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This is the 2014 F56 MINI’s Shift Knob

mini_shifter

And the shift knob for all MINIs for the next 7-10 years. Discuss.

Written By: Gabe

  • Edge

    …I’m just happy they’re still giving us the option of having one! :)

  • HipHopAnonymous

    umm… hmm… maybe?

  • AMS

    I like it.

  • Andrej Tsukamoto

    cant focus on it because of the horrible rubber-looking dash :(

    • AMS

      You’re not wrong about that. I hold out hope that the materials in the spy photos are not indicative of the final production finishes. Premium pricetags deserve premium materials.

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

        That’s our understanding. These are still prototype parts.

        • AMS

          And of course, if they were to actually make the interior as nice as I think it should be, the comments section would be flooded with people bitching about how BMW is ruining the brand by making the cars too refined.

          So, they can’t win.

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

          The Force is strong with you.

        • AMS

          Is there any public info on the take-rate of things like the various leather dashes? I know the Polar Beige version recently got phased out; kinda wonder if they’re just not selling enough to bother continuing to make them.

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

          MINI is on a fairly regular cycle of introducing new things and cycling out old options to keep the cars fresh. Some of that is based on sales, but some of it is just cyclical.

        • Ike

          Using this understanding… are we sure the shifter isn’t just a prototype?

      • Andrej Tsukamoto

        yes, yes, I’m not believing this interior until it’s official

      • alessandrop80

        I agree that those are not going to be the final materials, but that will probably be close to the final design and that’s what I don’t like.

      • http://about.me/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

        After spending three weeks in a Countryman loaner my impression of the interior was a sea of shiny hard plastics which wouldn’t look out of place in a Playskool factory. It’s high time MINI bring its materials up to the level of the standard bearers (VAG group products) with matte finishes and touch-friendly rubberized surfaces. Although these materials are still prototypes and the final product may differ, I’m liking this. The more matte finish will also make chrome or painted trim bits stand out more.

  • kellyp

    the knob’s ok but where are the window switches?

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

      As we’ve been reporting for months, they’re on the doors.

      • kellyp

        oh, guess I should stay up-to-date :)

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

      Take a browse through our F56 section, you’ll find tons of info.

  • Stephen Powell

    This is starting to become a bridge too far.

    The R50 / R56 gear knob was classically functional and traditional at the same time. It was a touch point that felt expensive. Now the F56 seems to be change for change sake.

    If I wanted Toyota materials I would buy a Toyota – I wouldn’t get it from a Mini dealer.

    • AMS

      Huh? I seriously don’t see anything about that knob to feel super strongly about.

      I can’t speak to the feel, since I haven’t touched it.

      • Stephen Powell

        My thinking is this new knob doesn’t appear to add any greater function or dexterity, so why change something that has worked so well over a decade? I am not the first (and certainly not the last) to point this out.

        It’s like the window toggles and door locks being moved.

        • AMS

          I hadn’t seen the knob before today, so I guess I haven’t seen where others have talked about it.

        • Kev50027

          Unfortunately, many buy MINIs not because of their handling and sportiness, but because they think they’re “cute,” and “fashionable.” Because of this, MINI probably feels obligated to change things around for the heck of it, to keep the car “like, fresh, y’know?” For all you know, this new knob could be the most comfortable, well built shifter in a MINI.

        • soopercooperinfo

          After owning an 06 R53 since delivery, this shift knob reminds me of what on would find in an arcade game. Sorry, but for the anticipated price of the 3rd gen MINI, one would expect a far more touch of class emblazened on one’s right/left hand. I realize that appealing to the masses is vital, but please do not demean such a simple example of MINI’s iconic heritage.

  • Vince
    1. It can’t be any more uncomfortable than the current knob.
    2. I’d replace it with one of my choosing anyway.
    • AMS

      I’ve heard such great things about the Whalen Machines knob. I just can’t bring myself (yet) to spend that much on something that’s gonna scorch my hand when I take the top down in the summer.

      • Brian

        I wouldn’t worry too much unless you leave your MINI in the direct sun, top down. If that’s the case I’d be concerned about things other than the shift knob. I have a custom engraved shift knob from Whalen Shift Machine and it’s well worth the money. Beautiful to look at, and it adds great feel to each throw of the shifter.

  • wetwolf

    One word: Whalen

    • Brian

      +1 Own one and you’ll love one.

  • vzben

    Why isn’t there a description in this article? Are you 100% sure about that? I’m sceptical.

    • AMS

      There is: “And the shift knob for all MINIs for the next 7-10 years.”

      Which isn’t strictly true, unless the 2014+ R54/5/7/8/9 and R60/1 models will immediately be getting this knob.

      Which they probably aren’t.

