The MINI Welcome Pack

MINI Welcome PackWe got a mailing from MINI this week. It is what I would call a “Welcome Pack”. The MINI Excitement Center sent it. It was really a surprise.

So let’s look at what we got.

  • a letter from Ulrike
  • a folder with what’s called “30 seconds of MINI Clubman Diesel facts”
  • a booklet (42 pages)
  • an info leaflet about the Amex MINI Excitement Card
  • a personalized calendar
  • a questionnaire and return envelope

Ulrike seems to be heading up MINI Customer Service and put all the welcome pack together. So let’s take a closer look at some of the contents. Continue reading


How to Promote Diesel Engines – Audi’s Super Bowl Ad

We chose a Diesel engine for our Clubman because of its green appeal and the superior performance – at least when compared to the fuel-powered Cooper version. But some don’t get that choice. The Cooper Diesel it not available in the US and so are many other manufacturers’  diesel versions.

Why is that? Well, because of two things I guess.

  1. Historically, because of the lack of demand for diesel powered cars in the US.
  2. And then because of strict environmental and emission laws. Still only a hand-full of the latest diesel engines are conforming to these.

German car manufacturer Audi has achieved full greenness with their TDI engines and once again proofed “Vorsprung durch Technik” is not just a marketing claim.
And now they are trying to hammer this into the US consumers and generate demand for their diesel version with this Super Bowl ad:

Would you buy a MINI Diesel or what would it need for you to buy one? Maybe the upcoming Cooper S Diesel? Let me know in the comments.

The A-Team Clubman

There were two cars that I adored back when I was still a kid – and didn’t know much about cars. Colt Sievers’ pick-up and the A-Team’s van. Both were built by GM. The Fall Guy’s ride was a GMC Sierra and the A-Team used a GMC Vandura.

And while Colt has retired and now drives a lame Honda CRV, the A-Team is back! And with them their signature GMC van. A movie based on the eighties TV series is due to be released this summer. Watch the trailer on the movie’s official website and pay special attention at 0:45, as this is when the GMC Vandura springs into action.

Clearly, I’m not the only fanboy of the A-Team’s Vandura.
Rolf Horn, a MINI dealer in Dueren, Germany has something sitting on his showroom floor that must be the A-Team’s van’s little brother: A Clubman in full A-Team livery.

This is a MINI Cooper S Clubman with some selected JCW parts and said A-Team livery. It’s up for sale if you want it.

Do you own or stumbled across a great customized Clubman lately? Let me know!

iPhone or iPod in the MINI

Just after Christmas I bought the last missing piece to endless hours of music enjoyment in my MINI: The cable that connects my iPod Touch with our MINI’s audio system and its harman/kardon HiFi speakers.
If you are ordering a new MINI and want to connect your iPhone or iPod to listen to the music on it while on the go, make sure to order the optional USB port. It is bundled with the Bluetooth hands-free system. The additional cable you will need doesn’t come with the car, you will have to buy it as an accessory. The part number of the cable is 61 12 0 440 812. I bought it for around €47 from a local BMW/MINI dealership. They refer to it as a Y-cable. Because on one side it has a dock connector end, and on the other side two ends – one USB and one 3.5 mm audio plug. Continue reading

The Cooper Diesel and its Fuel Consumption

After clocking the first 500 miles it’s now time for a quick check on how the Cooper Diesel engine of our Clubman does in terms of fuel economy. When I decided to go for the Diesel the main reasons were its low CO2 emissions, fuel consumption, and the good torque of the turbo.
The on-board computer told me I was driving at an average fuel consumption of 34 mpg. That is not overly impressive.
In the past weeks I drove the Clubman mainly through inner city traffic on my way to and from work. I have to admit I wasn’t never good at driving with a light foot. Especially when zipping through inner city traffic. I often try to beat the next light or to go around that slow car before the next turn.
And then there are a couple of other factors that need consideration when look at that rather poor mpg number.

Continue reading

Getting Ready for Snow

It’s freezing cold outside and as I type this the first few snow flakes are falling from the sky. So it was about time to prepare our Clubman for the winter season.
The first part was easy: I put an ice scraper into the boot. Rubber floor mats were already put into the car when I picked it up a few weeks ago.
Then things became a bit more serious. I dragged the winter wheels out of our basement storage room – and the tools I needed to make the change. Continue reading

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