MINI Takes The States is off to the races and MINI Space Team member Axel is taking in all the action on his journey of a lifetime. Together with hundreds of MINI and MINIacs, he’s driving coast-to-coast across the United States. In the first five days the great MINI pack has covered 1,600 miles with another 2,300 to go. It’s time to do a little reflecting along the way… not an easy feat at the rate we’re powering westward!
Axel makes himself at home in the tattooed MINI Countryman.
Drop some coordinates into your navigation system and you’re likely to get a clean route that will get you from A to B as quickly as possible. But is that the best route? The guys on the road with MINI Takes The States know better. We’re looking for the most exciting path possible. Your miles might double, but so too will your experiences.
“Fun is not a straight line” – not when you've a racetrack to race your MINI on.
One thing is clear: driving a MINI in the United States is a real way of life. One might even stake the claim it’s a little bit more so than in other countries. Plenty of MINI pride in America. They’re so proud in fact, that the true-blue American MINIacs are incredibly eager to show off their trophy collections. These MINI love marks are found in the form grill badges, window and bumper stickers, personalised number plates, even t-shirts, pins, and lanyards. Each declaration of MINI love is a hint for the clubs and other events a fan might be apart of. It’s a whole MINI language!
In America, everything is huge. The distances, the burgers, and the cars. But that’s just one more reason why all-American MINIacs are so attached their rides. They know the joy of breaking the mould and breaking away from the countless vans, SUVs, and run-of-the-mill mid-sized cars.
Cruising in the sun with a crew of like-minded MINIacs? We couldn't keep the smiles off our faces either.
Getting around the US is no easy feat: there’s tightly enforced speed limits and highways that stretch beyond the horizon. But take a curious turn somewhere and you can land on beautiful country roads that live up to the motto: “Fun is not a straight line.” It’s no wonder nearly all MTTS participants agree the highlight so far has been The Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. The roads wind through dense forests and along idyllic lakes. They really are the ultimate driving pleasure. The high-point is the world-famous “Tail of the Dragon,” an eleven-mile stretch with a whopping 318 bends. This stretch makes up for all the straight freeways on the rest of the trip.
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To cover 1,600 miles in five days can be taxing but what makes it more fun is the opportunity to converse with like-minded people on perfectly planned routes and cleverly selected pit stops. And the Americans are great at doing this! They’re always full of enthusiasm and eager to discuss their MINI and the routes they’ve travelled over the years. It quickly becomes apparent: MINI Takes The States is not just a dream come true for me, but also for quite a number of American participants. The desire to head west across America has been around for ages, but we’re all on the road to prove the best way to do it is in a MINI.