Big turnout for MINI

Observer writer

Friday, July 06, 2018

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A TOTAL of 100 specially invited guests and owners turned up for ATL Autobahn's second MINI Getaway, which saw the convoy leaving its Lady Musgrave Road showroom in St Andrew destined for The Cove at Drax Hall, St Ann, on Saturday.

The sophomore occasion was an uptick on the 70 attendees that made the inaugural drive to Portland in August 2017. ATL Autobahn is the division of ATL Automotive that is responsible for the BMW and MINI brands.

“The event went great. We had a great turnout. This kind of event is going to get bigger and bigger; the more MINIs that we sell, the more involved people feel. MINI is a unique brand,” Stephen Hector, group marketing director at ATL Automotive, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

The trek began at ATL Autobahn's state-of-the-art showroom early in the morning and took the long scenic route to Ocho Rios. The train of MINIs made their way through Stony Hill crossing over into St Mary. The convoy attracted the attention of bystanders and other motorists wherever it went. At The Cove, the location proved to be the idyllic beach, with crystal- clear swimming water and plenty of fun and sun.

“The MINI personality used to be fun, funky and irreverent; now that same personality has matured. So what that means is that it's into artisan and bohemian, like food, drink, art and not just the usual things. We're going to follow along those paths. It's not a brand that we're looking to explode. We want it to grow organically,” Hector said.

Customer Mitzie Miller was a happy camper who made the trip in her 2017 MINI Cooper.

“It was my dream car. I'm just so in love with the look, how zippy it is, and the interior,” she said.

ATL Autobahn also took the opportunity to show off its latest offering, the 2019 MINI Countryman John Cooper Works.

“It's an amazing car. MINI is a funny brand because people still think they're small cars. When you get into the Countryman it's a big car with class-leading space, plenty of power, technology and all these things that come with a premium brand,” Hector explained.

The 2-litre TwinPower Turbo engine puts out 228bhp and rockets the Countryman, which is a compact SUV, to 60 mph in a sportscar-matching 6.2 seconds to a terminal speed of 145 mph, all while carrying five adults in luxury. With its ALL4 all-wheel drive system, it's no slouch in less than perfect conditions and is off-road capable.

“The feedback was good. The beauty of these things is that they evolve. The different venues we pick, the different routes we pick, the things you do create a togetherness, almost a brotherhood and sisterhood of MINI drivers,” Hector added.

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