Unofficial Rendering: Former BMW Designer Pens MINI Zero Concept
Soon we’ll start to see test mules and leaked photos of the F56, the third generation of the new MINI. These will lead up to an official online debut of the car before we see it make the auto show circuit. The F56 will signal a major sea change for MINI. Not only will it feature three and four cylinder versions of the next generation Prince engine, the F56 will share its underpinnings with BMW’s upcoming FWD 1-series. This has everyone interested in the brand scratching their heads wondering just what MINI has up their sleeve for the next generation. Will it be the Rocketman scaled up? Will it push back toward the venerable and well-loved R53? These are the burning questions many are asking, and the possibilities have inspired former BMW designer Sonny Lim to venture his own guess at what the next generation MINI could look like.
Size-wise, Lim’s concept comes in at somewhere between the diminutive Rocketman concept and the current Hardtop. Throughout, Lim says his motivation was to take the car back to its roots, while giving it the modern presence. The term “Zero” is also significant to his thinking:
The design of the MINI Zero is modern, sophisticated and athletic. It evolves the current design language but still stays true to the main iconic MINI characteristics. These iconic elements have helped shape the identity of the brand and its cars. However, the concept also challenges other aspects of the brand which have overshadowed the original intent of Sir Alec Issigonis’ classic MINI.
The MINI Zero presses the reset button and goes back to the humble roots of the classic MINI. In short this concept embodies:
- Zero “schnickschnack” (gimmicks) – it is the most basic, entry-level car in the range and is positioned under the Mini ONE.
- Zero compromise – it is a pure & tailored design and does not rely on chrome exterior trim & other plastic bits.
- Zero “schicki-micki” (trendy-fancy) – it is authentic and the spiritual successor of the classic MINI.
- Zero fat – all the above results in an ultra-lightweight MINI (840 kg) and a very good power-to-weight ratio without a large carbon footprint.
It’s an imaginative concept to say the least. How well it compares to the real F56 is a question only a few people can answer right now. Here’s some of what we do know, however.
- The design is finalized. Key people inside MINI and BMW have previewed the final designs for both the F56 MINI and the BMW 1-series.
- The BMW and the MINI are very different. Sources who’ve been in the room with cars have told MF that only the shrewdest eye would be able to perceive the two cars’ common underpinnings.
- The exterior design of the F56 will be very different from what’s come before it, yet be instantly recognizable as a MINI. Look for elements of the Rocketman concept, and familiar MINI design elements interpreted in new ways.
- The interior will also be a complete redesign from the ground up reinterpreting the MINI design language into something fresh and more user friendly. So far, the response from both internal MINI people as well as test audiences has been overwhelmingly positive.
Whatever the final product, one thing we can guarantee is that the F56 will be a turning point for MINI. For better or worse, the F56 will embody the full mechanical departure from MINI’s Rover roots into the haus of BMW. We can also guarantee it’ll be controversial. For some, the F56 will be a revelation. For others, it will quite literally ruin the brand. What do you hope to see in the F56? Sound off in the comments.
Written By: Nathaniel Salzman
Sort by MINI model
- Former Top Gear Hosts Heading to Amazon Prime
- MINI Needs Your Help Breaking A World Record
- MINI USA Announces Recall Affecting 2015 F56 Models
- MotoringFile Review: The 2016 F56 MINI JCW
- 2015 MINI JCW Press Event Day 2: High-Level Review
- 2015 MINI JCW Press Event Day 1: Introduction
- 2015 MINI JCW Press Event Day 0: Thank You Note
- MINI JCW Team at Lime Rock Park: Race Preview
- 2017 F60 MINI Countryman to Become More “Authentic”
- BMW Now Has a 250 HP Version of the B48. Will We See It in a MINI?
MotoringFile on Instagram
- BMW Group Announces the First Integration of EnLighten App
- The BMW M2 Option List Leaked
- Turner Motorsport Takes GTD Class Victory at Lime Rock
- Hands-on with the 2016 BMW 7 Series
- BMW Claims Overall Victory at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
- 7 Facts after 1,200 Miles in the BMW 428i Gran Coupe
- Report: Apple Will Use the BMW i3 to Build its Own Car
- New Details on BMW’s Pebble Beach Concepts
- Renting a Racer with the BMW 328i
- 2016 BMW 340i Uber Gallery
- Ask SF: Buy a Vespa GTS 300 Now, or Wait for the GTS 350?
- Video: The Mahindra GenZe Electric Moped
- Prima Tubeless Rims for Vespa / Stella
- Have Towel, Will Travel: A Vespa Adventure
- Review: Vespa Primavera 150 from Just Gotta Scoot
- Gogoro Electric Scooter on Pre-Order in Taiwan
- Recap: Amerivespa 2015 — Indianapolis, IN
- Scooter Vagabonding. Man Quits His Job, Rides Ruckus 30k Miles. (video)
- Change.org Petition Aims to Ban All Motorcycles In Hawaii
- Genuine Debuts New Buddy Color: Titanium Gloss
MINI Model Cheat Sheet
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F55: Five Door Hatch
F60: MINI Crossover
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