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Every vehicle seems to get bigger with each generation; it’s really news if something is lighter or more compact than its predecessor. Of course not even is MINI immune to this diabetic swelling; you could say it’s because they’re so sweet to drive. The company’s latest Hardtop is a good bit larger than its forebear. But the vehicle I’m standing next to takes the cake, and eats it all in one sitting.
As if right on cue, MINI has released not one, but two special edition packages for its Cooper and Clubman models. Dubbed Hyde Park and Green Park, both packages pay homage to the Royal Parks in the heart of London.
Both special editions are available worldwide, helping bring a little more British style to our favorite MINI models. The Hyde Park package comes with a Pepper White exterior combined with Hot Chocolate contrasting paintwork on the roof and exterior mirror caps. This is the first time that Hot Chocolate has been offered by the British automaker. Highlighting the Hyde Park package is hood and side stripes in Hot Chocolate further accented by transparent white indicator lenses.
On the interior of the Hyde Park MINI models, Pepper White accents find its way inside. Seats will come in cloth/leather or Leather Gravity with the Carbon Black or Polar Beige Colour Line with the MINI Yours dash lined in leather in a Black/Polar Beige combo.
The Green Park model’s upgrades are identical to the Hyde Park except that it trades the Hot Chocolate shade for a sportier British Racing Green color.
GALLERY: MINI Hyde Park and Green Park Special Editions
MINI has launched a new marketing campaign entitled ‘Manualhood’ which celebrates the manual transmissions found in the hardtop, Clubman, convertible, and Countryman. MINI is hoping to entice even more manual-friendly buyers into showrooms that feature a full line of vehicles offering manual transmissions.
The campaign also provides a platform to teach drivers how to operate a manual transmission vehicle, and enables the MINI dealers to promote the great benefits of driving a manual. Manual transmission MINIs offer a lower starting price, better mpg, technology like Hill Start Assist, Increased performance and control.
In mid-August MINI dealers in the US will receive a “Manualhood” kit which includes a “MINI Manual Driving School” for driver training. Other goodies included in the kit include floor mats, buttons, door magnets, boot decals and a “Manualhood” handbook.
MINI is set to offer a limited number of Rally Edition versions of the Clubman S model in the U.S. This new car will feature plenty of upgrades and will include a John Cooper Works aero kit – with the JCW tuning kit sold separately.
Only 70 Rally Edition models will be made with most U.S. dealerships receiving just one. All cars will come with a roof rack, roof basket and black driving lamps, as well as Rally Green mirrors and Side Scuttles and silver Sport Stripes.
In addition, all model swill come with the following list of options:
- Midnight Black (A94),
- Roof in Body Color (381)
- Sport Package (ZSP) – DTC (5DT)
- White Turn Indicators (785)
- Xenon Headlights (522)
- 17” Black Wheels
- Roof Rails (386)
- Anthracite Headliner (ZAH)
- Piano Black Interior (4BD)
- Automatic climate Control (534)
- Leather Steering Wheel w/Multifunction
- Comfort Bluetooth (6NE)
Dealers will offer the special Rally Edition model with either a summer package consisting of 17-inch Black Web-Spoke wheels with performance tires or an all-season package with 17-inch Black Crown Spoke wheels with all-season tires and a Cold Weather Package.
Deliveries are expected in October with a base price of $32,999.
GALLERY: MINI Clubman S Rally Edition
Milestone brings brands total sales volume to 6.8 million units
The MINI brand continues to be a huge success for BMW and just yesterday the sporty small car maker celebrated its 1.5 millionth vehicle. The car is a Chili red Clubman built for the U.K. market.
The milestone comes at an important time for MINI as this year it is celebrating 50 years as an automaker. The 1.5 million new MINI models have all been built at the company’s plant in Oxford since 2001. The new MINI still has a long way to go, however, to catch up with the original, which sold 5.3 million units between 1959 and 2000.
In total MINI has built 6.8 million cars. And when it comes to the new MINI, the standard hard top is the people’s choice, accounting for 1.24 million of the 1.5 million sold.
“This is a great day for the plant and a wonderful milestone to reach in the 50th birthday year of MINI,” said BMW Sales and Marketing boss Ian Robertson. “This is a tough time for the car industry and no business is immune from its challenges, but MINI is an extremely resilient brand with huge customer appeal and we have seen a strengthening order bank in recent months. We will launch a wealth of new models in the coming years and the future is looking extremely bright.”
MINI hasn’t said much officially, but the future product lineup is expected to include a crossover model and possibly a speedster. As a brand, MINI has also expanded its global reach and is now sold in 80 countries.