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MAXIMUM MINI LINEUP
- Within ten years the MINI Hatch has spawned a broad range of models with more on the way
-MINI is a runaway success
-First UK appearance of six MINI model lines
-MINI Countryman joins Hatch, Convertible and Clubman in the autumn
-A glimpse of the future with MINI Coupé and Roadster Concepts on display
-New petrol engine range on sale now
-Electric MINI E UK trials continue successfully
The MINI brand was revealed to its fullest extent yet at the MINI Oxford Plant on June 3 2010. Not only were the familiar Hatch, Convertible and Clubman models on show but MINI also previewed the forthcoming Countryman that goes on sale on September 18, 2010. And providing a glimpse into MINI's rich and exciting future two concept cars - the Coupé and Roadster - were also on display. The models available now feature a new range of petrol engines while a new entrylevel Convertible model, the MINI One Convertible, is now officially available at MINI dealers. All MINI models feature various elements of MINIMALISM, the brand's name for energysaving, emissionsreducing technology.
MINI is enjoying great sales success in 2010. Although it did benefit from the government scrappage scheme in 2009 and early 2010, the MINI brand has not been affected by its removal at the end of March. So far this year (to 31 May) new MINI registrations are up by 36 per cent in a total market that has risen by only 21 per cent. MINI's market share has risen from 1.7% to 1.9%,with market share in May at 2.3%. The company is confident of maintaining this increase through the remainder of the second quarter.
The success is attributable to all ranges - Hatch, Convertible and Clubman - and the latter now accounts for 10 per cent of MINI sales overall. The new MINI Convertible is 51 per cent ahead of the same period in 2009. This success has led to the UK reclaiming its number one position for MINI sales worldwide in the first quarter of 2010.
" We attribute MINI's success in the market to many things" explained Jochen Goller, MINI Director for MINI UK, "but two in particular have boosted MINI this year: Low emission vehicles courtesy of MINIMALISM that deliver low running costs for customers and the strongest residual values in the sector" he continued.
"Strong RVs are the most important consideration for car buyers. They form the largest part of a car's whole life costs and, therefore, the most important element of any customer's budget planning. Even better news is the projected residual values for the forthcoming Countryman. According to the CAP and Glasses trade guide, Countryman will deliver higher RVs than any competitor" said Goller.
"And that is just the good news for today" he continued. "We can really show that under BMW's stewardship the revived MINI brand has become multifaceted within ten years. Soon the three model lines will become six with a wide choice of petrol and diesel engines, all wheel drive and with the prospect of a viable electric car too" Goller concluded.
New petrol engines
A new and improved version of the MINI petrol engine is now fitted to all First, One, Cooper and Cooper S models in the Hatch, Convertible and Clubman ranges. The MINI First and One models will now be fitted with a 1.6 litre engine, replacing the former 1.4, and VALVETRONIC valve operation that delivers more torque and better fuel consumption. All MINI petrolengined models now conform to European EU5 emissions standards.
VALVETRONIC fully variable valve timing delivers a five per cent improvement in fuel consumption while an on- demand, mapcontrolled oil pump achieves a further 2.5 per cent saving. An improved, low friction engine vacuum pump accounts for another one per cent and a mapregulated water pump working on a pulsed cycle (rather than simply on or off) saves another 1.2 per cent.
Reduced friction from polished camshaft and main bearings, improved heat management and the specific features above combine to contribute more efficient use of energy by the new MINI range as well as lower CO² emissions.
The fuel consumption improvements have been made despite the fact that the testing procedures under EU5 reduce certified gains.
The entry level MINI First now has a new version of the 1.6 litre four cylinder engine that produces 75 hp, the same as its predecessor. The extra capacity has been designed to produce more torque which is higher by almost 17 per cent at 140 Nm. As a result fuel consumption in the EU cycle is 52.3mpg and CO² emissions are only 127 g/km. Top speed of MINI First is 109 mph while the 0-62 mph acceleration takes 13.2 seconds.
