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A MINI MAKEOVER

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Mon, Jun 28, 2010

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

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2011 MINI Cooper S MINI gives its models a boost for 2011 LA CAR loves MINIs. Since the introduction of the new-generation MINI back in 2002, it’s remained a shining example of the fact that you don’t need to spend an enormous amount of money to acquire a car that’s enormously fun to drive (see LA CAR's review of the 2010 MINI Cooper S). For model year 2011, MINI is giving its entire Cooper and Clubman line some design modifications, additional engine variants, an all-new selection of diesel engines and new equipment features. The global market launch on 18 September 2010 will see the MINI, MINI Clubman and MINI Convertible with new wheel variants, paint finishes and options. The new geometry of the front bumper on each model is said to allow the cars to meet the increasingly stringent pedestrian protection requirements in Europe more effectively. All models come with LEDs for the rear lights and brake lights, as well as a dynamic brake light function.

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Inside the cars, the newly designed controls for the audio and air conditioning systems updated. Outside, an array of new exterior paint finishes and wheel designs are available. The optional xenon headlights can now be ordered with black headlight reflectors or the Adaptive Headlights function, while an automatic dimming function is available for both the rear-view and exterior mirrors, and the optional ambient lighting uses a trio of LEDs to provide a broad spectrum of color. The MINI Clubman is now fitted with a new retractable roller-type luggage compartment cover. All radio systems come with an MP3-compatible CD player and an AUX IN connection, while the MINI Visual Boost radio and MINI navigation system team up with a high-resolution color display in the Centre Speedo and a Bluetooth hands-free system complete with USB audio interface. This allows video files stored on a compatible Apple iPod to be viewed on the on-board monitor. If the customer has ordered their car with the Bluetooth mobile phone preparation including USB interface, both systems can be hooked up with compatible mobile devices to allow functions such as audio streaming via Bluetooth, album cover artwork display and innovative office functions.

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The U.S.-base MINI Cooper will have a slight increase in power, a new map regulated oil pump that adjusts pressure and volume based on needs of engine. The result is said to be a three percent increase in fuel economy. The new MINI Cooper S gets the same updates that the Cooper, plus the addition of fully variable valve train (Valvetronic as BMW calls it) along with refinements of friction point throughout the engine. Final EPA figures are forthcoming are not yet out, but BMW/MINI officials expect the S to get the same highway miles per gallon rating as the normally aspired base Cooper. That's like being able to have your own cake and eating it too. - Roy Nakano

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