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The 2014 F56 MINI: Here’s the Interior

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We’ve seen glimpses of the interior before but none quite like this. Snapped by a Reddit user what we see above is a full view of the base F56 interior. When we say base we’re specifically referring to one of the two sizes of LCD screen that will likely prevalent on most MINIs sold. What we see here is the cheapest spec interior (there will be four total). 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. That bezel is a bit more than the simple piece of plastic it may seem. The strip around the circular portion of the centre stack is actually mood lighting which lights up and swirls around when you engage the keyless ignition (now standard).

And yes, the center speedometer is gone. Instead it’s replaced by a larger digital unit behind the wheel directly in the driver’s line of site as well as the traditional analog unit. The new tack will be a smaller, semi-circular gauge attached to the left hand side of the speedometer. It’s a more contemporary design, and frankly, a little funky.

Why is MINI ditching the center speedo? Two reasons. First, MINI has taken hit after hit in consumer surveys with the primary speedometer being located in the center of the car. They’re finally listening to that feedback. 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 steering wheel in the photo above is actually the BMW version that has been put in this car to throw us off. The final unit will be similar to MINI’s current design with all the functionality you see on the BMW wheel. In general our sources have told us to expect the three spoke wheel to retain the overall shape of the current wheel with more angular details.

You can read much more on the new MINI in the MotoringFile’s F56 section. In the meantime thoughts? We know you have them. Let’s hear what you think in the comment section below.

Update: Here’s sneak peek at the final MINI steering wheel design that is missing from the text mule pictured above. Also seen here (and in my mind the most controversial change is the speedometer replacing the tach and the tach becoming a small half circle to the left. Not a surprise as it’s something we reported on last year but still this is the best view we’ve had yet of it. (courtesy of BimmerToday.de)

MINI-F56-2014-Erlkoenig-Innenraum-02

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Written By: Gabe

  • nervous

    My anxiety over not having a CD player is crippling.

    • b-

      CDs are on life support right now. Just think of all the music you can fit on a thumb drive and never have to worry about changing a disc ever again. I for one have had my entire music collection digital for 14 years now.

      With digital content on your smartphone or music player, streaming content and the radio this is more than enough and you will never want to deal with a CD ever again.

      I have one MP3 disc that lives in my player for times that I don’t plug in my phone but that rarely happens.

      • nervous

        Some of the world can still live (happily, gleefully) without a cell phone.

        • b-

          You don’t have a cell phone? I did say you can have music on a USB thumb drive.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.nolan.31 James Nolan

    I think people forget that you didnt have to use the centre speedo if you didnt want to, and there are other cars on the market with a similar digital set up with no speedo directly in front of the driver, I can remember a citroen we once had like this. All in all, screw the consumer surveys, they obviously werent filled in by mini fans. The car has sold well above expectation with this set up for 12 years, why change it for a few moaning customers? They obviously still bought the car despite this and knew what they were getting into. And I really am hoping MINI pulls something good out of the bag with the exterior because frankly, they should be ashamed of that interior! It looks like a Ford Focus, not a MINI!!!!! Please someone save our small car!!

  • mgnards

    I had a thought, and I’m wondering if anyone knows… Maybe the hashmarks where the center speedo used to be may be LEDs synchronized to simulate the speedometer?

    • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

      They do light up, but our understanding is it’s more of an aesthetic effect than anything communicating speed. Apparently on startup, the car puts on a bit of a light show.

      • b-

        Yeah, they could have saved on this bit of fluff and spent the money on making the interior look like a MINI’s interior.

      • Aurel

        If I remember correctly the lights will also double up as visual cues for L/R direction indicators when coupled with a NAV

  • jason

    Before making comments I decided to sleep on it. With a different steering wheel, especially a two-spoke one like on my ’03, and the upgraded materials as mentioned, I think that it will be better than the current interior by leaps and bounds. I have wanted a new MINI for sometime, but the current interior is one of my major complaints. I think that this is a good improvement, however, I will, like many others, really miss the center speedo.