The new engine enables MINI One to increase both power (by three per cent to 98hp) and torque (by nine per cent to 153 Nm at 3,000 rpm). The efficiencies achieved through this new technology also deliver consumption of 52.3 mpg on the combined cycle while emissions fall to127g/km. On the road the true spirit of MINI is revealed with top speed rising to 116mph and zero to 62 mph acceleration taking just 10.5 seconds, a 0.4 second improvement.
The MINI One Clubman benefits from the same powertrain improvements and offers 0-62 mph in 11.1seconds and a top speed of 115 mph. EU cycle fuel consumption falls to 51.4 mpg (combined cycle) and emissions to just 129 g/km.
At the heart of the MINI range the largestselling model, the MINI Cooper, also benefits from the new engine enhancements. A power hike to 122hp (+3hp) and peak torque of 160 Nm @ 4,250 rpmhelp the Hatch to 62 mph in 9.1 seconds and a top speed of 127 mph. Sharing all the new engine features of the Cooper S except the turbocharger, the Cooper achieves 52.3 mpg (combined cycle) and emits only 127 g/km of CO².
The MINI Cooper Clubman and Convertible values are:
Top speed/0 -62 mph/Fuel consumption (combined cycle)/CO² emissions
Clubman - 126 mph/9.8 seconds/51.4 mpg/129 g/km
Convertible - 124 mph/9.8 seconds/49.6 mpg/133 g/km
MINI Cooper S
The iconic Cooper S model also gets more 'poke' with less 'smoke'. It is equipped for the first time with a twinscroll turbocharger, direct petrol injection and fully variable valve control. The variable valve control is based on BMW's familiar VALVETRONIC system that adjusts valve lift and opening times in direct relationship to the driver's command on the throttle pedal.
The result is the most efficient hot hatch in its class: the 1.6 litre unit produces 9hp more power at 184 hp while peak torque is 240Nm, delivered from as low as 1,600rpm all the way through to 5,000rpm. This flexibility is enhanced by an Overboost function that delivers 260 Nm for short periods when it is most needed, for example when overtaking. The Cooper S Hatch sprints from 0 to 62 mph in exactly 7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 142 mph, But it's not just about 'go'. It delivers improved EU cycle fuel consumption of 48.7 mpg (combined cycle), increased by 3.1 mpg, while CO² emissions are now 13 g/km lower at 136 g/km.
The equivalent values for MINI Cooper S Clubman and Convertible are:
Top speed/0 -62 mph/Fuel consumption (combined cycle)/CO² emissions
Clubman - 142 mph/7.5 seconds/47.9 mpg/137 g/km
Convertible - 141 mph/7.3 seconds/47.1 mpg/139 g/km
All three models are equipped as standard with a six speed manual gearbox or, optionally, a six speed automatic gearbox with shift paddles on the steering wheel. Manual Cooper S models will be fitted with a new selfadjusting clutch with carbon coated linings that reduces service costs and maintains consistent pedal feel but also improves gear synchronisation.
MINI One Convertible
Since its launch in 2009 the enduring appeal of the MINI Convertible has been proven by strong demand. So far it has only been possible to buy a Cooper, Cooper S or John Cooper Works Convertible, so the introduction of a One Convertible provides a much lower entry point for fresh air fans.
The MINI One Convertible shares the new 1.6 litre VALVETRONIC engine of its Hatch and Clubman cousins, and produces the same 98hp and 153 Nm of torque, all for a sub-£15,000 price tag. The new model accelerates from 0-62mph in 11.3 seconds and goes on to a top speed of 112mph. Despite this it brings fuel efficiency and CO² emissions to a new level in the convertible market, recording 49.6 mpg (combined cycle) and 133 g/km respectively.
The open top four seater features a fabric roof that opens and closes electrohydraulically at the touch of a button at speeds up to 20 mph. Designed as a Convertible from the outset, MINI Convertible offers a torsionallystiff body that allows it to capitalise on cutting edge chassis technology to release that special MINI gokart feeling. Naturally the MINI One Convertible offers high standard equipment including airconditioning and is equipped with all the sophisticated active safety features of the Cooper and Cooper S including EPS electromechanical steering, DSC stability control, four airbags and the rear rollover bar behind the rear seats that pops up automatically in the event of a rollover incident.
