Miniatures in the Island of Gods
Known as the Island of Gods, Bali is a magical paradise for those who seek majestic oceans, volcanic mountains and verdant rain forests, as well as vast rice paddies. Think of the Island of Bali and one will come up with a mental picture of white sandy beaches, countless historical Hindu temples, tourists on motorbikes, famous Babi Guling dish, and of course, a Balinese massage.
For gearheads, any trip could not be a perfect adventure without driving. And what could be more perfect experience than driving the latest offering from iconic British automotive marque, Mini. Thanks to Mini Asia and BMW Group Indonesia, who facilitated a seamless 3-day regional media ride-and-drive with the new Cooper S Cabrio and Cooper S Clubman.
Fun under the Sun
Dubbed as MINI Adventure 2016, the regional ride-and-drive was aimed to introduce the unique design of the Mini car together with its driving fun, impressive power and fuel-efficiency—all set against the backdrop of Bali’s signature hospitality and beauty.
Media participants were given an opportunity to drive the latest generation Cabriolet and Clubman on a 380-kilometer scenic route in Bali. The experience can be quite easy for someone who drives regularly with right-hand-drive, but a real challenge for a pen pusher and left-hand driver who isn’t exactly familiar with Bali roads.
After arriving in Bali, participants drove some 9 kilometers towards Warung Made Benoa—a famous recreational and cosmopolitan restaurant serving a variety of local and international dish.
“Welcome to the Island of Gods”. This was the first opening remarks of Peter (Sunny) Medalla, Head of Mini Asia. During the product briefing, Medalla explained that each participant will experience Mini’s signature go-kart feeling and its sophisticated style of its new brand identity.
The trip itinerary was kicked off by visiting the Secret Garden coffee plantation in Kuta, then experiencing the picturesque sunset at Krisna Beach Street in Lombok. The next day, the media-participants travelled towards Naya Gawana Resort in Menjangan Bay, to experience an open-top driving experience with the Cabrio towards La Costa beach in Singaraja.
The bonus part of driving the Mini Cabrio is when feeling the breeze in an open-air pleasure drive. It only takes 18-seconds to fully open-or-close the soft top, sliding roof.
After the fun drive under the sun, the group went to Menjangan Bay eco-haven, where each participant had a quick photo opportunity at the classic Niana Tilem Museum in Ubod City.
Driving a right-hand-drive on the busy streets Bali proved to be a big challenge—9 Mini Coopers lined up. However, the four Motorcycle Police convoys helped the participants during the entire trip and traverse the local traffic with ease.
To cap off the trip, participants enjoyed the famous 5-star Katamama Hotel, which followed by a formal Mini-dressed party at the rooftop.
Small and Powerful Minis
Gone are the days when Minis are viewed as old-classic vintage cars. Today, the iconic British marque elevates the brand while staying true to its vision: to capture and drive the spirit of the times. The latest generation of the new Mini Cooper S Cabrio and Cooper S Clubman sets to define its new identity.
As per engine, both cars (the Cabrio and Clubman) possess different pedigree. Mini added Twin Power Turbo Technology to both the Cabrio and Clubman, which results in additional power and acceleration.
The Cabrio is equipped with a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder direct inject Twin Power Turbo mated to a 6-speed steptronic transmission, that could produce 192-horsepower and 280 Nm of torque.
The Cabrio offers 3 settings on drive—Green, Mid and Sport. The Green is designed for better fuel efficiency, mid for the classic MINI go-kart feel, while the Sport mode delivers a more aggressive dynamic performance.
On the other hand, the S Clubman has a 1.5-liter Twin Power Turbo that provides 136-horespower. This engine is paired with either the traditional 6-speed tranny or the newly introduced 8-speed steptronic transmission.
Discovering Bali and Mini
Driving in a country that you’re not familiar comes with a big challenge, and the road to Bali offers no exception. The truth is—we’ve learned how to deal with people and their culture, eat their famous “Babi Guling” dish, navigate their streets—and most importantly—stay focused on the road. And besides, these modern Minis are well aided by the best safety features for a smaller car.