It’s widely known that a MINI offers drivers an unrivaled exhilarating go-kart feel, transforming even the most mundane journey into something much more fun. For the first time, MINI is launching a new service to enable MINI owners to share this unmistakable experience with friends, acquaintances and family.

With the new MINI Sharing app, MINI owners can grant friends, family members or colleagues permission to open and start their vehicle via a smartphone. As part of a pilot project in the Spanish capital, this personal form of car sharing is now being tested under everyday conditions.

The peer-to-peer sharing trial is designed for a fleet of up to 500 vehicles. Owners of current MINI models produced since March 2018 will be invited to participate, and their vehicle will be equipped or retrofitted with a MINI Sharing Module that enables access and engine start via smartphone.

The trail in Madrid will provide important insights for the global expansion of the MINI brand’s sharing economy activities. The BMW Group has identified digital mobility services as one of the future fields to advance as part of NUMBER ONE> NEXT strategy.

With its increased commitment to the D-ACES (Design, Autonomous, Connected, Electrified and Services) topics, the company is playing a leading role in shaping mobility of the future.

"MINI drivers are always ahead of their time, just like their groundbreaking and modern vehicles," says Sebastian Mackensen, MINI Senior Vice President. "With MINI Sharing, we enable our customers in Spain to participate in the sharing economy. This new technology fits perfectly with our desirable cars and our innovative customer demographic."

MINI Sharing allows the vehicle owner to share their MINI with up to ten people of their choosing, with the vehicle availability highlighted in the app's inbuilt calendar function. The guest drivers can use the app to make a reservation request from their smartphone with just a few taps.

After the owner has granted their consent, the location of the vehicle and pedestrian directions are displayed on their phone. Upon arrival at the vehicle, the smartphone on which the MINI Sharing App is installed becomes the car key.

A Bluetooth connection between the smartphone and the MINI makes it possible to open the vehicle doors and start the engine by pressing the start/stop toggle switch.

If desired, the MINI owner can mark specific individuals as VIP users in the MINI Sharing App. These individuals can book the vehicle spontaneously without having to wait for the owner's consent.

After the guest driver completes their journey, the MINI will be parked in an area agreed with the owner and locked via smartphone.

The MINI Sharing App generates a report with the travel data required for billing, and the guest driver is presented with the opportunity to transfer a payment to the MINI owner via PayPal. The cost calculation for the MINI Sharing App is based on a flat rate of € 0.30 per kilometre driven.

Insurance cover for each vehicle can be extended easily, with a lump sum for each additional guest driver participating in the MINI Sharing trial. For data protection reasons, the MINI owner can view the location of their vehicle at any time via the MINI Sharing App - with the exception of instances where another passenger is traveling inside the vehicle.

MINI Sharing creates new opportunities to share the MINI experience with friends and family. Once again, MINI is taking on a pioneering and innovative role in further advancing urban mobility. Based on the trial information gathered from the MINI Sharing Community in Madrid, this innovation could go on to conquer additional cities worldwide.

French driver Sébastien Ogier secured his fourth consecutive FIA World Rally Championship title by winning RACC Catalunya-Rally de España on Sunday. He became the fourth driver to claim a quartet of titles after overcoming local hero Dani Sordo to win the only mixed-surface event of the season by 15.6sec in a Volkswagen Polo R. Thierry Neuville of Belgium claimed the final podium place, a further 59.4sec behind.

Ogier's fifth win of the year put the drivers’ title beyond doubt, while co-driver Julien Ingrassia also secured his fourth world championship. But the fight for second and third in the drivers’ series was blown open in Spain and Volkswagen must wait to secure its fourth manufacturers’ championship until Dayinsure Wales Rally Great Britain at the end of this month or Kennards Hire Rally Australia in 30 days’ time on 17-20 November.

For the first time at its New South Wales Coffs Coast base, Rally Australia will close the WRC season. Tickets on sale from www.rallyaustralia.com.au and Ticketek.com include a limited 2-for-1 offer on entry to the new Destination NSW Super Special Stage on the Coffs Harbour waterfront. Spanish ace Sordo led his home event in a Hyundai i20 after Friday’s muddy opening leg in the hills above the Costa Daurada, near Salou. Ogier came into his own when the surface switched to asphalt from Saturday, taking a string of stage wins to move into the lead.

He sealed the win and the championship on the same piece of road on which he crashed out of the lead 12 months ago when just a few kilometres from victory.

“It’s fantastic to take the championship two rallies before the end of the season, I couldn’t do much more,” said Ogier, who secured his third title at Rally Australia last year. “The fourth world championship title for Julien and me, it is impossible to describe how this feels.

“The tension ahead of the closing Power Stage was obviously greater than usual, given the fact that we were within touching distance of the title, and bearing in mind the mistake we made last year. But we’ve done it.”

The 32-year-old former ski instructor and professional boules player joins countryman Sébastien Loeb and Finns Juha Kankkunen and Tommi Mäkinen as an all-time great of the WRC, which has been running since 1977. Rally de Espańa was his 30th win from 50 starts with Volkswagen since 2013.

Sordo’s teammate Neuville moved level with Andreas Mikkelsen in second place in the championship after completing the podium. The Belgian battled cornering problems with his car, but was secure in third after Mikkelsen rolled his Volkswagen heavily on Saturday afternoon. Hayden Paddon completed a strong weekend for Hyundai in fourth, 12.8sec behind Neuville. The Kiwi can also secure second in the standings with the final two rounds in Britain and Australia on his favoured dirt roads.

Results, RACCCatalunya-Rally de España (Rd 11 of 13):

  1. S. Ogier / J. Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 3:13:03.6
  2. D. Sordo / M. Martí (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +15.6
  3. T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +1:15.0
  4. H. Paddon / J. Kennard (Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC) +1:27.8
  5. M. Østberg / O. Floene (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +3:24.4
  6. O. Tanak / R. Molder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +5:24.9
  7. K. Abbring / S. Marshall (Hyundai i20 WRC) +7:31.3
  8. J. Kopecky / P. Dresler (Škoda Fabia R5) +9:05.1
  9. P. Tidemand / J. Andersson (Škoda Fabia R5) +9:20.4
  10. C. Breen / S. Martin (Citroën DS3 WRC) +9:57.1