MINI One Convertible can, like all MINIs, be specified with a wide range of options to personalise it to an owner's taste. These include a wide range of exterior paint colours, interior design choices, hood colours and the 'Openometer'. This MINI Convertiblespecific option records the amount of time spent with the roof down. It is, after all, the principal purpose of owning a softtop MINI.
The ontheroad price for MINI One Convertible is £14,985 and MINI UK expects it to become the bestselling Convertible model.
The MINIMALISM concept embraces all the technological measures in the new MINI lineup which help uphold the typical MINI driving brio at the same time as achieving new low fuel economy and CO2 emission levels. Mirroring the huge success of the BMW EfficientDynamics programme, MINIMALISM brings a holistic approach to delivering the lowest fuel consumption in each model with correspondingly reduced CO² emissions.
In the new MINI petrol power plants measures such as reducing friction and improving heat management in the engines have enabled further improvements in efficiency. Together with such innovations as a mapcontrolled oil pump, electromechanical power steering and an optimised coolant pump, all the new petrol engines ensure extremely efficient use of energy.
The ultimate incarnation of MINIMALISM is found in the new MINI One MINIMALIST. Using the new engine technology, Brake Energy Regeneration, the Auto Start Stop function, Shift Point Display and other MINIMALISM measures it has the lowest emissions values of any petrolengined MINI - a CO2 figure of 119 g/km.
Maximum MINI - MINI Countryman opens a new era of the MINI story
In September this year MINI will launch its latest and largest model, and the first to offer four wheel drive, to the UK market. The MINI Countryman range will be the fourth member of the MINI family following Hatch, Convertible and Clubman. It means that MINI owners who love the brand no longer need move to another make when they need more space in their car. The MINI Countryman will be available in five models, two of which will offer ALL4, MINI's new four wheel drive option.
"Countryman takes the MINI story to a new level" said Jochen Goller, Director of MINI UK. "The extra space and ALL4 MINI break new ground in the brand's 51 year heritage. With Countryman prices starting at £16,000 and a very high standard specification, we are introducing more MINI piquancy into the crossover market this year."
Power and go
At launch the Countryman range will include three petrol and two diesel models, as well as two ALL4 all wheel drive models - the Cooper D ALL4 and Cooper S ALL4. The petrol engines are the new 1.6 litre power plants already announced for the Hatch, Convertible and Clubman models. The diesel units are shared with the rest of the MINI range.
The petrol engines all feature Variable Valve Timing (VVT) similar to the BMW Valvetronic system that produces more torque low down and aids overall efficiency. The Cooper S model also features a twinscroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection that gives blistering performance with modest fuel economy and low CO² emissions. All engines meet EU5 emissions standards. The key performance data are listed below.
hp@ rpm/ Nm@rpm /0-62 mph/Top speed/EU mpg/CO² g/km
One - 98 @6,000/153@3,000/ 11.9 secs/107/47.1/139
Cooper - 122@6,000/160@4,250/ 10.5 secs/118/47.1/140/
Cooper S - 184@5,500/240@1,600*/7.6 secs/134/46.3/143
One D - 90@4,000/215@1,750/12.9 secs/106/64.2/115
Cooper D - 112@4,000/270@1,750/ 10.9 secs/115/64.2/115
*The MINI Cooper S Countryman delivers 260 Nm of torque for short periods courtesy of Overboost.
The Countryman models still pack in the driving thrills that put a grin on your face the way all MINIs do" said Lee Connolly, MINI UK Product Manager. "But the Countryman also brings new levels of space and versatility to the range that will attract not only existing MINI owners but also new customers. We expect that the extra space will mean that around 80 per cent of Countryman sales will come from customers completely new to the MINI brand."
ALL4 two with one to follow
Two models in the new Countryman range will offer four wheel drive, for the very first time in MINI's 51 year history. The MINI Cooper D and Cooper S ALL4 models will be available as models from day one. A MINI Cooper ALL4 version will follow in 2012.
