Category Archives: left brain

The MINI World Comes to an End

Today marks the end of an era. The Mayan’s knew this. Their calendar ends today. And so does the life with Our MINI Clubman Diesel. Later today I will return our beloved Clubman at the local dealership. The lease has ended and it will not be renewed. No new or other MINI will follow. That’s it. It feels awkward already.

I have driven a MINI now for over 8 years. First a Cooper S, then our Clubman Diesel for the last three years. And I enjoyed every minute in those cars. It was part of who I am. Thanks to MINI I made many friends, here in Germany and on other continents. But now I have to take a MINI break.

The world will not end today. After dropping of our Clubman a BMW 1er is waiting for us to be taken home. It’s bright blue like my first MINI and equally sporty. But it has 5 doors and that is because we do have two boys growing a little bit every day. We need a bit more space.
You could start arguing why we didn’t go for a MINI Countryman then. Well, it ‘s a nice car but it’s not for me.

Good bye dear MINI. I hope you get into good hands.

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The 2010 MINI Hardman/Kardon HiFi Sound System

Our Clubman Diesel has the Harman/Kardon HiFi system and I love it. This is a new option for 2010 models that was announced back in the summer. For a factory option the sound is great.
The h/k HiFi system comes with 480 watts of output through 10 speakers – 5 on each side of the car’s interior.
One speaker sits at the bottom of the a-pillar and features a prominent harman/kardon label. Two speakers are in the doors – one in the bottom front corner, the other in front of the arm-rest. The two remaining speakers are in the back and grouped behind one oval cover in the side panel. Continue reading

The Clubman Order

After what felt like weeks, and actually was weeks, my future car is on order and will be build in November in Oxford.

A Clubman Diesel in Dark Silver metallic, with a black roof and C-pillars. I also went for the black Crown Spoke wheels.

The interior will have the Punch Carbon black leather seats, piano black dash panels, an anthracite headliner, and what MINI calls the “Soft Touch Knee Roll” in Rooster Red.
The list of options is long and includes the panoramic sun roof, the new Harman/Kardon sound system, the two-seat rear bench, the sport suspension, bi-xenon headlights, and a ton of electric helpers. Continue reading

Cooper vs. Cooper Diesel

Having test driven a Clubman recently I’m still undecided whether to go for the petrol or the diesel version. The test drive car had the 120 hp petrol engine. Before driving it I was somehow settled on the 110 hp diesel.
The reasons? The low emissions and fuel consumption, and the turbo kick.

clubman_diesel-storeThe Cooper Diesel is ten horses short compared to the Cooper. But is the Cooper the faster car?
Looking at the diesel’s torque you get a glimpse of where the diesel’s strengths are. It offers 240 Nm between 1,750–2,000 revs. And at full steam the over-boost kicks in to deliver 260 Nm. The Cooper only gets to 160 Nm of torque at 4,250 revs.
Sprinting from 0-60 the Cooper is 0.6 seconds faster, but not so when it comes to pulling away from 50 to 75 mph. Here the Cooper Diesel outperforms the Cooper by 2.3 seconds in 4th gear and 2.5 in 5th gear.

Ok, so far for the turbo kick, now let’s look at the economical side.
There are usually four factors that have an effect on the cost of ownership of a vehicle;

  • depreciation
  • tax
  • insurance
  • fuel consumption

To find out which of the two versions costs less, I used some assumptions to calculate what is costs me to own each. Comparing both will result in a conclusion which version is actually the better deal. Continue reading

Why going to the Club, man?

Given the blog is called “Our MINI Clubman Diesel” you may have guessed it already. I’m looking for a MINI Cooper D Clubman.
But the question is why?
And that is really a good question. Maybe you dear reader come to a different conclusion of which car suits me best. I welcome your take, so feel free to leave a comment.

My beloved MINI Cooper S (R53)I laid out some of the reasons why I sold my beloved Cooper S Coupe over here already. Now let me explain this a little more in detail.
I bought that car 5 years ago. It was the perfect choice for me back then. But my life has changed dramatically over the past 4 years. And for the good if I may say this up front.
I found the love of my life and our son Tim was born in the summer of 2006. Just about 8 weeks ago our second son Moritz was born. That alone shifts the automobile needs tremendously. However I’m not looking for a family wagon. My wife Kerstin has the pleasure to drive one of those already. And still I now prefer a 4-door over anything 2-door – from the practical point of view. I’m a slim 6.5″ so crawling into the back of a 2-door car to secure my sons into their seats is a crumple.

So some kind of boring 4-door? Let’s see. Continue reading