Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design, on the added value of reduction to essential aspects.
What does the new MINI stand for?
Oliver Heilmer: The new MINI is first and foremost an authentic MINI and has gained even further in personality and substance. Under the banner ”Purify“, we have refined and emphasised all those things that make MINI what it is: quality, modernity and identity. For the first time, there is no specific design for the MINI One, and the Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper SE and John Cooper Works can be clearly distinguished from one another.
What are some of the special design features of the new MINI?
Heilmer: With the Multitone Roof – a visually expressive design made up of multiple colours – we are making a real stylistic statement and taking the next step in developing the contrast-colour roof design originally established by us. The paint finish on this new roof progresses from dark blue through light blue to black. Another feature of the exterior are the new 18-inch radial wheels. These represent a further development of the classic Mini’s signature wheel rims, now with milled surfaces. The bi-colour design of the rims creates a very effective contrast.
At first glance, the interior is typically MINI, but look again and the array of detail updates we’ve introduced are revealed. Fewer joins and buttons give the cabin a more sophisticated and modern feel. The digital instrument cluster on the steering column and iconic central instrument with all-new user interface point the way into the brand’s digital age.
What was the approach with the development of this model?
Heilmer: MINI has a great history. This means we at MINI Design are repeatedly handed the fascinating task of striking the right balance between heritage and the future. What things do you keep in, what do you rethink? An important strategy for us here was a purposeful ”reduction“ to essential aspects, so we could focus on specific elements and enhance their visual presence.
What does the new MINI tell us about the (design) future of MINI?
Heilmer: The principle of reduction will play a major role in shaping the future face of MINI. After all, we believe that, in this ever more complex world, it will become increasingly important to focus on the essential aspects. We don’t see reduction as ”doing without“. In our eyes, reduction represents a clear choice – for elements that will then benefit from all of our passion, eye for detail and expertise.