Citroën has reinvented itself by releasing a new Mini.

Wednesday February 11th, 2009 at 5:22 PM
Posted by: goofshow

Citroen DS3 concept
The first time I fell in love with a Citroën was when I saw the François Truffaut movie, Breathless. The Citroën DS, circa 1958, was like a minor character in the background, looking very tres chic as it zipped along the Champs-Élysées. Besides looking like a work of art worthy enough to hang (yes, I said hang) in the Louvre, what gets me about these old Citroëns is that the rearview mirror sits impractically on top of the dashboard. That is soooooooo French! By far, the old model Citroën is one of my dream cars (though the hills of San Francisco would be a bitch on its suspension). The car looked like it could be in a 1950’s sci-fi movie in order to show what vehicles of the future would look like.

Citroën built almost 1.46 million DS cars between 1955 and 1975, thrilling its loyal drivers with its pneumatic suspension and distinctive sleek design. Owners of the original Citroën DS included Brigitte Bardot, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, and French President Charles de Gaulle who escaped an assassination attempt as DS escaped at top speed despite the fact that two of its tires were shot out. Yes, the Citroën DS was as magical as those who drove it.

Photographs that were leaked out prior to the Geneva International Motor Show after the jump

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Review: The skinny on the 2008 MINI Clubman S

Friday November 28th, 2008 at 8:1111 AM
Posted by: hollyrrr

2008 MINI Cooper S Clubman
By Holly R.


  • Super-stiff suspension
  • Light-weight, small and extremely agile
  • Drives like a sports car
  • Superp acceleration
  • Excellent gas mileage
  • You can park this anywhere! EVERYONE has good parking karma in a MINI.


  • Appeared to not have a Bluetooth (even though there was a phone button on the stereo, I never could get it to work)
  • Not all the dials and knobs were intuitive (I’m embarrassed to admit how long it took me to find the window controls…)
  • One-touch window control was a bit TOO touchy

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What is green, German and runs on batteries?

Friday November 21st, 2008 at 3:1111 PM
Posted by: asgruben

By Adrienne Gruben

BMW unveiled the MINI E yesterday at the Los Angeles Auto Show’s press day, realizing BMW’s long hope of an electric car on the road. You remember BMW’s electric concept car pacing the 1972 Olympic Marathon runners. Ok I don’t either, but a German born American won that year. Was this his “KITT” from Knight Rider? The Germans love Knight Rider.

BMW CEO Dr. Norbert Reithofer spoke with actual glee about the 500 Mini E’s becoming available for an $850/mo, 1 year lease to Southern Californians and New Yorkers by year’s end. And like on American Idol, the audience will control the outcome. Reithofer asked the crowd, “What kind of infrastructure do we need? The important feedback will help us in preparing for production.” And he means it. “This is not just a car to roll out from one event to another. The MINI E belongs on the road.”

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2008 MINI Cooper S Clubman First Impressions: More than a stretched Cooper

Monday October 27th, 2008 at 11:1010 AM
Posted by: Francois

2008 MINI Cooper S Clubman
By Francis Cebedo

I am passionate owner of a 2005 Mini Cooper S. I feel that Mini Cooper offers one the finest driving experiences available and it does so with style and efficiency.

I have two kids and have a heavy cycling background so although the Cooper serves me well, I sometimes wish for more space. So when the Clubman S came became available for testing, I was giddy with anticipation. If this Clubman delivered, I would seriously consider selling my Cooper S and VW Passat and buy the Clubman S as my “do it all” sports car.

What followed is an interesting experience. The Clubman S is a very unique car and a lot of design problems were solved to make this ‘stretch’ Mini possible. Does it deliver? Read on and find out.


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In The Name of Racing: Mini John Cooper Works and Mini John Cooper Works Clubman

Monday February 25th, 2008 at 11:22 PM
Posted by: Derek

Mini John Cooper Works Clubman

Two Mini John Cooper Works models will make their debut at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. The Mini John Cooper Works and the Mini John Cooper Works Clubman will feature the 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with Twin Scroll turbocharger and direct injection that delivers 207 horsepower and a maximum torque of 192 pound-feet.

The Mini John Cooper Works will accelerate to 0-62 mph in 6.5 seconds, while the Mini John Cooper Works Clubman achieves the same in 6.8 seconds. Both models are also fitted with standard motor racing technology: light alloy rims, light and extremely high-performance brakes, a new exhaust system and a modified six-speed manual transmission. The long and detailed press release is below for those who have some free reading time. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mini Cooper S with Dinan engine upgrades

Saturday June 2nd, 2007 at 12:66 AM
Posted by: Francois

by Francis Cebedo


Well what do you know… one of my good cycling buddies turns out to be the GM of Dinan Mountain View. Dinan is one of the premier BMW tuners in the US. And since the Mini Cooper is owned and produced by BMW, Dinan has a host of upgrades for the Mini Cooper S.

