Next Generation MINI Tachometer & Speedometer Seen for the First Time

Last month we gave you the first details of the next generation MINI’s interior with the big news being the removal of the center speedometer. We told you that the speedo would be moving behind the steering wheel to where the current car’s tachometer is. And with the photos above (enhanced for a clearer view) we our first look.

As reported last month, The rev counter is the smaller semi-circle to the left of the speedo. Inside the speed will be a large digital readout similar to the one found on current small BMWs.

Sources familiar with the new interior have called the final form a huge step forward for MINI and likely one of the selling points of the new car. While these photos don’t show that form they do show a radically altered design brimming with new technology.

For a quick recap, let’s focus on the image above and break-down the details of what we see. What we see here is the cheapest spec interior (there will be four total) with the top finished in rough prototype plastic. The higher spec interiors will actually feature different and improved soft dash materials similar to the new 1 Series BMW.

Then there’s the odd looking bezel around the central stack. The actual finished chrome bezel happens to be in the passenger’s hand. The white strip around the circular portion of the centre stack is actually mood lighting, which lights up and swirls around when you turn on the standard keyless ignition.

As mentioned the center speedo on the MINI has been axed for the F56 due to two reasons. First MINI has taken hit after hit in consumer surveys with the main speedometer being located in the center of the car and wants to listen to that sentiment. Secondly the electronics of this car will be almost identical to the upcoming front wheel drive BMW. And while that doesn’t mean they couldn’t do a center speedo, it meant that there was additional cost this time in making it happen.

The air vents will be losing their 100% circular look with the center two being more square. But don’t fret, the circular theme will be continued with round vents near each door.

Finally outside the cockpit it’s worth mentioning the side mirror. This is also perhaps our best look yet at MINI’s new aero-friendly mirror design. The extra ring around the mirror looks to be a aero aid of some kind but details are still scarce.

We’ll have more on the next generation MINI soon.

  • synzeus


  • You can’t take away the center speedo. It’s part of what makes a MINI a MINI.

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      We’ve been down that road already- the original MINI moved away from the center speedo as well (in the 1970s) so this is nothing new and was needed at that time as well.

      With the center of the dash being needed for infotainment- the speedo being there makes it like smashing a square peg in a round hole- it is not the best solution. 

      They will tastefully make the transition and 95% of MINI people will be fine with 5% will not be and have no option in the market with a remotely whimsical interior- look at the competing products in the US… VW is where most head. 

      • And then when they’re done VW try head to BMW. Funny but statistically true.

      • r_k_w
        the speedo being there makes it like smashing a square peg in a round hole- it is not the best solution.

        But look at the pic.They are smashing square (rectangular) pegs in a round hole even without a speedo. Maybe they should just drop trying to make it round there.

      • thatotherguy

        your stats are wrong. I haven’t heard anyone on this particualr forum looking forward to not having a center speedo.

        • Nick

          No.. The people who comment on this site are the 5%. The people who don’t are the 95% who are fine with it.

        • BimmerFile_Michael

          I couldn’t have said it any better. Most buyers couldn’t care less about a singular design element and 95% of people think of cars as appliances 🙂

        • b-

          Right, as I stated before, that is NOW who MINI will be looking to sell cars to so that is what they will build, an appliance car!

        • BimmerFile_Michael

          Nah- still will have the drive of a MINI and most of the originality. It’s just that most people don’t care about the speedo enough to not buy the car- wouldn’t buying another brand be super hypocritical? “I’m not buying the MINI bc they moved the speedo and now it’s not the same but now I have this ultra great super vanilla VW instead!” Seriously..

          MINI is never going to be an appliance, how can you have a centrally mounted exhaust that burbles and be an appliance? MINI is too quirky to be an appliance, it is (even without a central speedo) a niche brand. MINI will always have a passion about them, that’s not changing- (who else in their right mind would have produced “Mission Control”?).

        • jbkONE

          I’m not going to argue about the speedo, but you almost contradicted yourself. “most people don’t care about the speedo enough to not buy the car.” If that’s true, then leave it and they’ll still buy the car!

      • R.O

        True, but they didn’t add idiotic things like swirling illuminated lights when inserting key to start car or going with “idiot” lights vs needle gauges. If MINI is still “suppose” to be a fun sporting “premium” car then keep it sporting. The article states that the tach will be smaller. IMO not a good idea and if so why not add a 3rd gauge to the right of the speedo with oil & water temp, battery charge and fuel needle type gauge, i.e Sports/sports looks. Idiot lights are for non sporty “saloon” plain Jane cars.

