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Mini Coupe Goes Official

Mini Coupe


After a couple of weeks of various spy shots, we now finally get to see the new Mini Coupe in a bunch of official pictures. Based on the cabriolet version, the new Coupe will be available in four different flavors: the base model Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper SD and the all mighty John Cooper Works version.

Mini Coupe


The floor structure has been taken from the aforementioned cabriolet model which means that it benefits from extra bracing in the oversized sills, along with more box-section stiffening between the fixed bulkhead located behind the front seats and the rear wheel housings. BMW says that this new model features the stiffest body in the current Mini lineup, but the downside is that it weighs 20 kg more than its hatchback sibling.

Mini Coupe


By ditching the rear seats of the cabrio, the new Coupe benefits from a more generous trunk, offering 280 liters. As you can see from these pictures, the back of the model features not one, but two spoilers as Mini installed a fixed one on the trailing edge of the roof and another flip-up spoiler that rises out of the tail once you pass 50 mph.

Mini Coupe


The Cooper S offers 181 hp and 192 lb.-ft of torque, enough for a 0-62 mph sprint time in a decent 6.9 seconds. The SD has 141 hp and a peak torque of 225 lb.-ft out of that 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine, which allows it to hit 62 mph from start in 7.9 seconds. The top-of-the range JCW manages to deliver 208 hp and 207 lb.-ft in the overboost mode, taking the Cooper to 62 mph in 6.4 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 149 mph. All of the models get a 6-speed manual gearbox, while the JCW has an optional 6-speed automatic.

Mini Coupe


The base model will set you back at least 16,640 pounds while the JCW costs from 23,795 pounds. It will reach the showrooms in United Kingdom on October 1st.

Source: Mini via Autocar.co.uk

Get Famous with Mini “get billboarded” application

Women are usually eager to become famous and to be seen and recognized on the street. Well, their minute of fame became even more possible with MINI launching an application that allows any person to put his picture directly on a billboard screen in Berlin.

Imagine how happy a woman could be seeing this. Maybe you should try it too. Or if you want to impress your girl, you should try to take her by surprise and make her become famous by uploading her picture and have it lively streamed on a billboard. This is what MINI’s application does.

Try it out on: http://apps.facebook.com/miniphotobox/.

How fun is this?

[Source: Socialbakers]

“Goodwood” Badge Will Be Used On Mini’s Luxury Models

MINI Inspired by Goodwood

The “Mini Inspired by Goodwood” was introduced a couple of weeks ago at the Shanghai Auto Show and the automaker has announced that it will use the Goodwood badge for the most luxurious Minis, just like they do with the John Cooper Works (JCW) for the high-performance variants.

MINI Inspired by Goodwood

According to BMW sources, the first Goodwood will go on sale in spring 2012 and there are going to be only 1,000 units available. The starting price in mainland Europe is going to be a whopping 47,000 Euros. It will be available in a single specification in either Mini’s Reef Blue metallic or the Rolls shade of Diamond Black metallic. The cars will not be individually numbered, but they will have a console plaque that says “One of 1000”.

MINI Inspired by Goodwood

As a reminder, the Goodwood features the same materials that Rolls Royce uses in its own cars and it was overseen by RR’s designer Alan Sheppard. The dashboard, seats and the center console have been finished in the Rolls Cornsilk leather and the wood veneers of the dash also come from Rolls.

MINI Inspired by Goodwood

Under the bonnet is a twin-scroll turbocharged 1.6-liter engine that produces 181 hp, borrowed from the Cooper S. This power unit can be mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox or an optional 6-speed automatic transmission. As standard, the Mini Inspired by Goodwood will feature adaptive xenon lights and a Harman Kardon sound system.

MINI Inspired by Goodwood

Source: Autocar | Photos: Goodwood.co.uk

Mini Folding Bike, On Sale This August

Mini Folding Bike

A popular trend among car manufacturers these days is to launch overpriced bikes. Joining the group is Mini with its Folding Bike, priced at $728 (499 Euros). The bike was developed for those customers that spend a lot of their time in crowded cities and Mini says that when folded, it’s small enough to fit in any of the company’s models.

