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MINI Hatch and Cabrio Update 2018


New technology, cutting-edge connectivity, standard-fit front and rear LED lights across the range and an advanced dual-clutch automatic gearbox are just some of the features in the new 2018 MINI 3-Door Hatch, MINI 5-Door Hatch and MINI Convertible, which will launch at MINI retailers across the UK on 17 March 2018.

The changes are focused on driver appeal and core new technologies, including MINI Connected Concierge services, wireless smartphone charging and first-in-class options such as new anti-dazzle adaptive headlights with Matrix high beam.

MINI 3-Door Hatch, MINI 5-Door Hatch and MINI Convertible: overview of new features.

•           New design standard-fit front and rear LED lights for the UK market.
•           First-in-class - new optional adaptive headlights with Matrix high beam.
•           Unique individualisation with MINI Yours 3D printed parts.
•           6.5-inch colour infotainment screen, USB and Bluetooth connectivity and multifunction steering wheel fitted as standard.
•           New touchscreen MINI Navigation with Apple CarPlay and wireless smartphone charging.
•           New MINI Connected Services with Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI), Online Search, Natural Language Understanding and Concierge Service.
•           New MINI logo, body finishes, Piano Black exterior and alloy wheel designs.
•           Extended range of leather trim, new interior backlit surfaces and colour lines.
•           MINI logo projection from the exterior mirror on the driver's side.
•           New 7-speed Steptronic transmission with double clutch and electronic shift selector.
•           Further developed engines and increased capacity and torque for MINI One.


Bright and dazzle-free: Font and rear LED lights now standard. First-in-class adaptive LED headlights with Matrix high beam optionally available.
The exterior character of the new MINI range has been refreshed with the introduction of a new front and rear LED light design, enhancing the on-road presence of the new MINI 3-Door Hatch, MINI 5-Door Hatch and MINI Convertible.

All versions of MINI Hatch and MINI Convertible sold in the UK get the same front and rear LED lamps as standard, for the first time in this segment. The LED lamps have a stronger, brighter beam pattern than the outgoing halogen headlamps, while the daytime running lamps and indicators are also LED-based, forming a new ring design around the headlights themselves. The three-dimensional LED rear lamps cleverly incorporate horizontal turn signals and vertical brake lamps within a distinctive new light cluster. The LED lamps benefit from greater long-distance visibility, without dazzling other road users.

First-in-class new ‘Matrix’ adaptive LED headlamps will be offered as an option on the new MINI Hatch and Convertible range, which automatically adjusts brightness using a matrix of different light elements to cater for specific road conditions.

For example, the lamps can offer additional illumination to the side of the road in both urban and rural areas, while the high beam lights have greater intensity at motorway speeds, without dazzling oncoming drivers.

The adaptive LEDs also feature an automatic selective dip function when on high beam, which automatically extinguishes the parts of the lamp which may dazzle other drivers, while at the same time offering optimal illumination.

Each lamp is divided into four horizontally arranged segments, which are activated and deactivated independently of one another at speeds of over 45mph. The high beam segments effectively ‘read’ the road, and as soon as the MINI front camera registers an oncoming vehicle or a vehicle driving ahead, the space that vehicle occupies is only illuminated at low beam brightness.

This is done by deactivation of the Matrix segments that cover the space in question, while the remaining areas of the road continue to be illuminated at high beam brightness.

New MINI logo: reduced to the essentials.

The 2018 MINI range will also see the debut of an all-new MINI logo on the vehicle. The new badge has a flat two-dimensional design, reflecting MINI’s new brand identity with its focus on the essentials – namely key values such as driving fun, distinctive design, premium quality and emotional appeal.

The new logo appears on the bonnet, tailgate, steering wheel, instrument display and central locking remote control on all models.


Three new colours, including premiere for Piano Black Exterior.

The range of body finishes available for the new MINI range includes three brand new colours, namely Emerald Grey metallic, Starlight Blue metallic and Solaris Orange metallic.

In addition, exterior options now include an additional means of customising the exterior design – a popular practice among MINI customers. With the Piano Black Exterior pack, the surrounds of the headlights, rear lights and radiator grille are finished in high-gloss black instead of chrome.

The choice of alloy wheels has been expanded, too. 17-inch ‘Roulette’ and ‘Propeller’ designs are now available for all body variants of the new MINI Hatch and Convertible, along with a new ‘Rail’ two-tone wheel.


New leather trims, interior surfaces and colour lines.

A broad selection of seat surfaces, interior surfaces and colour lines add a touch of individual style to the interior of the new MINI range. These include Chester leather trim in Malt Brown and a colour line now also available in Malt Brown.

A brand new option for 2018, MINI Yours Interior in Piano Black, provides MINI Hatch and Convertible customers with the option of a distinctive backlit decorative strip for the passenger side of the instrument panel. Stylised in a Union Jack motif, the colour of the background lighting for the decorative strip matches that of the vehicle’s ambient lighting selected by the driver as part of the MINI Excitement Package. This option also enhances other area of the cabin, adding a distinctive high gloss black appearance to the door inners and centre console.


Maximum individualisation: MINI Yours Customised.

The MINI Yours Customised program raises brand individualisation to a whole new level. It includes new products whose design can be created by customers themselves, which are then produced precisely according to their individual specifications.

The MINI Yours Customised range includes side scuttles, decorative strips for the interior on the passenger side, LED door sill finishers and LED door projectors.

MINI Yours Customised products can be selected, designed and ordered through a specially created online shop launching later in 2018. Here customers can choose between various colours, patterns, surface structures and icons, as well as contributing their own texts and adding a touch of personal style to the design. This creative interaction between manufacturer and customer enables MINI drivers to turn their vehicle into a unique expression of their own personality.

The individualised products are manufactured using innovative production techniques, including 3D printing and laser engraving.


Drive: increased driving fun and reduced weight.
Revisions to engines and powertrain have been made to further enhance driving fun. Development has been applied across the board, including the basic engine, MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology, engine electronics, oil supply, intake air ducting, the cooling system and the exhaust system.

