MINI Specialist Cars MINI

29 June 2011

MINI Convoy 2011

The Specialist Cars MINI Convoy 2011

On Sunday 19th June, the highly anticipated Specialist Cars MINI Convoy set off on the MINI adventure. Leaving from Marsh Road in Luton and Gunnels Wood Road in Stevenage, the MINI fanatics let their wheels do the talking as they took the scenic route to Champneys health resort in Tring. After parking up their pride and joy, guests of the convoy enjoyed a BBQ, giant Jenga and Connet 4 and the chance to browse around the Specialist Cars MINI accessories shop. If you’d be interested in being a part of the next annual Specialist Cars MINI Convoy, let one of our team know, the more the merrier!

Win an Countryman for a weekend competition. The lucky winner was Samantha Rook
Tucking into the BBQ at Champneys
The MINI accessories shop
Sophie, Matt and Becky from our MINI team
Some of the Specialist Cars team
Rear Parking Zone
Our partners, Bang and Olufsen of Harpenden supplied the music and atmosphere for the day
I'm Part of a MINI Adventure! Will you be next year!
Guests showing off their MINI convertible
Game on the Wii anyone
Giant Jenga and Connect 4
Displaying the best of MINI
All those MINI's parked together was a sight to see!
A bespoke MINI in all it's glory
The new MINI Countryman, leading the way

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23 June 2011

MINI JCW Coupé Endurance.

MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance.

Born for the "Green Hell" adventure: The MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance. 

Racing car celebrates world premiere in 24-hour race at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.

Motor sport is in the MINI genes. And now the carmaker is set to add a new chapter to its racing heritage with the arrival of the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance. The newly developed racer will line up at this year’s 24-hour race at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit, previewing the series-production version of the car due to be unveiled to the public in autumn 2011.

With the participation of the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance, the Nürburgring 24-hour race will be staging an automotive world premiere for the first time in its history. At the same time, the extreme demands of the classic endurance event ensure the new MINI model will be given a baptism of fire.

MINI’s declared aim in entering the Nürburgring 24-hour race is to experience the adventure of the “Green Hell”, as the Nürburgring-Nordschleife is affectionately known. And the brand has called, among other things, on the experience gained over many years of MINI Challenge sprint racing in the development of its new racing car for this unique event.

A pure-bred racing set-up will equip the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance for a full day lapping the combined Nordschleife/Grand Prix circuit at race speed. Providing the power is a specially-tuned version of the series-produced MINI John Cooper Works engine. The 1.6-litre four-cylinder unit – which boasts a twin-scroll turbocharger and petrol direct injection – delivers 250 hp, and the Overboost function pushes peak torque up to 330 Newton metres. Top speed is in excess of 240 km/h.

The MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance sees the brand’s customary go-kart feeling taken to a whole new level. The stiff race suspension ensures impressive roadholding and gives the driver constant, direct feedback from the road surface. Adjustable shock absorber units allow the suspension set-up to be adapted to fluctuating track conditions, a feature that will come in particularly handy at the Nordschleife.

The more steeply raked windscreen of the car’s flat coupé silhouette sets it apart clearly from the Hatch and helps to minimise aerodynamic drag, which the drivers will acknowledge with a smile on the circuit’s long straights.

The John Cooper Works Aerodynamics Package further enhances the Coupé’s already supreme handling; the front spoiler, rear diffuser and adjustable rear wing generate downforce, optimising the balance between the front and rear axle.

The MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance achieves an exceptionally high level of safety thanks to features including a roll cage welded to the body and a sports bucket seat with six-point safety belt and Formula One-style HANS (Head And Neck Support) system. When it comes to active safety, the car adopts the proven braking system with Race ABS from MINI Challenge racing and adds a specially tuned DSC dynamic control system, likewise optimised for the race track. Plus, in the interests of safety – and rapid pit stops – the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance is kitted out with an integrated pneumatic jack.

Technical data.

MINI John Cooper Works Coupé Endurance
Tuned version of series-produced MINI John Cooper Works engine with adapted engine management. Four-cylinder in-line engine (front/transverse-mounted) with twin-scroll turbocharger and petrol direct injection. Racing exhaust system
1,598 cc
Approx. 184 kW / approx. 250 hp
Max. torque
Approx. 330 Nm (incl. Overboost)
Top speed
> 240 km/h
Power transfer
Front-wheel drive, sequential six-speed gearbox with electronic differential lock
Independent race suspension (KW Suspension) with adjustable compression and rebound, adjustable front strut brace
Racing tyres (Dunlop) / slicks: 215/45 R17, wets: 205/620 R17, 17-inch racing rims (Borbet)
John Cooper Works Aerodynamics Package, adjustable rear wing, rear diffuser acc. to regulations, pneumatic jack
MINI Challenge braking system with Race ABS, race-tuned DSC, welded-in roll cage, six-point safety belt, racing seat (Recaro) with HANS system, main switch concept with electronically controlled fire extinguishing equipment
Racing steering wheel (Sparco), Drive Data Display with shift display
965 kg
2,467 mm
Tank capacity
100 litres

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21 June 2011

New MINI Coupe.