  • Mars

    Need to agree with the others. What’s the point of a big central circular whole with a square box in it? Why put the analog speedo in the middle and small tach? Couldn’t it be the other way around, with the digital speedo like today? And those air vents in the middle, which look like they came from a Kia and clash with the side circular vents? Looks like my next car will have to be a X1…

  • wetwolf

    Yuck! And that is putting it mildly. So if I want something that looks a little less bad, I have to spend a $1k minimum for a screen…..gee, thank you sir may I have another.

    Wasn’t the first rule of design school that rounds and squares do not play well with each other?

    Did you notice the lower glovebox is gone?

    Did you see the new WRX, wow!

  • b-

    After taking some more time to look at the pictures and think about this interior, the following is why it really is a terrible interior for a MINI.

    1. The center circle. Square peg in a round hole, Ouch! What an utter waste of space above and below the radio. My R52 doesn’t have a single wasted space, yes, the early R50 and R53 cars missed some storage opportunities that they caught in the 2005 refresh but this is just a total waste. Sure, the screen is what, 3X larger than my R52 display and 2X the R56 one but it looks SO cheap and don’t even try to use the, “but it is the least expensive radio option,” for what you pay for these cars why have a cheap looking radio option?

    2. The center stack not being grounded. The center stack tries to fake the look of the downtubes from the R53 and R56 but then they are just cut off too early. Sure, they aren’t REALLY cut off but they look to be cut off with them getting thinner and pushed back and not a nice line all the way down. Reminds me of what it looks like when the tubes are removed from the R53, the radio just hangs there and looks dumb, that is what this looks like. Way back when a forum member wanted to mod his downtubes into a U shape under the stereo and have them not planted in the center console. The photoshop looked like junk and as far as I know he scrapped the idea.

    3. The Speedo and Tach. Sure, the Speedo is now where the speedo is in just about every other car on the planet with the Tach pushed back to second place. Why not do a Chrono Style Speedo and Tach where they are equally big? This setup is not MINI at all.

    4. The Missing circular elements. The Vents next to the big dumbe center circle are no longer circles. The Speedo face is a circle but the pod is not, it is a mis-shapen blob with the warning lights on one side and the Tach on the other. Boo!

  • Don Hopings

    Gawd, where to begin…

    1. Fugly, and we all know what that means.
    2. Light show at startup is smacks of adolescent boy racer
    3. You would probably need to stop the car before you start to search for the correct button for what you want to do. Too much potential for attention diversion.
    4. I don’t like the ignition switch in the center where it could be hit accidentally and the engine shut down.
    5. I realize that the steering wheel is from a BMW, but there’s too many button on it. Again, potential for attention diversion.
    6. Let me guess, they still don’t have water temp and voltage or oil pressure?
    7. Assuming the driver now has a right hand window switch, how does the passenger open the driver’s window (hint: more difficult that the previous system).
    8. Larger, upscale screen looks better than the cheapie, if you can afford it.
    9. The more BMW tries to make it “different”, the more it becomes un-MINI-like. The moore you make it un-MINI-like, the more it becomes just another expensive econo-box. You don’t take a great concept and continue to dilute it.
    10. All this does is make my 2009 JCW Clubman look better and better. It was born rare and getting rarer all the time.
    11. The large bezel appears to be shiny. Great for nighttime reflections.
    12. Double Fugly, and we all know what that means.
    • please

      4- Yes, I’m sure that’s exactly how that will work. I’m sure a car with this much technology in it won’t be able to lock out the “Engine Off” switch during times that it would be inherently dangerous.

      1. Really? THAT is a pressing concern?

      2. I have no idea how to parse the phrase “just another expensive econobox.” Seems oxymoronic. And even if the MINI is both expensive and an econobox, are there really so many other examples of the same combination of high price and cheap construction that it could qualify as “just another?”

