MINI refreshes local lineup

2011 MINI range

The faclefited MINI range is now on sale in Australia. It’s a pretty standard refresh with minor cosmetic changes, including front brake ducts, LED rear tail lights. MINI has also thrown a bit more fruit into the standard equipment, such as Bluetooth phone capability across the range. Mechanically, things are pretty much the same as before.

Full details, including pricing, can be found in the MINI Australia press release after the break.


Volkswagen confirms Golf VI Cabrio

Golf VI Cabrio rendering

The Motor Report brings word that Volkswagen has confirmed production for a Golf VI-based cabrio. They’ve even come up with this rendering to show how such a car could look. The soft-top Golf will be built in Osnabrück at the former Karmann factory, which Volkswagen picked up after the body specialists filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

Production should commence in 2011 with deliveries for late that year or possibly beginning in 2012. Following a near decade-long hiatus the re-introduction of the Golf Cabrio would likely signal the end of the Eos convertible. Check out the source link below for more.

[Source: The Motor Report]

UPDATE 4 November: A press release from Volkswagen AG has been added below, which confirms a new Golf Cabrio will be built at Osnabrück.


Volkswagen Concept BlueSport picture gallery

Volkswagen Concept BlueSport

The Volkswagen Concept BlueSport made its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last night. It’s a stunning looking car, but perhaps the most notable feature for a car in this segment is it’s mid-mounted efficient diesel engine.

The BlueSport roadster, fitted with six-speed DSG transmission, has a 2.0 TDI with 132kW powering the rear wheels. Being a turbo diesel, there is plenty of torque, too, all 350Nm of it. The BlueSport weighs a relatively light 1200kg and is capable reaching 100km/h in a GTI-beating 6.6 seconds, along to a top speed of 226km/h. When driven more sedately Volkswagen claims fuel consumption as low as 4.3l/100km. Its CO2 emissions are 113g/km.

“The BlueSport proves to be a compact and passionate car with a clear Volkswagen signature. The car offers pure dynamics with a powerful 180 PS Clean Diesel engine that is combined with the characteristic Volkswagen philosophy of efficiency,” confirmed Volkswagen’s Chairman of the Board, Prof. Martin Winterkorn in Detroit.

The BlueSport features an Eco mode which uses stop-start technology and an energy regeneration mode to help lower fuel consumption. Although, Volkswagen are claiming a relatively small benefit of just 0.2l/100km in normal city driving.

Some of the technology in this car may new for Volkswagen, but there doesn’t appear to be anything earth shattering under the roadster’s gorgeous metalwork. Although, a mid-engined diesel sports car is kind of cool and very now.

Update: Wallpaper sized images of the Volkswagen Concept BlueSport (click an image to load 2000px super image), along with video footage and the official press release are now available below.

Update 15 January: German Car Blog suggests the BlueSport won’t hit the roads until 2012 (that’s if it goes into production). I’ve also added a small clip below from Car and Driver’s YouTube channel.


Beds are burning

MINI Cooper S convertible catches fire in western Sydney

Ever wondered what happens if you drive your car over a mattress and just keep on driving? Well, wonder no more, as a thoughtful MINI Cooper S Cabrio owner has done the experiment for you.

As you can see from the pictures the result is not pretty (there’s two more pics after the jump). The owner had not long collected the car from a western Sydney dealer when she reportedly drove over a mattress of some description. Not realising something was wrong she kept on motoring. Soon enough, though, there was a distinct smell of smoke. The driver pulled to the side of the road and within minutes her new car was in flames and just as quickly it was a smouldering wreck.

An eyewitness speaking to ninemsn said, “She was agitated, bewildered and very, very emotional. Everyone thought someone was dead. She was pretty lucky. I told her she should go buy a lottery ticket.”

Source: ninemsn and


The new MINI Cabrio

R57 MINI Cooper S Cabrio

This is the new MINI Cabrio. Shown here in 128kW turbo Cooper S guise, the roofless MINI will strike a fashionable pose at your favourite café—if you’re into that sort of thing.

The R57 Cabrio will reach Australian shores in the second quarter of 2009. It features a completely redesigned rollover hoop system, and the slightly awkward rear hinges from the old model have been deleted, resulting in a cleaner design for the hatch compartment. In the unlikely event that you do decide to roll your new MINI Cabrio, the rollbars will activate in a mere 150 milliseconds. Providing you protection when you need it, and staying out of your vision when you don’t. Neat, huh.

The automatic soft top roof opens in 15 seconds and can be activated at speeds up to 30km/h. Other features include standard Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) across the range, hands-free Bluetooth  phone capability (including iPhone), MP3 player compatibility and, oddly enough, an automatic air conditioning system that adjusts accordingly even when your roof is down.

In an ever so MINI way, there is also an optional Always-Open Timer that sits next to the tachometer on the steering column. This little dial keep tally of the number of hours your MINI Cabrio’s roof has been down. Fair enough, I suppose.

More images and words after the jump.


First generation MINI Cabrio ceases production

R52 MINI Cabriolet Cooper S Sidewalk

Even though the R56 MINI has been on sale for some time, the R52 Cabriolet models currently on sale were still based on the first gen MINI platform. In readiness for the all new R57 model, Cabrio production has come to a temporary close after 164,000 R52s rolled off the line at MINI’s Plant Oxford. The MINI Cooper Cabrio accounted for 79,500 of the total sales with the MINI Cooper S Cabrio (and John Cooper Works versions) selling around 56,500 units. The remaining 28,000 were MINI One Cabrio models, not sold in Australia. The very last R52 Cabrio rolled off the line last week. It was a MINI Cooper S Cabrio Sidewalk finished in metallic White Silver, sold to a keen MINI fan from the USA.

News of the last R52 Cabrio came just days before MINI announced its one millionth MINI for export. Oliver Zipse, Managing Director MINI Plant Oxford said, “Export is a key factor for the success and stability of our MINI Plant in Oxford. Since MINI was launched we have seen a significant increase in export from less than 60 per cent in 2001 to over 80 per cent this year. The high customer demand in almost 80 countries around the world, from Chile to China, has driven MINI’s success over the last seven years.”