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  #61  
Old 06-25-2015, 01:42 PM
Drew Drew is offline
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Sorry, I meant for the non-hatchback versions of the MINI, but that's not how it sounded. Whether it's the Convertible, Countryman, Paceman, Coupe, or Roadster, none of those was built off the concept of the original. Granted, the main things the F54 Clubman shares with the original Clubman are the split rear doors and the name, but it's the vision of the roomier, wagon style MINI that still wins me over.

A lot of us were lured in by MINI with the R50/R53, so it's tough to compare a car that we all felt was a pretty damn good modern representation of the classic to the versions that have come out since. I still think the first generation was the best new MINI, but that doesn't make it the best car to continue to grow the brand. As an enthusiast, I think this is the best "big car" they have made yet. Plus, I love wagons, and I feel like this will have the look of a "mini wagon" in the flesh.

Edit: That photo was ginormous, so I'll add a smaller one when I can find it.
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  #62  
Old 06-25-2015, 04:51 PM
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While there is much that rings true about the opinions expressed so far I do want to point out a couple of things:

1) For many of us early adopters of the first gen MINI there is likely never going to be a MINI that equals or surpasses it since the market necessary to sell them has changed/is changing (Tesla/Uber/TrueCar, the internet in general, and consolidation in the auto industry making niche car manufacturers tough to keep afloat without big partners or parent companies - VW Group, etc...). Car companies can't survive on enthusiasts alone (ask Porsche & Lotus, among others).

2) Go back and read our own comments and the reviews in general when the 2nd gen MINI's came out. They weren't flattering and they've definitely taught me to reserve my final judgement until I've actually seen the car in the flesh and driven it.

All that being said I'm hopefully ambivalent for now, at least until I see what drivetrains they eventually offer, see it, drive it, see the pricing, and then compare it to this:

http://www.autoblog.com/2015/06/25/f...ideo-official/
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  #63  
Old 06-25-2015, 05:35 PM
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I totally understand that a company needs to sell to a large enough market to grow. Catering entirely to enthusiasts is impossible for large companies (arguably, Lotus has done a pretty good job....but they will never grow).

With all that said, I'd say that Porsche has done 10 times better at creating non-enthusiast-oriented cars without ruining their original brand philosophy. MINI on the other hand, has basically thrown their original brand philosophy right out the window and abandoned it so they can make generic mom cars.

Porsche was founded on being a nimble, well-balanced, sports car. It has an iconic sillouhette and obvious design language. They have managed to introduce SUVs and a 4-door without straying far from those original ideals....the only big change is that the SUVs have the engine up front. The sillouhette and design language is still there and they all have the same performance capabilities that you'd expect from a Porsche.

The Mini was originally designed to be small, simple, affordable, and efficient. Alec's original challenge was to fit 4 people and luggage into as small a car as possible. The sportiness was an unintended but much appreciated result of this challenge. I don't think anyone would ever argue that the Classic Mini fit 4 people and luggage practically.....but they still sold millions.

Now MINIs continue to get larger and heavier. Thankfully they are rather efficient...but not enough to write home about. Since the R50/53, they seem to get less sporty and less nimble...partially due to size...partially due to comfort requirements. A car that I once paid $18k out-the-door (with options) for can now easily cost you $25k-$35k. A 2015 MINI offers you almost NOTHING that the original Austin/Morris ever did with the exception of cute round headlights and contrasting roof colors.

So...I get it...they need to find a larger market than the weirdos like me that want a stripped out little race car...but I still think that looking towards the GTI/Ford Focus/Camry market is a poor choice. It's not as if that's the ONLY option they have. I still insist that, with companies like Tesla making big strides, there's a shift happening. People are taking notice that the way we've done things is coming around to bite us and they're beginning to change. I adamantly believe that there is room to create the MINI Minor/Rocketman and create a CHEAP, efficient, safe, little (I mean smaller than R50) car that could compete with the Smart/Scion IQ/Versa/Fiat500/etc market. I don't know about you guys and where you live, but those cars I just listed are popping up ALL OVER socal. People want small and efficient. You can't carry a full family in it...but for everyone that needs a car to get to work, get to school, or to get groceries, it's hard to turn down a fun little car that costs so little.

People don't currently cross-shop the MINI with those cars, but that's because BMW is treating the MINI like a BMW. It's expensive and it's big in comparison.

If you make a 4-door wagon like every other company out there, then you're going to increase the competition that you encounter, and as much as I love the brand, I don't think MINI can compete with that market successfully. I think their focus is better left on other markets.

That's my rant which stems only from the fact that I feel like the brand that I've loved since childhood has officially lost it and that makes me terribly sad.
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  #64  
Old 06-25-2015, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamez View Post
All that being said I'm hopefully ambivalent for now, at least until I see what drivetrains they eventually offer, see it, drive it, see the pricing, and then compare it to this:

http://www.autoblog.com/2015/06/25/f...ideo-official/
I haven't gotten a chance to drive it yet...but I got to see the RS a few weeks back and it looks incredible.

