Big Love Days, in Varano de ’Melegari on the track with the entire MINI range

Big Love Days, in Varano de ’Melegari on the track with the entire MINI range

Big Love Days

Last weekend the Varano de ’Melegari racetrack was transformed into a meeting point for lovers of engines, music and food, with a two-day MINI Italia" Big Love Days "event. The slogan is unequivocal “Eat. MINI. Ama "and is basically a reinterpretation of the title of the famous film with Julia Roberts" Eat, pray, love ".

The festival, completely free but with admission by reservation to comply with current regulations, is divided into four areas Different themes: Urban, Style, Adrenalie and Journey, with each of them able to offer visitors and enthusiasts activities dedicated to lifestyle, food, music and, of course, the MINI world.

In the Urban path the the protagonist was the new MINI Full Electric, available from 34,900 euros, with a 135 kW (184 hp) engine and a range measured in the WLTP cycle of around 230 km. Compared to the endothermic variant we are all used to, the green model benefits from a series of aerodynamic features, on the bodywork and rims, aimed at reducing friction with the air and therefore allowing greater mileage. Street food available in the same area, an area dedicated to vinyl enthusiasts and another to arcade cabinets.

In the Style environment, on the other hand, it was possible to closely observe Vision Urbanaut and Strip, two concepts battery powered by MINI. Vision Urbanaut, the images of which are shown below, is an electric minivan with autonomous driving that places the emphasis on attention to the environment in the choice of materials; in fact, there are recycled materials, no leather, only fabrics and cork. Also in this place, street food (Parma) and an area dedicated to the sport of the moment are available: padel.

The third route is Adrenaline, the one aimed at lovers of sporty and fast driving; available, ready to admire and drive with the driving experience, a series of MINI John Cooper Works or the most peppered for road use. In this context too, a refreshment area for the finest palates is a must.

The last space, Journey, was created for those who love being in contact with nature and therefore with off-road routes. In this area it is possible to try the Countryman ALL4, study the camping solutions closely, be captivated by the scents of the Botanical Shop and of course eat more delicate and healthier food (Poke).

In addition to the exciting itineraries at available to the public, inside the Big Love Village there was also a concept of a housing model of the future known by the name of “Biosphera”. There is also space for solidarity with the Poldo Rescue association, which takes care of helping four-legged friends. On the stage, however, a continuous alternation of hip hop and pop music with a series of guests by Radio 105. Big Love Days was also an opportunity to get a close look at the MINIs of the Italian Club: from the models that have made the history of the brand to the most recent and modern solutions. A real appointment for enthusiasts and onlookers.

During the appointment we had the opportunity to try three models in different scenarios, more precisely: test drive on the circuit on board the MINI John Cooper Works, test drive off road at the wheel of the MINI Countryman ALL4 PHEV and finally test drive on the road with the MINI 5-door with John Cooper Works equipment.

On the Varano de 'Melegari circuit we had the opportunity to test the MINI John Cooper Works in the 3-door version, powered by the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine capable of delivering 231 horsepower, sufficient to push the small MINI to a top speed of 246 km / h, with acceleration from 0 to 100 which is covered in 6.3 seconds. The track-tested version was also equipped with an 8-speed Steptronic sports automatic transmission with paddle on the steering wheel: we couldn't ask for anything better to race through the Varano curves! MINI, speaking of this John Cooper Works model, speaks of a "go-kart feeling" and we can only agree: the JCW is glued to the ground even in the most cheerful corners, fits into the corners with precision and responds very promptly to throttle and shift pulses. The interiors are very beautiful, embellished with sports seats and a head-up display that is very comfortable to read.

In addition to the asphalted circuit, the event also offered visitors a short off-road route to test the capabilities of the MINI Countryman range: among the different models available, we tested the MINI Countryman ALL4 PHEV version, powered by a hybrid petrol-electric powertrain. On the front axle we find the petrol engine, while on the rear the electric one: in this way the two are activated and deactivated as needed and completely automatically thanks to the traction management software integrated into the car. The overall power is 220 horsepower, sufficient for a top speed of 196 km / h and a sprint from 0 to 100 in 6.8 seconds. The 9.6 kWh battery installed on the Countryman ALL4 PHEV is sufficient to travel just over 40 km in fully electric mode, a mileage sufficient for small daily trips without CO2 emissions.

Finally, the road test, carried out in the surroundings of the circuit on board a MINI Cooper in the 5-door version, embellished by the John Cooper Works trim that gives it a very sporty and captivating look. The model tested was powered by a 3-cylinder 1.5-liter engine capable of delivering 136 horsepower, enough to reach 207 km / h of top speed. Also in this case the present gearbox was automatic, 7-speed with double clutch. The JCW package present on this car involves several improvements, including the front and rear LED headlights, John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit with its rear spoiler, adaptive suspension, leather steering wheel with John Cooper Works symbol, 8-inch touchscreen display, 8 "and 17 or 18" alloy wheels depending on the customer's tastes. Also in this case the driving impressions were positive, with a very precise steering and the automatic gearbox that does its duty almost without being heard.

Below is a short video made by the organization during the day on Saturday:

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