        • BimmerFile_Michael

          See above on why no temp gauges..

  • Chris Underwood

    “Sources familiar with the new interior have called the final form a huge step forward for MINI and likely one of the selling points of the new car.”

    Is Bimmerfile_Michael among these sources?  🙂

    “First MINI has taken hit after hit in consumer surveys with the main speedometer being located in the center of the car and wants to listen to that sentiment.”

    Are these the same consumer surveys wherein people complain about the car being too small?

    “The air vents will be losing their 100% circular look with the center two being more square. But don’t fret, the circular theme will be continued with round vents near each door.”

    Honestly I think the mismatched vents may bother me more than the prospect of them being 100% rectangular would.

    • Ha! I’m his source!

    • mnicpt

      I completely agree.  Either go all square or all round.  But if Gabe, you’re the source, you would have called this out as a poor design decision being artistic yourself.  So maybe the square ones in the middle really won’t be there but are only seen that way as the dash is being reused by BMW.  Could be that they adapt to the square behind and are round in final form.  As for the side mirrors, I hope they aren’t again listening to complaints of the mirrors being too small and so making them bigger but trying to make them look smaller on the exterior by having them vented.

      • FYI I was joking with my last comment. The point is the sources are inside MINI and obviously familiar with what is being worked on and what will be coming to market. The vents in the center of the car will be rectangular.

  • les

    Whatever they replace it with, it better be glorious.

  • Swiftaw

    The more I read about the F56, the less interested I become in owning one.  I’ve owned two R53’s and currently have an R56. I’ll probably hold on to my R56 for a couple more years then switch to a R58, which will probably end up being my last Mini.   

  •  I want to reserve judgment until the final product is out but I am very curious to where BMW is taking MINI. The center is begging for a huge navi screen. With the rest of the dash in, it might look good. The side mirror looks interesting too. I wonder how the dimensions stock up with the R56. Longer wheelbase? I know that was also a complaint of some people in regards to the “stiff” ride given from having a short wheelbase. I just hope they do away with the cheap looking plastic in the center stack. It really looked like a step back from R53 to R56. The current look is better than the launch of the R56, but still looks like it could be done better. All this is just MHO and YRMV.

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      Length of the overall car is almost identical to the outgoing model. Wheelbase changes are more because of that is how the EPA is looking at numbers, larger wheel base=less economy than the harsh ride complaints (which will go away thanks to RFTs actually being good now with the latest generation). The geniuses at the EPA are basically making cars get larger so the fuel economy numbers will be easier to obtain. 

      •  I think the idea of runflats is great but I really didn’t like them on my R53. That may be b/c they were the early ones; haven’t rode on the new ones. Don’t get me started on the EPA and their ridiculousness. Lol. Good to know why every generation of just about every other car keeps getting larger. (Among other things)

  • vmmvmmm

    These sound like the exact same complaints we heard when the first photos of the R56 came out.  I suggest everyone wait until the final version is out and you can see it with your own eyes.

  • Evan

    In a daring statement as a diehard R50 fan, I’m okay with the center speedo going. This is mainly because I’m sure the F56 is going the BMW route with a standard screen (at least in the USA) in the center making the speedo there very unuseful. I bascially never look at the center speedo and only use the little digital readout in the tachometer. I’m on board with the tradition piece, but modern updates to classic design are fine if the end product overall exudes the spirit of the predecessor. For that, final judgement will be reserved until more is revealed.

    One comment about the steering wheel cluster though- as a driver’s car I’d prefer the tachometer to be front and center with the speedometer off to the side. Maybe manual cars could have this Ferrari-Porsche approach with autos getting the speedometer there. It should at least be an option…

  • guest

    The mirror design is obviously a node to the original Mini after-market accessory ‘bullet’ mirrors.

  • Piperbud1

    While the relatively minor design changes will cause a few ripples, keep in mind that they are minor. If we’re going to expend energy debating the pros and cons of the speedo and air vents redesign why not siphon off a few ergs to address the major design change that threatens the fundamental character of the brand and its name — SCALE. Let’s focus on this five-letter word that defines MINI. If MINI continues to pump “growth hormones” into future designs, the brand could become “The Biggest Loser.” Sure, no one can deny that sales are growing along with girth, but shouldn’t the bean counters attach some measure of significance to the preservation of the tradition that made MINI the iconic brand it is? A tradition that is priceless versus the fleeting fancy of focus-groups. 