Not everyone needs four wheel drive all the time. MINI has a typically smart, and fuel efficient answer for this conundrum: the Countryman ALL4 is a front wheel drive car in most normal circumstances, but when wheel slip on the front wheels is detected or if the car is being driven enthusiastically an electromagnetic clutch, located on the rear axle, engages drive to the rear wheels to improve traction. To enable this imperceptible change to the driven wheels a propeller shaft from the front axle is driven constantly and is ready to direct drive forces from the front axle to the rear in lightening time. The amount of power fed to the rear wheels is infinitely variable between one per cent and 100, depending upon the driving conditions.
"Countryman ALL4 is a soft offroader for use in everyday situations like parking in a field for a sporting event or driving in poor weather" explained Connolly.
The ALL4 models costs a modest £1,065 for the Cooper D and £1,220 for the Cooper S above the standard front wheel drive Countryman models and the penalty in terms of fuel consumption and CO² emissions is smaller than one might expect.
The Countryman has a familiar MINI appearance, albeit distinctly different to any that have gone before. It is 398 mm longer than a MINI Hatch (at 4097mm), 316 mm wider (at 1,789 mm) and 170 mm higher (at 1579mm). Countryman offers 190 litres more luggage capacity than a MINI Hatch with the seats up (a total of 350 litres) and 1,170 litres with the rear seats folded flat. For the first time ever a MINI has four wideopening doors, passenger capacity for five adults and a flexible, activityorientated interior packed with innovations. All UK models will be built as five seat cars, although customers can specify the four seat option at no extra cost.
Featuring that typical 'wheel at each corner' stance with short overhangs, the Countryman not only has larger dimensions than its cousins but also a higher ride height. This provides the commanding driving position preferred by many drivers with the higher ground clearance for soft offroad driving. Its ground clearance is 10mm higher than any other MINI model.
Many design characteristics are familiar such as the high window line surrounding the glasshouse while others are new interpretations of iconic features. For example, the roofline with roof rails, the reinterpretation of the hexagonal radiator grille and the prominent headlight units integrated into the bonnet.
The front of the Countryman is more upright projecting a confident, 'face' that also offers improved pedestrian safety. The wheel arches are more flared highlighting the robust nature of the Countryman as a true crossover, its soft offroad ability and the design of the wideopening tailgate offers easy access to the large boot space.
The MINI Countryman is all about comfort, practicality and innovative style inside. From the four wideopening doors to the highopening rear hatch, it is easy and comfortable to get into and out of, and a dream to load. The additional boot space of 350 litres is more than double that of the Hatch and 90 litres more than Clubman offers. With the rear seats folded flat the interior provides no less than 1,170 litres of load space.
The multifunction rear seats are arranged in a 60:40 Base and 40:20:40 Backrest providing absolute flexibility with all three seats capable of folding flat in any combination. With one rear seat passenger, two seats can be folded flat or with two, one can be flattened. Flexibility is not compromised but celebrated in the new Countryman.
The interior is dominated by iconic MINI design characteristics such as grippy and comfortable sports seats, the trademark central speedometer and neat, funky switch packs. New elements of MINI design language are introduced with the oval interior door elliptical trims that continue from front to rear door and back and the MINI Central Rail system. The MINI Centre Rail runs from front to rear instead of a conventional centre console and opens up new, individual options for integrating all kinds of storage boxes, cupholders, power chargers, music players, mobile phones and other accessories.
High standard specification
The MINI Countryman range offers a sparkling array of standard equipment including:
-Roof rails that facilitate various attachments like roof boxes or roof racks
-Thatcham Category 1 alarm system,
-Heated door mirrors and washer jets,
-Rear park distance control
-MINI Central Rail system.
-Multifunction rear seats - the five seat fitment being standard in the UK, although the four seat option will be at no cost.
-Dynamic Stability Control
-Electric power steering with Servotronic speedrelated assistance
-ISOFIX child safety seat mountings
-Tyre pressure warning system
-Standard Central Bass Hi Fi system with six speakers
-DAB digital radio with Radio Boost.
-Bluetooth telephone preparation
-Passenger Airbag deactivation switch
-Preparation for a bicycle rack
All MINI Countryman models come with standard preparation for a bike rack. The multifunction rack itself is a bespoke item that not only secures bikes or surfboards being carried but also allows the rear hatch to be opened without removing the rack and its contents.