One very clever feature of the new MINI engines is the use of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) on the engine covers, which not only  contributes to further weight reduction, but also takes advantage of using recycled material generated during the production of BMW’s ‘i’ range of electric vehicles.

The 3-cylinder petrol engine in the MINI One has seen an increase in capacity to 1.5 litres, increasing maximum torque by 10 Nm, taking it to 190 Nm.


New: 7-speed Steptronic transmission with double clutch with electronic selector lever.
All new MINIs come with a precise six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but now 3-Door Hatch, 5-Door Hatch and Convertible models are now also available with a 7-speed Steptronic transmission with double clutch as an option.

The transmission is offered on MINI One, MINI Cooper, MINI Cooper S and MINI Cooper D engine variants, and is characterised by very fast gearshifts, enabling sporty acceleration and an impressive spread of torque.

The transmission comes with an all-new electronic selector lever, while on the MINI Cooper S the automatic option includes shift paddles at the steering wheel for a level of manual intervention.

All Steptronic transmissions allow the car to coast in MID and GREEN mode and incorporate the latest generation of auto start/stop functions.

Using the satellite navigation data and the car’s inbuilt camera systems, the stop/start can be intelligently controlled to identify situations in which it is better not to switch off the engine: for example when stopping briefly before making a turn or entering a roundabout, or if the traffic ahead has started moving again.

Diverse range of engines.

There are five engine variants for UK customers to choose from for the new MINI 3-Door Hatch:
MINI One 3-Door Hatch: 75 kW/102 hp, 0 – 62 mph in 10.1 seconds (10.2 seconds), top speed: 121 mph (121 mph), fuel consumption: 57.6 mpg combined cycle (58.9 mpg combined cycle)*, CO2 emissions: 115 – 111 g/km (114 – 109 g/km)*.

MINI Cooper 3-Door Hatch: 100 kW/136 hp, 0 – 62 mph in 7.9 seconds (7.8 seconds), top speed: 130 mph (130 mph), fuel consumption: 56.5 mpg combined cycle (58.9 mpg combined cycle)*, CO2 emissions: 118 – 114 g/km (114 – 109 g/km)*.

MINI Cooper S 3-Door Hatch: 141 kW/192 hp, 0 – 62 mph in 6.8 seconds (6.7 seconds), top speed: 146 mph (146 mph), fuel consumption: 47.1 mpg combined cycle (54.3 mpg combined cycle)*, CO2 emissions: 139 – 138 g/km (120 – 119 g/km)*.

MINI John Cooper Works 3-Door Hatch: 170 kW/231 hp, 0 – 62 mph in 6.3 seconds (6.1 seconds), top speed: 153 mph (153 mph), fuel consumption: 42.8 mpg combined cycle (49.6 mpg combined cycle)*, CO2 emissions: 150 g/km (130 g/km)*.

MINI Cooper D 3-Door Hatch: 85 kW/116 hp, 0 – 62 mph in 9.2 seconds (9.3 seconds), top speed: 127 mph (127 mph), fuel consumption: 3.9 – 3.9 litres/100 km (3.8 – 3.8 litres/100 km)*, CO2 emissions: 103 – 102 g/km (100 – 99 g/km)*.

Three petrol engines and one diesel engine are offered for the new MINI 5-Door Hatch:
MINI One 5-Door Hatch: 75 kW/102 hp, 0 – 62 mph in 10.3 seconds (10.5 seconds), top speed: 119 mph (119 mph), fuel consumption: 57.6 mpg combined cycle (58.9 mpg combined cycle)*, CO2 emissions: 116 – 112 g/km (115 – 110 g/km)*.

MINI Cooper 5-Door Hatch: 100 kW/136 hp, 0 – 62 mph  in 8.2 seconds (8.1 seconds), top speed: 129 mph (129 mph), fuel consumption: 55.4 mpg combined cycle (58.9 mpg combined cycle)*, CO2 emissions: 120 – 116 g/km (115 – 110 g/km)*.

MINI Cooper S 5-Door Hatch: 141 kW/192 hp, 0 – 62 mph in 6.9 seconds (6.8 seconds), top speed: 146 mpg (146 mpg), fuel consumption: 45.6 mpg combined cycle (52.3 mpg combined cycle)*, CO2 emissions: 143 – 141 g/km (124 – 123 g/km)*.

MINI Cooper D 5-Door Hatch: 85 kW/116 hp, 0 – 62 mph in 9.4 seconds (9.6 seconds), top speed: 126 mph (126 mph), fuel consumption: 4.0 – 3.9 litres/100 km (4.0 – 3.9 litres/100 km)*, CO2 emissions: 104 – 103 g/km (104 – 103 g/km)*.

The engine portfolio for the new MINI Convertible consists of three petrol engines:
MINI Cooper Convertible: 100 kW/136 hp, 0 – 62 mph in 8.8 seconds (8.7 seconds), top speed: 129 mph (128 mph), fuel consumption: 54.3 mpg combined cycle (54.3 mpg combined cycle)*, CO2 emissions: 123 – 119 g/km (123 – 118 g/km)*.

MINI Cooper S Convertible: 141 kW/192 hp, 0 – 62 mph in 7.2 seconds (7.1 seconds), top speed: 143 mph (143 mph), fuel consumption: 44.8 mpg combined cycle (57.4 mpg combined cycle)*, CO2 emissions: 123 – 119 g/km (123 – 118 g/km)*.

MINI John Cooper Works Convertible: 170 kW/231 hp, 0 – 62 mph in 6.6 seconds (6.5 seconds), top speed: 150 mph (149 mph), fuel consumption: 42.2 mpg combined cycle (47.9 mpg combined cycle)*, CO2 emissions: 152 g/km (136 g/km)*.