      • Don Hopings

        4) No, I don’t think you would want to disable that switch. As it is, you can shut of the engine at any time. To do something different such that it was no longer the case is probably unsafe. 7) Yes, I never wanted switches on the door. It’s just more expense; completely unneeded. 9) Econobox as I have used it relates more to the footprint and cargo capacity of the MIN compared to others. If you striped it down, even below a Justa, and it was made by Toyota, it would be an econobox in the popular context of the word. But the fact remains, the less MINI-like it is makes it more like other similarly sized cars in the market. Much of the uniqueness that IS the MINI will be lost. There is a Cardinal Rule here: people don’t buy MINIs because that are like everything else. BMW would do well to remember that.

  • Disappointed

    My 2 cents, Crap! We have people flocking to MINI because of their distinctive styling, and the MINI gives us this crap! Guess my ’13 JCW Coupe will be my last.

  • Evan

    Few things:

    Firstly, this is a pre-production interior. So there are pieces of plastic in place of gloveboxes, no finishing trim, a blatantly non-MINI stock BMW steering wheel, and materials that are roughly made and fit. As enthusiasts reading on this site, I’m a little surprised that few recognize design limitations/conditions to a pre-production interior. We all love MINIs and love our MINIs, but they would NOT sell them without any changes forever. Eventually sales would soften, fall off and the brand would fold. The R50 is a great car (as I approach 100k miles in mine) but there are many improvements that could be made and compromises that a very large number of consumers wouldn’t put up with.

    Secondly, I love design heritage but I also like evolution.

    The round circle in the middle is much better than another square or rectangle for the ubiquitous in-car screen- hence something quirky about the MINI. I also like the three round knobs for the climate control, just like the manual HVAC controls on my 2004 R50- simple and clean. While I love the design of the R50 interior, it’s components left something to be desired for overall quality. The R56 was a bit better in places, but obviously cheapened in others. This F56 interior appears to be on the path of noticeably better material and assembly quality.

    I am sad that the major dial behind the steering wheel is the speedometer and not the tachometer- at least the tach is tacked on I guess… And I wish there was an easy way to fill up the toggle switches without getting PDC. The other toggles will obviously be in all models (sport/eco, DSC, ignition, auto stop/start) but PDC will likely be an option (I hope) and sadly leave one blank toggle in many MINIs.

    I really can’t wait to see the final design. My expectations are high, especially for the F55 and the improvements to fuel economy. And I’ll solve any distress with updated MINIs by simply keeping my 2004 forever. Keep the info coming!

    • Gary

      “…I’m a little surprised that few recognize design limitations/conditions to a pre-production interior.”

      Really? Given that the title of the post is loudly proclaiming “Here’s the Interior” why would you expect people to think it’s unrepresentative?

      • Versus

        It’s not an “official” photo, thus some people may choose to withhold judgment until something more official is presented. Also, I believe there are various interior trim levels for the F56. I don’t see what trim type this is or even if will be available in all regions.

        • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

          Additionally, if I’ve learned anything from writing here at MF, it’s that the photos almost never do the final product justice. The Paceman and GP for example, look 100X better in person than they do in even the best press photos. So the real proof is going to be in the pudding of seeing it in person. Hell, even the R56 interior looks better in person than it ever did in the pre-production photos we saw in 2006.

        • Versus

          How did you get a down vote for that? Totally reasonable comment. Boo birds in full effect.

        • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

          Oh there’s no talking some people off the ledge when things change, no matter what the actual result. They’re entitled to their opinion just like me.

        • Gary

          But you must admit that by reasonable objective measures (e.g., go back and count the negative comments on MF when the R56 interior was introduced for comparison) that the mostly one-sided reaction being recorded here is at least anomalous and most likely unprecedented.

        • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

          That would assume it was the exact same group of people then and now, which it isn’t. Because of the R56 and the R60, the MINI family (and our readership) is bigger and more diverse than it was in 2006. So it’s not exactly an apples to apples comparison. You can’t just count comments post-to-post and say that this interior is therefore worse because a greater percentage of comments on this post vs. a post years ago didn’t like it. It doesn’t work like that. A lot of people obviously don’t like it, but most people hate everything new from MINI when it first comes out. It’s a pattern we’ve seen over and over again. I’ve read literally EVERY comment left on MotoringFile in nearly the last three years (because they all come to my email inbox), and I was one of the most frequent commenters and comment readers prior to that. What I can say with absolute certainty is that there’s a contingent of MF readers that simply don’t do well with change, no matter what that change is. That said, most also tend to get over it. People get used to new things and new people join the community BECAUSE of whatever it was that was at the time so divisive. Do you want to read something interesting? Go look through the comments on some of the early Clubman posts — back when it was just a rumored concept. People freaked out. That’s when “they’re ruining the brand!” started to become a cliche. Looking back across the thousands of comments I’ve read since then, it’s a pretty common pattern. Thing is, that’s fine! Hate the new interior. Keep hating the Countryman. Keep wishing every MINI was a 2005 R53. That’s part of being a MINI fan and a MotoringFile reader. But what you can’t do, is take what people say in the comments here on MotoringFile and treat it like it’s the unanimous opinion of every MINI fan and every person likely to come to the brand in the coming years. But just watch, when the actual F56 comes out, no matter what it is, there’s going to be a really vocal group of people leaving a lot of the same comments left here, and that’s fine. That’s how it goes. That’s the chorus and these are the verses. Some people obviously don’t like it. Honestly, having not looked at it in a few days, I like it more than I did when I first saw it. I’m curious to see what the final version looks like. But more than that, I’m much more curious about the rest of the car and what it will be like to drive.

        • Gary

          I appreciate your thoughtful response…thanks!

        • Versus

          Yea, bring on the rest of the car!

        • Captain

          Agreed. If the car is as fun to drive or better than the current sample, I can get past interior aesthetics fairly quick. Re: Clubman. It is the only reason why I am in the MINI community, until that car was created, the brand never showed up on my search given our family’s needs. That said it has been a few days and I still think that center stack is a huge mess.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adrianmannion Adrian Mannion

    Sorry but does not work for me, its far to BMW than MINI. has to have round vents to start with. Plus the radio looks its been thrown in as an after thought. Looks totally un MINI and I think the next generation will struggle to win admirers. I just hope its not becoming a 1 Series in a MINI body!!

  • AMS

    If round vents and a center spedometer make it a MINI, then I really need to figure out how these “Yaris” badges got on my car.

    • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

      Zing!

  • nervous

    Maybe we can an App center speedo & maybe some App round vents & maybe an App tach… :-b

  • Aurel

    In that newly added last photo … looks like the headlamp switches have made it to a more “traditional” spot as well.

  • Ray

    As an R53 owner, I am disappointed at the mismash look of this cockpit…hopefully they iron thing out with the higher-end options. I agree, the nav space (square peg in a round hole) look terrible. Should be better with a larger nav screen. The tach should be bigger, not just an add-on to the new smaller speedo. Perhaps they should try something like the previous cockpit chrono package in the R53? Overall, it looks too busy…too much bling (like a GM or Ford product). A cleaner, simpler dash would be more appealing. They have progressively improved things, but that doesn’t mean they are better!

  • zugzugmcd

    I don’t think it looks that bad and certainly not bad enough to say that I would never buy another MINI. I bought my MINI because it’s such a fun car to drive. As long as the F56 is comfortable and fun to drive, it will be my next car.

  • chan

    they ve just killed all things what makes a MINI MINI… there is no minimalistic characteristic left and it just look like a common car.. ffs this should be april first joke? is it right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Grady/1025941918 Brian Grady

    What a horrible design, really disappointed in that. If that is any indicater of the design direction, I am sure I am going to hate the exterior design as well.

  • Bor

    it is bad. Un-Minimalistic and just plain ugly. I thought my 07 speedo was a step down from R53, but this helps me put it into perspective… Looks like I’m gonna keep my R56 for awhile.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nathan-Fong/100000353101204 Nathan Fong

    That steering wheel looks like it was from a Chevy, and the IP, Looks like it belongs in the new Jeep Cherekee 2014…. Ugly.

