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2022 MINI Countryman Boardwalk Edition inspired by the sea, coming in April

The 2022 MINI Countryman Boardwalk Edition is a special edition offering.

Photo courtesy of MINI

MINI is all about the special editions these days. From the Mini Cooper Paddy Hopkirk Edition to the MINI Cooper 1499 GT Special Edition and MINI Countryman Oxford Edition, to the new 2022 Mini Countryman Boardwalk Edition.

The 2022 Countryman Boardwalk Edition builds on the Countryman Cooper S, the company's highest horsepower variant. It gets 189 horsepower and tops out at 140 mph. A Cooper S ALL4 variant is also available adding all-wheel drive to the model.

The new special edition model takes its name from the strips of wood that create a walking path to and from beaches, lakes, swamps, and oceans. It wears a Deep Laguna Metallic body color that is complemented by the black contrast finish on the roof and matching exterior mirror caps. It rides on black 18-inch Pin Spoke wheels and wears Piano Black Exterior Trim.

2022 MINI Countryman Boardwalk Edition

Photo courtesy of MINI

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Standard features on the model include LED fog lights and headlights, keyless entry, power-folding mirrors, auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors, satellite radio, navigation, heated front seats, and automatic climate control.

Inside the cabin, the Boardwalk Edition gets a Leather Cross Punch Black scheme, a Harman/Kardon Premium Sound System, and MINI's Touchscreen Navigation Package. The Boardwalk Edition also comes equipped with door sills, roof and dashboard graphics, as well as special Boardwalk side scuttles. It also includes the Storage Pack, which adds a folding cargo floor and two additional USB-C ports for second-row passengers.

MINI has upgraded many models for the 2022 model year but the Countryman is not one of them. It received its latest refresh last year.

The 2022 Mini Countryman Boardwalk Edition will be available in all 116 of MINI's U.S. dealerships in April. It was a starting MSRP of $38,365. All-wheel drive models start at $40,365. All vehicles are subject to a $850 handling charge.

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTS My SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTS The pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTS I'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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Electric vehicles

NHTSA looking into Tesla's in-car video games

Some owners have discovered that their car's video games work when the car is moving.

Tesla

Tesla's vehicles are among the most advanced and forward-thinking products of any kind, but serious innovation doesn't come with tradeoffs. The automaker has been in the news recently because of issues with how its advanced cruise control systems function, and now, Autoblog reports that the NHTSA is asking questions about Tesla giving drivers the ability to play video games and browse the internet while driving.

Tesla Arcade hands-on: the Model 3 is your video game console youtu.be

The feature is intended to be used while the car is parked, such as while charging, so the discovery that people can use them while driving is a serious one. Vince Patton, the person who filed the complaint with the NHTSA, tested his car and found that he could play Solitaire and a fairly involved action game while it was in motion. Internet browsing was also possible, meaning the driver could take their attention completely off the road ahead for extended periods of time.

Tesla Model 3 Tesla's screens offer advanced functions that many others do not. Tesla

Tesla was already under investigation over crashes involving its Autopilot feature. Several collisions have occurred between Teslas and emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road. Following the initiation of that investigation, the NHTSA raised other questions with the automaker over a buggy software update that was pushed out, retracted, fixed, and reissued outside of the normal recall process. Despite their names, it's important to clarify that neither the Autopilot nor Full Self-Driving features are capable of driving the cars without driver awareness and input.

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