MINI E Sponsorship Wrap a No Go

We can forget about the concept of defraying the cost of driving an electric MINI E through sponsorship. At least for now. It appears that wrapping a leased MINI with (tasteful) graphics may run astray of the lease terms. Looking for ways to make the $850 per month lease payment more affordable for the less-than-well-heeled, I posed the question to MINI Product Manager, Vincent Tennessee Kung.

“Modifying a MINI, like any vehicle leased by MINI Financial Services, may violate the terms and conditions of the contract regarding modifications done to the vehicle as it may also affect as the new vehicle warranty. Therefore, we do not recommend or endorse a wrap,” replied Vincent. “This is an engineering field trial more than anything else and with the flying doctors who will be checking in on the cars, such activity will be noticed.”

Ah well, the best laid plans, and all that …

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MINI E – Passed the First Hurdle!

I received an email from our local MINI dealer this morning, stating that “According to MINI USA, your E MINI application is very special and at the top of the list!” The email included a two-page follow up MINI E Application document, along with the request to “Please fill out the answers truthfully, as we … Read more

Has the MINI E Missed its Mark?

Much was made of the remarkable popularity of the MINI E electric car around the time of the LA Auto Show. Numerous news outlets repeated the line that “10,000 drivers have already applied to lease the cars, at $850 a month.” ( Now it appears, with the recession barreling along, that the interested throng has … Read more

Mini E Racing Series

What the world needs right now is a new kind of racing. Electric car racing … not in a straight line, but through the twisty bits. BMW would do well to follow Volkswagen’s lead (with their successful Jetta TDI Cup program) and create a racing series for the Mini E. Imagine a Mini E racing … Read more

Mini E Field Trial Application Filed!

When Mini sent the news about opening up the Mini E Field Trial application this morning, I jumped right on it. The email didn’t sit in my inbox for long. I immediately applied to become a Mini-E test driver. The honor of leasing a cutting-edge full-electric Mini E is only being extended to folks that live in the NY/NJ or LA metro areas. Chalk this up as yet another reason I’m glad I live in New Jersey (just don’t bring up the topic of taxes).

While I won’t share all the secrets of the Mini E Field Trial application process, I will say that it’s a Flash-based application that eats up all available monitor real estate. Needless to say, it was pretty cool to see the silver and yellow Mini E take over my iMac’s 24-inch screen. The application was fairly exhaustive (but fun), and took roughly an hour to complete.

I have my fingers crossed that we’ll be among the 500 people chosen to field test the Mini E for a year’s time. The Mini E is, without a doubt, one of the coolest transportation developments ever. This is a research project like no other and a remarkable chance to help make history.

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