  • Gary

    It’s interesting to go back and read the comments on the ’07 R56 intro posts (both the “Interior Impressions” and the full review by Gabe) as a comparison. Suffice it to say that there were plenty of folks who expressed negative opinions about the interior design, but not even close to the level of disappointment and vitrol we’re seeing among the overwhelming majority here. I think the paradigm shift we’re being asked to swallow with the F56 is on a whole different magnitude.

  • Versus

    In time I wonder if we will look back on this and point it out as the moment r53 and r56 owners found common ground, the new GP couldn’t even do that.

    I’ll withhold judgment for the time being.

  • lavardera

    Sounds like the same bunch of weenies that complained and complained about the R56. “Playskool, Playskool…” So, see here – this is what you got for that. Not a drop of “Playskool”.

    • Bob Hayhurst

      Haaaaaaa!!!

    • Captain

      Does that mean they will switch it back to Playschool since there are even more complaints this go round?

      • lavardera

        You sir, please stand over here with the folks that demanding the reinstatement of the R53 interior, yes that’s them, the ones that seem to be in a trance..

  • Mills

    I’m more upset about the death of the beautiful, round tachometer. That little half moon thing is ridiculous. It would be fine in a car with an automatic, like a Toyota IQ, that nobody would care about driving, but not in a so called sporty car like the MINI The BMW design & engineering Death Spiral continues. If MINI doesn’t have a design edge, then they really have nothing, because Audi and Mercedes are shitting all over them in every other category right now.

  • Dimopo

    I hope it’s still early to fix this…not mini at all…

  • Swarley

    At least the center circle and cents kind of make the MINI logo together… That’s about all

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      Bingo!! It’s about time somebody realized that! All these “diehard” fans failed to see that the interpretation of the symbol has moved from the A/C controls up .

      120 comments later someone finally got it.

      • auto-xer

        That’s a big stretch…and I guess you’ve been waiting since Post #1 to spring your superior perception skills on the ever-ignorant MINI crowd. Please go back to your hole at BF if you can’t avoid the patronizing attitude.

        • BimmerFile_Michael

          Have a clubman- just tired of people whining about change. Been with a MINI since the R53 and welcome the changes. Just get amused that how people fight progress. Same thing happened last go around, same thing happened when BMW put a V8 in the M3 (which is now the best engine ever and people are sad it is leaving). Change is tough I guess.

          The end result will be far better than what is in these images and the vast majority will appreciate the move up market, greater efficiency, connection and retain sportiness.

          Thanks for the “hole” comment!

        • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

          You’re welcome anytime, Michael.

          While we’re talking about cross pollinating, there may be a BimmerFile vintage BMW motorcycle project in the works. But I digress. “Boo! Hiss! Abomination! Ruining the brand!”

          There, back on topic. ;-)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000671752842 Chris Bamford

        eh? So what… does that make it really well designed and original?

      • Nim

        Tell you what, if they inverted the side vents (so that is looks like the MINI wings) I would agree with you. But as presented (in provided picture) this is a missed opportunity. Sharing of BMW DNA is understandable (costs) but even within the gene pool of Homo sapien there is enough variation present for perceived uniqueness. As such what we have is not unique, entirely cohesive nor especially pleasing. Spending more time in CAD to move the mount point slightly to accommodate both a regular and inverted vent could provide the missing uniqueness and cohesiveness. Yes it is a small thing, but the small things add up.

        • Captain

          Bingo. Either it was ill-conceived/poorly implemented or done by accident. Flip the vents around to the proper orientation and maybe we can salvage this hack job with a full screen NAV.

      • Volkan

        I can’t decide which one is more clueless: that half-baked “interpretation” of the MINI logo or your “I’m against everyone who is against change” attitude. Yeah, fit squares into big circles, fill the obvious gaps on top and bottom (in the first picture showing the “base” design) with useless compartments and call it a “brilliant” interpretation of the MINI logo. Now, we get it. Thanks for pointing us to the right direction Michael!