The Countryman is equipped with 16 inch wheels on One and Cooper (alloy wheels on the Cooper), with 17 inch alloys on Cooper S. Options of 18 and 19 inch wheels in various styles are available.
The Countryman range is available in 11 exterior colours and 8 interior trims.
The maret for Countryman
The demand for crossover vehicles has grown substantially recently: drivers want the best of both worlds with normal saloonlike driving responses as well as the added versatility of soft offroad ability and the interior flexibility to cope with all the hobbies, shopping trips and activities that are a huge part of the typical busy modern family life.
As a result, MINI Countryman arrives in a growing segment that presents an opportunity to attract buyers from a wide range of competitive cars. Not only will they find the flexibility their lifestyle demands but they will also discover the world of MINI, a world where practicality and versatility does not bring limitations on the fun that can be derived from driving.
Countryman opens up a whole new range of opportunities for MINI.
"We always maintain that MINI is not a boutique brand like some of its competitors" said Goller. "MINI is not a one trick pony and as the brand blossoms still further with Coupe and Roadster, MINI will soon be a six model family. All this has happened within a decade of MINI's rebirth" he concluded.
All Countryman models will be built by Magna Steyr in Austria. Although it is the first MINI model not to be built at MINI's spiritual home in Oxford, the brand's worldwide success means that there is insufficient capacity to make Countryman at present. It has been confirmed that the forthcoming Coupé and Roadster models will be built in Oxford.
MINI Countryman made its World debut at the Geneva Show in March and it will go on sale in the UK on September 18 2010 with prices starting at a very affordable £16,000. Full details andemissions andtaxation data are listed below.
OTR Price/CO² Emissions/VED band/Price/BIK
One - £16,000/139/E/£110/16%
One D - £17,000/115/C/£0/13%
Cooper - £17,495/140/E/£110/17%
Cooper D - £18,810/115/C/£0/13%
Cooper D ALL4 - £19,875/129/D/£0/18%
Cooper S - £20,810/143/F/£125/17%
Cooper S ALL4 - £22,030/157/G/£155/20%
Two concepts to whet the MINI appetite
MINI revealed a glimpse of the future at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show - two concept cars that hint at what the future will hold for the burgeoning growth of the successful MINI brand. The MINI Coupé Concept and the MINI Roadster Concept are much more than fanciful ideas from the design studios at MINI. Both will be built as production cars, albeit in slightly changed form, bringing the total number of model lines from four to six. The Coupé will go on sale in 2011 and the Roadster 2012.
MINI Coupé Concept
The idea of a MINI Coupé is not entirely new. Back in the 1960s Broadspeed produced a bespoke GT coupé, albeit not an official car, while in 1997 BMW Group produced the MINI Concept Monte Carlo, a midengined precursor to the 2001 MINI. Yet there has never been an official production coupé model of the iconic MINI. That is set to change when the first MINI Coupé takes its bow next year.
The Concept carries many familiar MINI design cues: it is quintessentially a MINI, yet distinctly different. The MINI Concept Coupé is a lightweight construction two seater that is all about style and driving pleasure. It is 15mm shorter than the MINI Hatch and a full 50mms lower, while the width remains the same.
From the Apillar backwards the Coupé changes radically. The windscreen is raked back at a much steeper angle until it meets the start of the roofline. The roof profile is flat for just long enough to accommodate the two occupants before it starts a long tapering fall back to the Cpillar in a teardrop shape. The Cpillar itself is strong and contributes much to the torsionallyrigid body
The airflow over the car is designed to optimise aerodynamic efficiency and driving dynamics with all air being guided round the sides of the greenhouse and over the roof to a sharp rear spoiler that reduces air turbulence and increases downforce on the rear axle. The rear window tapers into a short, low and muscular rear end that features a two section diffuser that improves aerodynamic airflow underneath the car.
