Menu

userImg showBgrSwitcher

Background by

userImg

Thanks!

Menu

MINI Takes the States 2010 – NYC Launch Party

You could tell this was not the MINI Countryman's first visit to New York City. Here, under the lights at Chelsea's capacious Milk Studios, the Countryman worked the crowd, magnetizing all who looked its way and, with four doors open wide, beckoning them into its cabin. Rarely would the center of attention at a packed Chelsea soiree ever dare be so inviting, yet the Countryman made all feel welcome, the automotive equivalent of a seasoned, top-rate party host.

MTTS

And truthfully, it was not the MINI Countryman first visit to Manhattan's trendy West Side, having made its North American debut last spring at the nearby Jacob Javits Center during the New York International Auto Show. But at Milk Studios, removed from the auto show's gaudiness and overpowered lighting, the MINI Countryman was free to shine. And shine it did.

MTTS

On the eve of the MINI Takes the States road rally, New York's most fervent MINI enthusiasts were given an owners-only glimpse of MINI's new, ALL4 wonder. Before them, planted in the pressed-metal flesh amid provocative fashion photography from Italian master Tiziano Magni, was a specimen painted in light white with a black roof, and outfitted with Union Jack side-mirror treatments, dual rally lights, 18-inch five-spoke polished black wheels, a lowered front bumper, aggressive side-skirt scoops, a rear diffuser and a telltale "S" on the lift gate. This was not just a MINI Countryman Cooper S; it was all that, plus a John Cooper Works Aero Kit. This was a proper way to dress for a night in Chelsea.

MTTS

"It's really the perfect car for New York," said party attendee Luis, who arrived from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in his MINI Cooper S. "It's got that higher ground clearance and profile that would really be perfect for the chopped-up pavement here." Luis is a MINI Takes the States veteran, having made the run in 2006 from Los Angeles to Miami, then up to Nashville, Tennessee for the MINI Music Festival before motoring home to New York. "I stuck around Miami to do some track driving at Homestead and Sebring, too," he said, referencing two of the American South's most challenging courses.

MTTS

Luis was not the only MTTS rally luminary in attendance. Aurel recalled being in Miami in 2008, awestruck at how MINI owners kitted out their cars in the Dirty South. "It was incredible to see how they did up their cars," he said. "The customization I saw was really distinctive." When we tracked him down, Aurel was mesmerized by a MINI Takes the States Racing Challenge drive simulator, where a young MINI fan was putting his car through its paces on a Skip Barber Racing School track. "I had a MINI Hatch, but now I have a baby so we needed a bit more room. So a Clubman it was." In 2008, Aurel led a 60-car phalanx of MINI to Chelsea's mythical MINI Rooftop NYC - conceived by your friends here at MINI Space - which still gets discussed with reverence among New York's seen-everything style set.

MTTS

Standing behind the MINI Countryman, admiring its flared haunches and fully enclosed chrome tailpipes, was Donna from New Jersey. "From the front the car looked like it was smiling at me, which just made me want it more," she said. "And I love the white color. It's the perfect shade."

Indeed, the MINI Countryman made many friends at its preview party. Even so, old allegiances die hard. Asked whether he might consider trading in his MINI John Cooper Works for a MINI Countryman, Jim from New Jersey stroked his chin, paused, then said, "Not a chance. It's a keeper." Was he sure? "Well... OK, maybe in a few years."

MTTS

When the bartenders stopped pouring and the Detroit house stopped playing, the night was at an end. For a lucky few attendees, an early alarm would rouse them from their sleep the following morning, a bugle call to pour coffee, brush teeth, pack bag, lock house and motor westward - to Denver, Colorado, for the MINI Takes the States Festival, where we will write to you next.

by Jonathan Schultz MTTS

Share

facebook
googlePlus
pinterest
stumbleUpon
E-Mail
seperate multiple email addresses with a comma

Comments

Cult Classic Then and Now: The Globe-Trekking Story of the Mini Moke

June 02, 2015
Cult Classic Then and Now: The Globe-Trekking Story of the Mini Moke

Originally designed as a military grade 'bizarre non-identical twin' of the classic Mini, this hardy member of the fleet eventually found its niche in relaxing tropical climes. Study up on the history of the Mini Moke.

MINI and Channel Islands Surfboards Present: The MINI Surfboard

July 10, 2015
MINI and Channel Islands Present: The MINI Surfboard

Pro Surfer Kalani Robb and renowned surfboard artisans Channel Islands Surfboards have teamed up with MINI to design ‘The MINI', a surfboard that handles like its namesake.

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: Scanned Spaces with Pernilla Ohrstedt

August 20, 2014
Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: Scanned Spaces with Pernilla Ohrstedt

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers glimpse the future of driverless navigation with Pernilla Ohrstedt as she explores virtual mobility in an ever-changing digital world.

Chasing The Next Wave: Meet Pro Surfer & MINI Countryman Owner Kalani Robb

May 29, 2015
Chasing The Next Wave: Meet Pro Surfer & MINI Countryman Owner Kalani Robb

Kalani Robb is a surfing legend. He's lived for the sea and its waves, proving his mettle early with multiple titles as a teen. Now he's chasing the world's wildest surf with his MINI Countryman.

MINI Space Mixtape: Tracks for a Leisurely Late Summer

September 29, 2014
MINI Space Mixtape: Tracks for a Leisurely Late Summer

Sit back and watch the sun sink below the horizon with these six tracks to herald the arrival of autumn.

14 Sunrises Through the Seasons: Top Down Daybreak Drives from Winter to Summer

August 21, 2014
14 Sunrises Through the Seasons: Top Down Daybreak Drives from Winter to Summer

Photographer David Chang tracks the dawn of summer with stunning landscapes at sunrise. Scroll through the seasons from the backseat of his MINI Cabrio.