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Plastic Mini Countryman at real size

There is a new battle in automotive industry and it is between small sized SUVs. A decade ago small sized SUV was something totally ridiculous and pointless, one decade ago we were not able to able to do no more than talking from our mobile phone and now we can do nearly everything. Nobody would ever predicted this kind of huge change in mobile phone technology. Like SUV market, nowadays nobody wants to buy an SUV for off road, they just want to buy it because you can park on pavement, no problem while snowing, it is easier to get in and bigger boot.

The definition of car totally changed by the SUVs. They are the iPods of automotive industry, once they appeared nothing remained the same. However SUV trend became more complicated and a bit boring. Any company which is able to assemble four wheels and one engine is offering an SUV. And they are becoming smaller every year, BMW X3 was suppose to be the smallest SUV but now it is a kind of mid-sized model.

When the size reaches Mini, Mini will in business! That’s only car which is big and Mini. Honestly, I don’t like Mini that much. The technology underneath the car is excellent, very cleverly made and very well engineered. But there are some problems like spotting too many, ridiculously high priced, people who are driving them is another issue. The iconic Mini turn into I made money and I wanted to buy something expensive thing, and anyone who has enough money to buy Mini immediately bought one. Mini became a symbol of wealth but this erodes its spirit. Instead of Mini, I would definitely go for Alfa Romeo MiTo or Fiat 500. I know they are not as good as Mini but I don’t want to be labelled by Mini!

Anyway, let’s forget my emotions about Mini and discuss about the huge Mini, Countryman. Today in Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham I spotted this new SUV. But it was fake, partial. Tyres were real and the rest was plastic. They placed lcd screen on windows and showing people. Those people are the ones who recorded their face during the event. I really don’t know the details, I am not that kind of person. This new Mini actually looks better than a normal Mini and probably more convenient than the normal one. It is more spacious, easier to get in, bigger boot, optional four wheel drive. That will be line between poor Mini Countryman owners and rich Countryman owners :) In general a good car which has a huge potential to fail.

Fail? Yes! Mini made a huge success when it was first revealed and sustained it for nearly one decade but as the product range extended the success did not extended that well. The Clubman which is a four door hatchback did not manage to achieve the same sales performance because that’s a big weird car and a bit further away from the Mini concept. Does this stop BMW to extend the range? Of course Nein! As the BMW loves to extend everything to its limits, they introduced the Countryman. Of course many snob people will buy this car and they will defend its character and etc. But Countryman has a very big competitor! This competitors boots as big as a Mini! And it is called Range Rover.

Range Rover Evoque, the new small SUV on market which will be available next year with Range Rover brand! As BMW knew this thing they rushed and introduced the Mini Countryman earlier ;) So they could eat the market before Range Rover arrives. However Mini may not compete with Range Rover like it compete with other small cars. Even though the Mini is a premium brand, Range Rover is the king brand! Unfortunately Mini never made the same impression like Range Rover.

Just, try with someone. Say Mini and say Range Rover and observe the facial differences. Unfortunately Range Rover means luxury, status, heritage and expensive! Mini also means similar thing but in a small scope. People bought Mini, because it was something different, interesting and part of popular cultures. But they buy Range Rover because it is comfortable, good off roader, exquisitely designed. And Range Rover brand is associated with these attributes, therefore it will have an absolute advantage over on Mini Countryman and also on BMW X1. X1 is the small, ugly SUV from BMW.

Mini Countryman will not a be huge failure but it won’t be easy to sell customers when there is an alternative called Range Rover! Objectively consider yourself in that position, you probably wish to own a Range Rover instead of a Mini. The team in Bullring was great, I can say better than the Countryman :)

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Mine, Mini, Land Rover
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Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swimwear 2011

As you might heard of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2011. Of course that's not about cars, there are only E Coupe and SL 63 AMG were shown. This is a proper fashion show sponsored by Mercedes Benz. And as a public service from my blog, you can enjoy the pictures from Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swimwear :) You can also see Kim Kardashian, I hope she did not arrive with her pink Bentley :)

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Mercedes Benz
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The new Nürburgring

Nürburgring, it is like the high way next to your house or your father’s farm! It is not something very unusual or unknown, every car manufacturer occasionally visit Nürburgring and make a faster lap than ever. Ten years ago nobody had an idea about Nürburgring and it was something mystery. However thanks to marketing departments, it turned into something very usual. I am pretty sure that half of us can drive in Nürburgring like we drive to home.

But the Porsche made the difference again! As they stick their brand into a power drill (link), they created a new type of lap record in somewhere else. Yes, Porsche finally found somewhere else different than Nürburgring and it is called Pikes Peak located in USA. It is a hill climb with various road conditions like Nürburgring but as you climb higher, the car is struggling more due to adverse weather conditions! So, you can proof the master of your engineering much easier like Porsche did it :)

I am telling you now, in next one decade Pikes Peak will be the next Nürburgring. If you have extra money, just buy some land and you will make fortune by selling to car companies :) After Porsche, Audi will unleash a fast lap and Ferrari and Mercedes and BMW and Maserati and Land Rover and the rest.

Honestly, marketing departments should find somewhere else then Nürburgring because it is becoming more boring !

Porsche manage to finish this circuit in 11 minutes, 31,1 seconds in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. This car produces 450 hoursepower from 3,8lt engine and it only weights 1200 kilos!

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A contemporary way to waste your money: Audi A7

Anyone who is interested on cars know one thing! Mercedes and BMW are the king of creating segments and time to time being disappointed for their decision. Especially Mercedes has a special talent to introduce new segment even the people in Mercedes could not understand what that is! For example; Mercedes R Class, B Class and CLC Class. These are the contributions from Mercedes to automotive history, what not to produce!

However I do like the risk taking strategy of Mercedes, they are take risk focus on R&D and introduce a new model. That’s the Mercedes image, don’t worry Mercedes charges for failed class from normal models. Therefore Mercedes is “overpriced”.

Last one decade Audi is working really hard to compete with Mercedes and BMW. Everyone realized this from the quality improvements and emerging brand image. But it is still an Audi, sorry you don’t have the Mercedes S Class or Range Rover effect yet and probably you won’t have this for next one decade also.

But Audi is keen on to strength its position like Mercedes and become an icon for introducing dull and pointless models. And they have achieved this :) Audi A7; contemporary way to waste your wealth! Here is the message from Audi’s press document, elegant coupe, sport sedan and practical wagon. When I read this I remembered something else which is an icon for wasting your money, Swiss Army knife. Everyone buy it and never use it, because it is useless. You cannot cut a paper, you cannot use as a screw. The only good thing, you just own it.

From the press release I imagined this; Audi A7 is like wearing formal jacket over a t-shirt mated with tie and jean with hole and boots designed to climb mountain.

Audi A7 is exactly like this. From engineers perspective that’s an excellent car to drive, its offering every kind of safety technology like in A8. And its design; I cannot say I love it but that’s okay. Some people will like it, some people will not like it. But Audi A7 has a small problem. This car is as big as chateaux and just accommodate four passengers with a weird hatchback. More basically, you will pay a huge amount of money for a car which is maximum at outside, minimum at inside and you will have back that looks like very interesting. I can clearly say, Audi A7 is the first which has two fronts.

I am sure that money people will buy this and they will saying “I was waiting for this”. Like people said the same thing for BMW 5 GT. By the way, do you anyone own 5 GT ?

I really wish to write something better but I couldn’t. Instead of this buy an Audi A8 which looks better, looks better, has a front and a back and it does not have boot like in a VW Golf.

Audi please don't turn into Mercedes or BMW, we love you because you are the only niche premium brand.

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