    Yes, we are aware of the Euro pedestrian regs that bloated the bonnet and greatly diminished the elegant contours of the sheet metal. Can anyone really excuse replacement of the beautiful curvilinear C-pillar glass wraparound windows with ugly (post R53) black plastic stuff? The one thing that MINI can do is celebrate mini-scale by creating at least one (trademark) vehicle that will always remain true to character.

    • Chris Underwood

      I’m given to understand the F56 will be essentially the same size as the R56. Granted, I’d like to see a smaller model in there somewhere, but in terms of new models replacing existing models it doesn’t seem like they’re really scaling up.

  • donald griffin

    the mirrors look like they may incorparate turn signals in the outer ring, giving it the halo effect as well as continueing the same mood lighting theme found in the center stack.

  • b-

    I tried but can’t find my R53 Sales Brochure but I know that a big deal was made about the center speedo and the tail lights not being flush with the rear hatch. It is called attention to detail! Anyone could have put the tail lights flush with the rear hatch but MINI did not because it shows that they care about details.

    YES, the center Speedo has not been in EVERY Mini or MINI since Mini was designed but it is one of the things that stuck, IT IS AN ICON OF MINI Design now. You can’t just say it’s not because you don’t want it to be! Did the 2 Spoke Steering Wheel Become a MINI Icon? No. Did the CVT become a MINI Icon? No. What is next? The roof not floating on the greenhouse because it is cheaper to do it another way?

    I understood the Cowl of the R50 cars was expensive, I LOVE the wipers coming through the sheet metal of my R52! That showed attention to detail!!! Am I upset that it is now gone, no. The headlights in the hood, as AWESOME as it was to be able to open my hood at the Dragon on the Midnight run and shine my headlights into the heavens… Oh wait, I never did that. Yes, it was cheaper to have the headlights mounted to the body. Fine, that was a Quirk and not an ICON of design! Will the openometer be in every convertible? No, it is not an ICON of design!

    Is this the end of the world, no. It is the beginning of the end. 🙂

    • R.O.

      In the February 2002 “Road & Track” issue on the MINI, BMW/MINI said this: 1. MINI to live up to the famed affordable-fun heritage. 2. It (MINI) simply brings a smile to your face, BMW have taken the essence of the traditional Mini styling the happy and friendly look in a modern car. 3. The care in positioning the center-mounted speedometer reminiscent of the original Mini’s 4. Mini Cooper’s exciting looks and fun-to-drive attitude are enough, it’s time for Minimania. All that for a base price of $18,000 for the Cooper (non S)

      What a difference 10 years makes. It seems BMW/MINI has decided to forget these things and stray away and go into another direction. More expensive, become more main stream, i.e. vanilla.

      • BimmerFile_Michael

        Instead you’d like them to remain stagnant (in the past), sell less cars and go bust…

        Considering the base price of an R56 is $20,200 now, it has gone up $2200 in a decade and now has more standard content (and a better engineering in the drivetrain) I’m not seeing the “more expensive argument” at all, actually taking inflation and content it is now CHEAPER!! All the other points are still there except the speedo…

        • R.O

          BM Micheal, I never wrote or said that I want Mini to remain stagnant, sell less cars or go bust. I know that ALL car markers need to keep their cars fresh and sell to stay in business. What I don’t agree with is that Mini’s changes are going too “main stream” while adding dopy things like mood lighting and idiot lights vs needle gauges.

          As for you comment that “”now has more standard content” (then in 2002), NOT true. The only item that became standard for the R56 vs R50/R53 was the multifunction steering wheel. The traction control was added due to US Government requirement. Currently bluetooth and USB are not standard. Many cars with a lower price than the MINI have these as standard equipment in the last few years. According to Gabe, these two items will now be standard in the F series.

          You state that with inflation and content it is now cheaper. I disagree. With only one item added as standard equipment in last 10 years and with the average workers wages stagnate over the last 10 years, the car is not cheaper. As for engineering being better, talk to the folks who have had more trouble with the R56 such as the death rattle, clutch problems and general interior noise rattles if the engineering is better.

          Of course I want MINI to be around and succeed, but once a company starts using the “Premium” tag, well then they will have to live up to it and expect those that could afford the car before may not be able to now. That’s also a customer loss.

        • BimmerFile_Michael

          The DSC was added bc of regs but it was still added and that cost was built into the price. Multifunction Steering wheel was added (which also adds cruise which is ridiculous). Tire pressure system added (reg but added). 6 Speed Getrag (5 speed ), HD radio, Satellite Radio, Aux in.. one touch windows etc. That is well worth the increased price.