 *Fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures were measured using the methods required according to Regulation (EC) 2007/715 as amended. The figures are provisional and are based on a vehicle with basic equipment in Germany. Figures depend on the tyre format selected; specifications in brackets apply to vehicles with automatic transmission


New steering wheel with multifunction buttons and radio with 6.5-inch colour screen as standard.
The newly designed three-spoke steering wheel in the MINI range now features multifunction buttons. On the left-hand control panel it is possible to activate the Speed Limit Device to set a maximum speed, while the audio and communication controls are on the right-hand side. A sports leather steering wheel, a MINI Yours sports leather steering wheel and a John Cooper Works leather steering wheel are all available as options.

The standard trim also includes an audio system with 6.5-inch colour screen in the central instrument panel and mobile phone integration via Bluetooth.

New options: Refreshed Pepper and Chili packs now include rear PDC and MINI Logo projection as standard.
For 2018, MINI has introduced new options and enhanced the equipment offered in the popular Pepper and Chili packs.

Pepper Pack adds extra content including 15-inch light alloy wheels, MINI Excitement Pack, leather steering wheel, rain sensor with automatic headlight activation and automatic air conditioning. A new addition to the Pepper Pack in 2018 is rear park distance control (PDC) ensuring that the MINI vehicles are easier than ever to park in and around town.

Chili Pack builds on the contents of the Pepper Pack, adding extras features including 17-inch light alloy wheels, cloth and leather upholstery, a sport steering wheel and a sport button to further enhance the driving experience.

The MINI Excitement Package, which is included in the Pepper and Chili packs for UK customers, now includes MINI logo projection on the driver's side. When the vehicle door is opened and closed, the new MINI logo is projected onto the ground in front of the door from a light source in the exterior mirror and can be seen there for 20 seconds, or permanently if the door is left open.


Infotainment and Navigation: 6.5-inch full colour display as standard and debut of new Navigation Plus Pack with wireless charging.
As standard, all vehicles will have a 6.5-inch full colour display and standard rotary controller. Customers can choose to upgrade this screen to include optional MINI Navigation with a touchscreen display and Apple CarPlay functionality.

MINI has simplified the range of additional infotainment packs for UK customers in 2018, with one new infotainment package now offered. The new Navigation Plus package contains a raft of innovative optional equipment, including MINI’s new 8.8-inch touchscreen display, wireless charging, new MINI Connected Services including Real Time Traffic Information, new Natural Language Understanding functionality, MINI Concierge Service, online services and Apple CarPlay.

The new wireless charging feature, available as an option or as part of the Navigation Plus package, is facilitated via a storage compartment in the centre armrest which will automatically and wirelessly charge mobile phones which support this capability. This option also includes a second USB socket in the front section of the centre console.


MINI Connected: a range of digital services that is unique within the segment.

MINI offers class-leading premium digital services, many of which are unique in the small car segment.

New features in the leading MINI Connected package include Real Time Traffic Information and automatic navigation map update via mobile phone connection, a personal Concierge Service and a vehicle internet portal MINI Online, with news, weather and fuel price updates. Another option is Apple CarPlay compatibility.

MINI Connected enables MINI drivers to integrate their vehicle and travel plans seamlessly into their day-to-day digital routine. Meanwhile, the MINI Connected App provides connectivity with digital touchpoints such as a smartphone or smart watch. For example, MINI Connected can draw on calendar entries and contact data entered in a smartphone to plan routes and determine the ideal time to set off based on real time traffic data.

The Send to Car function enables planned routes to be sent to the MINI navigation system, while Remote Services allow the driver not just to display vehicle location, fuel level and other vehicle status details on their smartphone, but also activate the headlight flasher, horn, ventilation and door lock/unlock function.

Intelligent networking is standard across the MINI range, via a 4G SIM card integrated into the vehicle. This enables the use of MINI Teleservices and the Intelligent Emergency Call with automatic detection of vehicle location and accident severity.

Another new 2018 option for Hatch and Convertible models is MINI Find Mate. This option consist of tags with a Bluetooth tracking function that can be attached to frequently used objects and travel items such as bags, cases, key rings and rucksacks. Their position can not only be displayed on the car’s on-board computer but also in your MINI Connected App on a smartphone, preventing personal items getting lost or left behind.

BMW and Fiat Chrysler team up to create autonomous driving platform


  • BMW Group, Intel Corporation, Mobileye, an Intel company, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) signed a memorandum of understanding for FCA to join them in developing a world leading, state-of-the-art autonomous driving platform
  • The cooperation allows the companies to leverage each other’s individual strengths, capabilities and resources
  • The platform will be scalable for Level 3 to Level 4/5 automated driving and can be used by multiple automakers around the world while maintaining their unique brand identities

BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye announced today that they have signed a memorandum of understanding with the intention for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to be the first automaker to join them in developing a world leading, state-of-the-art autonomous driving platform for global deployment.

The development partners intend to leverage each other’s individual strengths, capabilities and resources to enhance the platform’s technology, increase development efficiency and reduce time to market. One enabler to achieve this will be the co-location of engineers in Germany as well as other locations. FCA will bring engineering and other technical resources and expertise to the cooperation, as well as its significant sales volumes, geographic reach and long-time experience in North America.

“In order to advance autonomous driving technology, it is vital to form partnerships among automakers, technology providers and suppliers,” said FCA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne. “Joining this cooperation will enable FCA to directly benefit from the synergies and economies of scale that are possible when companies come together with a common vision and objective.”

In July 2016, BMW Group, Intel, and Mobileye announced that they were joining forces to make self-driving vehicles a reality by collaborating to bring solutions for highly automated driving (Level 3) and fully automated driving (Level 4/5) into production by 2021. Since then, they have been designing and developing a scalable architecture that can be used by multiple automakers around the world, while at the same time maintaining each automaker’s unique brand identities.

The cooperation remains on-track to deploy 40 autonomous test vehicles on the road by 2017 year-end. It also expects to benefit from leveraging data and learnings from the recently announced 100 Level 4 test vehicle fleet of Mobileye, an Intel Company, demonstrating the scale effect of this collaborative approach.

