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 Which may be outdated, but it’s easy to get your head around and compare cars of the past with cars of today.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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#NYIAS: 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF – Retractable Fastback Is New GT86 Rival

RF does not stand for Really Fast.  But it could stand for Really Fun! In reality, it is the new badge for the MX-5 hardtop. This power retractable targa panel slides behind the new B-pillar uprights in back and atop the trunk. Scratch that: the entire roof actually folds under the rising uprights behind each seat.  These buttresses lift up and let the hardtop fold away.  This keeps a wind deflector in back with the top down, but does not appear to let the rear glass or roof move individually: only as a unit. It is not exactly as clean …

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Best of Geneva – 2016 Abarth 124 Rally Prototype – 300HP Kicks Off 2017 Abarth Racing Revival

  In case the hot new Abarth Fiat 124 Spider were not enough to get your heart revving, Abarth Racing has brought along an even hotter version! A rear-drive rally racecar that started life as a ragtop!?  Sounds like a winner to us.  And it definitely looks like a winner too. A slightly raised ride height, boosted engine putting down 300Hp, plus a locking rear differential promise exciting, tail-out action to rally fans next year. Custom fender extensions, sill extensions and brake air vents behind the back axle speak to this car’s gravel-slinging dreams.  As does its gigantic, fire-spitting single …

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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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1953* Chevrolet Corvette with Bubble Hardtop – Featuring A Nasty Surprise

Replicas are tricky. That is why they work on some people: they trick the brain into a false recognition. We like this ‘Corvette’ nonetheless. You see very few first-gen Corvettes out in the real world, and none with this level of finish. Bright chrome and even a contrast-white bubble hardtop?  Lovely! But there were clues, in retrospect, that this car was a replica. The cabin cupholders and Pep Boys steering wheel, for one. Another is a total lack of badges outside. The modern rear-window weatherstripping is also a giveaway, as is the fuel door. The most damning evidence of all, now that …

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MINI Goes HUGE! Just-Revealed 2016 CLUBMAN is Foot Longer, Much Wider than MINI 4-Door Hardtop

The MINI range is in the midst of a full rebirth. New tech, swanky and posh cabin materials, plus fresh looks outside. The big plus is that the driving playfulness of the standard hatch applies to any body style, or even SUV. But the downside is that they all look pretty similar. Don’t let this reveal miss your radar, though, because the new Clubman might be the ideal and long-sought-after fast wagon variant of your dreams! First off, the dimensions. The Clubman is 10.6 inches longer than the new 4-Door Hardtop (aka the 5-Door in UK). The Clubman is also …

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2015 MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4-Door – HD First Drive Video + 150 Photos

With a base price of $25,000, the 2015 MINI Cooper S 4-Door Hardtop overlaps closely with an unlikely competitor: the new Focus ST. Both are fun-running favorites with a cultlike following, and both achieve 60-mph in the low 6.0-second range through six-speed manuals. Though the Cooper S is down 65 horsepower versus the Focus ST, the MINI’s Cooper S upgrade is more important than ever for 2015. As with the MINI hardtop, the base Cooper runs a three-cylinder to the Cooper S’s turbo four. Power is up from 134 horsepower in the Cooper to 184 in the Cooper S, a …

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Fool Me Once… 2015 MINI Hardtop Chrome Line Is Chortle-Proof Custom Gag

As we prepped this article, the headline going around was “MINI Officially Out Of Ideas.” We thought they were serious about this silly chrome wrap going on sale or being offered to customers. This would be a strange offering for any OEM manufacturer. For one, foil wraps will not last 1 year on the roads without starting to peel off or otherwise deteriorate visibly. Definitely not strong enough for a 3-year warranty period. Secondly, chrome wraps are so out. Elton John arguably popularized the trend with his R8 from around 2008 — which he sold at a charity auction more than …

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2015 Morgan Plus 8 SPEEDSTER Headlines Geneva Show Stand

  The Morgan Three-Wheeler and Aero 8 hoover up much enthusiast attention, but are they really the sweet-spot of the Morgan Motor Cars lineup? We would vote in favor of the Plus 8 Speedster — a stripped-down and chopped-windshield special based on the legendary best-seller. Running the latest 4.8-liter BMW V8 making 367-horsepower through an automatic or manual transmission, the Plus 8 roars to 60-mph in just 4.5-seconds. But those numbers do not really capture the drama of launching a Plus 8. With your rump almost right atop the back axle, the Plus 8 Speedster removes the bulky glass from …

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Houston Auto Show – 2015 MINI 4-Door Hardtop Inside and Out in 25 New Photos

The new MINI does look pretty fresh in person, despite the extremely subtle workover for this full redesign. Considering that the car has an all-new, BMW-designed chassis and all-new engines — you might expect the design to be a lot fresher than it is. The three-door without these cool puppy-eyed LED rings (which are optional) is a pretty familiar sight indeed. It looks just a bit freakier and more bizarre in its details, like the oversized rear lamps that are comically huge. But the game must move on, and car companies need new models to keep the sales engine chugging. …

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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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