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US premiere of the MINI VISION NEXT 100

MINI VISION NEXT 100

Munich/Los Angeles. 2016 sees the BMW Group celebrate its centenery – under the motto THE NEXT 100 YEARS. The BMW Group continues to look first and foremost on the future, exploring the question of how individual mobility could look tomorrow for the four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad. All four of the BMW Group’s vision vehicles can now be seen for the first time at the world premiere of the BMW Motorrad NEXT 100 in Los Angeles.

MINI VISION NEXT 100

MINI VISION NEXT 100: “Every MINI is my MINI”.
Today’s MINI is the perfect premium compact car for the modern city. Digitalisation and connectivity are increasingly changing the way we get around on a daily basis – and this change is taking place most rapidly and noticeably in urban areas. The MINI VISION NEXT 100 is MINI’s answer to several key questions on urban mobility over the years ahead. In the cities of the future, will there be space for a car which engages at an emotional level? What will become of the “clever use of space” principle that underpins MINI? And how can MINI respond to a world becoming ever more digitalised and interconnected?

The core philosophy behind the MINI VISION NEXT 100 is the thoughtful use of the planet’s resources in providing personal mobility. The motto “Every MINI is my MINI” describes a particular take on car-sharing. In the future, fans of the brand will be able to call on a MINI tailored to their personal requirements where ever they are, day or night. The MINI of the future will be available 24/7, able to pick its driver up from their desired location in a fully automated way and will adapt itself to the driver’s individual tastes, interests and preferences. At the heart of this concept is fully connected digital intelligence.

Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design, describes MINI’s vision for the future: “MINI looks to offer smart and bespoke mobility in cities that engages all the senses. And in the future, you might not actually have to own a vehicle to enjoy the benefits.”

MINI VISION NEXT 100

MINI VISION NEXT 100

Clever approaches to future mobility with MINI:

  • “Digitally Mine” – where every MINI becomes my MINI.
  • The “Cooperizer”: a link between the driver and digital intelligence.
  • “Urban go-kart”: small, clever, nimble.
  • The hallmark driving fun of a MINI will remain intact in the years ahead.
  • Novel use of sustainable materials in the interior.
  • Experience sharing – users become part of a MINI community.

MINI VISION NEXT 100

MINI VISION NEXT 100

“Digitally mine” – where every MINI becomes my MINI.
In the future, as now, people will be attracted in great numbers to MINI cars and the attitude to life associated with them. But it may not actually be necessary to own a MINI to be part of the action. The design team’s challenge: how could a MINI be widely and instantly adaptable – making the driver feel it is their car, tailored precisely to their own taste – available whenever and wherever they need it? The MINI VISION NEXT 100 is wrapped in a discreet, silver skin. The MINI designers refer to it as a “blank canvas”. How that canvas is used varies according to the individual user, their mood and the situations they encounter. Even the colour of the roof and the lighting mood in the interior respond in kind. The MINI uses projections adapted to the driver in terms of colour, graphics and content to create a personalised experience and customised package of on-board information.

 

The Cooperizer forms a connection between the driver and digital intelligence.
The Cooperizer is the name the MINI VISION NEXT 100 gives to the centrally positioned circular instrument that has become such a signature feature of MINI cockpits. In the MINI VISION NEXT 100 it illuminates like a kaleidoscope. The colours and patterns it generates symbolise the car’s multi-faceted digital intelligence, which allows it to select a personalised setting for each driver, encompassing entertainment, communications and autonomous-driving options. On the move, the driver can influence the Cooperizer’s decision-making, as the rotary controls allow adjustments to the interior ambience and driving mode. So the car can be adapted to give a perfectly personalised driving experience, whether driven conventionally or autonomously. Pressing the “Inspire Me” button brings another special Cooperizer trick into play. Here, the MINI checks downloaded user data to select information of interest to the driver and provide them with potential sources of inspiration. For example, the MINI VISION NEXT 100 might suggest the MINI set-up configured for an artist the driver admires and whose exhibition they have recently visited. Or it could recommend a challenging, twisting route to the outskirts of town and switch to John Cooper Works performance mode.

MINI VISION NEXT 100

MINI VISION NEXT 100

The urban go-kart – small, clever, nimble. MINI will continue to offer the driving fun we know and love in the future.
In the future, driving in a MINI must still be fun, to the extent that drivers will prefer to drive themselves – as often as possible. The mechanical experience of speed and the feeling of nipping swiftly through twists and turns are part of what makes a MINI a MINI. But it doesn’t stop there. In a future world of self-driving cars, this side of motoring may have an even more significant, even more special role. Various aspects of the MINI VISION NEXT 100 will take the go-kart feeling to another new level. Cleared of many controls and screens, the interior has a pure, uncluttered look. And the glass front end opens up a dynamic view of the road. Here, augmented reality displays show the route or ideal driving line, heightening the driving sensation.

In addition to these dynamic elements, dreaming up clever details and creating maximum interior space within the smallest possible footprint are other MINI essentials. The efficiently-packaged, zero-emission drive system and the reduced need for crash zones in the future enable a compactness of body not so far removed from the first MINI back in 1959. The generous feeling of cabin space is enhanced by a full-width bench seat and pedals that slide with the steering wheel to adjust their position. The steering wheel is always there, but the option remains, to ask the car to drive itself; perhaps there are things you’d rather do during a journey when the driving environment is tedious. Autonomous driving plays an important role in the MINI VISION NEXT 100, allowing it to travel occupant-free to a charging station, cleaning service, parking space or the next user. To switch from driving themselves to autonomous driving, the driver simply moves the steering wheel into the central area between themselves and the front passenger. In the process, those on board enjoy greater freedom of movement and getting in and out of the car in busy city centres is that much easier. The single-section bench seat and a fullwidth footwell, uninterrupted by a centre console, also help this, allowing passengers to gain rapid access from both sides of the car – without having to decide in advance where they would prefer to sit. When dynamic driving is the order of the day, active elements within the seat provide lateral support for the driver and front passenger. Park the car in a tight spot, and the doors automatically open as wide as possible within the restricted confines.

MINI VISION NEXT 100

MINI VISION NEXT 100

Innovative use of sustainable materials.
Making responsible use of resources is key in the selection of materials for the MINI VISION NEXT 100. These materials should retain their high level of perceived quality over many years, age stylishly and offer a special tactile experience. As digitisation increases, analogue qualities and experiences will become more important. With the more intensive use of a shared car, interiors will need to be much more hard wearing. In addition to the modern materials made from recycled plastic and aluminium in the floor area, roof lining and side panel trim, for example, the MINI interior designers used materials less commonly found in car cabins, such as brass, basalt and cellulose. The wraparound carrier and information strip, with its mount for the sliding steering wheel, and the Cooperizer with its thin brass structure are good examples here. The designers made the storage net behind the steering wheel from lightweight basalt, while the lower section of the seat is trimmed in a recycled cellulose material similar to paper. This novel use of materials included deliberately allowing a patina to develop through use and ensuring they retain along-lasting and sophisticated appearance. When it comes to the natural look and feel of surfaces, the designers have embraced the irregularities inherent in the chosen materials and processing methods. That also applies to the seat covers in knitted Alcantara – a robust, somewhat iridescent material. The designers have steered clear of traditional interior materials like wood and leather altogether. Another example of analogue design in the MINI Vision Vehicle can be found in the wheels, whose rotation generates an “Ombro Cinema” effect: This involves the outer surface of the wheel not moving and only a disc behind it turning with the tyre. The even movement of a shimmering graphic – again brass-coloured – can be observed through openings in the outside of the wheel. The idea is for each wheel to look like a piece of a mechanical jewellery.