          As for the engineering- the MCS had an issue the MC did not and that has been remedied. The R50/53 had many more rattles/ squeaks than the R56- (the power steering system, the heater cores, the super charger plus the CVT…) My 05 MCS even after the refresh had more issues than I can remember- our Clubman is flawless with many more options to go wrong. The engine cost alone in the R56 is significantly more, the newer advanced DSC/ABS is more etc. That is what happens with a new generation of cars.

          All car prices go up at least 1-2 % per year bc of union contracts/ material expenses fuel costs etc. I am not going to argue salaries over the past 10 years as that is not the point but not all are stagnant. If that was the case sales of premium cars would not be rising at a significant clip.

          Yes, there needs to be more standard content- that is what they are working on. But the other cars with more content do not have the engineering in other areas- suspension, safety, drivetrain, road feel/performance; that is where the price increase is. As I say to people- put a BMW/MINI on a lift and put and an Audi (they are improving now)/VW on another and compare the build of the non visible parts (the one’s that matter to the drive) and there is usually a huge difference.

          Good discussion!

        • jbkONE

          He said it was $18,000 for the S, not Cooper. The S now starts at 23,800. So it’s not a $2200, but a $5800 increase. The Cooper used to start at $16K and change and now is $20,200. Still not too bad an increase IMO, but more than $2200.

        • For what it’s worth, the majority of the MINI’s base price creep has coincided with additional standard equipment. OBC+multi-function steering wheel, for example, used to be an option. That said, it’s a true statement that a base MINI is much less accessible than it used to be, even if it is better-equipped. That’s a bit of a shame as that $17k Cooper back in the day was still a ton of car for the money.

        • BimmerFile_Michael

          HUH? He clearly says “Non S” and that would be $2200. It was $17k and change plus destination, right around $18k if memory serves me correctly.

          Quote:”4. Mini Cooper’s exciting looks and fun-to-drive attitude are enough, it’s time for Minimania. All that for a base price of $18,000 for the Cooper (non S)”

    • Mounting the headlights to the body on the second gen car also made it necessary to have a hood shutline over the front wheel arches which on a lot of cars just never lines up perfectly. The one piece hood rocks.

  • Minimalist

    just a thought could aero around door mirror be side indicator repeater a la upstand rear lights on rocket man concept

  • planeguy96

    All the details mentioned are what made the R52/R53 special…..The R56 lost all those details. Though the R56 has remained unique in the marketplace it is no longer special. The F56 will no doubt be a technically better car in nearly aspect in typical german fashion but will obviously lose a bit more of its iconic identity. Sure…Sales will go up but im afraid the people who are truly excited about thier car will move on. There will be less passion in the consumer base as the design becomes more mainstream….It will be less of an enthusiasts car. Sadly the details are simply lost on vast majority of people…..why else would somebody buy a toyota….

  • R.O.

    What bothers me more than the loss of the Center Speedo (don’t like the R56 XL size vs R50/53) is: ” What we see here is the cheapest spec interior (there will be four total) with the top finished in rough prototype plastic. The higher spec interiors will actually feature different and improved soft dash materials”

    What a minute – MINI is constantly calling themselves and advertising as being a “Premium” car so now people who can only afford the entry level ($20,000 plus) MINI will get the “cheapest spec with rough plastic” but it’s still a Premium car. Geeze, talk about hypocrites.

    Next: “The white strip around the circular portion of the centre stack is actually mood lighting, which lights up and swirls around when you turn on the standard keyless ignition.” What a piece of worthless crap that is. Again hypocrites, survey’s show people don’t like the center speedo (to quirky, etc) but MINI/BMW is going to add “lights that swirls around when turning on ignition” Nuts! Worthless. That standard feature is going to be added to the cost of the car – which IMO nobody will want.

    I get that car manufactures have to change the look and design of their cars to keep selling them, but when a car company points out that their car is a Premium car and then nickel and dimes the consumer for options that should be standard but adds (IMO) with stupid quirky standard features such as swirling lights, always open meter, etc, plus give the “entry” level car “cheapest plastic” interior, it is hypocritical.

    My opinion based on what I’ve read in the article. IMO MINI is looking or trying to be a car for all and everyone where in 2002-2005 MINI was being marketed as alternate car that was funny, sporty and different. We’ll see what the Market and consumer will say when the F series comes out.