“The two factors that remain key to the success of the cooperation are uncompromising excellence in development, and the scalability of our autonomous driving platform,” said Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. “With FCA as our new partner, we reinforce our path to successfully create the most relevant state-of-the-art, cross-OEM Level 3-5 solution on a global scale.”

“The future of transportation relies on auto and tech industry leaders working together to develop a scalable architecture that automakers around the globe can adopt and customize,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. “We’re thrilled to welcome FCA’s contribution, bringing us a step closer to delivering the world’s safest autonomous vehicles.”

“We welcome FCA’s contributions and use of the cooperation’s platform, which has made substantial progress over the last year and is rapidly entering the testing and execution phase,” stated Professor Amnon Shashua, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer of Mobileye, an Intel Company. “The combination of vision-intense perception and mapping, differentiated sensor fusion, and driving policy solutions offers the highest levels of safety and versatility, in a cost-efficient package that will scale across all geographies and road settings.”

BMW Group, Intel, Mobileye and FCA, together with the recently announced development partners and system integrators, invite and welcome additional automakers and technology suppliers to join them in adopting this autonomous driving platform in an effort to create an industry-wide solution.


MINI Cabrio named as Future Classic by BCA

From the highest priced luxury marques to mass market family saloons, most new cars lose part of their value the minute they’re driven off the dealer forecourt and continue to depreciate as they get older. But there are some affordable cars on the road that could become valuable collectors cars in the future according to BCA, the used vehicle marketplace. Ahead of a special sale at its Nottingham centre on Saturday 26th August, the company has listed its top five future classics.

EVENT NEWS: Italian Job @ Bristol Film Festival


Scrappage Schemes: An enviromental con?


Since the Volkswagon Diesel emissions scandal a few years back, scientific and political opinion on the fuel has swung back to the perception of diesel being a dirty fuel. 

But has there been an over-reaction from politicians regarding this scandal, with a new policy announcement to ban all petrol and diesel cars from 2040 - or is it a justifiable way to help reduce pollution and save the planet?

Campaigners will say by using electric cars pollution will be reduced by the car itself. But to enable this to happen will need the creation of a large infrastructure of charging points across the country, as well as an increase of power stations to supply the increase in demand on the power grid. Critics have a million and one reasons why it won't work, including the difficulty in installing charging points in rural areas - when some places still don't even have broadband internet yet! 

Creating all of this expansion will have a significant initial impact on the country's carbon footprint. We already know the UK's coal power stations are being turned off and there is little sign of any replacements on the horizon... with the Hinkley C station being held up in political turmoil, who could realistically imagine we could get all of the infrastructure needed in place by 2040.

And as the world becomes more competitive, we see retailers increasingly manipulate the truth to garner more sales. Vauxhall and now Ford are amongst other companies offering £2000-£3000 as part of an unofficial 'Scrappage Scheme'. While technically the companies can call their deal whatever they want, instead of promoting a simple part-exchange scheme, they choose to peddle the myth that cars prior to 2010 are dirty and bad for the environment. 

Anyone who knows anything about cars know that EU directives have strictly improved the cleanliness of exhaust emissions - especially over the last 15-20 years - and that the real truth is there is a greater carbon footprint in creating a brand new car than there is to run an old car (if kept in good working order) for 20+ years. But in a capitalist society we have to keep the wheels of consumerism working to ensure people still have jobs.

So why do they feel the need to lie about it, and furthermore - they are destroying decent fuel efficient cars which people, who currently drive in cars 20+ years old, would be looking to buy as their next second-hander. We know how bad the official Scrappage Scheme was for a number of 80s and 90s classics - many classic Minis bit the bullet, but this time it could be a swathe of 1st Gen MINIs including the coveted R53 - scrapped because owners don't appreciate or care about their real value. 

And all this for an increase in the pitter patter of sales.

The latest issue of the Mini Se7en Racing Club Newsletter is now available to download for free.

There's the latest race reports plus a preview to this weekend's racing at Oulton Park Mini Festival.

Plus find out the history of the Mini Se7en Club over the past half century with our Archive articles.

Download it or read it online for free



Price comparison site launched for selling your car

12:00 launches UK’s first price comparison service to sell your car, bringing transparency and choice to an industry dominated by We Buy Any Car

Insurers change tactics for judging young drivers


--   Telematics specialist, Quartix, is deploying unique ‘virtual parents’ that are helping young drivers learn from experienced motorists using wisdom of the crowd
--   Young drivers and their parents are alerted if they consistently drive faster than experienced motorists on the same stretches of road.

--   One insurer using the ‘contextual speed scoring’ technology has seen ZERO serious injuries or deaths among young drivers since its introduction a year ago

In a UK first, insurance companies using black boxes to rate young motorists have started scoring them against experienced drivers’ average speeds rather than official speed limits, vehicle tracking and telematics firm Quartix revealed today.

New MINI Countryman achieves top 5-star rating in Euro NCAP crash test


As the largest model in the history of the brand, the new MINI Countryman offers enthralling spaciousness and driving properties combined with maximum flexibility. Now it also stands out with regard to safety after receiving top marks in this area. The premium compact model achieved the top 5-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash test. The stringent testing procedure established that the spacious MINI all-rounder, also designed for being taken off the beaten track, provides an outstanding level of protection on all seats in every situation.

4.4m Brits to buy potentially dangerous tyres


--    Over 4 million UK drivers plan to buy one or more used tyres within the next 12 months[1]
--    Almost 2 million British motorists mistakenly think used tyres are as safe as new tyres[2]
--    Over half (55%) of motorists think new tyres are too expensive – but the ‘affordable alternative’ of part-worns is a false economy
--    Over two thirds of drivers (70%) would not feel confident checking the condition and safety of their own tyres
--    Over a third (38%) of UK drivers believe a tyre fitter would supply potentially unsafe tyres

An alarming number of Brits could soon be driving on unsafe part-worn tyres, as new research by AA Tyres, the AA’s mobile tyre fitting service, shows that 4.4 million UK drivers expect to buy one or more used tyres within the next year.