  • Saji

    It’s becoming a BMW console and interior …

  • http://www.jasondominy.tumblr.com/ jasondominy

    THIS IS WRETCHED! I mean, come on, looks like a BMW, not a MINI. And this is where you lose me MINI. So glad my R53 is still humming along at 170k. I would NOT buy this one.

  • that.guy

    “text mule”

    Mi burro she can carry mucho prose, señor.

  • RakSiam

    Good lord that thing is ENORMOUS! Why do we need an analog and a digital speedometer? I don’t believe I have ever looked at the current speedometer. I just use the digital readout above the steering wheel.

  • SandDB

    Oh, the horror. F(AIL)56! The instant you see the classic speedo in a R56 and their elder models, you KNOW you are in a MINI. It’s like when you go overseas and see the foreign cans of soda. You know you have a coke in your hand but the look just throws you off. That “something just isn’t right” feeling really urks you to the core.This look says NISSAN or something equally lame!

  • Beud

    Hopefully this is a bad photochop or just an early prototype

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.nolan.31 James Nolan

    An obvious trick would be to make the whole centre ex-speedo (ladies and gentleman, the death of a design icon, most cars used to be like this) and the square vents (still can’t understand why these are neccessary, just a reverance to boredem) and turn them into a giant MINI badge. But then again, if that happened, cue an entire 7 years of people whove bought a MINI just because they can, and have no respect for the brand, moaning about how it puts them off driving and that its made them nearly hit a tree, and all of those who understand and want more MINI madness lose out again with the 4th gen! (if that ever materialises, i can see MINI starting to die with this generation if all of BMW’s plans for boring the modern motorist come into play). Why change something thats worked so well in 2.5 million + cars?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002529731658 Doug Buchanan

    Wow, where’s the MINI style?

    Hugh Wolfe below has it right – looks like it was pulled from a Chevy SUV or a bland European rental car, especially the ugly vents. At least the wheel’s not for real.

    Ugh.

  • Ephman87

    The Fanboys are doing their best to defend this, but to claim that “some people just don’t like change” misses the point. The point is that most people don’t like ugly. The pictures reveal a disjointed mismash, and even if the production version is better resolved (it MUST be!) the structure here suggests neither innovation nor even timid coherence. It’s as if the guys responsible for designing the interior of a rental Malibu were given access to a BMW parts bin and told to squeeze everything around a now-pointless circular element and toss in some toggles. Personally, I’d have been fine if they had started with a completely clean sheet of paper. I’m sure that many other commenters share that view. This is of a piece with the lumpen, frog-eyed exterior of the current series. The problem we have, Mini shills, isn’t that the design is new or different, but that it’s ugly and unresolved. Indeed, misplaced attempts at continuity are the problem. If we are stuck sharing parts bin pieces that are rectangular for cost reasons, then kiss the circular element goodbye. Likewise, if Euro crash regulations wouldn’t permit an exterior with Frank Stephenson proportions, a clean sheet would have been preferable to the wall-eyed froggy “evolution.”

    • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

      If you listen to this week’s episode of White Roof Radio, you can here this “fan boy’s” gripes and disappointments first hand. I’m definitely hoping subsequent views and versions are an improvement over what we’re seeing so far. That said, I stand by my previous statement. Change is never well received, no matter what it is. The one and only exception to this in the past five years has been the Rocketman.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000671752842 Chris Bamford

        ^^^ Change for the better is ALWAYS well received in other words. This sound byte that keeps getting trotted out is frankly, patronising. If the people here didn’t share a common passion about the brand, the brand wouldn’t be worth hanging onto would it.

        • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

          “Change for the better is ALWAYS well received in other words.”

