Every body panel has been re-designed, but MINI’s successful form has been retained. The MINI design team brief was continuity in concept, whilst modernising traditional design details and engineering features. The second generation new MINI remains immediately recognisable visually and dynamically.
The typical MINI characteristics of short body overhangs front and rear, the famous wheel-at-each-corner stance and the high shoulder line rising towards the rear have all been retained, as well as the hexagonal radiator grille and the large, round headlights.
Some of the subtle changes…
The changes in the interior design of the new MINI are as comprehensive, but more immediately visible, than on the exterior. The design of the instrument controls and feel of the surfaces inside the car offer an air of premium quality.
Still the most striking feature inside is the Centre Speedo. It now comprises not only the analogue speedometer, but also all entertainment and, as an option, navigation functions.
The centre console below the Speedo is slimmer to create more space in the footwells for driver and front passenger. The door lock blipper and ignition key is now a round signal sensor.
When inserted into a slot beside the steering wheel it allows the driver to press a start/stop button to switch the engine on and off.
New ambient illumination included in the optional lights package is unique in the automotive industry. The colour of the interior lights in the roof lining, the door storage compartments and grab handle recesses may be changed at any time in five stages from warm orange to sporting blue, depending on the occupants’ personal preference. This is controlled from a new panel of toggle switches in the roof lining. The toggle switches in the dash that operate the electric windows, seat heating and central locking were a real hit with current MINI owners and have been made larger on the new MINI.
A Colour Line option allows individual design of the MINI cockpit. Colour highlights in the lower sections of the dashboard flow on into the door linings, where they are combined with the materials on the trim surfaces. Colour Line is available in five colour shades, with the trim surfaces coming in four exclusive variants over and above the versions already standard on the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S: glossy black piano paint, dark brown grained oak, brushed aluminium, and an extra-fine gloss surface.
A set of 16 chrome-plated trim rings for the air vents, cupholders and instruments gives the interior an even more sophisticated look.
In the rear, passengers are offered more comfort with recessed knee cut-outs in the front seats lined with material rather than the traditional plastics.
This is a 16-year+ news article, from our MINI archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
If in doubt check with your local MINI dealer as car prices and technical data will have changed since 2006.
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