I've driven a Focus ST a number of times and it performed better than any MINI I've been in (R50/R53/R55/R56/Countryman). They're quicker and they're balanced much better from the factory. I can't imagine what the RS will be like. The only downside is that the interiors still feel a bit Ford-ish while new MINI's feel like nice BMWs inside....so the MINI wins there.
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  #65  
Old 06-25-2015, 06:12 PM
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I can't imagine this sucker is gonna be cheap, especially after a few options are added on...
Pricing is up on the MINI UK site. You can get a feel for the prices relative to other models.

UK base price of Cooper and S models:

F56 3-door
15,485 Cooper
18,840 S

F55 5-door
16,085 Cooper
19,440 S

F54 Clubman
19,995 Cooper
22,755 S
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  #66  
Old 06-25-2015, 07:58 PM
Drew Drew is offline
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What I wish MINI had done and what they have done are entirely different things. I do like the concept of this car (I love wagons), and the fact that everyone is talking about how big it is when it's identical in size to the smallest VW sold in America (compare their current cars to their history and it's significantly farther astray from the original concept).

BMW has declared that MINI is a premium brand, and they plan to treat it that way. I'd love to see the small simple car you're talking about come from MINI, but I won't hold my breath. That's the reason I still cling to the Miata as the purest affordable enthusiast's car. If BMW/MINI wanted to offer a $20-30k small, two seat roadster under the Triumph name I'd probably be the first in line to buy it. I've been saying that since I found out BMW owned the brand back in 2005. Sadly, they won't. It would be too tough for them to keep it simple given their brand image, so it would weigh 3k pounds and cost $35k and would then compete with the Z4, so it won't happen.
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  #67  
Old 06-25-2015, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rally View Post
I totally understand that a company needs to sell to a large enough market to grow. Catering entirely to enthusiasts is impossible for large companies (arguably, Lotus has done a pretty good job....but they will never grow).

With all that said, I'd say that Porsche has done 10 times better at creating non-enthusiast-oriented cars without ruining their original brand philosophy. MINI on the other hand, has basically thrown their original brand philosophy right out the window and abandoned it so they can make generic mom cars.

Porsche was founded on being a nimble, well-balanced, sports car. It has an iconic sillouhette and obvious design language. They have managed to introduce SUVs and a 4-door without straying far from those original ideals....the only big change is that the SUVs have the engine up front. The sillouhette and design language is still there and they all have the same performance capabilities that you'd expect from a Porsche.

The Mini was originally designed to be small, simple, affordable, and efficient. Alec's original challenge was to fit 4 people and luggage into as small a car as possible. The sportiness was an unintended but much appreciated result of this challenge. I don't think anyone would ever argue that the Classic Mini fit 4 people and luggage practically.....but they still sold millions.

Now MINIs continue to get larger and heavier. Thankfully they are rather efficient...but not enough to write home about. Since the R50/53, they seem to get less sporty and less nimble...partially due to size...partially due to comfort requirements. A car that I once paid $18k out-the-door (with options) for can now easily cost you $25k-$35k. A 2015 MINI offers you almost NOTHING that the original Austin/Morris ever did with the exception of cute round headlights and contrasting roof colors.

So...I get it...they need to find a larger market than the weirdos like me that want a stripped out little race car...but I still think that looking towards the GTI/Ford Focus/Camry market is a poor choice. It's not as if that's the ONLY option they have. I still insist that, with companies like Tesla making big strides, there's a shift happening. People are taking notice that the way we've done things is coming around to bite us and they're beginning to change. I adamantly believe that there is room to create the MINI Minor/Rocketman and create a CHEAP, efficient, safe, little (I mean smaller than R50) car that could compete with the Smart/Scion IQ/Versa/Fiat500/etc market. I don't know about you guys and where you live, but those cars I just listed are popping up ALL OVER socal. People want small and efficient. You can't carry a full family in it...but for everyone that needs a car to get to work, get to school, or to get groceries, it's hard to turn down a fun little car that costs so little.

People don't currently cross-shop the MINI with those cars, but that's because BMW is treating the MINI like a BMW. It's expensive and it's big in comparison.

If you make a 4-door wagon like every other company out there, then you're going to increase the competition that you encounter, and as much as I love the brand, I don't think MINI can compete with that market successfully. I think their focus is better left on other markets.

That's my rant which stems only from the fact that I feel like the brand that I've loved since childhood has officially lost it and that makes me terribly sad.
The truth is that I don't and haven't felt much different from you on these points for some time.
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  #68  
Old 06-25-2015, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Rally View Post
I haven't gotten a chance to drive it yet...but I got to see the RS a few weeks back and it looks incredible.

