The Hyundai Veloster’s nontraditional styling, clever packaging, and cheeky driving dynamics impressed us when we first drove one earlier this year. Not quite a coupe, and definitely not a hatchback in the mainstream sense, the Veloster impressed us with its versatility and economy, as well as its ability to make an impact wherever it goes. Naturally, then, when Hyundai announced plans for a Veloster with the power to match its unique looks, our interest was piqued.
If it looks like a Mini, sounds like a Mini and drives like a Mini, is it truly a Mini? Last year, Autosavant tested this theory as implemented in the Mini Cooper S Countryman: the brand’s first true four-door crossover. Equipped with a six-speed manual, front-wheel drive and a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Countryman proved a capable defender of the brand, albeit stretched several sizes. But could it stand up to its competitors that offer all-wheel drive and turn the focus to technology?
Sweetness and Light—Mini dominates the 1960’s: the Cooper through British Leyland Merger
By J.S. Smith
At the dawn of the 1960’s, the BMC Mini stood at the forefront of the world automotive scene and the company that made it was an industrial colossus. Recognized by auto scribes as the most advanced car in the world and by consumers as one of the most sensible and economical cars to drive, the Mini occupied a unique place. At the same time, it was beginning to gain the recognition of enthusiasts, including one John Cooper.
John Cooper was a racing man whose cars had won the Formula One championships in 1959 and 1960. Cooper also built cars for International Formula Junior racing, using BMC A-series engines for those cars. Thus, Cooper realized the performance potential of the A-series engine.
He also realized, along with other enthusiasts, that a stock Mini, with its wheels placed at the corners, would out-handle all but the most exotic sports cars of the day. The humble 848 cc engine, however dutifully it tackled the task of everyday transportation, was hardly poised to blaze a path through the salt flats at Bonneville.
Continue Reading →
Concept Portends Planned Crossman
By Kevin Miller
BMW Group has released images and information depicting its MINI Crossover Concept. The concept vehicle is likely to mature into the MINI Crossman production vehicle. The Crossover Concept takes MINI’s signature styling and puts it onto a fourth body style, following in the footsteps of the original MINI hatch, the convertible, and the recent Clubman.
The Crossover Concept is the first MINI measuring more than four metres in length, and it features all-wheel drive and four doors, plus four individual seats. This vehicle, then, is designed for MINI Cooper drivers who end up needing more space and utility, a bit like the stillborn Smart ForMore in physical size, brand-growth aspiration, and crossover/mini-SUV layout. However, while Smart ended up scaling back their vehicular expansion, canceling both the production ForFour and the planned ForMore, MINI seems likely to develop the Crossover Concept into the production Crossman, as MINI sales are strong. Continue Reading →
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