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Friday, January 22, 2010


This information just arrived at MINI of Charleston and we wanted to share! We also found these pictures on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mini.countryman.

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – January 20, 2010… A year ahead of its launch in the U.S., MINI Countryman is confirmed to expand the MINI lineup to four variants.

Note: U.S. product specifications will be different from those announced in markets outside of North America. Powertrain options, exterior color and interior finish options for the U.S. market will be announced in the near future. The launch date for markets outside North America is fall 2010, and early 2011 for the U.S.

Fun has no Limits:
The MINI Countryman.

Description in Brief.
MINI is adding a fourth model to the family, opening up a new dimension of that unmistakable MINI feeling. As a genuine Crossover, the MINI Countryman boasts enhanced opportunities in urban mobility and beyond. The MINI Countryman offers that unique driving pleasure so typical of MINI to new target groups requiring extra space and flexibility.

The first model in the range to measure just over four meters in length, the MINI Countryman follows the principle once developed for the classic Mini to offer maximum interior space and function on the smallest possible footprint. Apart from the proportions typical of MINI, characteristic design features at the front, side and rear show clearly at very first sight that the MINI Countryman is a true member of the brand family.

As the first model in the MINI range with four doors and a wide-opening rear lid, the MINI Countryman provides even greater freedom of space for truly versatile use, a slightly elevated seating position, and optimized driving comfort. Full integration of the passengers within the vehicle creates that driving experience so typical of MINI. And at the same time the MINI Countryman maintains that MINI go-kart feeling. In a nutshell, the MINI Countryman offers all the characteristic features of the brand in terms of design, premium quality, handling, efficiency and customization in new, fascinating style.

The MINI Countryman carries on the design of the brand in superior style and quality, combining larger body dimensions, greater ground clearance and four doors at the side with those unmistakable design features so characteristic of MINI. Short overhangs, a high window line, powerful stance on the wheels, and window graphics extending round the entire car create those unique proportions so typical of MINI. At the same time the MINI Countryman re-interprets the characteristic icons of a MINI such as the roofline, the hexagon radiator grille, the large headlights integrated in the engine lid, the surrounds on the side direction indicators, the voluminous wheel arches and the upright rear light clusters in new style and class.

Proceeding from that design language so typical of MINI, the MINI Countryman authentically visualizes the particular features of this very special car. Positioned almost upright, the front end bears out strong presence and serves to optimize pedestrian safety. The extra space within the car, in turn, is emphasized by extra-large windows, the introduction of four doors, and the individual shape of the roof. The particularly wide frame around the lower part of the body and the powerfully flared wheel arches highlight the robust character of the car and its all-wheel drive. With that typical MINI style now being conveyed to a new segment in absolute clarity and precision, the MINI Countryman stands out from the start as a brand-new, highly innovative model but is nevertheless clearly identifiable from the very beginning as a genuine MINI.

Within the interior again typical of the brand, the MINI Countryman boasts innovative design and function elements throughout. The slightly elevated seating position guarantees comfortable and pleasant access to the car, optimizes the driver’s all-round view, and underlines the powerful character of this new model. The Central Display and air vents are surrounded by colored rings. The MINI Centre Rail, quite unique the world over, instead of a conventional centre console, opens up new, individual options for integrating useful devices.
The MINI Countryman’s four seats offer superior comfort on long distances, with generous legroom, headroom and shoulder freedom.

The Countryman will be available with MINI ALL4 all-wheel drive, an electrohydraulic differential positioned directly on the final drive varying the distribution from front to rear in an infinite process. Under normal driving conditions up to 50 percent of the engine’s power goes to the rear wheels, under extreme conditions up to 100 percent, offering a new, high-traction rendition of that agile handling so typical of MINI. This superior traction and drivetrain technology is based on the top-end suspension of the MINI including features such as the front axle with McPherson spring struts and forged track control arms, the multi-arm rear axle and EPS Electric Power Steering complete with Servotronic.

Designed for optimum safety in the event of a collision, the body structure with its precisely defined load paths and deformation zones ensures passive safety of the highest caliber. Frontal and side airbags as well as curtain airbags at the side both front and rear, three-point inertia-reel seat belts on all seats, belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters at the front, as well as ISOFIX child seat fastenings at the rear all come as standard.

Design: MINI all the way with a high standard of individual style.
In its concept, the MINI Countryman stands out clearly from all former models of the MINI brand, expressing its unique style self-confidently through the design and looks of the body. Measuring 4,097 millimeters or 161.3" in length, the four-door body of the car combines the proportions typical of the brand with extra ground clearance and an elevated seating position, the MINI Countryman thus bridging the gap between the classic Mini and a modern Crossover.

Interior design and elevated seating position reflecting the car’s enhanced function and powerful character. The interior of the MINI Countryman bears out strong analogies to the famous design language of the MINI, but is nevertheless refreshingly new. With wheelbase extended to 2,595 millimeters or 102.2" and the extra height of the body, the interior offers a new dimension of space and function.