Mini Folding Bike

The folding bike has a lightweight aluminum frame and a simple folding mechanism, allowing it to be folded / unfolded in a matter of seconds. It collapses along the crossbar and handlebars so that it will take up a limited space. Customers can also retract the saddle and the pedals can be folded up, making it very easy to handle.

Mini Folding Bike

With a curb weight of only 24 lbs (11 kg), it is very easy to carry around. It has 8 gears and 20-inch wheels. The chain is teflon-coated in order to prevent soiling that is caused by chaing oil. Other goodies include mudguards and a gel saddle. It will be offered in a matte black paint finish with a couple of silver highlights, like the brand logo on the handlebars, the “Mini” lettering on the crossbar, as well as the British flag on the rear forks. As you can see from the photos, the bell and the chain are finished in neon yellow.

Mini Folding Bike

It will be available starting with this August at select Mini dealers and on the company’s German online store.

Mini Folding Bike

Source: Mini via Carscoop

This Is What I Call Tuning: Mini Cooper S With Helicopter Jet Engine!

BMP Design, a Texas-based company, decided to take a Mini Cooper S and squeeze in a Rolls-Royce Allison 250-C20B jet engine, sourced from a helicopter. Obviously, it wouldn’t have fitted under that tiny hood and they installed just behind the front seats.

The result? The most powerful Mini Cooper S in the world, featuring a 420 hp engine that has a peak torque of 400 lb.-ft. All that power is send via the rear wheels and you can imagine how exciting it must be to drive a 400hp+ Mini. Plus, that noise coming from the turbine engine is awesome.

[youtube width="470" height="344"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CezWPkoWXbY[/youtube]

Source: Jalopnik via Carscoop

Preview – 2011 Chicago Auto Show PART 3

Welcome back to the third and final part of our extensive article about the most important cars that will delight us at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. Let’s start with Land Rover and their Range Rover Evoque.

2012 Land Rover Evoque

The car will be available in 2-door and 4-door variants, both of them featuring the same engine, which will be a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged that outputs 240 hp, linked to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The Evoque will come with an all-wheel drive system as well as the company’s new Terrain Response System.

2011 Lexus CT 200h

One of my personal favorites, Lexus, will bring the CT 200h which is a 4-door / 5-passenger hybrid hatchback, featuring a conventional 4-cylinder 1.8-liter gasoline engine and a battery-powered electric motor, both of them offering a combined power of 134 hp. The new C200h will use a CVT – Continuously Variable Transmission and can run on one or both of the power sources (without having to charge it).

2012 Mercedes SLK

Mercedes will be heading out to Chicago where they will have three new production models: the beautiful 2012 SLK, the 2012 CLS and the 2012 C-Class. We’ve talked about the SLK on rpmGO.com before; it will be available in two variants: the SLK250 and the SLK350. The entry-level model will be fitted with a 4-cylinder 1.8-liter that outputs 201 hp, linked to either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed automatic gearbox. The SLK350 is going to have a more powerful V6 3.5-liter engine, good for 302 hp. This model will be available with a 7-speed automatic transmission.

The CLS will be available in two models: CLS550 and the AMG CLS63. The first one has a V8 4.7-liter turbocharged engine that outputs 402 hp while the other comes with a V8 5.5-liter turbocharged engine that produces 518 hp. The CLS550 has a 7-speed automatic gearbox while the CLS630 AMG will get a 7-speed automated manual gearbox.

The 2012 C250 will be offered in two trim levels: Luxury and Sport, both of them featuring a 4-cylinder 1.8-liter unit that churns 201 hp. The C300 will have the same trim levels, but it will be equipped with a V6 3.0-liter engine, good for 228 hp. The C350 will have the same engine, but this time it will output 302 hp. The high-end model will be the AMG version C63 which will most likely come with a V8 6.2-liter that outputs 451 hp.