MINI VISION NEXT 100

MINI VISION NEXT 100

Experience sharing – the user becomes part of a MINI community.
Sharing cars, homes and goods is ever-more common, as digitalisation, connectivity and artificial intelligence make processes simpler and more automated. The MINI VISION NEXT 100 can bring together a community of likeminded people, with a shared MINI lifestyle in common. Everybody benefits from everybody. And mobility opens up inspirational experiences yet stands by its sustainable approach and prudent use of resources.

For example, a MINI user in the future is interested in a certain type of art and a friend gets hold of some last-minute tickets to a preview for an exhibition they might like. The Vision Vehicle identifies what’s involved, and coordinates and organises the whole excursion. The drive itself becomes part of a perfectly arranged service. MINI calls this vision of the future experience sharing.

Head of MINI Design Anders Warming sums up the most important aspects of the car: “The MINI VISION NEXT 100 shows how MINI’s unique take on the world could look in the future. The driving experience remains the emotional centrepiece, with effortless and seamless services grouped around it.”

MINI VISION NEXT 100

MINI VISION NEXT 100


MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo world debut

MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo

MINI officially debuted the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo, a digital-only concept vehicle.

In addition to the press release (see below), Gran Turismo TV released a cool video featuring Guerlain Chicherit.

The MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo is available via a free update to Gran Turismo 6.

Here’s the official BMW Group press release:

Munich. Inspired by the brand’s legendary motor racing success, the MINI Design Team has created the essence of a MINI to enable maximum racing performance in the game Gran Turismo®6 for PlayStation®3. “MINI has many highly emotional achievements to its name in motor racing. The MINI Clubman Vision Grand Turismo literally puts these onto the virtual race track in Gran Turismo 6. The image of a go-kart on the road has recurring appeal,” says Anders Warming, Head of MINI Design.

The 395 hp engine accelerates the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo from 0 to 100km/h in just 3.5 seconds. A sequential 6-speed transmission directs engine power to the permanent all-wheel drive system, guaranteeing optimum power transmission at all times, while gear shifting is achieved using wheel-mounted paddles. Fully adjustable dampers at the front and rear ensure an optimum connection with the road. The maximum speed is up to 290 km/h, depending on the gearbox ratio (specific to each race track).

The evocative design of the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo is geared uncompromisingly towards motor racing. “The MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo combines all the hallmark MINI design features presented in the sportiest and most exciting style. A MINI like this has never been seen before,” says Christopher Weil, Head of MINI Exterior Design.

Pure motor racing flair in the front section.
The uncompromising orientation of the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo from 0 to 100km/h to motor racing is apparent at first sight: enormous air inlets and precise air ducting surfaces dominate the low front perspective. The large central air inlet reaches down to just above the ground, almost merging the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo visually with the virtual road surface. The front splitters regulate airflow to cool the high-performance engine and brakes. The wide track with broadly flared wheel arches promises agile handling when taking bends at speed. At the same time, the horizontal alignment of the air ducting elements makes the front section appear very low, with precise lines highlighting the wide track. As a technical highlight, the front apron and flat underbody are made entirely of carbon. This not only reduces air resistance, it also slims down overall weight in the chase for the best lap time.

All the familiar MINI design icons in the front section also reveal a highly dynamic design. The elliptical headlamps feature a black “X” familiar from the long-distance races of bygone days. Back then the headlamps used to be masked so as to prevent the headlamp glass from splintering as a result of stone impact or collisions, thereby avoiding broken glass on the track. The MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo echoes this element, giving it a modern interpretation as four separate LED light elements separated by a black X inside the ellipse. The continuous, hexagonal radiator grille has a flat, sporty design to emphasise the car’s wide track and encased by a high-end black chrome surround. Further references back to the brand’s glorious rally achievements of yesteryear are the upright windscreen wipers, the small additional headlamps and the accentuation stripes on the bonnet, roof and rear.

Maximum sporty flair in the side view.
The side reveals a MINI styling that has been injected with a whole new dynamic power. The car “crouches” on the road with a flat and broad silhouette. The characteristic curves dominate the upper section, making the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo instantly recognisable as a MINI. The elongated roof and the low, continuous windows appear to stretch the virtual MINI. In conjunction with the rising shoulder line they trace a slight wedge shape. The voluminous shaping below the narrow window graphic is an instantly striking feature. Almost reaching down to the ground, the powerful bodywork conveys optimised aerodynamics and perfect road-holding in visual terms. The elongated doors are embedded in muscular, tightly modelled surfaces. Precise lines emphasise the broadly flared wheel arches at front and rear – a reference to the permanent all-wheel drive. The dynamism and clarity of the lines increase in the direction of the road. This gives the surfaces a more athletic effect as well as highlighting the three-dimensional quality of the side sections. The conspicuous side sill catches a lot of light, visually reduces the height of the car and traces a line which emphasises the completely flat underbody. The wheels are placed well to the outside of the body, thereby facilitating the proverbial go-kart-style handling. 22″ bicolour rims add an elegant touch of sporty flair, while racing details such as snap fasteners on the bonnet, a small sliding window and quick-release filler caps perfectly round off the car’s side appearance.

Broad shoulders and powerful rear wheel arches.
The perspective most likely to be admired by gamers and opponents is probably the rear. Expansive wheel arches and a marked shoulder section make for a self-assured posture. In between, a three-dimensional surface design enlivens the rear view. The striking split doors of the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo are given clear graphic emphasis, while the double rear spoiler ensures downforce at high speeds. As is typical of MINI, the rear lights in LED technology are designed as self-contained elements. They feature an intricate filigree design in the form of a surrounding band with rib graphic, including integrated brake lights and driving lights. The horizontal alignment of the lights underscores the car’s broad posture as well as the dynamism of the rear section.

As at the front and side, the lower section of the car features a very precise and dynamic design. Aerodynamic openings break through the smoothly modelled surfaces, giving them character and vigour. Form follows function: air outlets and ducting surfaces in carbon are located precisely where they can take optimum effect. Lower down, the completely closed and flat underbody further enhances the car’s refined aerodynamics.

