2019 Mini Cooper S Hardtop 60th Anniversary – Review by Ben Lewis

When we talk about performance cars, the benchmark is still 0-60. Which may be outdated, but it’s easy to get your head around and compare cars of the past with cars of today. (Spoiler Alert – cars of today are much faster today.) That said, we are talking 0-60 mph. But with the 2019, we are talking something completely different. 0 – 60 Years Yep, years. Hard to believe that the original Mini first bowed in 1959. Especially since a super-small, efficient and fun vehicle seems so now. 1959 was an interesting year – The first Barbie Doll was introduced, …

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2018 INFINITI QX30 Sport – Road Test Review w/ Performance Drive Video!

 We start the drive video review asking a serious question: does this Euro Infiniti QX30 belong in the USA? This baby Infiniti has two variants on sale in America: the crossover-ish QX30 and QX30 AWD.  Then there is the wild cousin: the QX30 Sport.  Lowered ride height.  Performance mods and gloss black finishes galore.  Stance to make the most of the double-clutch automatic and turbo motor from Mercedes-Benz. Premium compact five-doors are big business on the continent.  Instead of trading up to a sedan after the Golf/Focus class, owners will shell out big cash to get into the A3, 1 …

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2017 MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept – Design Analysis

MINI fatigue is undeniable lately as an enthusiast and for car shoppers alike.  The improvements are so substantive, but the design and image seems frozen in time.  Most of the time. Then rumbles up a track-attack prototype so extreme that even it hates being a hatchback.  It hates that its breadvan shape lacks the low nose of a supercar or the mid-engined silhouette. So this JCW GP concept rejects its limitations.  It says: i will create extreme downforce and aero — hatchback shape and all.  It does not accept that front-drive is a demerit on the Nordschleife. Floating external fenders …

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Drive Review – 2016 Mini Cooper Clubman S – By Ben Lewis

  Pardon us while we get all Existentialist on you. But is Mini as a measure of size, or a state of mind?  That’s what’s got us scratching our heads with the latest Clubman S. This is actually the second generation of the Clubber, the first was a longer wheelbase version of the existing model, with a small suicide door on the passenger side to help passengers pile in and enjoy the extra room. It actually made a lot of sense, it gave a bit better ride, and introduced Mini drivers to the joys (accessibility) and horrors (visibility) of split …

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2016 MINI JCW Hardtop – USA First Look – Sweet New LEDs, Wider Stance Mark Out New $31k Bulldog

Updated 2.15.16 with first USA photos from Daytona Cool to see and hear the new MINI sports flagship at Daytona the other week.  It might have lagged the BMW M-livery M5 and M3s off the line for the IMSA Hot Lap Experience shown in the below video…. but it definitely looked like it was enjoying every second on that high-speed racetrack! The new look is most recognizable thanks to the new full-moon LED DRLs, LED fogs and smart bi-xenon projector beam main lamps in front. We even hate the tail less than before: in JCW guise, the too-large rear lamps shrink into …

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231HP, ~6.3s 2016 MINI JCW Convertible – Legacy Looks, Speed Shortage = Wandering Eyes

Do you remember the will-they/won’t-they drama around the first JCW Convertible?  People wondered if such a hotted-up MINI could handle being roofless.  Would its front-drive chassis just fall apart around corners? That was certainly not the case for the eventual ragtop JCW — but the buzz and enthusiast excitement is relatively interesting.  Why?  It is not present whatsoever for this general of MINI Cooper S JCW. The extreme continuity of the looks for this third-gen new MINI generation are doing the new-gen Coopers no favors.  Despite being an all-new chassis with all-new engines and virtually zero carryover from the second-gen MINIs…. …

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(Jan 2015) Detroit, MI

2015 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop Priced at $30k – Looks as Exciting as a Warm Nap

Update: we prepared this whole post just now — before realizing a double deja vu. This car debuted online months ago. Sigh. See below. MINI has a bit of a problem. This hottest-ever JCW hardtop is just not doing it for us today. Aside from the cool new cabin and better LED accents outside, we see zero reason to pick this 2015 model over a pre-owned 2009 model. Trouble ahead for MINI. This big news here is that US pricing is announced with a base of $30,000. 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop MINI BRINGS MOTORSPORTS HERITAGE TO DETROIT FOR …

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228HP, 5.9s 2016 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop World Debut

  The new MINI JCW is here! Revealed online ahead of its global showing in Detroit next month, the next-gen JCW is a pretty stout upgrade over an already-intense predecessor. Power is up 10-percent to 228-horsepower, while torque is up 14-percent to 236-pound-feet from an all-new turbo four. The big news with this engine is its giant jump in displacement: up 25-percent over the previous engine. That means the power is easier to achieve without huge throttle needed. Good on the track, but even better for real-world road power and responsiveness. The six-speed manual sprints to 60-mph now in 6.1-seconds, …

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2015 MINI Cooper 5-Door in Postcard-Worthy Trip Around The City of Light

A moveable feast with a big back seat? Yep! Table for five, please. Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Metro, the Seine and the Arc de Triumph — all in an afternoon with this big new MINI! Any of these charming photos would look nice on an old-fashion paper postcard, or even an Instagram to your friends back home. The 5-door SD shown here is the hot Diesel engine for Europe, but the looks are identical to the Cooper and Cooper S engines we will see in the US. This means a base turbo triple and a turbo …

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