I call up the GM and we talk about some options. I research the Dinan upgrades and there is nothing but great things about them. R&D, performance, quality, service are all top-notch. They’re not cheap but their upgrades are not hacks or experiments. Everything is designed to work together as an optimized and reliable system.

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Mini Cooper S lowering springs and rear swaybar upgrade

Saturday June 2nd, 2007 at 12:66 AM
Posted by: Francois

By Francis Cebedo

The Mini Cooper S is one of the best handling cars around. The steering is very quick and accurate. The car is low to the ground, lightweight and there is little overhang weight in front of the car and the rear of the car.

To steer the Mini Cooper S into a corner is to experience automotive nirvana.

But it can be improved. Easily! So I hear, so let’s put it to the test. The two upgrades involved today are the H-Sport lowering springs and the R-Speed rear sway bar.

The H-Sport lowering springs lower the front and rear of the car by 1 inch. This is important since the front of the car is already low and lowering it much more will compromise suspension travel too much.

Again, my friend Sean from Sunnyoaks Muffler was up to the task. He installed the springs and it came out perfect. The stance of the car is now perfect with the dreaded wheel-well gap reduced. The handling of the car is improved as the car just rails through corners with authority.


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Mini Cooper S One-Ball Exhaust upgrade

Friday June 1st, 2007 at 11:66 PM
Posted by: Francois

By Francis Cebedo

So I can hardly hear the exhaust on this car. That needs to change. I find out my exhaust of choice, the Borla Sport is $900 plus installation. That’s not good!Then I find out there’s mod floating around enthusiasts and it’s called the one-ball exhaust mod. The Mini Cooper S has two muffler balls that work in series. The modification is to cut off the first ball, the resonator and just go direct to the muffler. It makes it louder, saves weight and increases power.

Here’s my compilation of the info from NAM.

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Mini Cooper S upgrades

Friday June 1st, 2007 at 10:66 PM
Posted by: Francois

By Francis Cebedo

May 19, 2007. Day 6:

So the euphoria continues. Now that I have a good feel for the car, I start scheming for some upgrades. Most people buy a car to get them around. Some people buy a great car that not only gets them around but gets them there in style and very fast. Then there are the tuners and modders. They buy a car and upgrade the heck out of it until it fits their personality and driving style. At the end of the day, I’m a modder.

Mind you, there are more severe forms of car addiction out there. There’s the club racers who take their car to the track at every opportunity. There’s the car builders and there’s the car collectors. Someday, I’ll get there but I need a lot more time and money for these advanced levels.

I’m finding out some of the things that can be improved with the car.

- needs to be louder so I can enjoy the spirited driving experience more. I can hardly hear the exhuast of this car.

- could handle even better, lower stance

- more power. why not.

- ipod compatible

- carry my bikes

- improve the ride quality and handling by ditching the run-flat tires. Mini Coopers, like most BMW’s use run-flat tires. This allows the manufacturer to go without a spare tire in the car. Unfortunately, these tires have a harsh ride, are not the best handling and are expensive.

Here’s photos of the interior and some creative lighting photos.


I’m finding out there’s a whole lot of upgrades available for this car. A great resource is North American Motoring at

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The Mini Cooper S arrives.

Friday June 1st, 2007 at 10:66 PM
Posted by: Francois

May 13, 2007, Day 1:

On Mother’s day, I surprised my wife by telling her I was buying myself a new car. I know, bad taste but what’s a man to do? I’ve been looking for a used Mini Cooper S for ages and a couple of days ago, my RSS feed told me that my car had arrived at Craigslist.

The car was a 2005 Mini Cooper S in Hyper Blue color. It had 9000 miles and was in absolutely perfect condition. The car has my favorite wheels, the R98′s aka webspokes. It had the Sport and Premium packages which include Xenon headlamps, sunroof, sport susupension and stability control. The body and paint were flawless and the interior smelled like brand new.

The owner was an engineer from Microsoft who babied the car but hardly drove it. He was relocating to Hongkong on Tuesday and needed to sell the car over the weekend. He was selling it about $4000 under market for SF bay area pricing. He was my ideal seller and I was his ideal buyer since I was ready to buy. Ready to buy if my wife said yes, of course.

Well she said yes we did the deed during her special Mother’s day weekend. She’s a good woman. So we took him home and I promptly spent the next six hours cleaning it. When my kids saw it, they promptly named the car ‘Bleny’. That stands for blue mini and is reminiscent of a character in the movie ‘Finding Nemo’.

First impressions: WOW, this car is fast! The supercharger whines like mad max and the car pulls hard. It handles awesome and is very comfortable!

Here’s Bleny:


So there, the start of great things to come. It’s going to be a great season.

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