeling; with the rear seats removed, it focuses unashamedly on the needs of the driver and co-driver.

Concentrated motor sport expertise – faithfully embodied at MINI by its John Cooper Works sub-brand – is the not-so-secret ingredient in the MINI John Cooper Works GP recipe. The “GP” tag on the model title tells you exactly where the extreme sports edition of the compact MINI most tellingly reveals its potential. The GP’s chassis configuration, the effectiveness of its race-spec braking system, the grip offered by its likewise bespoke racing tyres, and its aerodynamic properties have been honed into a high-performance whole on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit, erstwhile venue for Formula One races and lauded as the world’s most challenging race track. The noteworthy lap time set by the MINI John Cooper Works GP is the product of this extensive testing programme.

The unadulterated transfer of motor sport expertise into the everyday driving environment has history at MINI; it was this approach that made the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit the epitome of extreme driving fun in a small car when it was unveiled in 2006. Specific output of 100 kW/136 hp per litre of displacement and similarly impressive reserves of racing technology have secured its status as a sought-after collector’s item today.

The MINI John Cooper Works GP follows eagerly in the tyre tracks of its predecessor – and with an even greater spring in its step. It will be in similarly short supply; the world will have to make do with just 2,000 examples. Hosting the preview of the new model is another grand prix race track with history etched into every corner. The MINI John Cooper Works GP will be unveiled publicly for the first time at Le Castellet in France, venue for the MINI United festival on 11 – 13 May 2012. 

Published in Mini News
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 12:49

MINI partners Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour

MINI signs up as partner of the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour 2012. The sporting sub-brand John Cooper Works will be ringside for the upcoming six spectacular events in the world of freestyle motocross.


Breathtaking motocross stunts, sensational locations and top-class events lie in wait as the world’s elite freestyle motocross riders limber up for a new season of Red Bull X-Fighters. And this year the international motocross stars will be supported by a partner whose global brand experience is likewise all about making pulses race among its enthusiastic and demanding fans. The involvement in the Tour of John Cooper Works, the sporting sub-brand of MINI, adds another chapter to a MINI/Red Bull partnership that can already look back on years of success.




 

 

For Ralf Schepull, Head of MINI Brand Communication, the appetite of John Cooper Works for imposing horsepower and ultra-sporty kit makes it an ideal partner for a series like the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour. “Red Bull and the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour 2012 are a perfect fit for the John Cooper Works brand,” says Schepull. “After all, both partners pride themselves on being unconventional and uproarious, power-packed and action-packed. Together they make an impressive team.”

The John Cooper Works experience – also found on the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour 2012

The Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour 2012 will see the world’s leading freestyle motocross riders compete for prized championship points in front of enthusiastic crowds at six events spread over four continents. And the John Cooper Works sub-brand will add its own flavour to the Tour with some very special attractions of its own. For example, MINI customers can win a trip to one of the events and experience the inimitable world of John Cooper Works live when they get there.

A tour for the best of the best

Only the world’s premiere freestyle motocross riders qualify for a place on the Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour. Invitations are handed out based on a rider’s results from preceding seasons and performances in other top-tier events. The Red Bull X-Fighters World Tour 2012 will kick off in Dubai on 13 April, before visiting Glen Helen in the USA (12 May), Istanbul (16 June), Madrid (20 July), Munich (11 August) and Sydney (6 October).

Published in Mini News

The MINI Inspired by Goodwood is the most ambitious and luxurious special edition model the brand has ever launched. To celebrate delivery of the first customer cars, a single example is going on display in prime position at Harrods, the world’s most aspirational shopping destination.

The MINI which takes inspiration from the design team at Rolls Royce Motor Cars, forms part of a specially created window display. It is also visible from inside the iconic Knightsbridge store, allowing shoppers, pedestrians and drivers on the busy Brompton Road to see it.

The window features a beautiful manor house and gates, providing a quintessentially British backdrop to showcase the MINI. Inside Harrods, display screens provide information about the car, with a selection of swatches and samples of the premium interior trims used in the cabin. A member of staff from MINI’s flagship Park Lane showroom will be on hand so customers can find out more or even place an order.

Highlighting the exclusive and limited edition nature of the MINI Inspired by Goodwood, the MINI logo and the words ‘1 of 1000’ will be projected on to the pavement outside the window every night. The scene will be on display for two weeks starting from Easter Sunday, 8 April.

Guy Cheston, Harrods Director of Media Sale commented, “Harrods is delighted to be showcasing such an iconic British brand. The store attracts an average of 42,000 visitors every day from over 130 different countries every month. What better place than Harrods to showcase the most luxurious production MINI has ever built to a truly global audience.”

The MINI Inspired by Goodwood is a special edition model like no other. Announced at last April’s Shanghai Motor Show, it brings together the unparalleled fun and character of MINI with the outstanding quality of materials and bespoke workmanship that come as standard with any Rolls-Royce Motor Car

The dashboard, centre console, air vents, carpets, heated leather seats, roof lining, doors and interior cladding are all finished in the exclusive Rolls-Royce colour Cornsilk. The dashboard and door handle surfaces are of Walnut Burr, a premium wood trim bespoke to Rolls-Royce.

No expense or attention to detail has been spared on the car. The roof linings, sun visors and rear storage tray are all made of luxurious cashmere, with deep-pile lambs wool used to make the floor mats.

Power comes from MINI’s acclaimed l.6-litre 135 kW/184 hp four-cylinder petrol engine with Twin Scroll turbocharger, direct petrol injection and variable valve control. The unit, which also powers the MINI Cooper S, is the most efficient in its displacement class.

The exterior of the MINI Inspired by Goodwood is finished in the exclusive Rolls-Royce colour Diamond Black metallic, and the car rides on 17-inch light alloy multi-spoke wheels. It is only available in MINI Hatch body style.

Standard equipment includes Bi-Xenon Adaptive Headlights, Park Distance Control, automatic air conditioning, an onboard computer, MINI Navigation and the MINI Radio Visual Boost audio system, which includes a Harman Kardon hi-fi speaker system.

The MINI Inspired by Goodwood is priced £41,005 and can be ordered through official retailers. The price includes a comprehensive five-year servicing package, MINI TLC.

Published in Mini News

We recently received an email from Matt at Attaboy TV regarding a new TV programme that features a Mini and MINI right from the start and they want you to take part. Interested? then please read Matts email below and use the email link below to contact Matt


"I'm part of the production team at Attaboy TV working on a brand new motoring programme for National Geographic. The programme pits two teams of mechanics against each other to take apart a car that is beyond repair, sell the parts and see who can make the most money.

As part of the new series we're featuring both a Classic Mini and a New MINI.

For the beginning of the episode we’re looking to film a 'pristine version' of a Classic Mini and a New MINI. This will act as stock footage to set up the story for the rest of the programme.

As such we need both a Classic Mini and a New MINI to film with that are in good condition (possibly having undergone a resto). We’re looking to film at a location in Surrey on Friday 13th April.

If you have such a vehicle and want to have it featured on TV please email me: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   Preferably if you could send some pics of your car it would be appreciated. We would require you and your car for the one day and would cover travel expenses and provide a DVD of the finished programme after it has aired.

We look forward to hearing from you."

The Attaboy Team

Published in Mini News
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