Revealed: Thousands of drivers confess to speeding and using their phones while driving


--    Anonymous driving confessions quiz reveals the true impact of the recent government crackdown on speeding and mobile phone use in Britain
--    17,600 motorists took part in an anonymous confessions quiz organised by van insurers Staveley Head
--    86% of motorists admitted to continuing to speed over the legal limit, despite an increase in fines on 24th April 2017
--    37% confessed to using their mobile phones behind the wheel, with 1 in 3 admitting they use Snapchat, despite a new law being implemented on 1st March 2017
--    However, the number of committed offences has seen an overall decrease, 8% on speeding and 17% on mobile phone use
--    The new penalties for mobile phone use (increased fines and points on your license) had the biggest impact on driving behaviour

How much of an impact has the recent government crackdown actually had on driving behaviour in the UK?

Commercial vehicle insurers Staveley Head launched an anonymous online confessions quiz to find out.

17,600 motorists took part, anonymously admitting to several sins including Snapchatting behind the wheel and speeding over the legal limit. But results reveal that the number of committed offences has decreased overall.

Wipers and washers named as top cause for MOT failures

--    The most common causes for MOT failure include wipers and washers, suspension and registration plate bulbs
--    Eight of the 10 most common MOT failure

points can be easily identified and resolved  ahead of the test
--    Across the UK, 44% of vehicles failed their last MOT test
--    Great Yarmouth (53.8%), Weston-Super-Mare (52.6%) and Edinburgh (51.8%) saw the highest MOT failure rates across the country
--    Meanwhile, Romford (34.8%), Solihull (35.3%) and Bury St. Edmunds (35.6%) experienced the lowest failure rates

London, 20 July 2017 – The number one cause for MOT failures were windscreen wiper and washer-related issues, according to new research by AA Garage Guide, the AA’s MOT, repairs and car servicing garage finder.

Garage Guide analysed 146,000 MOT records of UK-registered vehicles owned by AA members in May and June this year*, and found that problems with the suspension and registration plate bulbs also topped the list.

In fact, eight of the 10 most common MOT failure points can be easily identified and resolved through some simple pre-MOT checks.

The following table shows the 10 most common causes for MOT failure:

Across the country, more than four in 10 (44.3%) cars failed their last MOT test.

Drivers in the seaside town of Great Yarmouth suffered the highest MOT failure rate in the whole country, with more than half (53.8%) failing their last MOT, while motorists in Weston-Super-Mare (52.6%) and Edinburgh (51.8%) also experienced worryingly high failure rates.

The table shows the 10 towns and cities in the UK with the highest MOT failure rates (looking at the last MOT).

Drivers in other parts of the country fared better, however, with just over a third of motorists in Romford (34.8%), Solihull (35.3%) and Bury St. Edmunds (35.6%) failing their last MOT test.

The following table shows the 10 towns and cities in the UK with the lowest MOT failure rates (looking at the last MOT).

Olli Astley, director at AA Garage Guide, says: “There are countless numbers of potential reasons for vehicles failing their MOT, but it’s shocking to see that the number one cause identified came down to the humble windscreen wipers and washers.

“An empty screen wash or smearing wipers are easy to spot – and fix – at home ahead of the statutory roadworthiness test, so there’s really no excuse for failing on such an easily solvable problem.

“Tyres and headlights have also been highlighted as popular problem areas and are therefore worth checking in advance of your car’s MOT. Make sure that your tyre pressures are correct and that wear across the whole of the tyre surface isn’t below the 1.6mm legal minimum, and that any blown lights are replaced.

“You should make sure you’ve addressed any previous ‘advisories’ – that’s the maintenance work recommended by the garage during your car’s last MOT. If you’re unsure of your vehicle’s MOT history and advisories, you can check this and get quotes for free using Automyze.” 

Young people passing up on the idea of learning driving


--  The number of 17-year olds taking the driving test has fallen by 100,000 over the past decade
--  20 per cent drop in the overall number of under-25s learning to drive
--  East Sussex experiences most significant fall, with 61 per cent of under-25s ditching their driving aspirations

Young people are giving up on the idea of learning to drive, according to research carried out by leading automotive consumer website

MINI comes second in What Car? Best Interior


--  New research by What Car? finds that interior design, quality and comfort are major priorities for motorists when choosing a new car

--  Average UK driver spends 32 hours a year in traffic jams underlining that a well-designed interior is more important than ever

--  What Car?’s expert testers name the best car interiors on the market from the Volkswagen Up! to luxury models such as the Rolls-Royce Ghost
It’s what’s inside that counts - and research by What Car? indicates that new car buyers are really taking that to heart, placing huge importance on the interiors of their next purchases, ahead of price, exterior styling and fuel economy.

BMW Group announces next step in electrification strategy


--    Flexible vehicle architecture to enable electrification of every model series
--    Fully electric MINI confirmed as MINI 3-door Hatch
--    Electric drivetrain Made in Germany, integrated into car in Oxford

Electrification is one of the central pillars of the BMW Group’s corporate strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT and the company has announced that all brands and model series can be electrified, with a full-electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrain being offered in addition to the combustion engine option. Additional electrified models will be brought to market in the coming years and beyond 2020, the company’s next generation vehicle architecture will be structured in order to enable new models also to be offered as a full-electric vehicle.

Baja Aragon: Two MINI on the podium

2017 SWR: Both MINI John Cooper Works Rally vehicles in the top 10

--   Menzies and Al-Rajhi ninth and tenth
--   14th and final stage cancelled

The Silk Way Rally began and ended for the X-raid Team with a major dose of bad luck. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) lost a lot of time on day two, thus dropping out of the contention for the top positions. For Bryce Menzies and Pete Mortensen (both USA), nearly the entire rally went very well and they were fighting for a position on the podium. On the penultimate day, however, they got stuck on a dune and lost many positions. Due to the adverse weather conditions, the organisers cancelled the final special stage. Consequently, with 13 stages contested, Menzies / Mortensen and their MINI John Cooper Works Rally secured ninth place and Al-Rajhi / Colsoul finished right behind them in 10th. Today, the competitors will only roll over the finish podium in Xi’an.