New MINI Coupe coming soon to Specialist Cars MINI.

And then there were five. The next exciting chapter in the continuing MINI success story has begun with the launch of the all-new MINI Coupé, the fifth unique model in the family.

Selling alongside the MINI Hatch, Convertible, Clubman and Countryman, the British-built MINI Coupé is the first two-seater sports car in the UK brand’s long and proud history. It’s a contemporary and authentic reworking of the classic performance car concept, bringing MINI’s intoxicating blend of go-anywhere attitude and practicality to a new type of customer.

The MINI Coupé’s mission is a simple one; to maximise the thrill of being behind the wheel. Keen drivers will be rewarded with a level of handling agility unmatched in the small car segment. Every aspect of the MINI Coupé – from the choice of engines and chassis set-up to weight distribution and aerodynamics – is focused on delivering the optimum dynamic performance. To prove the point, the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé has the fastest acceleration and top speed of any volume-produced MINI to date.

The four-strong MINI range will go on sale through MINI dealers from 1st October 2011 and MINI Coupé customers can expect an exceptionally high standard of equipment including; DAB digital radio, air conditioning, park distance control, alloy wheels,  3-spoke sport leather steering wheel and sport stripes on the body work. A wide range of accessories and personalisation choices will be available.

OTR Price
MINI Cooper Coupé
MINI Cooper S Coupé
MINI Cooper SD Coupé
MINI John Cooper Works Coupé

Striking styling meets practicality
Key to the MINI Coupé’s appeal is its stunning exterior design, unlike anything else in the compact sports car segment. Immediately identifiable as part of the MINI family, it’s a genuine and appealing re-interpretation of the classic MINI design cues which have become so familiar on UK roads in the last decade. The car’s design language – the clever combination of athletically sculpted surfaces, harmonious curves and parallel lines – takes the brand’s styling in an exciting new direction, with a fresh and clear emphasis on the marque’s sporting DNA.

The MINI Coupé is also an innovative new vehicle. It’s the first modern MINI to adopt the traditional ‘three-box’ body structure, splitting the car into distinct segments – the engine compartment, cabin and boot. While the overall length and width are almost identical to the dimensions of the MINI Hatch, the Coupé’s overall height is 29 millimetres lower. Visually, this and the stepped rear end give the car a more aggressive, forward-thrusting profile. The lower roofline doesn’t come at the expense of driver and passenger comfort, though. Oval recesses in the headlining provide extra headroom, perfectly illustrating MINI’s ‘no compromise’ ethos.

The styling team led by Head of Design Anders Warming has given the MINI Coupé a distinctive appearance from every angle. The most striking view is undoubtedly the profile, with horizontal layering of the car into three separate tiers – the body, the wrap-around glass and the eye-catching ‘helmet design’ roof. The A-pillars and windscreen are sharply raked by 13˚ compared to the MINI Hatch, resulting in a smaller frontal area that gives the MINI Coupé excellent aerodynamic properties.

Air flow is also optimised by the integrated spoiler at the rear of the roof, and via a unique active rear spoiler housed in the bootlid. It deploys automatically when the car reaches 50mph – and drops down again at 37mph – but can be operated manually via a button in the overhead control panel. The Coupé is the first MINI in history to feature an active rear spoiler, which reduces lift at the rear axle to improve aerodynamic balance and road grip.

MINI enthusiasts will immediately recognise the interior of the Coupé. The much-loved large central circular speedo, chrome toggle switches and numerous other MINI trademark features are all present in the two-seater cabin.

Behind is a spacious 280-litre luggage area - 20 litres larger than the MINI Clubman - easily accessible by the driver or passenger from inside the cabin as well as externally via the boot. The large, high-opening tailgate makes for simple loading and the car offers excellent cargo-carrying possibilities that will suit a wide range of needs. Whether it’s for daily routine, fun weekend leisure trips or more adventurous touring for two, the MINI Coupé is ideal transport.

Tried and tested engines

Power for the MINI Coupé comes from the latest generation of BMW Group four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Outputs range from 122 hp/90 kW in the MINI Cooper Coupé to 211 hp /155 kW in the highly desirable flagship MINI John Cooper Works Coupé. The recently launched performance diesel engine, the 143 hp/105 kW Cooper SD, is also available and the line-up is completed with the Cooper S which offers 184 hp /135kW.

