2016 Mini Cooper’s Safety Tops the Board

It isn’t always easy to take home top safety awards, not with all of the government testing and regulations a vehicle needs to meet. While most manufacturers scrape by with meager scores, MINI isn’t one of them. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has some of the most advanced tests around, and they put cars through the wringer before bestowing the coveted “Top Safety Pick+” rating. Recently, when the 2016 MINI Cooper’s testing came back, MINI’s safety features proved their worth, earning this top safety rating with no trouble at all!

So, what does it take to earn this rating? Well, to become the best of the best, vehicles need good ratings in every category as well as a front crash prevention system that earns an advanced or superior rating. With the changes implemented in November 2015, the MINI Cooper’s side curtain airbags improved its side protection rating. The “Top Safety Pick+” award applies to the two-door hardtop models.

The MINI Cooper’s front crash prevention system avoided a collision entirely in three of five tests. It slowed to one to three mph in the other two tests. In faster tests, the impact speed dropped by around seven mph, effectively reducing the damage as a result of the crash.

We here at MINI of Pittsburgh couldn’t be prouder of the safety-oriented MINI Cooper Hardtop 2-Door. Come see one in person at our Pittsburgh MINI dealership and see just how safe, and fun, driving a MINI really is.


Best Places to Drive Your MINI in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a state with enough scenery to last a person a lifetime. With enough byways to keep you busy for more than one long weekend, driving through this scenic state is an experience in itself. Once you’re behind the wheel and on the road, you might find yourself low on gas before you know it! Here’s a few byways you have to drive if you plan on visiting Pennsylvania:

  • High Plateau – Located on Route 144, this unforgettable area stretches 27 miles. With a bird’s-eye-view of the Sproul State Forest, you’ll take in scenery that hasn’t changed in more than a century.
  • Grand ViewLocated at the top of Mount Washington, you can take in a panoramic view of the Golden Triangle. The skyline, bridges, and unique landscape all make for a memory you’ll never forget.
  • Gateway to the Endless Mountains – Called “one of America’s most scenic drives” by National Geographic, the entrance to the Endless Mountains is absolutely breathtaking. Once you’re there, you have easy access to some of the most memorable hiking and biking trails in the state.

There are plenty of places to drive in Pennsylvania and while some vehicles can’t handle the roads, a MINI can take on even the sharpest curves. Equipped with superior handling, there’s very few hairpins, turns, curves, and byways that a modern MINI can’t handle!

Head out motoring around this spring on some of the most scenic roads in the country and let your MINI handle the twists and turns that come your way.

Baum Boulevard detour leads to a Lost Amusement Park

So we wanted to give everyone a heads up that the Baum Boulevard Bridge was going to be closed for a few weeks. However, while looking for a couple of pictures to include, we came across something great. There used to be an Amusement Park just up the street. Yeah you heard me right, an Amusement Park!

Luna Park was built in 1905 and was the first in what would become an international chain of amusement parks operated by Frank Ingersoll. It was the first amusement park to be covered with electrical lighting as well (67,000 light bulbs).

Luna Park closed in 1909 in the face of stiff competition from a second park nearby, Kennywood. Though the old gate to Luna Park, which is pictured below, will probably look a little familiar to you. It was the inspiration for the Lost Kennywood section, which opened in 1995.

Maybe Luna Park is where we get our commitment to fun and excitement? Nah, it is probably just from representing our great brand, MINI.

Local writer, Virginia Montanez, has a great post about Luna Park with more pictures that you can read HERE.




5 Famous People from Pittsburgh


Andrew Carnegie tops our list of famous Pittsburghers.
Image From Theodore C. Marceau [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the largest and most industrialized cities in the nation, Pittsburgh is a pretty famous city. Many of its residents, from artists to industrialists, are also very famous. The following celebrities and historical figures are 5 famous people from Pittsburgh.

Andrew Carnegie

The American steel industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie helped make the city of Pittsburgh the large metropolis it is today.

Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly, who was born near the city of Pittsburgh, redefined reporting methods in America through her investigative work on a number of important issues and topics.

Michael Keaton

The actor Michael Keaton is most famous for his role as Batman in Gotham City! Keaton himself was born near the Steel City.

Christina Aguilera

This soulful singer may have been born on Staten Island, but she spent the majority of her early life in nearby Rochester, Pennsylvania.