Menzies and Mortensen were able to match the pace of the front runners right from the start. On day seven, the pairing in the MINI John Cooper Works Rally even won the stage and seemed to be on the way to certainly secure a podium. The US-Americans temporarily held second position in the overall standings but the penultimate stage made an end to their dreams: with about 30 more kilometres to go, they got stuck on a dune. “We hit the ground with the centre of the car and the car-jacks just disappeared in the sand,” Menzies revealed. “We had to dig for nearly three hours until we got going again. A real pity as we were on the way to making it to the podium. But that’s racing and this kind of things can happen in the dunes. We have learned a lot in the past days.”

Taking a look at every stage for its own, the 2017 Silk Way Rally was a successful event for Al-Rajhi and Colsoul. But the pairing slipped into a deep hole on day two and needed two hours to get out of it. And to make things even worse, they received a two-hour time penalty for having exceeded the allowed maximum time for the special stage. Due to this incident the MINI John Cooper Works Rally pairing dropped back to the end of the field but on the following days they worked their way back up step by step. In the penultimate stage, however, they also got stuck in the soft sand. “The car hit the ground at once and the hydraulic car-jacks also got lost in the sand,” says Al-Rajhi. “We had to wait for 45 minutes until a truck came to tow us out. Our bad luck in the early stages that cost us our chance of securing a podium was really annoying. But I could keep on gathering experience and I’m happy that we made it to the top 10, in the end.”

On Friday, the Baja Aragon in Spain was started simultaneously to the end of the Silk Way Rally. There, the Trebur based team also is represented by two MINI John Cooper Works Rally pairings – Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) / Andreas Schulz (GER) and Jakub Przygonski (POL) / Xavier Panseri (FRA) – and Orlando Terranova (ARG) / Paulo Fiúza (POR) with a MINI ALL4 Racing. On Friday evening, the Baja was kicked off with a nine-kilometre special stage (Click here for live timing).

Overall standings after stage 14:
1. C. Despres (FRA) / D. Castera (FRA) Peugeot – 41h 46m 25s
2. C. Lavieille (FRA) / J.-P. Garcin (FRA) Baicmotor – 42h 51m 04s
3. W. Han (CHN) / L. Min (CHN) SMG Buggy – 42h 57m 54s
4. E. Amos (ITA) / S. Denaunay (FRA) Ford – 43h 58m 37s
5. S. Peterhansel (FRA) / J.-P. Cottret (FRA) Peugeot – 44h 23m 52s

9. B. Menzies (USA) / P. Mortensen (USA) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 45h 52m 15s
10. Y. Al-Rajhi (KSA) / T. Colsoul (BEL) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 47h 15m 44s

 On Sunday, one day after the finish of the Silk Way Rally, the Baja Aragon competitors also rolled over their finish podium. All three MINI that contested the event made it to the top 10, with two of them even securing a podium. Orlando Terranova (ARG) / Paulo Fiúza (POR) took their MINI ALL4 Racing to second place, right ahead of Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) / Andreas Schulz (GER) in their MINI John Cooper Works Rally. Jakub Przygonski (POL) / Xavier Panseri (FRA) in the second MINI John Cooper Works Rally finished sixth.

On Saturday morning, in the second special stage, Terranova took the overall lead but in the afternoon, his team-mate Hirvonen passed him for the lead – only to be defeated by Nasser Al-Attiyah in the final stage. “It was a tough battle right from the start,” explained Terranova. “The car was just great. Contesting the Baja one again was big fun and even more so as so many spectators lined the route. On Sunday, however, we unfortunately weren’t fast enough.”

For Hirvonen, it was the first event he contested together with his new navigator Andreas Schulz. On Sunday, he wasn’t able to defend his lead and had to settle for finishing third. “Being first on the road wasn’t that easy,” revealed the Fin. “Of course, it’s a bit of disappointing to finish third in the end. On the other hand, my first rally with Andi ran really well and I can say that we have begun our preparations for the Dakar.” Meanwhile, Przygonski had a lot of bad luck, on the final day: gearbox problems and a puncture cost the young Pole a lot of time and he consequently finished sixth.

The next round on the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup calendar is the Hungarian Baja, held from 10th to 13th August in Hungary.

Overall Result after Stage 4:
1. N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / M. Baumel (MCO) Toyota – 6h 40m 20s
2. O. Terranova (ARG) / P. Fiúza (POR) MINI ALL4 Racing – 6h 42m 55s
3. M. Hirvonen (FIN) / A. Schulz (GER) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 6h 43m 26s
4. N. Roma (ESP) / A. Haro (ESP) Toyota – 6h 48m 43s
5. L. Poulter (ZAF) / D. von Zitzewitz (GER) Toyota – 6h 55m 05s
6. J. Przygonski (POL) / X. Panseri (FRA) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 6h 57m 25s

Rare homologation special Mini Cooper 970 S to star at Silverstone Classic Sale


--  An excellent example of the very rare 970cc Mini Cooper S homologation special of which fewer than 1000 were ever built.
--  Built in 1964 the Cooper S features a works specification interior and an updated high-performance engine.

--  An original 970 S with matching engine and chassis numbers the Mini is offered for sale by Silverstone Auctions on 29th – 30th July with an estimate of between £43,000 and £50,000.

The rarest of all flavours of the Mini Cooper S, a 970 S built in 1964 comes up for auction at the Silverstone Classic on 29th – 30th July. A fine example of the homologation special created to qualify the Cooper S for the under 1000cc category in racing and rallying, the car presented by Silverstone Auctions is one of less than a thousand ever built.