          Sadly no, it’s almost never well received. But that’s fine. That’s just how the comments roll. Take it however you like, but some people are always going to be contrarian no matter what MINI puts out, good or bad. Not everybody, but some. Like I’ve already said, there are numerous things that are now an accepted and loved part of the MINI and MotoringFile community that when they came out, were received with every bit as much hyperbolic dislike as this new interior is receiving. Doesn’t make this new interior design good, but it also doesn’t make the community any more comfortable with change. What community is comfortable with change, though? Please don’t mistake the observation for criticism, as that isn’t how it’s meant. I agree with you (and have said as much in my previous comments) that people caring about the car and the brand is a really great thing. We wouldn’t be here if we weren’t passionate about it too. The perennial chorus of fainting ladies is really entertaining, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want this to always be a place where people express their opinions. That’s what the comment section is for. But we should also be able to laugh at ourselves when we fall into old patterns. Listen to this week’s episode of WRR. I don’t cut this interior much slack at all. Neither does Gabe. I believe the words “disjointed mess” were used more than once. Also check back tomorrow for Gabe’s full opinion piece on these new interior shots, what we think MINI’s trying to do, an where we think they’re succeeding/failing.

  • I just can’t

    Awful Awful Awful. Terrible. Crap. I would have never expected such a shitty design from MINI.

    Leaving a stupid circle around an otherwise square interior doesn’t maintain the essence of a MINI. This is horrible. Absolute failure.

    I don’t care what the motivation was for this change, but it needs undone.

    I refuse to buy this car if its labeled MINI. This is not a MINI. If this is the serious design, MINI is dead to me.

  • Aurel

    You know I really have no problem with a more grown up BMW sourced interior … but then make it really slick and upscale … those HVAC knobs look straight out of a Tonka bin … and everything else looks just random the more I look at it … what’s going on with that super thick cladding on either side of the center console going up to the left and right of the dash … is that covering up something? I hope so as it looks like something out of a 2002 Ram

  • workpath

    [Interior] designers: please don’t use logos as reference points for interaction design. There is nothing else more fundamentally wrong in design than beginning with a preconceived shape and then working backwards to realize functionality. Begin with the driver’s intent, understand core scenarios, then design. Using a large circle in the name of “brand” is missing the mark. The circle/logo isn’t the brand, the principle of simple, honest functionality is. If you had begun there, you wouldn’t have ended up where you have. Please start over!

  • jrichard012

    Really would like to know what has been done to those awful cup holders and the unreachable storage bin beneath the center dash area.

  • glangford

    It is obvious the designers at BMW/MINI have no idea how to do design for the human-machine interface (MINI/BMW idrive). I mean really an engine start toggle? How stupid is that? Does that mean when I want to hit another toggle while driving at 60 and bump the wrong toggle (which I do alot in my R56 cutting on the fog lights when wanting to roll down the window) that I’ll stop the engine? (I’m assuming SW wouldn’t allow that, but its not a good idea to rely on SW to fix poor design.) I really hate the circular radio station selection buttons. Given the speedo is gone and the adjoining vents are square why not just retain a square screen and linear station buttons? The whole thing just looks jerry-rigged. I also have several questions the picture doesn’t answer. Where are the window buttons. Is that a headlight switch next to the drivers knee? Seems to be alot more buttons on the steering wheel as well, good or a distraction?

    When I first started reading through comments my initial reaction was it can’t be that bad, its just the R50/53 gang again lamenting the demise of the first gen mini. But studying the design more, I agree its horrendous.

    • glangford

      I’m seriously conidering a new Ford Fiesta ST as my next car. This helps me make that decision.

  • MiniNeedsANewInteriorDesigner

    I love my Roadster but I hate Mini’s interiors. Poor design, not comfortable, and the materials used are crap. For a car as expensive as a Mini I would expect more quality.

    I have a new Ford F-250 and it blows away the Mini interior. I love the My Ford Touch 8 inch touch screen and voice control for all electronics. The materials used are light-years ahead of the mini and this is a frigin truck.

  • Gary

    What’s up with the spy shot disappearing here and elsewhere?

    • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com/ Nathaniel Salzman

      It was at the request of those who own the original photo.


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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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Reviews:
'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)
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JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
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'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
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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


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