2011 Mini Countryman

Mini will be bringing their 2011 Countryman, which will be the first four full-sized doors Mini model sold in the United States. The car will be available in two trim levels: Base and S. The entry-level will get a 4-cylinder 1.6-engine that churns 120 hp while the high-end variant will feature a 4-cylinder 1.6-liter that produces 180 hp. Both of the models will get front-wheel drive and a 6-speed manual gearbox.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Mitsubishi will show us their Outlander Sport model which will be available in two trim levels: ES and SE. Both of the versions will pack a front-wheel drive system and a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter that outputs 148 hp. The ES will come with a 5-speed manual gearbox while the SE will get a CVT transmission and steering-wheel paddles for manual changing.

2011 Nissan Juke

Another Japanese automaker that will be heading out to Chicago this year will be Nissan with three models: the award-winning Leaf, the funky Juke and the sporty 2012 GT-R. We talked about the Leaf thousands of times, but here is a small presentation. The car will be available with two trims levels – SV and SL. Both of them will have the same lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor that outputs 107 hp. It can be charged at either a 110-volt or a 220-volt outlet. For the first type it will need 20 hours while for the second type it will need only 8 hours.

Porsche Cayman R

The guys over at Porsche will be bringing their 2012 Cayman R. This two-seater sports coupe will come with the third and newest trim, dubbed “R”. Unlike the entry-level trim or the S mode, the R has a 6-cylinder 3.4-liter power unit that outputs 330 hp, linked to a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard. It is also available with an optional 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox.

2011 Scion iQ

If you can’t afford the Aston Martin Cygnet, the next best thing is the Scion iQ. Featuring a 4-cylinder 1.3-liter engine that outputs 90 hp, this certainly won’t be the most powerful car at the Chicago Auto Show.

Scion will also be bringing the 2011 tC 2-door hatchback coupe which will be fitted with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder power unit that cranks up 180 hp, mated to either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

Toyota Prius v

Scion will not be going to Chicago without its parent company Toyota. Despite the fact that the Japanese automaker is the largest manufacturer in the world, they will be bringing only one model here (one that they already took to Detroit) – 2012 Prius v. The heart of the car will be a conventional 1.8-liter gasoline engine which will be paired with a battery-powered electric motor. The combined power will be 134 hp.

2012 Volkswagen Passat

The German automaker Volkswagen will be heading out to Chicago with the recently-launched 2012 Passat and the 2012 Eos. Presented first at Detroit, the Passat will be available in three different trim levels: S, SE and SEL. Engine options include the 4-cylinder 2.0-liter unit with 140 hp, 5-cylinder 2.5-liter with 170 hp and the high-end V6 3.6-liter with 280 ponies. The diesels will be available with either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed dual-clutch automated-manual gearbox. The 5-cylinder 2.5-liter will get either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The V6 engine will be fitted with a 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox.

The EOS will come with a power-retractable hardtop with an integrated sunroof. Under the hood it will feature a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter that produces 200 hp, mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch automated-manual transmission.

2011 Volvo S60

Sweden will be represented at Chicago by Volvo with their sexy 2011 S60 model. This premium-midsize car will benefit from a 6-cylinder 3.0-liter turbocharged engine that will produce 300 hp and will be mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. At first, the car will be available in one single trim level, the T6. Later on this year, the Swedish automaker will be introducing the T6 R-Design which should be a real looker.

These are the most important cars that will be presented at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. Some of them you might have already seen while others are a premiere (not many unfortunately).  From February 9th to February 20th, the automotive capital of the world will be Chicago. Next month we will have another important auto show to review at Geneva. Stay tuned for a comprehensive coverage.

PS: Part 1 and 2 of the article are here and here. Enjoy the reading.

Cool Mini Campaign Idea

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/17360718[/vimeo]

From time to time we stumble upon some good ads, some of them are even very clever and put a smile on our faces. Something like this one I’ve never seen before. This new alternate reality game / iPhone application combo from Mini in Sweden is seriously cool.

It happened back in November last year and all the people involved had to hunt, chase and escape with a virtual Mini in Stockholm by using the application for the iPhone and their own two legs. The catch was that you had to go within 50m of the virtual Mini in order to hit the “Take The MINI Now” in the application, before escaping as fast as you could. Why? Because anyone else who got within 50m of you instantly took the virtual car. The guy that won the car was able to hold it after seven days of 24/7 gaming.