Power and character from the top view.
The top view is also frequently seen in game. An athletic silhouette reveals the power and racing heritage of the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo. The front section faces up to the wind with a wide track and the filigree, finely detailed body almost merging in behind. The muscular expansion at the rear means it also gains width running back to the rear axle. This is set through with precise lines and bonnet stripes that create a cohesive overall image and a general impression of self-contained unity. The continuous base line of the body remains recognisable at all times within the surrounds.

Five paint finishes provide variety.
The MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo would not be a real MINI if it did not offer customisation options. With a total of five colour variants, players can adapt the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo visually to their own personal preferences during the game. The MINI Design Team plays with contrasts here, boldly combining apparently incompatible colours which nonetheless interact to fascinating effect. The basis is always provided by Cyber Silver, a technically cool tone with a hint of mint green that offers a modern interpretation of the classic British racing tradition. This paint finish varies in appearance depending on the light angle, showing up the full depth of the car’s powerfully expressive surfaces. Contrasting with the body colour there are stripes running across the bonnet and roof, the roof itself and the accentuation stripes alongside the bonnet stripes, known as pin stripes. In the standard version, the roof makes a self-assured statement in Reflector Blue with accentuation stripes in Radiant Orange and Curry. In the other variants, the roof is available in Mirage Black or Space Green. Depending on the roof colour, the bonnet stripes and pin stripes then provide fascinating modern contrasts in Radiant Yellow, Radiant Green or Radiant Orange.

BMW Group gaming involvement.
To mark the 15th anniversary of the franchise Gran Turismo producer and President of Polyphony Digital Inc. Kazunori Yamauchi invited leading automobile manufacturers to contribute to the successful Gran Turismo series. Design departments were called upon to cast their eyes into the future and share their groundbreaking concept models with the gaming community. The virtual automobiles are being integrated into latest iteration of the new game Gran Turismo 6 for PlayStation 3, in the form of online updates. Head of BMW Group Design Adrian von Hooydonk: “The MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo is in fact the second cooperation in connection with Gran Turismo 6. I very much appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with Kazunori-San because he is just as interested in automobile design and performance as we are at the BMW Group”. The BMW Group has been active in the area of gaming for many years. The company attaches importance to being able to bring to life concepts such as the MINI Clubman Vision Grand Turismo as well as classic and current BMW Group vehicles in an interactive way for a wide audience and not just present them passively in the form of images and trailers.

The MINI Clubman Vision Grand Turismo will become available in game as part of today’s Gran Turismo update.

Gran Turismo 6.
Gran Turismo is an award-winning racing simulation game franchise first releases in 1998. Created exclusively for Sony PlayStation® it has become one of the most successful franchise in the world. According to Sony Computer Entertainment, more than 72 million copies of the game have sold in over 100 countries.

The latest iteration, Gran Turismo 6 for PlayStation 3, was released in December, 2013 and features 39 realistically reproduced race tracks and over 1200 cars reproduced in authentic HD graphics.

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The MINI Citysurfer Concept debuts

MINI Citysurfer ConceptMINI debuted the MINI Citysurfer Concept, an electric powered kick scooter.

  • Weighs 40 pounds.
  • Top speed is 15 mph.
  • Range is 10-15 miles on a 12 V charge.

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

  • MINI presents an innovative concept providing increased flexibility for individual mobility in conurbation areas; MINI Citysurfer Concept combines the agile riding properties of a kick scooter with an electric drive and expressive design features in the style of the British premium brand.
  • Wide range of potential uses due to compact structure, foldability and low weight of just 18 kilograms (40 lbs); MINI Citysurfer Concept suitable both for use on its own and in combination with other means of transportation; easy to transport, for example in the luggage compartment of the new MINI 3 door or on buses and trains; minimum traffic space due to single-track concept, enabling spontaneous and convenient mobility even in those sections of an urban area not accessible to motorised vehicles; therefore the ideal mobility supplement for covering the distance between car park, rail or bus station and final destination.
  • Auxiliary electric drive with thumb-operated accelerator and gearless hub motor in the rear wheel; electric motor power permits top speed of 25 km/h (15 mph); electric drive of the MINI Citysurfer Concept is not activated until a minimum speed is reached from the rider’s own physical thrust; motor is deactivated by means of a brake lever.
  • Power supply via lithium-ion battery permanently installed in the frame; charging via 12-volt automobile socket or household socket; charging during travel by means of brake energy regeneration when brake is activated; battery management system with integrated power electronics; electric range: 15 to 25 kilometres (10 – 15 miles); use of the MINI Citysurfer Concept possible at any time, independently of auxiliary electric drive using physical strength and without rolling resistance from the motor.
  • MINI Citysurfer Concept has safe, versatile and agile riding properties, large wheels with pneumatic tyres also make it suitable for bumpy paths, low foot board, stable frame and height-adjustable handlebars; three brake systems which operate independently of each other; recuperation brake via electric drive generator function, hydraulic disc brakes at the front and rear wheel; excellent deceleration and agile handling since there are no limits to the rider in shifting the centre of gravity; good all-round view and visibility to other road users due to upright riding position; folding concept with safety function for correct engagement when unfolding.
  • Protection from dirt and weather impact due to trim parts and wheel covers at front and rear; extended range of potential use of the MINI Citysurfer Concept for both private and work-based mobility; additional everyday functionality with mobile phone holder and charge facility on the handle bars; use of Last Mile Navigation possible in conjunction with the MINI Connected XL Journey Mate.
  • Vehicle fittings flexibly adaptable to market-specific public traffic regulations; MINI Citysurfer Concept also usable by young people going to school or travelling in their leisure time.
  • Vehicle concept covers the entire range of individual urban mobility: commuting to work and school, sight-seeing and shopping, tourist excursions when on motor home, camping or boat holidays; spontaneous riding fun typical of MINI derives from the interaction between rider and electric motor when generating propulsion.


MINI Superleggera Vision concept debuts

MINI Superleggera™ Vision

Looking like nothing we’ve seen from the MINI design team, MINI surprised us with this MINI Superleggera Vision concept roadster.

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

Munich/Cernobbio. The BMW Group celebrates the meeting of the time-honoured and the contemporary at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2014 with a very special concept: the MINI Superleggera™ Vision. This exclusive interpretation of an open-top two-seater was created by MINI and Touring Superleggera, the tradition-steeped design and coach building house based in Milan. The MINI Superleggera™ Vision is on the one hand a classic roadster, a compact and agile two-seater, expressing the most minimalist and emotional style of motoring; and on the other hand its electric drivetrain gives the car distinctly modern driving dynamics. In collaboration with MINI, Touring Superleggera™ has designed and built an elaborately crafted, unique model which blends the tradition of classic coachwork construction with the MINI’s authentic British styling to create timeless aesthetic appeal.

