The Definition of MINI’s Design Icons
Over the years we’ve brought you many articles on MINI design. From dissecting current and upcoming models to talking about MINI design historically, the design section of MF has a good deal of content for the design conscious. And now we can add to that a definition of MINI icons from MINI themselves. The following icons are the very basic structure of MINI’s design DNA that has been carried from the original and will be front and center in the 3rd generation new MINI (the F56).
Official Release: Over the years, the styling of MINI cars has produced a host of design icons which have become synonymous with the brand as a whole and, in some cases, signature features of individual models. Collectively, these iconic elements have helped shape the identity of the brand and its cars.
Dominated by the elliptical headlights set into its bonnet, the face of the MINI is extremely distinctive. The contemporary interpretation of the classic hexagonal radiator grille plays its part in defining the car’s eye-catching appearance. Other distinguishing features of the car’s face include a pair of “beauty spots” in the form of circular foglamps.
A shoulderline rising from front to rear and windows tapering towards the rear produce the hallmark MINI dynamic wedge shape.
Roof resting on top.
The design of the greenhouse – the glazed section of the passenger compartment – creates the impression of a band of glass wrapped around the car. The high-gloss black A, B and C-pillars are integrated into the glass surfaces. The contrast between the colour of the greenhouse and roof creates the impression of a “floating” roof resting on top of the greenhouse.
This design cue can trace its roots back to the very beginning; it follows the line of the welding seam sloping down the front side panel of the classic Mini.
Chromed door handles.
The chromed door handles of the classic Mini have since been revisited repeatedly, ensuring iconic status. Like a handshake, opening the door of a MINI represents the initial physical introduction between the car and its driver.
Vertically stacked rear lights.
The unmistakable, vertically stacked rear lights represent another nostalgic nod to the classic Mini. They are bordered by an elegant chrome surround sealed against the body without any direct connection to joins and seams.
Stance on the wheels.
The go-kart handling for which MINI is famed is the product of having its wheels mounted at each corner of the car – similarly to a go-kart. The mass-increasing “cascading” effect of the body as it heads down towards the wheels gives the car its essential roadholding.
The interior of the car also references the classic Mini to create its air of authenticity. The clear structure of the controls is a typically MINI feature. Elliptical forms transplanting the style of the circular exterior elements inside the car add further distinctive touches.
Controls like the distinctive toggle switches add an extra flourish to the centre stack and even the roof liner.
An array of chrome highlights and beautifully worked details are integrated like gems into the design of the car.
Written By: Gabe
Sort by MINI model
- The 2014 MINI (F56) Spied Inside and Out
- MINI Sends Great Apology Letter
- A Day Out at the Autobahn Country Club
- MOTOR Magazine Names JCW GP its 2013 Best “Bang for Your Bucks”
- MINI Sales up 3.3% Worldwide for April
- Videos: MINIs on the ‘Ring
- The Latest F56 Spy Photos Reveal New Details
- MINI Unveils Roberto Cavalli Designed Paceman for Life Ball 2013
- MINI: ReBorn in the Netherlands
- MINI Continues to Dominate FIA Cross Country
- Video: Looking Back on the R 75/5
- Spied! Undisguised BMW M235i
- BMWNA Releases the 6 Series M Sport Edition
- RideApart Reviews the BMW F 800 GT
- BMW & Pininfarina Tease the Gran Lusso Coupé
- 2014 BMW M5 Facelift Leaks out Early
- BMW M5 Sets World Drift Record
- Video and Gallery: The New F 800 GS Adventure
- The BMW M3: All Four Generations (E30, E36, E46, E92) At The Track
- Video: Ariel Atom vs Rallycross Citroen vs BMW HP4
- A New, Responsive Vespa.com
- Recapping the Chicago Genuine “Family Reunion” Ride
- Video: Honda Bringing the 125cc Grom to the USA in August
- Honda Bringing the Forza 300 Maxi-scooter to the USA
- Custom Ruckus: The LV Project
- Video: Using Special Effects to Encourage Safety
- Photos: Craze Custom Cub
- Haynes Now Offering Lambretta Manual
- Happy Birthday, Audrey Hepburn
- Video: Looking Back at the Vespa 946 Debut
MINI Model Cheat Sheet
Advertise with MotoringFile
MotoringFile Buyers GuidesR50 ('02-'06 MC) Buyers Guide
R53 ('02-'06 MCS) Buyers Guide
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range