Entries Tagged 'mini' ↓

September’s Auto Sales a Sea of Red

How bad were last month’s auto sales? About as bad as it gets … or perhaps, has gotten, so far. Autoblog’s chart of automotive sales for September 2008 tells the bloody tale. These are frightening times. Every automaker, save three, saw double digit sales volume drops over September 2007, despite aggressive discounting and marketing programs.

It comes as little surprise that Audi, Mini, and Volkswagen are the three to have best weathered the September storm, with drops of 5.4, 6.7, and 9.4%, respectively. The German automakers, with the exception of Porsche, have the opportunity to gain significant market share with the overall downturn, due to their advanced expertise with clean diesel engines. If Mini and Volkswagen dealers had inventory on their popular models, they might have bucked the trend and posted sales increases last month.

Americans have turned the page. It’s the most fuel efficient vehicles that are moving off the lots and the long waiting line for fuel efficient clean diesels has begun.

I stopped into a local Volkswagen dealer to inquire about Jetta TDI availability early in the month and was quoted a January delivery: four months out. The salesman asked apologetically, “Is there anything else we have that you might be interested in?”

Word is that the Mini factory in Oxford, England is running round-the-clock with three shifts, seven days a week to keep up with the worldwide demand … and they haven’t cleared the hurdles to bring a 50-state clean diesel Mini D across the pond.

If you think you see a lot of Minis scooting about your town now, just wait. An Americanized Mini D is a surefire hit.

As we’re all hunkering down, waiting for the other shoe to drop, it’s a good time to take a look to the future. The automotive world is changing faster then most folks would have ever imagined. But for many, it’s an unfortunate circumstance.

Hundreds of car dealerships could be shuttered by year end. It doesn’t have to be that way.

There’s hope in the service departments. America must turn to fitting its rolling fleet with a more efficient means of propulsion. HEVT’s 40 MPG Ford F-150 conversion is a harbinger of what could be.

Mini Cooper Dealers

Looking for a Mini Cooper dealer? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of US-based Mini Cooper dealers, along with a handy Google Map to help steer you in the right direction. Minis are among the most popular and fuel efficient vehicles we cover here on MPGomatic.com … and for good reason. There’s nothing else that delivers the Mini’s unique combination of performance, fuel economy, and style …
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Mini Cooper Clubman MPG Review

Mini Cooper Clubman MPG-o-Matic Mini Cooper Clubman Review Summary: It’s really not fair to compare Mini Coopers with other hatchbacks, as the Minis are in a class of their own, packing a fantastic level of performance in a small package that cannot be fully appreciated until driven.

Great things come in slightly larger packages, too. The Mini Cooper Clubman is the stretched version of the highly popular Mini Coupe. The Clubman model provides the same slot-car-like handling with an increased amount of interior space.

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MINI Cooper D – 65 MPG Diesel Dream

The diesel-powered MINI Cooper D is a mileage-minded enthusiast’s dream car. With slot car handling and truly remarkable fuel mileage figures, it’s hard not to drool over the little gem. While MINI Cooper gas mileage is good, the MINI D’s numbers are insanely great.

After months of anticipation, I had the chance that few have had here in America. I spent the better part of a day with a sweet six-speed Nightfire Red MINI D.

Looking at the specs, it’s clear to see why this is the high-MPG king of the hot hatches. In UK measures, the six-speed manual transmission-equipped MINI Cooper D is rated at 60.1 urban / 80.7 extra-urban miles per gallon (MPG). That equates to roughly 50 city / 67 highway here in the States.

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Driving Clean Diesels in Las Vegas

Alternative Fuels and Vehicles 2008 conference attendees were in for a rare treat at the Bosch sponsored a clean diesel ride-n-drive event on Monday evening, May 12th.

After opening remarks from diesel hot rodding legend Gale Banks, attention turned to the race course laid out though the parking lots of the Rio Hotel and a generous selection of Euro-diesel gems from Bosch’s fleet.

Attendees were treated to some of the finest examples of diesel engineering currently prowling the streets of Europe, including a Honda Accord i-CDTi and i-CDTi CR-V, Chrysler 300, BMW 535d M Sport, Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel, and a Mercedes-Benz E320.

Two of the newest and smallest additions to Bosch’s fleet proved to be the hits of the evening, with the MINI Cooper D and BMW 123d M Sport hot hatchbacks especially well suited to the tight curves of the Rio track.

For those that had never driven a modern clean diesel vehicle, the event was an eye opener, with each vehicle delivering exceptional performance and economy in their respective classes.

For attendees that missed the event … there’s always next year …

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