  • Modern Britishness meets Italian flair: the iconic design of MINI meets elegant, athletic beauty – interpreted in contemporary style.
  • Classic Italian body construction and hand-shaped metal sheeting give the MINI SuperleggeraTM Vision a unique emotional appeal.
  • Both on the inside and outside, the form is reduced to the maximum extent so as to achieve a clear focus on the distinctive driving experience.
  • The interior reflects traditional coachwork construction in terms of materials and styling, combined with the icons of MINI interior design.
  • High-end materials such as leather, aluminium and black chrome highlight the clear aesthetics of the interior.

Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design on the concept: “Touring Superleggera and MINI have much in common: both companies attach great importance to their history and this is something which defines their outward appearance to this day. What is more, they both emphasise iconic design and distinctive solutions. These elements are merged in the MINI SuperleggeraTM Vision to create an elegant automobile which interprets a British roadster under the influence of Italian style and hand craftsmanship.”

British design with an Italian accent – the exterior design.

“The MINI SuperleggeraTM Vision elegantly perpetuates what the Classic Mini started 55 years ago: reduction to the essentials. Its energetic, minimalistic design embodies the dynamic essence of an automobile. At the same time it creates unique emotional beauty in combining the past and future of the automotive industry, i.e. traditional coachwork craftsmanship and modern design styling. It was a pleasure for me to design a concept like this.” says Anders Warming, Head of MINI Design.

The perfectly balanced proportions indicate at first glance what the electrically powered MINI Superleggera™ Vision has to offer in terms of a driving experience: the stretched bonnet, long wheelbase and cool, short overhangs convey pure driving fun. As in every MINI, the wheels are set widely on the body, promising a high degree of agility. The passenger cell is slightly set back, further underscoring the car’s dynamic impression. The overall effect of the MINI Superleggera™ Vision is sporty, elegant and dynamic.

The front of the MINI Superleggera™ Vision features the traditional MINI design icons: two circular headlights and a hexagonal grille define the unmistakable front section, providing a contemporary interpretation of features which have become firmly established over decades. There are also striking classic sports car elements such as a wide track and distinctively curved wheel arches that give the front a dynamic presence. The classic MINI bonnet stripes are three-dimensionally embossed and run on into high-quality polished aluminum accents. The inlaid bonnet harks back to classic British roadsters of bygone days.

Meanwhile the horizontal rib look of the radiator grille adds a classic sporty touch. The fact that it is closed is a discreet indication of the car’s electric motor. The two fog lights echo the circular contours of the headlamps, providing a smaller interpretation of them in the radiator grille. The air inlets are also circular, giving the front section a distinctive touch. A flat front splitter made of carbon fibre closes off the front to the road, thereby underscoring the car’s sporty statement down to the last detail.

Classic coachwork construction in a cutting-edge interpretation.

The striking element of the side view is the characteristic “Touring” line. It embodies both the high art of coachwork building and classic aesthetics. Surrounded by tight, seamless surfaces, it traces a precise, vibrant movement from the front wheels through to the rear. This reflects the great craftsmanship and longstanding experience of Touring Superleggera in area of body construction: ever since it was founded the company has stood for fine, light sports car bodies. To this day, Touring Superleggera™ shapes large aluminium sheets by hand using the most performing frame structures. The hand-crafted style of construction gives the MINI Superleggera Vision an aesthetic form which would be virtually impossible to achieve by machine manufacture.

“MINI and Touring both believe that proportions are the key factor of beauty, and share the same values of essentiality and innovation” says Louis de Fabribeckers, Head of design of Touring Superleggera. “In this car all unnecessary equipment or decoration is sacrificed, as performance is gained through lightness and efficiency of the bodywork and interior. The Italian touch is in the proportions and the typical waistline.”

There are very few gaps in the body since it is constructed from large sheets of metal. The result is a closed look that conveys high-quality elegance. The specially developed exterior paint finish Como Blue, almost liquid in effect, stands for both classic and modern style. It particularly underlines the refined Italian touch of the MINI Superleggera™ Vision. The elaborate rims and the elegant exterior mirrors in long-hole look complete with a mirror base in polished aluminium add exclusive accentuations at the side. Echoing the front section, the discreet CFRP sills underscore the sporty character of the MINI Superleggera™ Vision.

Meanwhile the striking fin defines the look of the rear, adding a touch of extravagance. It gives the MINI Superleggera™ Vision a particular longitudinal dynamics while at the same time embodying the unconventional air of both MINI and Touring Superleggera. Like the “Touring” line at the side, it is modeled with enormous precision. The highlight of the flat, wide rear is the unusual lights: designed in the form of a Union Jack divided in two, they combine functionality and symbolism in a way never seen before. In this way they express the British roots of the MINI Superleggera™ Vision while at the same time emphasising the modern LED technology as already used in the new MINI. A chrome bar demarcates the rear lights at the centre of the rear, making this area a classic British jewellery icon. The CFRP diffuser rounds off the rear to the road in sporty style.

Echoing the exterior – the interior design.
The exterior and interior design of the MINI Superleggera™ Vision merge seamlessly. Only a surrounding shoulder line in polished aluminium visually separates the exterior and interior from each other. The border creates an encircling, sporty gesture that consistently perpetuates the clear elegance and generous surfaces of the exterior.

In its styling and in the look and feel of its materials, the interior design celebrates the tradition and the essence of classic coachwork construction. It reflects how the automobile was created: the essential features are quoted –  the untreated aluminium sheeting and the tube-shaped structural elements – and they are made visible in the interior by means of a high-quality interpretation. This is most striking in the dashboard. The latter is created from a single aluminium sheet and has been left in the state the automobile body would look like without a paint finish. The generously sized unpainted surfaces and the clearly visible hand craftsmanship of the dashboard go together to reflect the skilled artistry of the coachbuilders. The doors and the sporty 3-spoke steering wheel likewise reveal the traditional method of construction. The structural elements in the doors form a Union Jack, discreetly indicating the British origins of the MINI Superleggera™ Vision.

The Center Instrument in the middle of the instrument panel draws on MINI design styling and has been extended for the MINI Superleggera™ Vision to include a touch-sensitive control element and two circular instruments with metal surrounds on the right. In addition to the analog clock on the far right, the second framed instrument activates the camera which is integrated between the driver and front passenger seat. It has the function of capturing those particularly worthwhile moments on the road.

Classic and modern to equal degrees – colour and material design.

The classic materials aluminium and leather in a virtually untreated state define the reduced aesthetics of the MINI Superleggera™ Vision in the interior. Below the shoulder covered in brown leather in the classical color Sabbia, the materials are kept to the essentials. The structural elements in the doors and centre console are finished in high-quality black chrome, exclusively set apart from the aluminium surfaces and the raw, matt textured paint finish in the footwell area. This deliberately contrasting mixture of structured surfaces and high-end materials gives the MINI Superleggera™ Vision an exceptional charm. The sporty bucket seats are reminiscent of bygone MINI motor racing achievements and are covered in high-quality black leather. True to the MINI Motto “Hide & Reveal”, accentuations in Misty Magenta provide a touch of Italian flair in tongue-in-cheek MINI style in concealed spots such as the two hot air outlets under the instrument panel and inside the door openings in the structural elements of the doors.