I've driven a Focus ST a number of times and it performed better than any MINI I've been in (R50/R53/R55/R56/Countryman). They're quicker and they're balanced much better from the factory. I can't imagine what the RS will be like. The only downside is that the interiors still feel a bit Ford-ish while new MINI's feel like nice BMWs inside....so the MINI wins there.
We helped my oldest son buy a 2013 Focus ST in February. It's a great car, but I'm not sure I'd say it is better than all those you listed (let's face it, it's subjective anyway). It is an excellent car for a young (or old) enthusiast driver though. One of the best "bang for the buck" cars available IMO. Relatively cheap to own, maintain & modify. I just need to see the final price point on the RS now.
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  #69  
Old 06-25-2015, 08:11 PM
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People don't currently cross-shop the MINI with those cars, but that's because BMW is treating the MINI like a BMW. It's expensive and it's big in comparison.
BTW, my main complaint about having BMW as a parent company for MINI is that I feel like they intentionally hold back what the brand could be/offer in order to not have it usurp it performance and value-wise.
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  #70  
Old 06-25-2015, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Flamez View Post
We helped my oldest son buy a 2013 Focus ST in February. It's a great car, but I'm not sure I'd say it is better than all those you listed (let's face it, it's subjective anyway). It is an excellent car for a young (or old) enthusiast driver though. One of the best "bang for the buck" cars available IMO. Relatively cheap to own, maintain & modify. I just need to see the final price point on the RS now.
Oh that's right! I forgot he got one. Lucky dude. I bet he's loving it huh? We need to get him some Fifteen52 cast Turbomacs one of these days

I do fear the price point of the RS...but it's going to be a monster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamez View Post
BTW, my main complaint about having BMW as a parent company for MINI is that I feel like they intentionally hold back what the brand could be/offer in order to not have it usurp it performance and value-wise.
Oh, I'm certain that's the case and it's frustrating. I guess that's why part of me is okay with them going the other direction and making MINI cheap and minimalist....at least then BMW wouldn't have to worry about it encroaching on their 2-series and it would allow MINI a little more freedom. Instead BMW seems to be forcing the MINI into competition with their own line....and then releasing FWD BMWs just to confuse things even more

Maybe one day, when they're a bit older, I'll go back and get an R55 clubman. That's still my favorite post-2000 Mini ever produced.

I will note that when I sit down to dinner with the BMW and MINI execs at random events, I remain this vocal about my opinions on the brand lol. Maybe one day they'll listen.
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  #71  
Old 06-25-2015, 09:07 PM
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Oh that's right! I forgot he got one. Lucky dude. I bet he's loving it huh? We need to get him some Fifteen52 cast Turbomacs one of these days

I do fear the price point of the RS...but it's going to be a monster.
He's been bugging me about buying some wheels for it. He wanted black wheels so he plasti-dipped the stock wheels per my suggestion.

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Maybe one day, when they're a bit older, I'll go back and get an R55 clubman. That's still my favorite post-2000 Mini ever produced.

I will note that when I sit down to dinner with the BMW and MINI execs at random events, I remain this vocal about my opinions on the brand lol. Maybe one day they'll listen.
Agreed on the R55. Keep telling the execs. They need to hear it. I've sure not stopped telling them either.
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  #72  
Old 06-25-2015, 09:53 PM
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Mini hasn't totally lost its way:

https://youtu.be/NzfEgIx-6F4
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  #73  
Old 06-25-2015, 10:20 PM
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Mini hasn't totally lost its way:

https://youtu.be/NzfEgIx-6F4
I'm not sure racing a civilian on the ring means that the car could actually outperform the competitor. It just means a bad driver was behind the wheel of the GT4

The GT4 does 0-60 in around 4 seconds. The GP2 does 0-60 in around 6 seconds.

The GT4 comes with Porsche's Carbon Ceramic brakes and the GP2 comes with a standard BBK. The carbon ceramics are known to outbrake and outlast BBKs on the track 10 fold.

And while harder to quantify, I'm certain the GT4 has a far better balance than an FF GP.

And lastly the "professional" ring lap times that each is claiming are as follows:

Cayman Gt4: 7:40
MINI GP2: 8:23
Megane 265 Cup (FWD and substantially cheaper than the GP): 8:06
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  #74  
Old 06-26-2015, 01:26 AM
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Of course. A GP isn't a direct competitor to the GT4. That's just more a nice demonstration that there are still mini products that are quick and handy.
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  #75  
Old 06-26-2015, 01:04 PM
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Rally & Flamez, we're all basically on the same page. I continue to tell the MINI folks that I work with the same stuff, but they're too stuck in the "we want to be fancy like daddy" mentality to consider the smaller, simpler, cheaper option. I was pissed when they almost immediately axed the manual soft top from the Roadster (even if it wasn't the roadster I wish MINI would make anyway). It was yet another sign of where things are going with the brand.
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