The next generation MINI is slated to arrive for 2013 and these are the first photos of the new model, out and about undergoing initial public road testing.
The new MINI is being co-developed with parent company BMW, under the new chassis code F56 (moving away from the ‘R’ chassis which may be sold to SAAB). The F56 is part of BMW’s broader platform sharing strategy that sees this new MINI on the same FWD platform as certain BMW 1-Series variants and a rumored BMW Z2 roadster.
The platform itself is labelled as ‘UKL’. But don’t let the idea of platform sharing fool you, this is being done to shave off costs in tight economic conditions, not to make the MINI more BMW like, or vice-versa. What these … CONTINUED
BMW Driving Instructor Donnie Isley provides an account of time recently spent breaking in a 1M on the twisty mountain roads of western North Carolina. His enthusiasm is infectious and you can’t help but feel some of his 1M experience through his words. All in all, the 1M impressed him on these roads even more so than at the Willow Springs race track where he chaperoned the BMW 1M press drives last month.
BMW of North America today announced a national campaign comprised of television, print, online and radio advertising and a strong in-dealership message, all timed for the summer season and designed to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. The campaign, themed “DON’T TXT & DRIVE - When the Engine Starts the Texting Stops,” begins in early June and runs throughout the year.
“Distracted driving is an epidemic in America, and it has deadly consequences for thousands of people on our roads each year,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Putting a stop to these needless deaths, as well as hundreds of thousands of injuries, will require everyone to take personal responsibility for safe driving. I am grateful to BMW for their efforts to raise public awareness … CONTINUED
BMW’s FWD 1-series model based on the FWD UKL platform has been spotted for the first time! The UKL platform is a FWD platform which the FWD 1-series will share with the next generation of MINIs (which coincidentally [or not] was also spied testing for the first time today).
The FWD 1-series will come in a traditional 5-door hatchback (pictured here), a sporting estate model, and a gran touring version. They’ve been referred to by insider Scott26 as the “City Compact,” the “F.A.S.T. Family Activity Sports Tourer,” and the “GT”. The rumored upcoming Z2 roadster will also be spawned off the UKL platform.
The FWD 1-series will join the rest of the 1-series lineup which in the next generation will include the F20 5-door sporthatch and the F21 … CONTINUED
The full range of driver assistance systems and mobility services is now presented online in the BMW ConnectedDrive Online Guide. The bmw.connecteddrive.info portal provides an overview of the services currently available, along with thumbnail descriptions and downloads. It also gives information on their availability for various BMW models and when the services were first introduced, as well as the countries covered and the optional equipment required for using the various services.
With the BMW ConnectedDrive Online Guide , BMW presents a complete overview documenting its global technology leadership in the field of driver assistance systems and mobility services, as reflected both in the diversity of the range and in the quality of the various systems. The systematic development of networking technologies ranges from the first distance warning … CONTINUED
BMW held its BMW M Legendary Experience event in China last week, where they introduced another special M3 model for the Chinese market — the limited production BMW M3 Carbon Edition coupe. The M3 Carbon Edition is limited to just 111 units, at a cost of 1.23 million yuan (approximately $189,000 USD), and goes on sale in July. It joins the M3 Matte Edition and M3 Tiger Edition as Chinese-market only M3 editions.
The M3 Carbon Edition features, you guessed it, a focus on carbon fiber. All 111 units features carbon fiber roofs, BMW Performance front lip splitters, trunk spoiler, and hood inlet surrounds. The paint is white pearl metallic (presumably “mineral white”) and features black side striping which runs the length of the car, as well … CONTINUED
The BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported May sales of 26,452 vehicles, an increase of 19.7 percent from the 22,092 vehicles sold in the same month a year ago.
“This month, BMW and MINI sales progress continues in what’s clearly a yo-yo economy as consumer sentiment varies from optimism to pessimism month-to-month,” said Jim O’Donnell, President and CEO, BMW of North America. “We believe it’s having a steady run of new models as we’ve just added the new 6 Series Convertible to the new X3 and 5 Series to further drive BMW sales, and MINI is no different because of the new Countryman as well as higher gas prices increasing small vehicle focus.”
It’s usually the strange looking camouflaged prototype cars which get the attention in public, but that may not be the case here where one of our members in a Ferrari 458 caught an F30 3-series sedan prototype out testing in the canyons of Malibu, California.