Coachbuilding in 2014.

Since 1926, Touring Superleggera is forerunner of advanced automotive design and custom coachbuilding. The company is one of the rare firms offering the whole in-house productive cycle from the first sketch, all the way through surface engineering and structural analysis, style models and prototypes, to turn-key, low-volume production of special bodywork.

“We are delighted that MINI wanted to stimulate an independent initiative and particularly Italian design for the first time”, says Piero Mancardi, CEO of Touring Superleggera. He continues: “This project also shows MINIs attention to preserving and nurturing the skills of craftsmanship incorporated in modern coach building.”

The MINI Superleggera™ Vision epitomizes the potential of “Carrozzeria” in today’s automobile industry: blending creativity and flexibility with rigor and respect of high standards. The result is a car of classic beauty that is also state of the art.

See more photos at Press Release – MINI Superleggera™ Vision – timeless beauty that blends the traditional with the modern.


MINI Clubman Concept

MINI Clubman Concept

 

Ahead of the Geneva Motor Show, MINI has debuted the MINI Clubman Concept showing a near-production second-generation MINI Clubman (F54).  You might notice the face of this concept resembles the earlier MINI Vision Concept which was released just before the third-generation MINI Hardtop (F56) debuted.

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

Munich/Geneva. At the 2014 Geneva Motor Show MINI presents the MINI Clubman Concept, showcasing a new brand philosophy for a higher class of automobile. 26 centimeters longer and just under 17 centimeters wider than the current MINI Clubman, the Concept comes over as sophisticated, cool and elegant. The iconic design is supplemented by high-quality details, plenty of space for functional features and selected materials. Refinement of the hallmark MINI styling ensures instant recognition, both on the exterior and the interior. The extensive colour and material concept redefines contemporary elegance and high-end quality in this segment.

  • Four doors and five seats offer plenty of utility space, thereby supporting an active lifestyle.
  • Classic MINI design features such as the hexagonal radiator grille, Side Scuttles, the Black Band, short overhangs and elliptical front and rear headlights ensure high recognition value from every angle.
  • Length: 4223 mm, width: 1844 mm (not incl. mirror), height: 1450 mm.
  • Integrated aerodynamics as an essential part of the exterior design.
  • The interior design interprets typical MINI shapes and colours, presenting an effortless and elegant combination of high-end quality and functionality.
  • An elaborate colour and material concept in the interior with exclusive materials and unexpected details.
  • The Center Instrument with newly conceived user interface creates an event-controlled interaction space with touch operation.

 

A new class for the future of MINI.

“The MINI Clubman Concept shows how the MINI Clubman could be taken a step further: more interior space, a greater sense of high-end quality and yet still clever, bold and distinctive. In short: more car, more MINI,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Head of BMW Group Design, explaining the approach to this model. For over 50 years now, MINI has stood for maximum use of minimum space. 26 centimetres longer and just under 17 centimetres wider than the current MINI Clubman, the MINI Clubman Concept applies this aspiration to a new class of automobile. As Head of MINI Design Anders Warming explains: “With the MINI Clubman Concept we are presenting a car with space, flair and style in a segment where the focus is mainly on function and utility. With clever ideas, emotional design and a cool blend of colours and materials, it offers an overall experience which remains unique in this segment to date.”

 

Supreme, dynamic, elegant – the exterior design.

Even with larger exterior dimensions, the MINI Clubman Concept is instantly recognisable as a typical MINI. With the characteristic agility of the MINI proportions, the prolonged roof line clearly reflects the car’s extensive utility space. It also gives the silhouette a distinctive elegance, underscored by generous surfaces. The powerful, warm Berry Red colour shows surfaces and shapes to optimum effect. The roof in the colour “Blade” – a metallic grey – creates an elegant contrast with the warm red of the corpus.

Classic MINI design icons such as the hexagonal radiator grille, Side Scuttles, Black Band and the typical lights are designed in precise, high-end style. The modern, reduced interpretation of these features gives the MINI Clubman Concept a more sophisticated, charismatic look. The themes of aerodynamics and air ducting are clearly highlighted in the exterior design. All openings and outlets are integrated in the geometry and elegantly shaped. Clearly defined wheel arches and the roof spoiler accentuate the car’s dynamic appearance, underscoring the overall impression of sporty flair.

 

Typical MINI in every detail – the front section.

Seen from the front, the circular headlamps, hexagonal radiator grille and roof with add-on look clearly identify the MINI Clubman Concept as belonging to the MINI family. The radiator grille is strikingly elaborated and incorporates the bumper in the front section. The bumper is finished in Black Chrome, adding a touch of exclusive style to this functional element. Elaborate details such as the three-dimensional structure of the chrome ribs inside the front grille further enhance the front section. The high quality standards of the MINI Clubman Concept even extend to the surface modelling. Fine edges add precision and presence to the generous surfaces.

In the lower area of the front-end design there is a continuous air inlet which highlights the breadth of the MINI Clubman Concept, thereby emphasising its solid standing on the road. Meanwhile a finely wrought chrome rib appears to hover inside the air inlet, giving this sporty detail a touch of exclusive appeal. In the outer section of the front apron there are so-called AirCurtains – an aerodynamic feature that gives the wheel arches an aerodynamically optimised closure. These dynamically surround the lower part of the front section like two brackets.

 

Plenty of space for characteristic dynamism – the side.

Reduced to the essentials, the side view instantly conveys the qualities of the MINI Clubman Concept: a long wheelbase, flatly positioned windows and short overhangs reflect characteristic MINI agility. At the same time, the long roof line and the typical two-box design clearly emphasise the car’s high level of functionality and its generous utility space. Meanwhile the four doors reflect the extended exterior dimensions and increased functionality. Generous surface expanses elongate the side, while at the same time subtle surface modelling and precise lines make the silhouette appear flat and dynamic. Three chrome elements give the side section a sense of exclusivity with modern understatement. At the front, the Side Scuttle incorporates the filigree mirror base and turn indicator in an elongated element whose shape is echoed by the two electrical door openers. Integrated flush with the surface, these draw a line back to the rear which is taken up by the rear door handles. Above this, the surrounding shoulder line in chrome offsets the corpus of the car from the greenhouse and roof in hallmark MINI style. This so-called Waistline Finisher embraces the entire passenger cell, reinforcing the exterior graphics so typical of the brand. The 19″ light alloy rims in bicolour Black Chrome and Chrome finish are the highlight of the side view. A clear cup formation gives the elaborate multi-spoke design a highly dynamic touch. In between, glossy accents are added by non-cupped polished surfaces.

 

Aerodynamic details for optimum air ducting.