A practical coupe
But the MINI Coupé Concept is not frivolous and impractical. Deliberately designed for two people, the space behind the seats provides plenty of space for storage and luggage, including a lockable space within easy reach of the occupants. This space is accessed through a wideopening tailgate, that includes the rear window, with a low loading sill that offers access to no less than 250 litres of load space.
Wide opening doors, sporting instrumentation and bespoke interior styling ensure that the interior matches the demonstratively sporting intent of the Coupé's exterior.
In profile the MINI Coupé Concept's much lower greenhouse, large wheels and high waistline all give the impression of a low, streamlined car. It looks fast just standing still. Sharing the same suspension, braking and steering architecture with the MINI Hatch, the Coupé has the best possible start. However, its sporty credentials are enhanced by lightweight engineering solutions where it really matters. For example, the roof is made of aluminium that not only reduces weight but, importantly, lowers the centre of gravity in the already much lower Coupé. This in turn improves body control and driving dynamics.
It also improves fuel consumption and CO² emissions: like all its cousins, the MINI Coupé Concept applies the BMW Group's EfficientDynamics principles through MINI's philosophy of MINIMALISM. It also adds a further dimension to the MINI character.
MINI Roadster Concept
Like the Coupé Concept, the MINI Roadster Concept is clearly recognisable at first sight as a MINI. At the same time, with its two seats, tightfitting soft roof and its innovative design, the new model opens up new perspectives both in the context of the brand and in the compact roadster segment. It is the aim of all roadsters to offer spontaneous pleasure and delivering all the traditional MINI virtues such as gokart handling responses and point and shoot performance, the MINI Roadster Concept fulfils its destiny.
The MINI Roadster Concept is typically MINI but still distinctively different. It shares the length and width of a MINI Hatch but, like the Coupé it is 50 mm lower to enhance handling responses thanks to its lower centre of gravity. The windscreen is strikingly low and raked back at a steep angle. This is particularly noticeable with the roof fully open, and it emphasises the purist nature of a roadster.
A short boot lid forms the rear panel behind the cavity into which the fabric roof is stowed. The compact nature and dimensions of the roof mechanism allows convenient access to the luggage compartment which is separated from the passenger area.
Soft top heaven
The passenger compartment is protected by a highquality textile roof that has been reduced in size to an absolute minimum. When stowed, the roof merges smoothly into the body's smooth lines. The roof is opened and closed manually in a one handed operation that takes but a few seconds, the design team having decided against an electricallyoperated hood to save weight.
The rear air dam, spoiler and underbody, two element diffuser present a purposeful appearance and ensure good over- and underbody aerodynamics.
Despite its compact dimensions the MINI Roadster Concept offers a surprisingly generous luggage compartment with a capacity of 250 litres with the roof open or closed. Thanks to its low sill and the Easy-Load function from the MINI Convertible loading and unloading is fussfree, while other features such as throughloading from the passenger compartment to the boot, incorporating a lockable area, all add to its practicality.
As with all MINI products occupant safety was central to the development of the MINI Roadster Concept right from the start. It boasts an exceptionally strong and stable body structure, a stiff passenger cell and preciselydefined deformation zones including crash boxes at the front to absorb impact energy.
Occupant safety in the event of a rollover is secured by a full width rollover bar that springs up instantaneously from behind the headrests if the car tips over, following the same philosophy as the MINI Convertible. This singlepiece aluminium bar activates electromechanically when required within 150 milliseconds. This, together with the reinforced windscreen frame, provides optimum occupant safety for the passenger cell. In its resting position the roll bar does not protrude above the headrests, thus facilitating good rearward visibility.
A very MINI interior
The interior design is quintessentially MINI. It displays the high standard of craftsmanship, quality materials and an exclusive range of colours that is typical of every MINI product. Low seating positions guarantee generous headroom at all times
Wideopening doors offer the driver and passenger convenient access to the interior where they will be pampered and gripped by sports seats shod in Lounge leather. A three spoke leather sports steering wheel, complete with multifunction buttons, ensures smooth and accurate steering as well as safe and easy operation of the car's audio and communication functions. All other control elements are arranged ergonomically for convenient use.