Fuel economy on the combined cycle stretches from 39.8mpg in the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé to a frugal 65.7mpg in the Cooper SD model, while CO2 emissions are as low as just 114g/km on the Cooper SD. Even the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé emits only 165g/km. The full technical specification for each model is given below.

Likely to prove popular with many potential MINI Coupé customers is the Cooper SD variant, which offers the best fuel economy, lowest emissions highest torque output of any MINI. What’s more, it will still sprint to 62mph in under eight seconds and carry on to a top speed of 134mph. With a BIK value of just 13%, and zero first year road tax, user chooser company car drivers and fleet managers will also see its obvious appeal. No official figures are available yet, but the MINI Coupé is expected to have class-leading residual values.

Outstanding MINI dynamics and record-breaking speed

In the MINI Coupé, engine power is converted into pure driving fun more directly and comprehensively than ever before. This car is the clearest illustration yet of MINI’s legendary sporting DNA being transposed into a cutting-edge new vehicle. The MINI Coupé provides a complete re-interpretation of what a contender in the compact sports car class should offer the driver.

The MINI Coupé takes the legendary go-kart handling of every new MINI to a new high. That each of the four model variants carries the Cooper name in its designation is indicative of MINI’s faith in the performance credentials of its newest car. Traditionally, this badge has been a sign of outstanding sporting ability and a nod to the brand’s long-time association with legendary Formula One designer John Cooper.

A level of chassis quality unmatched in the small car segment gives the new MINI model the handling flair you would expect from the brand. Designed to be the ultimate expression of go-kart handling, the car’s suspension system provides a fun-filled, sharp and agile driving experience.

With a multi-link axle at the rear and MacPherson strut suspension up front, the outstanding quality of the chassis engineering, steering and brake system ensures confident control of the vehicle at all times, even when pushed hard in dynamic situations. Compared to the MINI Hatch the Coupé is also equipped with optimised springs and dampers and an uprated rear anti-roll bar to further enhance its sporting credentials.

Work to enhance overall body rigidity has seen a slight forward shift in the MINI Coupé’s weight distribution compared with the MINI Hatch. This has major benefits for vehicle dynamics because the slight increase in front axle load increases traction, helping to ensure engine power is effortlessly translated into sporty acceleration.

A low centre of gravity, a long wheelbase measuring 2,467 millimetres, and a front and rear track width of 1,459 mm and 1,467 mm respectively also contribute to the sure-footed handling. DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) is standard across the MINI Coupé range and makes an important contribution to safe and agile handling. In extreme driving situations and on slippery surfaces the system can selectively brake individual wheels and reduce engine power to prevent a front or rear-end slide at the earliest possible stage. The system includes integral ABS, EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), CBC (Cornering Brake Control), Brake Assist and Hill Start Assist. DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) and EDLC (Electronic Differential Lock Control) is on the options list but standard on MINI John Cooper Works Coupé.

The optional Sport Suspension has firmer damper settings and comes with uprated anti-roll bars front and rear. For a more ‘hard core’ racing experience, the MINI Coupé accessories range includes a John Cooper Works Suspension, with a 10 mm drop in ride height, ultra-firm damping and further upgraded anti-roll bars.

One of the main attractions of owning a new MINI Coupé will be its straight-line speed. In the case of the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé, it’s a MINI record-breaking performance. With a 0-62mph sprint time of 6.4 seconds and a top speed of 149mph, it’s the fastest volume-produced MINI to date on both counts.

MINIMALISM environmental technology as standard

All versions of the MINI Coupé come with the brand’s critically acclaimed MINIMALISM environmental technology as standard, providing exceptional powertrain efficiency. Features such as Brake Energy Regeneration, Auto Start/Stop+, Shift Point Display+, Electric Power Steering and the need-based operation of ancillary components help to make efficient use of fuel with low emissions. Additional features include innovative thermal encapsulation of the drivetrain, which shortens the fuel-sapping warm-up period after a cold start. All of these result in the MINI being the cleanest Coupé in the market place today.

The standard six-speed manual gearbox sets a new benchmark in the segment with its short-shift travel and precise action. A ready-to-drive weight of 44.8 kilograms makes this the lightest gearbox of its kind. The carefully considered ratios guarantee unbeatable agility in mid-range acceleration. In addition, the MINI Cooper S, John Cooper Works and Cooper SD Coupé models all come with an innovative self-adjusting clutch. Automatic readjustment ensures that the pedal feel you expect from a MINI is there to be enjoyed over the car’s entire life.

