Surf while driving
Mini has made the Mini Connected service available on its cars sold in SA.
The system integrates with Apple's iPhone, using the regular USB cable, to bring music and Internet connectivity to the car.
Motorists can use the Internet connectivity to browse Twitter, download RSS feeds and stream music from Internet radio stations.
This is the first such system in SA. Overseas, Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Chrysler and Ford offer systems with some form of Internet connectivity in their cars.
Mini Connected uses the Apple iPhone's data connection to download information from the Internet. The iPhone needs to have the Mini Connected application installed, available for free on the South African iTunes App Store.
Chris Potgieter, product manager for Mini South Africa, says the application will continue to evolve over time. The next version, already in approval and awaiting release, adds Facebook integration. A future version will have Dynamic Music, a technology that will change the type of music played depending on the owner's driving style.
With the launch of its newest model, the off-road-capable Mini Countryman, along with the face-lifted versions of the new Mini models, the technology is available across the line-up.
Mini Connected requires a USB port for the iPhone interface. The system is controlled using the optional Mini Visualboost radio system, or the Mini Navigation system.
On Cooper models, the total cost would be R9 500 for the Mini Visualboost radio system (this also includes a USB port) and R3 250 for the Mini Connected system.
On Cooper S models, pricing is R3 750 for Mini Visualboost and R3 250 for Mini Connected.
The options are available from today, on all Mini models.