Even with the seats in their standard position, the MINI Countryman is able to accommodate many drivers’ storage needs in its luggage compartment – and to meet additional transport requirements, the rear seat backrests may be moved to a cargo position increasing luggage space from 350 to 440 liters (12.2–15.4 cubic feet).

MINI ALL4: more driving pleasure also when the road comes to an end.
Based on an electrohydraulically operating center differential, this sophisticated system spreads out drive power infinitely between the front and rear axle. Together with greater ground clearance, all-wheel drive offers ideal conditions for enjoying that driving pleasure so typical of MINI also beyond the beaten track. At the same time MINI ALL4 significantly enhances the car’s dynamic potential and ensures an even more superior driving experience particularly in critical situations.
Under normal driving conditions up to 50 percent of the drive forces go to the rear axle, in extreme cases – for example on ice and snow – up to 100 percent may be fed to the rear. This appropriate distribution of drive power between the front and rear axle optimizes the efficiency of the new Crossover in the MINI range to an even higher standard. The control electronics of the MINI ALL4 system are integrated for the first time directly in the DSC control unit ensuring a response time of less than a tenth of a second for optimum power distribution even on rapidly changing surfaces and with rapidly changing dynamic requirements.

This gives the driver supreme agility combined with the usual safe driving characteristics again so typical of MINI. Thanks to pro-active control by the MINI ALL4 system, the wheels are prevented from spinning by means of appropriate power and traction control, offering the driver not only enhanced driving dynamics, but also a much higher standard of motoring comfort.
A further feature of ALL4 is the specific suspension set-up: Together with the elaborate mounting for the final drive and propeller shaft, including a vibration damper fitted within the shaft, this set-up gives the all-wheel-drive versions of the MINI Countryman the same high standard of acoustic and dynamic comfort as on the models with front-wheel drive.

The MINI Countryman: new car concept, new options in use, typical MINI feeling.
As the fourth model within the range and the first premium car of its kind, the MINI Countryman is a pioneer in many respects. It opens up that characteristic MINI feeling for new target groups and at the same time transfers individual design and the unique fun of motoring into a segment with greater demands in terms of space available, diversity and motoring comfort, thus opening up new perspectives for the MINI brand as a whole.

Through this extension of the model range, the MINI brand once again proves its ability to grow with the demands of its fans and followers, while nevertheless remaining true to its particular character. So the MINI Countryman gives the brand fascinating new strengths and qualities all borne out in perfection by a truly innovative body concept and unique design.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

MINI of Charleston visits the South Carolina Gamecocks

Attention MINI Owners:
You are invited to an evening of SEC college basketball at the Colonial Life Arena at University of South Carolina on January 30th for the Gamecocks versus the Georgia Bulldogs @7PM.
Meet us at the event or join the MINI of Charleston team at the dealership for a MINI Motoring Motorcade to Columbia at 4PM.Park in the MINI Only Lot that is located next to the Arena.
Tickets are complimentary from MINI of Charleston while they last.
Come join us for fun, laughs and MINI motoring. Email reservations at Carolee.johnston@hendrickauto.com or phone 843-402-6354.
Register early, we only have 30 tickets. Don’t forget to ask about the 2010 MINI of Charleston MINI Golf Tourney!!!!!!! Coming to a course near you!!!!!

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

December 2009

Charleston, SC – Last night MINI of Charleston expanded its motorsports participation into a new area, Sports Car Rallying. With the help of employee volunteers and our MINI customers, MINI of Charleston conducted an event to coincide with MINI USA’s current promotion – “Let’s have a MINI Fun Raiser”.

Taking that theme to the streets, MINI of Charleston invited the Honor Role Students from C.C. Blaney Elementary School in Hollywood, South Carolina to be our rally navigators. Along with an adult chaperone, the students read route instructions and looked for clues on the 42 mile course, ending up at the James Island County Park Festival of Lights. Nineteen MINIs arrived with 22 students at the Wappoo Shelter for a Chick-fil-A dinner and awards presentation. The rallyists were greeted at the finish by Charleston River Dogs (our Class A South Atlantic Baseball League team) mascots Charlie the River Dog and Chelsea. Santa and Mrs. Claus also made an appearance and handed out Chick-fil-A cows donated by our friends at Chick-Fill-A on Dorchester Road. Students were also given gift bags with goodies donated by James Island County Park, MINI of Charleston, Chick-fil-A of Surfside. Included was an autographed copy of a children’s book written by local author Nadine Johnson. Mini Mania provided Christmas MINI car badges for students and drivers.

C.C. Blaney Elementary School is a Title 1 (high poverty level) school in one of the more remote parts of Charleston County. Rick Hendrick Imports and MINI of Charleston have been business partners with them since our Executive General Manager was the Education Foundation’s Principal for a Day at CC Blaney in 2005. Plans are being made to make this an annual event that can be used to motivate and reward students for achieving excellence in education.

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