With engine and chassis numbers matching logbook records and an extensive history file including homologation papers, heritage certificate, 2004 FIA Historic Technical Passport and MoT certificates, the iconic Cooper 970 S is estimated to sell for between £43,000 and £50,000.

“This is a rare and very collectible car,” says Nick Whale, managing director of Silverstone Auctions. “This represents the rarest Cooper S of all time so an original car like this with matching numbers throughout is extraordinary.”

The Mini is in excellent condition having completed only 3,000 miles under its current ownership over the last 15 years. It’s been kept in a heated garage along with the vendor’s  historic motor vehicle collection. The exterior is immaculately finished in Tweed Grey with a Old English White roof, enhanced by tastefully placed leather bonnet straps, Cibie spot lights, reversing lamp, and two Monza filler caps (originals also included).

Mini fans will drool over the specification of this historically important Cooper S. The engine has been uprated by renowned North Yorkshire motorsport experts AMAC Engineering and now features a 649 camshaft, baffled sump and lightened flywheel to produce a free revving unit up to 7500rpm with 95 bhp at the flywheel.

An alloy sump guard protects from underneath along with aeroquip brake pipes, and the suspension has been upgraded with a negative camber front setup, all finished off with an iconic set of Minilite wheels, including the spare. The authentic look is completed with FIA specification wheel arches, and under the bonnet there’s a further light with switch and an upgraded oil cooler and radiator, all vital for a night-time climb over the Col de Turini!

The interior also lives up to its Cooper S sporting heritage with a range of features including a full Safety Devices removable bolted in roll cage, a works specification dash with rev counter, retro trip meter, watches and a plug for a Don Barrow “Potty” map magnifier. Other period touches include a map light and spot light on the roll cage, Newton Commercial bucket seats, fire extinguisher and a Moto-Lita leather steering wheel. The original seats and steering wheel are included in the sale.

To find out more about the Mini Cooper 970 S and the Silverstone Auctions Classic Sale please visit:

Save your wheels with AlloyGator


Sellers beware these costly mistakes

--    Cosmetic damage can knock hundreds of pounds off asking price
--    Smoking in the car is a no-no
--    Shiny and scratch free alloy wheels will increase appeal

Alloy wheel protection specialist - AlloyGator - is advising motorists how best to look after their cars so they get a top price when selling it.

Cosmetic damage, including alloy wheels scuffs and scrapes, is one of the main offenders that can quickly knock hundreds of pounds off the asking price.

Curt Rathbone, managing director at AlloyGator, explained “A major consideration in determining a vehicle’s worth is the interior and exterior condition. For instance, scuffed wheels are an instant turn-off for many buyers

“Fitting AlloyGators provide major protection for alloy wheels and can pay for themselves many times over when compared to the cost of getting alloys replaced or repaired, never mind how much value the car might lose if the wheels are covered with scuffs, scrapes and dents.”

It has been estimated that damage to alloy wheels can mean as much as £150 per wheel taken off the value, while a damaged windscreen can devalue a car by as much as £300.

Other ways to protect the exterior condition of the car include keeping it in a garage to protect it from the elements, waxing the vehicle a few times a year and washing it regularly.

Easy tips to keep the interior in tip-top condition for selling include not smoking in the vehicle as cigarette smoke is incredibly difficult to remove or cover up, plus investing in car seat covers to help protect the leather or cloth.

What goes on underneath the bonnet can also massively reduce how much a car will sell for but regular servicing can stop small engine issues becoming big issues. It’s just as important to keep a record of the car’s maintenance schedule to give extra reassurance to potential buyers.

Regular oil changes can also prevent major engine problems, while overlooking unusual engine sounds can also be a costly mistake.

“There are many very simple and effective ways that car owners can look after their cars in preparation for when they come to sell, even just by keeping mileage to a minimum.

“How a car looks can also be a deal breaker, especially shiny alloy wheels that add lustre and potential value. A little time spent cleaning out the dirt and grime from the wheels can pay dividends, while fitting AlloyGators will protect from kerbside scuffs and scrapes,” added Curt.

Available in 15 colours and in ‘original’ 13” - 21” or ‘exclusive’ 12” – 24”, AlloyGators are compatible with most wheel types and combinations. The patented super-tough nylon protection system sits between the alloy wheel and tyre, reducing the risk of damage to the rim caused by scuffs on kerbs or potholes. Extending the life of alloy wheels, AlloyGators save motorists time and money on expensive repairs to their wheels.

To find out more about AlloyGator visit

Classic Car Auction: June Mini Sales

Classic Car Auction's June sale had a real treat for Mini enthusiasts with a number of the cars up for grabs. Take a look below to see what was available and what they sold for.

1986 Austin Mini Mayfair
Lot: 210
Sold for (£): 3,300

Offered for sale is a .998L 1986 Austin Mini Mayfair manual. Coming with a partial history file, this lot's condition scores 90 / 135.

Classic Car Auctions says:

A fabulous, Mini Mayfair showing just 53,000 miles from new...

Based on the Mini 'City' with a number of bespoke 'Mayfair' options
Two owners from new, one lady since 1989 and and in lovely condition throughout
Good history file showing most MoTs until the late 1990s along with past service invoices and other documents.
The mileage of 53,000 is believed to be correct but can't be warranted
Fresh MOT valid until 1/05/2018 

1999 Rover Mini Cooper
Lot: 223
Sold for (£): 5,500

Offered for sale is a 1.3L 1999 Rover Mini Cooper manual that has been with the current owner for the last year. Coming with a partial history file, this lot's condition scores an impressive 112 / 135.

Classic Car Auctions says:
An individual, retro-looking Cooper... 29,000kms / 18,000 miles...

