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Diesel engines are finally starting to gain traction in the U.S., following years of rhetoric from automakers that American buyers just didn’t want them in their cars.
It appears the tide has well and truly turned, with announcements in the past month alone confirming diesel versions of the Mercedes-Benz GLK, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Audi A8, and Porsche Cayenne for the 2013 model year.
A faulty water pump that could lead to a smoldering electrical board, which might then start a fire, is at the root of a recall of 88,911 MINI Cooper S, Cooper S Clubman, Cooper S Convertible, and John Cooper Works models.
MINI says that 100 percent of the vehicles in the recall contain the faulty water pump, but the series of incidents that would have to happen to cause a fire appears to be somewhat less likely: under “certain conditions” the auxiliary electric water pump, which helps cool the turbocharger after engine shutoff, can malfunction, which might cause the circuit board to overheat, which might then cause the circuit board to smolder, which might in turn finally cause the fire.
Have you shopped for a new car lately? If so, how impressed were you with the dealerships you visited? If you stopped at a Lexus or MINI showroom, chances are good that you walked away happy — and with a new set of wheels. That’s according to the latest study from J.D. Power.
Power’s 2011 Sales Satisfaction Index surveyed some 24,045 individuals who purchased or leased a new vehicle in May of 2011. The study looked at two sets of criteria — one for dealerships where customers ultimately bought or leased their cars, and another for those dealerships shoppers left without sealing the deal. J.D. Power asked respondents to score those dealerships on a scale of 0 to 1,000. The study also split dealerships into two categories: luxury and mass market.
There are at least two ways to look at the arrival of the 2012 MINI Cooper Coupe: “Yay! Another MINI to love!”; and, “Another MINI? Why?” Whichever camp you fall into, the MINI Coupe shouldn’t be called just another MINI, despite the fact that it very much is.
Before we can make sense of that statement, we’ll need to make a quick check of the facts: the 2012 Coupe is powered by the same engines (a 1.6-liter four-cylinder, and two turbocharged variants), is offered in the same trims (Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works), and has a nearly identical slate of infinitely variable customization options for its roof, stripe, wheel, vinyl, and interior packages. It also adds MINI Connected to the mix, tapping its technological liaison at BMW for Apps functionality like the MOG music subscription service and may more. In other words, it’s at least as MINI as any other MINI, despite being even more mini in a way that makes it a very different MINI.
Just ten years after the restart of production, MINI has assembled the two-millionth car at its Oxford plant in the UK.
The particular car was a MINI Cooper Convertible, painted in a special White Silver metallic with a blue denim roof, and fitted with bespoke components both inside and out.
To put that in perspective, it took Volkswagen from 1937 to 1957 to build two million Beetles, although civilian automobile production was halted due to Germany’s involvement in World War II.
Lexus and MINI are among the brands with the best dealership service. That’s according to the J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study—the big annual study that gauges multiple aspects of dealership service after the sale.
Overall, Lexus ranked at the top among all brands, and it was the top-performing luxury brand for the third year in a row. Among luxury brands, Jaguar, Cadillac, and Acura demonstrated post-sales service at the dealership that was well above average. Porsche and Volvo were most improved, while Volvo, Land Rover, and Audi dealerships lagged at the bottom.
Positioned as a curious “3+1″ seater with three doors and a scant 10-foot overall length, the Rocketman is currently only a design study, though it certainly looks like it could be promoted to the big leagues if the reception is warm enough. Sadly, it doesn’t look like Sir Elton John will be on hand to sing the car across the stage.
MINI currently has two other small cars waiting in the wings: the Coupe and Roadster. Adding a three-door hatch to complement those and further drive the seemingly endless proliferation of MINI variants could be just the right kind of crazy for MINI.
If you’re still unfamiliar with the John Cooper Works (JCW) branding, either you’re not a MINI fan at all or you’ve been living under a rock for the past several years. JCW is the official tuning arm for the MINI brand and not only produces its own range of upgraded cars but is also responsible for the brand’s motorsports efforts.
Today MINI has announced a new JCW range of factory-fitted accessories available as a kit. While JCW kits have been offered on the MINI Cooper hard-top for some time already, soon they will also be available on the MINI Cooper Convertible.
If you’re a fan of literature and graffiti, this 2010 MINI Cooper S may be just what you’re looking for. Signed by Garrison Keillor and 17 other Penguin authors, the car offers a unique chance to marry the love of fiction with the love of driving–in real life.
Not surprisingly, the seller of the car expects a hefty price premium fo the author-autographed automobile: the asking price is $30,000. While that’s not too far out of the ballpark for a 2010 MINI Cooper S, this particular example has 15,750 miles on the odo, and a whole of bunch of permaning ink scrawling on the dash.
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