The MINI Clubman Concept is the first MINI to be fitted with a so-called AirBreather at the side. The AirBreather echoes the design theme of the AirCurtains in the front apron, cutting dynamically into the surrounding Black Band. The elaborate double roof spoiler at the rear is shown to best advantage from the top view. The third brake light is integrated in between the two wings of the roof spoilers in Formula 1 style. There are also two longitudinal sections of plexiglass which run across the entire length of the roof like rally stripes. In conjunction with the roof spoiler, this means that the distinctive dynamic air typical of MINI is applied to the MINI Clubman Concept from a bird’s-eye perspective, too.

 

Typical MINI Clubman: split doors for increased loading convenience – the rear.

The MINI Clubman Concept is broad and athletic in the rear view. The familiar MINI cascading – a staggering of multiple layers – gives the automobile a very solid standing and a muscular wheel orientation when seen from the rear. The most striking rear elements are the characteristic split doors. The typical continuous door frame is no longer made of sheet metal. The door graphic itself provides the frame surrounding the entire rear section like a discreet bracket. This newly elaborated design gives the whole rear a reduced, modern appearance. The horizontally positioned rear lights have a highly detailed finish. Their shape underscores the car’s broad standing and the dynamic orientation of the rear section. Selected chrome accents such as the “Clubman” inscription, the MINI emblem on the left-hand door and the door handles are specific details which emphasise the high-quality aspiration of the MINI Clubman Concept.

As in the front section, the aerodynamically optimised bumper finishes off the rear to the road.

 

Exclusivity and function interpreted in contemporary style – the interior design.

Along with the exterior, the interior of the MINI Clubman Concept has also grown to larger dimensions. With four doors and five fully-fledged seats, the MINI Clubman Concept offers plenty of space for the pursuit of an active lifestyle.

The new dimensions are brought to life by means of generous surfaces and more sophisticated spatial effect. The underlying design theme in the interior is the characteristic ellipse. Precise and contoured in its shaping, it comes over as more sophisticated while clearly displaying its origins. Around the ellipses, the interaction between several levels and surfaces adds lightness and a three-dimensional feel to the interior.

The unusual materials are especially worthy of mention: nubuck leather in a light Sky Blue, patent leather in rich Berry Red and black soft nappa leather ensure an exclusive interior atmosphere which is highly expressive. In between, elements in patinised silver add high-end accentuations. The patina gives them the character of familiar, fondly used items. Decorative strips in blue limed ash grain convey cool, modern elegance. The two highly expressive fabrics Tweed Grey and Black Twill set an attractive counterpoint to the classic value attributes of wood, leather, silver, thereby creating the familiar MINI interior experience. Small details such as the buttons with Union Jack embossment on the seats and central console, contrast stitching, piping or red accentuation surfaces in the sunblinds which only appear when these are folded down all add a touch of surprise to the mature character of the MINI Clubman Concept.

 

High-end sophistication and presence – the instrument panel.

The interior element of the MINI Clubman Concept with the most powerful presence is the leather-covered instrument panel. With a surround in blue limed ash grain and a white porcelain finish, the black upper section of the instrument panel has a hovering appearance. Indirect rear lighting of the gap reinforces this impression and gives the area in front of the driver and front passenger an extremely high-end ambience. The linear air vents have patinised, silver-plated surrounds. Between the air vents there is an area in Black Chrome which can be back-lit if required that provides additional information for the driver and front passenger. The suggested “Faded Diamonds” rhombus pattern gives the Black Chrome surface a particularly high-quality structure. The lower section of the instrument panel is finished in Berry Red patent leather, providing an extrovert yet sophisticated contrast to the more discreet design of the upper half.

 

Multi-layered and light – the door design.

The newly interpreted ellipse in the side runs dynamically across the two doors to create a visual link between front and rear. The armrests in blue nubuck leather appear to hover in the doors, while behind them there are practical storage compartments. The decorative surfaces in the doors have indirect backlighting to underscore the inviting, contemporary ambience. The side mirrors and roof liner recede discreetly into the background due to use of high-quality fabric Tweed Grey in salt-and-pepper look, while the quality weave of the fabric Black Twill with classic black-and-white contrast on the floor and mats makes for an elegant finish.

The concept of spatial function in the rear is rounded off with clever storage facilities in the split doors as well as a double load floor. The pouches in the doors are elaborately fitted with nubuck leather in Silk White. They are placed within convenient reach and help make optimum use of space in the luggage compartment. The double load floor provides additional storage capacity.

 

Intelligent controls.

The display area in the centre console (160mm x 150mm) adapts according to the content selected or the situation on the road. Three “intelligent” toggles are assigned the relevant content according to selected content or driving functions. Above and beyond this, the three toggles can also be freely programmed and assigned particular functions according preference. The haptic quality of the toggles means that the various functions can be operated during travel without looking. Here the MINI Clubman Concept has taken classic operating elements that have been a part of MINI for 55 years and consistently advanced them.

[Source: Press Release MINI Clubman Concept – a new class in terms of space, function and supreme elegance. World premiere at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.]


MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop Concept

MINI  John Cooper Works Concept

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

Munich. Hallmark MINI style and technology lifted straight from the race track come together to mould the inimitable character of a John Cooper Works model, rendering the MINI sub-brand a byword for irresistible go-kart feeling and genuine everyday usability. And now a new contender for pole position has emerged to take this successful concept to the next stage and bring the promise of maximum driving fun to the small car segment. The MINI John Cooper Works Concept offers a look ahead to the next generation of the elite sports model. The study car will be presented for the first time at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2014 and flies the flag for innovative sportiness in time-honoured John Cooper Works style, with features including exclusive body paintwork in Bright Highways Grey, familiar MINI red colour accents, bespoke aerodynamic features and 18-inch John Cooper Works light-alloy wheels in a newly developed design.

The thrillingly sporty driving experience on board a John Cooper Works model is the result of an overall concept developed on the back of the brand’s many years of motor sport experience. The precise interplay of the ultra-high-performance powertrain and chassis technology with the car’s aerodynamically optimised exterior features ensures that the agile and surefooted handling we have come to know as the MINI go-kart feeling shines brightly in extremely sporty driving situations as well. The result is hardcore driving fun, taken into a new dimension by the MINI John Cooper Works Concept.

Perfect basis and extensive racing expertise deliver a new dimension in extreme driving fun.

The John Cooper Works Concept is based on the latest-generation MINI. Its origins are clearly recognisable in the longer wheelbase and wider track over the outgoing model, which has a direct effect on the car’s driving characteristics. The model variants of the new MINI available from launch have already shown themselves to be more powerful, punchy and agile than their predecessors. Weight savings and improved aerodynamic properties have also contributed significantly to the new car’s driving talents – and these developments likewise have a positive influence on the MINI John Cooper Works Concept.

