BMW – Mini to Produce Electric Cars in California

It looks like consumers in California will soon be seeing electric Mini’s on the street. The Mini’s are made in Oxford, England. These examples will be partially assembled alongside the normal cars, minus the engine, gearbox and fuel tank. Then they’ll go over to parent company BMW’s facility in Munich, Germany, to be fitted with all the necessary electric drivetrain components and batteries before heading west.

BMW sources told Automotive News Europe that 490 of the Minis will be leased to selected customers in California and 10 will be used as show cars.

The electric cars will have yellow roofs, and will allow BMW to meet California’s requirement that carmakers start selling zero-emission vehicles.


Too bad that they are not bring the bad-ass PML Mini QED. Those blokes created a Monster electric Mini that features four 160HP electric motors, one on each wheel.  The car has been designed to run for four hours of combined urban/extra urban driving, powered only by a battery and bank of ultra capacitors.  A claimed top speed of 150 mph, a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds, and a reported range of 932 miles when the ICE hybrid gas motor provides additional charge for the on-board batteries.  In this hybrid mode, fuel economies of up to 80mpg can be achieved.


What car manufacturers try to cover up

One of the interesting aspects of the Internet is the ability for car enthusiasts to share information about their vehicles.   I am always amazed how many people have similar issues with their car, however when discussing with a dealer, the dealer acts as if no one else has an issue.

Recently the folks on LotusTalk.com have identified a potentially serious issue with the overhead oil feeds in the camshaft cover.  This is believed to be causing a failure of the camshaft, which ultimately results in a broken rocker arm.  Multiple people have now confirmed that their car also shows evidence of a problem.  So far, Lotus, and Toyota who manufacturer the 2ZZ-GE engine are silent….  You can read more here.
lotus elise cam oil spray pattern
What other cars have similar issues?  I would love to hear other folks experience, I have included a few well known issues that I currently know of.

Ford Spark Plug Issue

Toyota Oil Sludge Issue

BMW Engine Failure

Where I have been – cars that I have owned over the years

lotus in a field

These are some of the cars I have owned in the past, starting with the first car I ever owned.

1976 Datsun 710
1970 Datsun 240Z
1987 Toyota MR2
1988 Toyota Celica All-Trac
1972 Datsun 240Z
1991 Eagle Talon
1992 Mazda Miata
1991 Toyota MR2 Turbo
1994 Mazda RX-7
1968 Datsun Roadster
1970 Datsun 240Z
1976 Datsun 260Z
1998 BMW M3
1997 Mazda Miata
1993 Mazda RX-7 CYM
2003 Mazda Miata
1987 Toyota SDK8
2005 Lotus Elise
2006 Infiniti G35x
1997 Ford F150
2011 Infiniti M37x
1994 Mazda Miata

I have also owned a couple Tundra’s, T100, and Troopers mixed in there as well.  What was my favorite car?  I love my current Lotus Elise, however my 1993 RX-7 CYM was probably my all time favorite.  The Talon was most reliable, it went over 150K miles, very few of them were what you would call “easy” miles.  My 2006 Infiniti cleared 170K miles before finally giving up one of its cylinders.

Passing a MR2 through Turn 9

Here we are lined up into Turn 9. I am
following a first generation Toyota MR2,
and I hope to get by him out of Turn 9.
I have started my move. I am inside him, and
accelerating out of Turn 9.
See ya! I am headed up the hill towards Turn
9. Looks like the BMW will get by the MR2
as well.

Chasing an Eagle Talon

I am right at the apex of Turn 5. I am gunning for a white Eagle Talon, and have a BMW M3 that just roared onto my tail. I will have no problems catching the Talon, however that BMW will be wanting to pass me as well! Not only are the BMW M3’s extremely fast at Summit Point, this one is being driven by one fast driver.
Lined up out of Turn 5. Getting ready to enter Turn 6.
The Talon is at its limit going around Turn 6. You can see that he is holding me up, as my Z is hardly leaning at all. The BMW’s tail has gotten happy, as he is forced to brake harder due to our slower then normal speed through Turn 6.
I am right on the Talon’s rear, while the BMW has backed off a bit. He is waiting to get us out of Turn 9.
Lined up through the Turn 8.
Finally, I get on the gas early through Turn 9, and pass the Talon quickly as we head up the hill. The BMW will follow, and he eventually passes me as we come out of Turn 10.