Monday, August 18, 2008

Jason Calacanis Drives a MINI

When most speak of dot-com millionaire Jason Calacanis, they speak of his well-earned arrogance, astute business sense, and entrepreneurial vigor. When the auto enthusiast speaks of Calacanis, its because he's on the short list for a Telsa Roadster.

Jason Calacanis on the MINI Cooper: "it makes a good dog-car"

So imagine my surprise when in the midst of the witty banter during Leo LaPorte's "This Week in Tech" (Episode #155), pressed about his current personal fleet, Jason Calacanis proudly mentions his Telsa Roadster (of which he anxiously awaits delivery), a Corvette C6, a Mercedes GL550... and then he says, "oh- and I got a MINI Cooper".

[insert record scratch]

Personally, I think its way cooler that the Big JC sports the MINI on occasion, than that one guy from American Idol.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Hamann Release MINI Cooper Performance Upgrades

Hamann known for taking high-end cars (mostly BMWs and Porches) and making them even more high end with performance and visual enhancements has been giving the "new" MINI the Hamann treatment since their re-introduction in 2007.

In early 2007, Hamann,was quick to produce an aerodynamics styling kit for the new second generation R56 Mini, but took over a year and a half to complete the program with engine performance upgrades mainly consisting of reprogrammed ECUs.

Nonetheless, the Bosch Motrotnic ignition control unit has be remapped, and the 1.6-liter turbo engine in the Cooper S, which normally produces 175 hp / 128 kW, has been increased to 204 hp/ 150 kW at 5,500 r.p.m. and torque of 300 Nm at 1,600 – 5,000 rpm.

However, Hamann offers an even more powerful kit for the Cooper S. Called SPORTKIT CS 230, it adds on top of the ECU upgrade with an improved intercooler and sport muffler making 230hp / 169 kW at 6,050 r.p.m. and 330 Nm torque at 3,860 r.p.m. As a result, top speed increases to 238 km/h and 0-100 km/h increase by at least 0.5 seconds.

For the Cooper D which normally has 110 hp, it now makes 26hp / 20 kW more for a total of 136 hp / 100 kW at 4,000 r.p.m. and a maximum torque of a huge 300 Nm at 1,750 – 2,000 r.p.m.
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