Large air intakes – filling the space reserved for fog lights in the series-produced MINI models – and precisely formed air-channelling elements mark out the front apron of the MINI John Cooper Works Concept, which also features LED headlights and a black surround for the front grille. The model-specific John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit also comprises specially contoured side skirts and a rear apron with flaps and a diffuser element. The study car further features a roof spoiler and additional body components designed to channel air efficiently around the C-pillars for optimised aerodynamic balance at high speeds.

Exclusive body paintwork, familiar contrast colour.

The Bright Highways Grey exterior paint shade owes its expressive character to a special manufacturing process. The hand-polished surface layer is finished with a clear coat and the resulting lustrous sheen of the paintwork further accentuates the eye-catching structures of its pigment layer. Exuding purity and solidity, this paint finish is complemented by John Cooper Works hallmarks such as contrasting red for the roof, roof spoiler and exterior mirror caps. Also included are Sport Stripes – in Chili Red for the bonnet and boot lid, and in white for the roof. Additional red accents adorn the rim wells of the John Cooper Works light-alloy wheels, the callipers of the sports brakes, the side indicator surrounds and the contour lines of the front and rear apron. A red accent line also lends particular emphasis to the John Cooper Works logo on the radiator grille.

A further nod to the concept car’s impressive sporting focus can be found in the centre of the rear apron. The MINI John Cooper Works Concept is fitted with a sports exhaust system including John Cooper Works silencer system, and the striking twin tailpipes with chrome finish also carry the John Cooper Works logo. With the new elite sports model destined to benefit from further development, these features suggest its enticingly sporting aura will not be restricted to visual features: an unmistakable engine soundtrack promises to share centre stage.

Read the press release Setting its sights on pole position: The MINI John Cooper Works Concept. World premiere at the North American International Auto Show 2014 in Detroit.


MINI Vision: future MINI design

MINI Vision

From BMW Group PressClub Global:

Munich. At today’s MINI Design@Home event Anders Warming, Head of MINI Design, previews a sampling of visionary design and innovative ideas. The MINI Vision, for example, showcases various elements of future MINI design. Here, MINI has developed a vehicle design laced with new creative impulses that advance the cause of premium quality in the compact class.

In customary MINI fashion, the MINI Vision seizes the limelight with creativity, individuality and a generous helping of versatility. Interactive gadgets such as the Driving Experience Control switch offer a glimpse of the future. This particular feature allows the whole of the car’s interior to be transformed into a variety of different colour and experience worlds in the blink of an eye.

The presentation of the MINI Vision is based around a virtual 3D hologram. This form of expression provides a window into how the MINI designers go about their business. Complementing their familiar toolset of sketches and 1:1 clay models, virtual reality allows them to test and fine-tune creative ideas quickly and under realistic conditions.

The exterior: a perfect balance between old and new.
The design of the MINI Vision reaches pointedly into the brand’s past and combines the underlying features and values of MINI with future-focused aesthetic and technical innovations. The hexagonal radiator grille is inspired by the classic Mini, for example, and the MINI Vision integrates both the bumper and auxiliary lights into the grille.

The traditional and unmistakable rounded MINI forms are reflected in the exterior through elements such as the elliptical full-LED headlights. Their outer ring emits a consistent light and fulfills a daytime driving light function.

Among the stand-out signature features of the MINI brand are the clear separation of the roof, glasshouse and body. The chrome strip wrapped around the top of the body, the distinctive side indicator element and the black band framing the lower edge of the car are all hallmark MINI styling elements.

The MINI Vision presents these three defining design elements as a flowing, interconnected unit – conjured from innovative and lightweight “organo metal”. This extremely mouldable but also very strong material is produced by pressing various fibres into a composite. Organo sheets have a unique texture comparable to that of fabrics.

Alongside lightweight construction techniques, aerodynamics also play a frontline role in the conceptual ideas behind the MINI Vision. The car’s body includes an aerodynamic air intake and outlet around each front wheel arch, airflow-optimised wheel rims and exterior mirrors, and an integral, air-channelling roof spoiler.

At the rear, muscular shoulders lend the MINI Vision extremely sporty and compact proportions. The finely drawn and clearly defined edging in the car’s bodywork is central to the exterior design language of the MINI Vision and underlines the concept’s precision and sporting intent.

The interior: originality and creativity packed into a very small space.
The interior of the MINI Vision stands out with its individual style, variability, functionality and aesthetic appeal. The fundamental idea behind the MINI brand – of providing maximum comfort within minimal exterior dimensions – filters through every detail of the interior.

A transparent and open cockpit, sweeping doors and a “floating” centre console allow the driver and passengers to experience the sensation of a wide open space coupled with the benefits of a space-saving small car. Lounge seats featuring dynamic piping add the finishing touch to the unique interior ambience.

The creative design solutions have been brought together with established pillars of MINI design. For example, the elastic fabric straps on the insides of the doors – arranged like the stripes of the Union Jack flag – are a nod to the brand’s British heritage. However, the stretchable straps have a functional as well as stylistic role: these flexible retaining devices are designed to hold a magazine, mobile phone or drinks bottle within easy reach.

The fresh layer of variability added by the MINI click system offers additional scope for customising the interior. Smartphone holders, a storage box, cup holder or small safe can be attached and removed in a single movement as and when required.

The interior of the MINI Vision as a whole can also be adapted to a variety of interaction requirements with similar flexibility and immediacy. The Driving Experience Control switch allows the driver to choose between a pure and focused or fully-interconnected mode. The two modes are expressed in different colours using calm, clear light and dynamic, energy-charged shades. Another highlight of the fully-interconnected mode is the “MINI Disco” floor. Here, an expressive interplay of colours, light and forms transforms the footwells as the MINI Vision appears to come vibrantly to life. As well as turning the ambient colour scheme of the interior on its head, the Driving Experience Control switch also changes the face of the familiar MINI circular central display. Depending on their selection, drivers will be met by either a classic, analogue-style view or an impressive 3D look, which gives the full suite of display elements an unaccustomed depth.

Colours and materials: structures form characters.
The Glamorous Gold paint finish – a shimmering gold-tinged orange tone – has never been seen before in the history of MINI design. And the use of organo metal creates an intriguing contrast to this gleaming metallic shade. The organo metal adds highlights not only to the outside of the car, but also to the interior, its unique structure lending the MINI Vision a cutting-edge character.

A tough, dark-blue fabric recalling the properties of a high-quality suit is employed for the seats and sections of interior trim. The seamless transitions of the various materials between the interior and exterior bring consistency to the MINI Vision despite the use of different materials and textures.

Its unbeatable scope for personalisation and an extremely sporty and precise design make the MINI Vision the perfect partner for the road, tailored to the needs and preferences of the individual driver. This design vision demonstrates that MINI will continue to use intelligent variability, imagination-capturing technology and a compact sporting presence to deliver unrivalled driving fun over the years to come.