Audi And BMW Will Expand Their Factories This Year

According to Bloomberg.com, it seems that BMW, Mercedes and Audi AG (the world’s three largest luxury-car manufacturers), will expand their factory units in 2011 in order to keep up with the increasing customer demand.

Audi is targeting to overtake BMW as the largest manufacturer of premium cars by 2015 and for this reason it plans to increase the production of their cars and sport utility vehicles to more than the 1.15 million produced last year.

Mercedes and BMW have just about the same plans as Volkswagen AG’s Audi, with increased output at the Stuttgart and respectively Leipzig plant.

Juergen Pieper is a Frankfurt-based analyst for Bankhaus Metzler and he said that “the top three are poised for further growth”. “The momentum in luxury markets will continue this year and also in 2012.” He also recommends buying BMW, Daimler and VW shares.

This targeted increase in production output is directly linked to the continuous expansion of China’s market which became in the last years one of the two largest automotive markets in the entire world, after United States. To satisfy this increasing request, Audi is planning on spending $15.7 billion (11.6 billion Euros) through 2015 on plants as well as new models. Since 2009, BMW has already spent 1.5 billion Euros for the German plants and Daimler is at the moment building a small-car plant in Hungary for which they will invest a total of 800 million Euros.

BMW plans on selling more than 1.5 million units of their BMW, Rolls Royce and Mini models in 2011. In order to prepare the production of the highly-anticipated Mega City electric vehicle which is due in 2013, BMW is spending 400 million Euros at its factory unit located in Leipzig, Germany. The company also announced that it will roll out 20 new models by 2015 while Audi affirmed that they will launch 13 new models and upgraded cars in 2011.

As far as Volkswagen is concerned, they plan on investing more than 5 billion Euros for two of their factories in Germany, the one in Neckarsulm and the other in Ingolstadt, where the new Audi A6 model will be made. In addition, Audi said that pretty soon they will begin working on expanding the output of their factory located in Gyor, Hungary to 125,000 units per year.

In 2010, BMW finished a $750 million expansion of its United States factory, located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in order to create the facilities for making the facelift version of the X3 SAV. The company has plans of increasing its production in South Africa, India and most important, China.

Source: BMWBlog via Bloomberg.com

Mini Family Just Got Bigger

Mini Paceman Concept

Although shown as a concept, BMW’s smallest division Paceman Concept will be the basis of Mini’s eight production vehicle. The Paceman is actually a Countryman without the two rear doors and with a gradually sloping roofline. Although it may seem a little bit sportier, it will however limit the car’s visibility.

Similar to the Mini Cooper S Countryman, the rear apron of the Paceman Concept has a diffuser that is capable of channeling the airflow between the twin exhausts and according to the press release, will enhance the vehicle’s aerodynamic properties. The car measures 4,110 mm in length, 1,789 mm in width and 1,541 mm in height.

Inside the car, you will find the company’s distinctive and unique design language with a couple of new touches. The gearshift, Central Speedo and the central air vents have outer rings finished in a contrasting color while the generous side air vents underline the company’s traditional design ideas. The slim center console construction of the Paceman Concept was created in order to improve legroom for both the driver and the passenger. The shaped armrests have generous stowage compartments while the ergonomically shaped door pulls round up the design. In the back of the two front sports seats Mini installed two individual rear seats that have backrests.

Mini Paceman Concept

The car was fitted with the most powerful Mini engine available at the moment, the John Cooper Works 1.6-litre twin-scroll turbocharged power unit that offers 211 hp and a generous torque of 192 lb-ft. With the overboost function activated, it can offer 207 lb-ft. The engine can be linked to either an automatic transmission or to a 6-speed manual gearbox.

The Paceman features the proprietary MINI ALL4 permanent AWD system that has an electromagnetic center differential installed on the final drive that is capable of varying the distribution of the power between the front and back axles. Most of the time, 50% of the drive is transmitted to the rear wheels of the car but in extreme road conditions even 100% can be directed towards the front.