Andy Warhol

One of the most famous and influential American artists, Andy Warhol even has a museum dedicated to his work in right here in Pittsburgh.

Who is your favorite, famous Pittsburgher? Let us know in the comments below.

MINI Searches for Candidates for its Defy Labels Contest

If you watched the Super Bowl, you probably saw the “Defy Labels” advertisement that MINI produced. The campaign was so successful that MINI has decided to expand upon the campaign in a big way!

A recent MINI press release announced that MINI is searching for candidates for its Defy Labels Contest.

Between now and April 7, MINI will accept candidates for the Defy Labels campaign. People can nominate candidates by uploading an image of them and an explanation on how they defy labels to MINI-DefyLabels.com.

From there, an independent panel of judges will select four of the nominees to help kick of the MINI TAKES THE STATES rally!

“People have put labels on the MINI brand for years,” says David Duncan, vice president MINI of the Americas. “We’ve been called the ‘small car’ or the ‘cute car,’ but we know we’re more than that.   Despite those labels, we’ve continued to be inventive and innovative with our product line. The Defy Labels Contest isn’t about rebellion, but rather creating your own path regardless of the labels you’ve been given; a concept the MINI brand understands and embodies.”

If you know of someone who “defies labels”, nominate them as a candidate for the competition today, and check out the series of MINI’s “Defying Labels” videos below.

Perfect Car-Themed Valentine’s Day Gifts For the Enthusiast in Your Life

MINI Accesssories - car-themed Valentine’s Day gifts

MINI Accessories are the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for the MINI Enthusiast in your life.

Is your valentine an auto enthusiast? Are you struggling to come up with a cool car gift he or she will love? We’ve found some clever and creative car-themed Valentine’s Day gifts that we hope will inspire you that you can get for the MINI lover in your life.

Whether you’re adding onto your sweetheart’s car with a new app or product or you’re getting them a cool knickknack, there’s a whole world of crazy car stuff out there. Of course there are lots that are perfect for MINI Motoring Enthusiasts, but there are also some that are good no matter what your significant other drives.

Gifts For MINI Lovers

For a MINI lover, you can get them MINI sunglasses, a MINI umbrella, MINI bags, bracelet, cufflinks, phone cases, stuffed animals and more. You can even get them MINI items for their pet. If you want to help them really show off their MINI, then you can get them the John Cooper Works performance package and enable their MINI to become even faster than before.

Gifts For Car-Lovers

If your significant other isn’t a MINI lover yet (just give it time and they will be), here are a few ideas you can use to get them a car-themed Valentine’s Day gift that they will love.  A year’s subscription to satellite radio is always a great hit for music and sports lovers alike. You can also get something to make driving easier like Smart Driving Assist or a remote car starter.

Real auto enthusiasts and racecar lovers will appreciate a brand new paint job—maybe with some racing stripes (to match the ones on your MINI of course)?

Stop by MINI of Pittsburgh to pick-up the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your significant other. We  hope to see you soon and wish you and yours a Happy Valentine’s Day!

MINI’s Big Game Commercial

Serena Williams - MINI's Big Game Commercial

Serena Williams is a part of MINI’s latest Big Game commercials. Find out how this tennis superstar is defying labels and why she loves MINI.
“Serena Williams (9630783949)” by Edwin Martinez from The Bronx – US Open 2013 Part 2 668Uploaded by Flickrworker. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

MINI has been on somewhat of a hiatus regarding the Big Game advertisements. But this year, it’s finally back. It’ll join the many other companies who put sweat and tears into their Super Bowl commercials. MINI will have its own big game commercial.

So, what will this commercial be? Well, it will be a 30-second spot (so don’t miss it by running to get more guac for your chips!) and will run in the third quarter of the game. It will feature many MINIs, including the brand-new, already popular MINI Clubman.

But that’s not all: this commercial won’t only feature cars, but six well-known people, too. Who?  Top tennis player Serena Williams, recently retired soccer superstar Abby Wambach, skateboarder Tony Hawk, former major league pitcher Randy Johnson, rapper T-Pain and actor Harvey Keitel.

So there’s quite a lot of talent to fit into 30 seconds. And I’m talking about the cars and the stars! Luckily, MINI has alreayd released some longer segments on their website so you can learn how these celebrities all fell in love with MINI. Get ready to settle down and watch it (and the Big Game) February 7th.