Japanese import. Possibly a limited edition
Retro style. Looks fabulous in white with a black roof and black 'Speedwell' mirrors
Unusual details; red coach line, red insert in windscreen surround
Check trim and red carpets. Bespoke dashboard with 'flock' appearance
Imported from Japan last year, car UK registered with V5 and valid MOT issued with no advisories
On arrival, was serviced and shock absorbers replaced
Sensible guide, worth a look


2000 Rover Mini Cooper Sport 'Final Edition'
Lot: 226
Sold for (£): 10,780

Offered for sale is a 1.3L 2000 Rover Mini Cooper Sport Final Edition manual that has been with the current owner for the last year. Coming with a partial history file, this lot's condition scores an impressive 107 / 135.

Classic Car Auctions says:
One of only 2,091, right-hand drive, Final Editions ever made...

Superbly presented in Dark Metallic Green and Silver
Subject to a total restoration including bodywork, engine, suspension and brakes
Huge file available showing depth of restoration using parts from British Heritage
Showing only 32,000 miles, approximately 1,000 since engine rebuild
New MoT to be issued prior to sale
Outstanding. One of the smartest we have ever seen


1995 Rover Mini 'Sidewalk' Limited Edition
Lot: 282
Sold for (£): 5,170

Offered for sale is a 1.275L 1995 Rover Mini Sidewalk Limited Edition Sidewalk Edition manual that has been with the current owner for the last 5 years. Coming with a partial history file, this lot's condition scores 80 / 135.

Classic Car Auctions says:
Very smart in Kingfisher Blue with a 'Blue Tartan' interior...
Based on the 1275cc Mini Sprite. One of 1,000 UK cars
Fully restored including engine rebuild, new sills and more
New carpets. Mini 'Superlight' alloys. New exhaust system
Lovely original Tartan Interior with Red seatbelts
Low mileage of just over 50,500
Recent Mot issued to April 2018

NB....Previously the subject of an insurance total loss claim in 1995


1966 'Downton' Austin Cooper 998
Lot: 309
Sold for (£): 36,300

Offered for sale is a 0.998L 1966 Austin Mini Cooper (Downton 998) manual that has been with the current owner for the last 2 years. Coming with a partial history file, this lot's condition scores an impressive 120 / 135.

Classic Car Auctions says:
**Lot Update -  Fresh MOT until 30th May 2018 and a NOVA reference has been issued **
A very, very, rare original Downton-tuned Austin Cooper...
A survivor from the era when tuning Minis was a cottage industry
Fitted with a Downton 'Touring' conversion in October 1967 before export
Shipped to Australia for a few years and subsequently to New Zealand until 2017
Although sound the bodywork was partially restored in 1997
Full mechanical restoration this year. Only 70 miles covered since, so will need running in
It may be possible to reunite the car with its original registration - JGY 303D
Accompanied by its original UK licence documents, detailed Downton invoices (1967), original service records, buff logbook, letters from the original and subsequent owners, and a 'Classic Car' magazine article featuring the car
An important part of Mini history. An absolute gem

Latest News; The car arrived in the UK on Wenesday morning (31/05/17), started on the first turn (after 6 weeks at sea), and flew throught the MOT in the afternoon. In possession of its new MOT and NOVA, it's now being polished in readiness for the sale.


1999 Rover Mini 'Paul Smith'
Lot: 318
Sold for (£): 7,480

Offered for sale is a 1.275L 1999 Rover Mini Paul Smith manual that has been with the current owner for the last 12 years. Coming with a partial history file, this lot's condition scores an impressive 95 / 135.

Classic Car Auctions says:
A rare classic 'Paul Smith' limited edition (300 in the UK) ...
Finished in Paul Smith Blue with Lime Green details in the boot and engine bay
Black Leather interior, magnolia dials, black and silver 'rose petal' alloys 
Reading just 16,500 miles with 15 previous MoT Certificates present
Current enthusiast owner, long term ownership of 12 years
Fresh MoT prior to Sale

NB. 5/10/2000. *****  This car was Category D Insurance Loss. "Vehicle Damaged But Repairable - Insurer Decided Not To Repair"


1968 Austin Mini Cooper MKII '998'
Lot: 323
Sold for (£): Unsold

Offered for sale is a 0.998L 1968 Austin Mini Cooper Mark II 998 manual that has been with the current owner for the last 2 years. Coming with a partial history file, this lot's condition scores an impressive 131 / 135.

Classic Car Auctions says:
Painstakingly restored and in classic Cooper colours...
Full bare-metal, no expense spared, restoration just completed
Floor is original as is the roof, bulkhead, rear body sections, doors, bonnet, and boot
New boot floor, both inner and outer sills, A Panels, front wings, and front panel
Parts alone cost £15,000. Mechanical restoration; see Vendor's Comments
Finished in Tartan Red with a Black Roof
Five keepers in total. Vendor believes indicated mileage of 72,418 (21/03/17) is genuine
Heritage Certificate confirming 'Matching Numbers'


1991 Rover Mini Cooper RSP
Lot: 343
Sold for (£): 3,190

Offered for sale is a 1.275L 1991 Rover Mini Mini Cooper RSP manual that has been with the current owner for the last year. Coming with a partial history file, this lot's condition scores an impressive 104 / 135.

Classic Car Auctions says:
"Rover Special Project" LE Cooper; one of only 1,050 built for the UK market...
MG Metro 1275cc Engine, Mini '30'interior and a few bespoke bits
Black paintwork, white roof, black leather and cloth seats, red carpets, red leather steering wheel
Recent body restoration with photographic record
Four previous owners and reasonable service history with lots of bills
Unusually, this particular "R.S.P." wasn't registered until 1991
Minis are still one of the most fun cars to now and tick it off your bucket list!
Further spec details

1991 Rover Mini Mayfair
Lot: 360
Sold for (£): 1,430

Offered for sale is a 1.0L 1991 Rover Mini Mayfair automatic that has been with the current owner for the last 6 years. Coming with an extensive history file, this lot's condition scores 85 / 135.

Classic Car Auctions says:
Low mileage example of Britains most iconic car...
Mayfair specification with plush velour interior and other luxuriesOnly 43,000 and supplied with ALL MOTs since 1994
Automatic gearbox and glass tilting sunroof
Supplied with some service history

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