The MINI Roadster Concept comes with a multifunctional display that informs the driver exactly how long he has been driving with the roof down, thus providing the same function as the Always Open Timer already featured on the MINI Convertible. It is activated as soon as the driver starts the engine and lowers the roof.
Apart from the Always Open function, the multifunction display comes with five further features. Nature Guard tells the driver how efficiently he or she is driving and whether the position of the accelerator position is appropriate for the speed at which the car is travelling and the gear selected. At a glance, therefore, the driver can see how to save fuel.
Should the driver wish to enjoy maximum performance, on the other hand, the Highspeed Shifter gear indicator advises when and how to use the maximum power of the engine.
Supplementing this performance program, the Gravity indicator presents the lateral gforces and the direction of acceleration forces acting on the car.
Heart Beat visualises the speed of the engine by symbolising the human heart beat as a yardstick: the more sporting the driver's style of driving, the faster the heart will beat.
Finally, Buddy Radar is a MINI Community feature that highlights where other MINI drivers are within the vicinity of the MINI Roadster Concept.
Zero emissions MINI E
The final piece of the 2010 MINI jigsaw concerns the MINI E electric car, currently undergoing yearlong trials with pioneering members of the public in the UK, USA and Germany. The trials are more than half way through and are proving highly successful. The UK government's aim to see the UK spearheading the development of electric mobility through its Technology Strategy Board led BMW Group to form a consortium with Scottish and Southern Energy, Oxford Brookes University, the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council. It is only through such partnerships of commercial, academic and political competences that society can achieve its goal of truly sustainable mobility
The UK field trials using 40 examples of the MINI E is also a cornerstone in helping to inform the BMW Group about the use of electric vehicles in real world conditions and contributing to the mass of planning and knowledge that is accumulating in BMW's Project i. This project will produce a Megacity car for worldwide markets in 2013.
In the meantime, the MINI E has also been developed into a racing tested project. It has covered several laps of the challenging 20.8 km Nurburgring Nordschleife driven by Thomas Jaeger, 2006 MINI Challenge Champion. Jaeger managed a lap in 9 minutes 51.4 seconds and achieved a top speed of 117mph on the sinuous Eifel tarmac. OK, hardly M3 performance but it demonstrates that MINI is leaving no stone unturned to prove the MINI E under all conditions.
Great Britain - The heart of MINI
Ongoing enhancement of the model portfolio has already enabled MINI to reach additional target groups, with the popularity of the brand constantly increasing with every passing year and in more than 80 markets the world over. MINI remains a very British brand with all current models being produced at the company's Plant Oxford. MINI is also a UK manufacturing success story: below are the key facts.
Financial and economic credentials
MINI is a UK manufacturing success story: MINI means manufacturing
-BMW Group contributes £1 billion directly to UK GDP
- MINI is biggest car in British production by volume
-Around £1 billion invested in MINI UK manufacturing since 2000
-Almost £2 billion of car, engine and related exports from UK
- One million plus MINIs have been exported to over 80 markets from Chile to China
-£1 billion spend each year with UK suppliers
UK employment credentials
MINI in the UK is an employment success story: MINI means jobs
- MINI employs around 5,500 across MINI UK production triangle
- Supports 11,000 people in the UK dealer network
- BMW Group supports over 55,000 jobs in the UK
- More than 130 apprentices - growing own future talent
-More than 1.5 million MINIs produced since 2000
-Oxford will celebrate its centenary of car production in 2013
MINI in the UK embraces highest levels of customisation: MINI means individual
-No two identical MINIs leave Plant Oxford each year
- An amazing 15,000,000,000,000,000 configurations possible
- Customer specification changes possible up to 6 days before production
-MINI pioneered use of innovative paint technology - Integrated Paint Process - subsequently introduced in BMW plants
"We have always maintained that MINI was not a boutique brand like some of its competitors" said Goller. "With Countryman, and soon with a Coupé and Roadster, we are delivering on that promise: MINI is not a one trick pony, it is more of a multi tasking stallion. MINI will soon be a six model brand and this has happened within a decade of MINI's rebirth. We cannot yet offer an electric, four wheel drive roadster MINI......but who knows what the future holds? We have no shortage of ideas" he concluded.
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