For drivers who prefer the simplicity offered by an automatic transmission, a six-speed gearbox with Steptronic function, available with shift paddles, can be ordered as an option for the MINI Cooper Coupé, MINI Cooper S Coupé and MINI Cooper SD Coupé.

The MINI Cooper Coupé comes with 15-inch alloy wheels as standard, with a 16-inch version fitted to the MINI Cooper S Coupé and MINI Cooper SD Coupé. The MINI John Cooper Works Coupé is specified with 17-inch, weight-optimised alloy wheels in JCW Cross Spoke CHALLENGE styling.
Advanced technology

The MINI Coupé’s compelling driving experience is helped by the car’s Electric Power Steering (EPS). This electro-mechanical system is particularly effective at soaking up steering shocks and other vibrations.

It features speed-dependent power assist, reducing the effort required from the driver during parking and other manoeuvres. It cuts the amount of assist at higher speeds to improve road feel and directional stability.

A Sport Button on the centre console is standard on all MINI Coupé models, pressing the Sport Button alters the response characteristics of the accelerator to deliver sharper, sportier reactions and is designed to support a more performance-minded driving style which requires more steering input but provides more responsive feel.

The MINI Coupé’s model-specific braking system provides powerful, fade-free deceleration under even the hardest pedal pressure. The vented front brake discs have a diameter of 280 millimetres on the MINI Cooper Coupé, 294 millimetres on the MINI Cooper S Coupé and MINI Cooper SD Coupé, and 316 millimetres on the MINI John Cooper Works Coupé.

Panel - tech spec on engine variants:

All MINI Coupé four-cylinder petrol engines come with BMW Group’s VALVETRONIC technology - a fully variable valve control system which adjusts valve lift and opening times in direct relationship to the driver’s command on the throttle pedal, delivering more torque and better fuel consumption.

MINI John Cooper Works Coupé:

Four-cylinder petrol engine with twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection, plus numerous technological details carried over directly from motorsport.
Displacement: 1,598 cc
Output: 211 hp /155 kW at 6,000 rpm
Max torque: 260 Nm/192 lb-ft at 1,850 – 5,600 rpm
(280 Nm/207 lb-ft with Overboost at 2,000 – 5,100 rpm)
Acceleration: 0–62 mph: 6.4 seconds
Top speed: 149 mph
Average fuel consumption (combined cycle): 39.8 mpg
CO2 emissions: 165 g/km

MINI Cooper S Coupé:

Four-cylinder petrol engine with twin-scroll turbocharger and direct injection.
Displacement: 1,598 cc,
Output: 184 hp /135 kW at 5,500 rpm,
Max torque: 240 Nm/177 lb-ft at 1,600 – 5,000 rpm
(260 Nm/192 lb-ft with Overboost at 1,700 – 4,500 rpm)
Acceleration: 0–62 mph: 6.9 seconds,
Top speed: 143 mph
Average fuel consumption (combined cycle): 48.7 mpg
CO2 emissions: 136 g/km

MINI Cooper SD Coupé:

Four-cylinder turbodiesel with aluminium crankcase, common-rail injection and variable turbine geometry.
Displacement: 1,995 cc
Output: 143 hp /105 kW at 4,000 rpm
Max torque: 305 Nm/225 lb-ft at 1,750 – 2,700 rpm
Acceleration: 0–62 mph: 7.9 seconds
Top speed: 134 mph
Average fuel consumption (combined cycle): 65.7 mpg
CO2 emissions: 114 g/km

MINI Cooper Coupé:

Displacement: 1,598 cc
Output: 122 hp/ 90 kW at 6,000 rpm
Max torque: 160 Nm/118 lb-ft at 4,250 rpm
Acceleration: 0–62 mph: 9.0 seconds
Top speed: 127 mph
Average fuel consumption (combined cycle): 52.3 mpg
CO2 emissions: 127 g/km

Exterior dimensions :

Length: 3,728 millimetres (MINI Cooper Coupé)
            3,734 millimetres (MINI Cooper S and Cooper SD Coupé)
            3,730 millimetres (MINI John Cooper Works Coupé)
Width: 1,683 millimetres (1892 millimetres including door mirrors)
Height: 1,378 millimetres (MINI Cooper S Coupé)
1,384 millimetres (MINI John Cooper Works Coupé)
Wheelbase: 2,467 millimetres

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08 June 2011

Kittens found at Luton MINI

One of the team at Specialist Cars MINI in Luton found a cat in the dry bay behind the dealership and then discovered some kittens! After hiding all day under a big pallet, once the valet team and everyone had gone for the day, the kittens came out to play.

Our receptionist Maggie kindly took them in for the night and has found homes for them already.


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