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      What Gabe was saying about the plastic is that this is a prototype and the plastic is not final. These cars are not in pre-production or even Final Evaluation Phase prototyping yet- they are using hard plastics/ cheaper materials than a production car.

      Having been in several cars at this level of development they are rough to say the least. Wire looms are usually floating around the cabin- plastics have the texture of cheap milk jugs and there are no soft touch anything. All these show is placement.

      As for the cheapest level- there will be different infotainment options- the US will more than likely not even see all 4. For example- Basic radio, HK Radio, MINI Connected, Nav. (that is not what it will be but you get the idea).

  • Sotto

    I’m sure that center speedo will be back in fourth generation. They will use it as a sales argument, but showing it as an icon coming to bring the model back to MINI roots.

  • Dr Obnxs

    I just hope that MINI takes instrumentation seriously, and not the joke that things like the truly horrible openometer indicate. The car needs a real temp guage, and I’d also vote for an oil pressure gauge (those two tell you more about engine health than any other two out there). What’s really dumb here is that the gauge cluster is just a display module driven off of a CAN bus. There is really no reason why they couldn’t have an optional “Sports” gauge cluster that had really usefull information for the performance driver. Even without economies of scale, one could charge around $1k for it and many would want it. Package it and a performance steering wheel at $1.5k and it would actually sell really well! The dual gauge pod in the 1st gen isn’t that great, as in pretty much any seating / steering wheel postion the top of the gauges are clipped. The current idea of a large speedo and small tach makes the tach less usefull. When they are too small, they are useless (just like the one on my Ralley Pack in my early Mustang… Nice option but not much real utility). What’s really sad is that BMW knows how to do good instrument clusters that effectively communicate a lot. The 650i I recently drove was information rich, and well conceived. MINI needs to borrow some of their designers to improve the instrumentation offerings.

    • R.O.

      Here-here. Completely agree.

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      Can’t offer a “temp gauge” as these engines purposely operate in different temp ranges for ideal emissions. BMW did away with temp gauges in all but some M models (that do not use this emissions control tech) with the intro of the N52 inline six in 2005. The electric water pump is designed to turn on and off to allow rapid heating of the black and to change the engine temperature during certain types of load. The engineers feel that more people would think that the gauge is malfunctioning due to the aggressive swing is temps than just an “idiot light” that comes on when it is truly needed.

      The same can be said of the newer variable flow oil pumps that regulate pressure in a similar manner. The oil pump takes yaw rate and all that into consideration to provide optimal lubrication. There would be varied oil pressure as well- not constant and that would make most people panic.

      Any gauge that shows a constant temp or pressure is not telling the truth (ask the guys that designed the engine) on a modern BMW/MINI.

      Engines are not the same as 10 years ago and what we tend to think of as info we’d want, we really don’t anymore.

      As an aside- BMW M wanted to have such a gauge system as part of iDrive on the recent M cars but it ended up being less than impressive because of the new emissions tech. Like you said they could just GUI the CAN data but when the info that is provided swings around so much it is just a distraction.

      • Dr Obnxs

        I don’t buy that. I know a lot about how engines run now, and the rapid heat build up required for emissions, and variable load conditions blah blah blah. Not even offering the option because of the distraction and loss of real information would mean that all those that buy Scan Gauges and the like are just fooling themselves. They aren’t. While the average driver may be more worried about deviation from flat, performance drivers look to excursions from the norm: What is peak oil pressure at full load? What is coolent temp during/after hard driving? Both of these are indications of change of the very engine systems that we so depend on, and can be an early warning system. Look at boost gauges. They move around all the time. Big deal…. But if your peak boost is changing, you know you have a problem. And you can do something about it before catastrophic failure. Failure to actuall present the data is a missed opportunity. Idiot light tech is “oops, too late” information. If BMW really wanted to be ahead of the game, they’d throw some MVA (multi-variate analysis) or simple trend math at the data and show that to the user. But they just punted on the whole deal. The GTR takes all this computer driven gauging to a rather excessive extreme. The GTR factory hot shoes leave the display on the diagnostic gauging, and ingore it most of the time. But they do look for excursions from the norm to get a hint that something is amiss. Customers find value from these interfaces as well. BMW has decided that what they think about this issue is more important that what the people who actually buy the car think of the issue. This is just hubris.