The new-look MINI Rocketman Concept

MINI Rocketman Concept (2012)

Last year MINI showed off the MINI Rocketman Concept (shown below) made from carbon fiber plastic and having dimensions closer to the classic Mini.  Later MINI indicated that it wasn’t going to put the Rocketman into production.  So it was a surprise earlier this year when this “new-look” MINI Rocketman appeared and now MINI has officially debuted it.

MINI Rocketman Concept (2011)

Munich/Oxford/London. This summer the best athletes from some 200 countries will gather in London, England for the London 2012 Games – the biggest sporting spectacle on the planet. A total of 302 medals for the Olympic Games and 503 for the Paralympic Games will be up for grabs between July and early September, but the Games are about more than outstanding sporting achievement alone. The event plays a particularly important role as a platform for cultures to interact. And for London itself, there is the opportunity to once again put its best foot forward as host city. British premium car brand MINI will roll out the red carpet for the Olympians and Paralympians with the new edition of a spectacular small car study first presented at the International Geneva Motor Show 2011. The new design of the MINI Rocketman Concept combines innovative ideas for personal mobility in major cities with classical, unmistakably British design features inside and out. This extraordinary car will be on show in the BMW Group Pavilion, which is located close to the Olympic and Paralympic Village and will act as a showcase for the company during the Games.

The MINI Rocketman Concept caused quite a stir at the Geneva Motor Show 2011 as a ground-breaking new concept car majoring in driving fun in tight spaces. The 3+1-seater, with its three doors and an exterior length of just over three metres, is imbued with the timeless core values of the brand: irresistible design, clever functionality, smile-inducing agility and exceptional efficiency. In the process, it also offers a very contemporary take on the “creative use of space” principle that has held sway at the British carmaker for more than 50 years. The concept car approaches classic Mini territory in terms of dimensions, while advanced technology underpins a lifestyle-focused mobility solution equipped for life in large cities such as London over the years ahead. The MINI Rocketman Concept’s spaceframe is made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic, enabling a lightweight construction. Its innovative interior concept accommodates three full-size seats and an extra seat suitable for short journeys.

A commitment to British style and the roots of the brand.

The new edition of the concept car sees MINI reaffirming its commitment to the brand’s British roots. The classic Mini reached out from its homeland to leave an indelible mark on roads around the world, and MINI Plant Oxford now produces no fewer than five models for the brand’s global markets. The new MINI Rocketman Concept wears its British heritage on its sleeve, most prominently in its exterior and interior colour schemes and more subtly through the use of extremely high-quality materials and stylish details. All in all, it embodies a typically British form of sporting elegance.

The colours of the British national flag, the Union Jack, come to the fore on both the outside and inside of the car, red and white accents accompanying the dominant dark blue. The body’s non-metallic paintwork is interspersed with exposed carbon components at the front end and around the doors. And the 18-inch light-alloy wheels have white polished areas and a metallic red accent. Matt Porcelain White paintwork is also used for the mirror caps, boot opener and surrounds for the radiator grille and headlights.

The grille structure – made up of MINI logos – could certainly be described as an “eye magnet”, thanks also to its red metallic paint finish and contrasting white surround. A red strip emphasises the path of the hallmark MINI diagonal link between the wheel arch and door at the foot of the A-pillar. This takes a particularly chunky form on the concept car and also makes a feature of the door hinges. The two-section split boot opening consists of one upward-pivoting element and a second segment which extends out of the body in the form of a drawer – and which is also painted blue on the inside in the new MINI Rocketman Concept. The rear lights have a trapezoidal stirrup design and work using projector technology.

Another special feature is the distinctive lighting design for the roof. The concept car has a full-surface glass roof, whose illuminated braces recreate the look of Britain’s Union Jack flag. Even when the roof is not illuminated, the braces – running horizontally, lengthways and diagonally – continue to shine in bright Porcelain White. In darkness, the integrated optical fibres provide a pleasant indirect illumination of the interior and a compelling night design visible from the outside. On the new MINI Rocketman Concept, the roof’s transparent surfaces are bordered by a metallic red painted strip.

All aboard for a sporting ambience and tribute to London.

The Union Jack-led colour concept is also employed extensively and to stylish effect inside the new edition of the MINI Rocketman Concept. The interior exudes a sporting ambience, while intricate details emphasise the car’s connection to London. The inner door panels and rear side sections are trimmed in dark blue nubuck leather, while the familiar MINI elliptical door rings provide an effective contrast with their white leather. The circular surrounds for features such as the air vents, door pulls and stereo speakers, are split into two sections and consist of a red inner ring and white outer ring.

The exposed carbon elements in the interior accentuate the MINI Rocketman Concept’s high-tech character and are incorporated into its colour scheme. For example, the blue paintwork used for the dashboard merges smoothly into black around the steering wheel, producing a harmonious flow of colour into the dark carbon surfaces. The most distinctive element of the dashboard is the cockpit surface, which is bordered by a red bar and has a striking 3D effect. Its relief structure depicts the name of every host city of the summer Olympic Games in the modern era using artistically intricate lettering, with London given particularly prominent billing.

The seat surfaces blend blue nubuck leather with an innovative textile fibre. The upper sections of the seats’ side bolsters, which provide additional support under dynamic cornering, are made from a rubberised material whose composition takes its cues – in terms of both style and function – from high-performance sports textiles and shoes. The seat belts also share the dark blue tone of the seat surfaces, while thin red and white strips add extra flourishes.

The new design of the MINI Rocketman Concept also displays its sporting spirit, Brit-chic style and eye for extravagant details through the range of sophisticated accessories for the interior. The stowage compartment on the centre console between the driver and front passenger symbolises a basketball court with miniature players. The key fob for the new concept car, meanwhile, comes in the form of a rocket decked out in British national colours. Other interior features include a rucksack attached behind the front passenger seat, which is made from the same rubberised material used for the seat bolsters and also sports the three-dimensional cockpit motif.

The new edition of the MINI Rocketman Concept cuts an unquestionably British and unmistakably MINI figure. Designed to welcome the athletes taking part in the “greatest sporting show on earth” to London this summer, the new edition of the concept car underlines the central role played by typically MINI customisation in every new product idea from the brand. The MINI Rocketman Concept also captures the imagination with its innovative technology, giving it all the ingredients it needs to lay on an irresistible combination of driving fun and sustainability. This, then, is further evidence of the brand’s extraordinary creativity in the design of solutions for urban mobility over the years ahead.


MINI Clubvan Concept to go into production

MINI Clubvan Concept

MINI debuted the MINI Clubvan Concept last month and is showing it at the Geneva Motor Show this week.  In his speech Dr. Ian Robertson announced that the MINI Clubvan would go into production:

The Clubvan builds on the functionality of the original [Morris Mini Van], adding MINI’s premium character and individuality to the mix.  And I’m thrilled to announce, for the first time, the MINI Clubvan will go into series production.  We’ll launch the Clubvan in the second half of this year.

Speech Ian Robertson at the 82nd International Geneva Auto Show (MINI)