Mini Paceman Concept

As far as the suspension is concerned, in the front the Paceman Concept has been equipped with MachPherson spring struts. Combined with the electric power steering with the speed-sensitive power assistance, the car promises to be very agile and responsive. In the back, the car has a multi-link axle developed in collaboration with the BMW Group and it can be used for both the AWD and the RWD configurations.

We are eager to find out more about other Mini cars, like the Coupe and Roadster which should be launched late 2011 and 2012, respectively. Of course, we are curious to see which production model will be derived from this Paceman Concept that is in fact a high-riding crossover with a sporty vibe here and there.

Mini Countryman Dakar

Mini Countryman Dakar

It seems that Mini Cooper is getting more and more active in the exciting world of motorsport taking into consideration that the Mini WRC rally car is already in testing. The German engineers at X-Raid have unveiled the Mini Countryman Dakar racer, dubbed MINI All4 Racing. The car will make its official debut in South America, at the 2011 Dakar Rally.

This special and unique car was developed in close partnership with Magna-Steyr, Heggemann and Faster and will race under the Monster Energy X-raid Team colors. The car will be driven by pilot Guerlain Chicherit and his co-driver Michel Perin in January 2011 at the 33rd Personal Dakar Argentina-Chile. The rally will set off in Buenos Aires, Argentina on New Year’s Day and will finish on January 16th, 2011 in the same location.

The Mini Countryman Dakar will be equipped with a twin-turbo diesel power unit that is fitted to the 2011-specification BMW X3 CC. The engine is capable of producing 315 hp and 710 Nm of torque. In comparison with the BMW model, the Mini will be shorter, lower and with improved handling. The car will have larger air intakes, a revised and updated ventilation system that uses a roof intake and a front air intake, and a one-piece bonnet.

In comparison with the 2011 BMW X3 CC, the Mini is 10cm shorter, 3 cm lower and has a 10 cm reduced rear overhang. The body of the Mini Countryman Dakar is made out of carbon-kevlar in order to reduce the weight and improve handling.

The archenemy of boredom. Yes, it’s a Mini ad

The Mini is cute, dependable, sporty and fast. It’s easy to park and everyone stares at it with affection when passing it on the street. But those are not the reasons we love the Mini Copper like we do. We love the Mini mainly because what it can do. Remember the Italian Job movie? We know for sure that a Mini can fit through tight spaces and give you a run for your… well, whatever it is that’s important for you.
So Mini’s coming out to play and behind the wheel we have Russ Swift, the British driver that hold 3 Guinness World Records: for parallel parking in tightest space, for a J-turn in tightest space and for the fastest time doing 10 do-nuts (driving).
Since there’s hardly anything left to say, I suggest you take a minute off to enjoy this:

Via Autoblog.

In Depth – 2011 Mini Cooper S

2011 Mini Cooper S

The popular Mini Cooper is back for 2011 and comes with significant improvements and updates, starting with the exterior look where you will notice the restyled front bumper fascias as well as the more generous fog lights. As an optional feature that is available for extra money, the Mini Cooper can be equipped with black headlight housings and adaptive xenon lamps. The car can be painted with a beautiful British Racing Green II color pattern that looks similar to the traditional BRG that we all adored when we were kids.

Moving inside the car, there are a couple of changes that are worth mentioning, like the standard sized speed gauge that is mounted in front and center. Traditionally, the purpose of the unit is to house the Mini’s speedometer, plus a smaller electronic fuel gauge. Underneath the unit you will find the dials and buttons that control the radio system of the Mini. You will miss (or not) the rather confusing secondary dial that was available on the outgoing model The company decided to leave out this secondary dial that did not become very popular among customers. We agree with their decision as it was a big disadvantage of the outgoing generation. Similar with previous generations of the Mini Cooper, the car features the smaller tachometer that is installed atop the vehicle’s steering column and directly in the line of sight of the driver.

Although it might appear a little bit strange to Mini drivers that were used to the standard gauge unit, it will not take them a lot of them to get accustomed to this change. The key of the car received a well-deserved update, the drive will now have to press it into a slot located in the dash, prior to pushing the “start” button of the car; however, we cannot seem to wonder why the engineers at Mini did not install a basic proximity sensor which would have made things a whole lot easier.