        • BimmerFile_Michael

                                  Engine cooling

                              The engine cooling system utilizes an electric coolant pump. The heat management

          determines the current cooling requirement and controls the cooling system accordingly. Under certain circumstances, the coolant pump can be completely switched off, e.g. to rapidly heat up the coolant during the warm-up phase. The coolant pump continues to operate when the hot engine is shut down. The coolant capacity can therefore be varied regardless of the engine speed. In addition to the characteristic map thermostat, the heat management makes it possible to use various characteristic maps for controlling the coolant pump. In this way the engine control unit can adapt the engine temperature to the driving conditions.

                                  The engine control unit regulates the following temperature ranges:

          • 108°C/226°F = Economy mode

          • 104°C/219°F = Normal mode

          • 95°C/203°F = High mode

                                  • 90°C/194°F = High mode and control with characteristic map thermostat

                              The engine management sets a higher temperature (108°C) when, based on vehicle

          operation, the engine control unit detects ”Economy” mode. The engine is operated with relatively low fuel requirements in this temperature range. The internal engine friction is reduced at higher temperatures. The increase in temperature therefore results in low fuel consumption in the low load range. The driver wishes to utilize the optimum power devel- oped by the engine in “High and control with characteristic map thermostat” mode. For this purpose, the temperature in the cylinder head is reduced to 90°C. This temperature reduction promotes improved volumetric efficiency, thus resulting in an increased engine torque. Adapted to the relevant driving situation, the engine control unit can now regulate a defined operating range. In this way it is possible to influence the fuel consumption and power output through the cooling system.


          N55 Engine

                                  System Protection

                              If the coolant or the engine oil overheat during operation, certain vehicle functions are

          influenced to the effect that more energy is available to the engine cooling system.

                                  These measures are divided over two operating modes:

                                      Component protection

                                          -  Coolant temperature between 117°C/242°F and 124°C/255°F
                                          -  Engine oil temperature between 150°C/300°F and 157°C/314°F
                                          -  Result: The output of the air conditioning system

          (up to 100%) and of the engine is reduced


                                              -  Coolant temperature between 125°C/257°F and 129°C/264°F

                                          -  Engine oil temperature between 158°C/316°F and 163°C/325°F
                                          -  Result: The power output of the engine is reduced

          (up to 90%)

        • jbkONE

          That was a fascinating read. Thank you!

  • Aurel

    hahah … how much does the staff here grin when they are about to post these new spy shots relating to the F56?

  • robblef

    is there a standard radio din mount in that circle so people can change the head unit?

    • For better or worse the standard din mount is dead in the automotive world for all intents of purposes.

      • robblef

        can’t say I see anything on the ‘better’ side of the argument =(

    • jbkONE

      If they offer you a standard DIN mount, you won’t buy their upgraded stereo!

  • Liquid

    No center speedo?? We might go back to Ford! I had an R53, the wife got rid of her Mustang for an 09 R5 MCS, and I recently sold my R53 and now have a JCW R59. Sadly, though, if they remove the center speedo…it’s going to just be another BMW, and we’re going to go elsewhere. It was an icon of the MINI, it’s one of the things we love the most, and it’s a sad sad day 🙁

  • Mark

    Hopefully we can AT LEAST view the trip odometer in the center stack, otherwise rallying will be annoying for the navigator(and driver).

  • A.

    I simply don’t understand the move away from the center speedo. I know MINI did it before, I know evolution is a good point for any manufacturer out there, but the iconic center speedo?

    I bought a 2012 MCS R56 in December and every single person out there is mesmerized by my center speedo with navigation. It only takes 5 seconds or less for any new passenger riding with me to glance at it and say ‘oh my, this thing is gorgeous.’ I agree that being coupled with the navigation system makes it a bit more useful and less prominent vs. the regular one but this is what makes a MINI a MINI.

    I couldn’t care less for mood lighting or turning signal incorporated in the side mirrors and people dare talking about gimmicks? Yeah, let’s add some stupid glowing swirl at start up, more LED bling on the side mirrors and probably on the front bumper (gosh how heinous is that new trend), let’s keep a plate where the old speedo used to sit and add some squarish electronic components within (circles and squares go so well together), let’s mismatch the air vents (because why not?), let’s also make it more expensive and even more fragmented with different equipment models, all of that because it shares components with the future 1-series. Why not simply have the same car and 2 different logos, 1 for MINI and the other one for BMW. After all, with everything they seem to be doing to make this car look so average, why not?

    I will definitely be keeping mine and buy an SLK when I want something new – since the hatch kinda dictates the interior trend of other MINI models, I wouldn’t want to shell 45K on a roadster with a swirling dashboard, just because it answers the needs of their so-called market study and business strategy.

    Absolutely ridiculous.