The Spun Bearing: Hiatus Interrupted

Interesting | April 3rd, 2013 by 3
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Mini Sells 500K Cars In the US Mini has sold 500,000 vehicles in the US. Big news? Well . . . big considering. Mini has …

Mini Sells 500K Cars In the US

Mini has sold 500,000 vehicles in the US. Big news? Well . . . big considering. Mini has been on sale in the US for 11 years and yearly volume of under 50,000 doesn’t sound that huge considering that Pontiac used to sell half as many (250,000) copies of its Grand Am in a single year.

But Mini is still around, and Pontiac isn’t so BMW has done something right with the brand. And the next generation Mini may prove to be even more profitable since it will share quite a bit of its underpinnings with BMW’s small car architecture (see this BMWBLOG article for more information on BMW’s platform matrices).

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One good thing about Mini’s next generation is that its engines will be BMW developed, not joint BMW/PSA or BMW/Chrysler engineering. All in all, the next generation Mini should be quite good.

The End of Carbon Motors?

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In other news, Jalopnik reports that Carbon Motors appears to be going out of business ( ). Carbon Motors had a deal to purchase BMW diesel engines for their bespoke police car. It seems buying engines from BMW is the kiss of death – Saab and now Carbon Motors, wonder what that bodes for Toyota (diesel engine purchasers)?

Hyundai Equus Hermes Edition


For Chuck Vossler comes news that Hyundai has been working with Hermes to produce a very special Equus model ( Hyundai is bidding to break into the premium segment with one of the oldest design houses collaborating on a bespoke special. Unfortunately it isn’t for sale as only three copies have been produced. But what’s interesting is that as some ‘luxury’ brands (Lincoln, Chrysler) struggle to regain relevance, Hyundai is pushing to go beyond its plebeian roots with really good product.

More On the i3


The i3 is nearing production and sales. Recent articles discussing the range extending capabilities confirm BMWBLOG’s belief that range extension is definitely not indefinite.

Automotive News Europe ( recently reported that BMW asked a professor of sociology to describe the potential purchasers of the i3. The professor labeled them as ‘bourgeois bohemians’, or ‘bobos’. Hipsters, if you will – well, hipsters with real jobs that is. It’s an odd demographic for the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’. The i3 however, given it’s decent power to weight ratio, will be one of the best all electric vehicles available. It’s just that the term ‘bobo’ is discordant – I used to work with a guy we called, ‘Bobo the Magnificent’; it wasn’t a compliment.

Road & Track Reviews the 135is

I’ve been reading Road & Track since the late 1960s and have had a subscription since 1975. There were years when I wondered whether or not it was worth renewing. But under new management, Editor-in-Chief Larry Webster, Executive Editor Sam Smith, and Design Director David Speranza, it recaptures the relevance and tenor that it had in the ’60s and early ’70s.

The revamped magazine debuted with the May 2013 issue and in it Jason Cammisa reports on the BMW 135is. Jason takes an honest look at the 135is and compares it to the more recent offerings from BMW. He sees the same dilemma that many of have regarding BMW’s suspension and steering offerings. A telling quote in the article is, “(t)he 135is doesn’t have a single “Sport” button in its cockpit, because a proper sports coupe doesn’t need a button to tell it to be sporty.” Good write up and it’s nice to see Sam Smith (who most of us know from his time with the “Roundel”) in such an important role.