Other features that were borrowed from previous generations include the chrome toggle switches that control the power windows and the locking which are located at the bottom of the center stack, right in front of the gearbox shifter. The materials used for the inside are of very high quality and quite soft, giving a nice feel and appearance, something very usual for a Mini. The interior lightning is also very interesting, being capable to change from a soothing blue to a sporty orange (or vice versa) in five easy steps.

2011 Mini Cooper S

For the 2011 generation of the Mini Cooper S, customers can choose from one of the three audio packages. The basic package offers a simple CD-Player with HD & Satellite Radio and six audio speakers. The second option will get you the Mini Connected that features a generous 6.5-inch display from which the driver can control just about everything. The most featured audio package is the Mini Connected with Navigation that will get you in addition to all of the above, a satellite-navigation system that is stored on flash memory cards that are easily accessible through the USB connection. This proprietary Connected system offers a bundle of functions, like album art, RSS feeds, web radio, Bluetooth radio, the ability to send pre-written Twitter messages, perform Google searches and update Facebook status.

For the standard model (non S) the power boost in comparison to the outgoing generation is not very strong as the previous generation offered a 118 hp engine, while the 2011 model offers 121 hp. The Cooper S however benefits from a more significant power increase, from 172 hp to 181. This increase can really be felt when accelerating on-ramp or up a hill. The German engineers over at Mini added anti-torque and anti-bump-steer features to the Cooper, thanks to the electronic power steering. Although the power of the engine was increased, the Mini is now more fuel efficient. The standard 2011 Mini Cooper will do 37 miles per gallon. The Cooper S equipped with the Valvetronic technology will not only offer more power but will earn a 36 mpg highway rating.

As far as the United States market is concerned, there are not any other cars that are able to deliver the same level of excitement and fun the 2011 Mini Cooper S can offer. The only potential competitor is the upcoming Fiat 500.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Special MINI Cooper by Paul Weller on auction for charity

MINI has announced that they partnered with rock artist Paul Weller and created a special one off MINI Cooper which will go on auction for one month, starting with November 11. The money raised will go to charities Nordoff Robins and War Child. The special MINI Cooper features an unique pink and brown stripes exterior finish, 17-inch Crown Spoke alloy wheels, black leather on the interior, front heated seats and Chili Pack.

MINI UK’s Director, Jochen Goller says “Both MINI and Paul Weller are synonymous with the quintessential British mod scene. That’s why we were the ideal match to create this unique car.”

Paul Weller said “I’ve always loved and driven MINIs so when I was given the opportunity to design a bespoke Mini Cooper I wanted to create something that reflected the mood and colours associated with the Mod era, which was also the classic Mini’s hey day. I’d already expressed these colours in a shirt I designed for Ben Sherman a few years ago, so it made sense to me to continue the theme using a MINI Cooper as a palate.”

(more…)

Video: Mini Countryman WRC proves its worth on gravel


Last week, the Mini Countryman WRC rally-spec prototype was officially revealed to the public, albeit fitted with the swirly camouflage, on the private test track of rally team Prodrive.

Now, a new video depicting the Countryman WRC in action has been revealed.

The footage showcases the Mini crossover taking on the tough gravel roads of Portugal in a very speedy manner. Don’t forget, though, that this is just a prototype, and the final version will be revealed in spring of 2011. Until then, check out the video after the jump.
(more…)

Mini Countryman WRC rally prototype showcased


A few months ago, the Mini Countryman crossover was officially confirmed by the both the British car brand and by British rally team Prodrive that it will be entering the 2011 World Rally Championship.

Now, the two companies decided to showcase the first few pics of a camouflaged Mini Countryman WRC tearing it up on the private Prodrive test track.

According to Mini, the Countryman is still in the primary stages of testing, and the body kit that you can figure out behind the funky camouflage is just a mock-up, until Prodrive tweaks everything. Also, the Countryman WRC is preparing for a trip to Portugal, where it will experience the tough gravel courses the country has to offer.

While the Countryman is still being tested, it is rumored that for the 2011 WRC season, British driver Kris Meeke will be at the helm of the Countryman WRC. He is currently the reigning champ in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, running a Peugeot 207.

(more…)


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