      • BimmerFile_Michael

        There replacements will get the knob in 3 years and they will have a 7 year cycle which is 10 years :)

        • AMS

          A) That’s still doesn’t account for EVERY car MINI will build during the model years 2014 to 2021(or-24). For the first few years, you’ve got legacy models and for the last few, the Hardtop would likely have moved on to the 4th Gen.

          B) Their

          C) No, I’m just fucking with you. None of this matters. It’s just a slow day and if people can argue about a knob on a car they’ve never driven, I can fuss about semantics, right?

        • BimmerFile_Michael

          It could be the liter and a half of kellerbier I just drank :) as I am usually good with syntax and semantics :)

        • Bob Hayhurst

          Bring on the bratwurst!!! Don’t forget to loosen the lederhosen as nessesary Micheal…

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      Since BMW/MINI have a 7 year life cycle and the F56 has not come to market that is 7 years plus the variants after are the additional 3. This is the knob.

  • BimmerFile_Michael

    Amen to that! And some people just don’t get that yet!

  • Kevin Stephenson

    That’s a whole lot of black all around. Call me old fashioned but I’ll be buying the chrome interior option to add some contrast assuming they still have it. Love it on my R52.

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

    I’m kind of surprised nobody has talked about seeing the HVAC controls all lit up.

    • AMS

      I think anyone saying anything negative about the HVAC controls in the F56 should be forced to go take a long, hard look at the rollers on the standard R56 A/C.

    • Aurel

      I like the HVAC, it will probably have the same fit and feel as the BMW ones in the final version … hoping. Also, are there any silver bits on the new dash/center console? Things are looking a tad bit dark.

    • Grahame

      Does that look like dual-zone climate control? 20 on one side, 21 on the other…

  • Aurel

    What does the A/T one look like? ;) Also will paddles be standard on the S only or are they bringing them back to the Cooper as well?

  • Chris Bamford

    what are the blanks for, where the window switches went… will we get an option to have them back where we like them? :)

    • AMS

      With the window controls moving to the doors, I would assume that the Sport and Traction Control buttons would move up to the toggles. Isn’t that how it is in the Paceman? I know I remember seeing pics of it at some point, but I can’t recall if it ended up in the final design or not.

      IMO, toggles for those functions is way superior to the current position. More than worth the butthurt over shifting the window switches.

  • GP0256

    3 words…… OH HELL NO!

  • Jeremy

    Im just glad I know what my next umbrella handle is going to look like. I was sweating that choice!

  • Jessica

    To be honest, I’d probably just change it out. I’m not a fan.

  • SomewhereNorth

    The knob looks like it’s from the same era as those bad jeans.

  • http://about.me/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

    Nobody seems to have yet mentioned that it’s very similar to the shifter in the Rocketman Concept. After the front grille, this is one of the more obvious Rocketman concept-to-production elements. http://s3.motoringfile.com/wp-content/gallery/rocket/Int1_2_final.jpg Although the idea of a ball surrounded by a vertical strip of leather/leatherette wouldn’t be my first obvious choice (as opposed to the R50/3/6 design of leather on the bottom half of a sphere), I’ll reserve judgement until I can feel it.

  • JonPD

    A stick is a stick, knobs are easy to change out. Did not love the R56 era knobs hence why I have a JCW one on our Coupe. Now if only MINI can design air vents that do more than blow more or less either directly on your hands or at the opposite side of the car. For the last many years we end up pointing each of the inner vents towards the other side of the cabin so you don’t end up with super cold hands long before cooling off in a MINI.

    • Eric

      You’re right !

  • Gary

    Get a grip people…it’s just a shift knob. ;-)

  • RedAFMINI

    It’s a shift knob…. I’m more concerned about the fact that the window toggles are gone and they still put the switch cluster there with the spots where they would have gone. Like leaving the robo-tumor round piece in the middle of the dash with ugly rectangular bits in it. Pick a design language and stick with it throughout

    • http://about.me/jasonrwilliams Jason Williams

      The Paceman and the latest Countryman builds move the window switches to the doors so having the F56 have the window switches on the doors will actually bring consistency to the lineup. Since this is the first change in over a decade and three generations, I wouldn’t be so rash so say MINI isn’t consistent. Even the first gen MINIs had blanks if you didn’t get front or rear fog lamps so I don’t see the F56 has changing the “problem”. With the talk of all of the new features the car will have, I can imagine these getting filled in nicely for a few bills…

  • Ike

    As I’ve done with all my Minis… it’s getting replaced with this anyway :

    http://thumbs1.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mD2hI93tnA021OixP1U3Y9w.jpg

  • Mark Smith

    I think more interesting is that it looks like the new F56 will offer dual zone climate control. I have clients ask me for that all the time just because it is offered on other cars even if they don’t necessarily need it. That is great!

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

      It will. We’ve confirmed that for sure.

      • Frank Granados

        I am spolied by the dual zone climate control in my E90 328i sedan.

  • coel

    Could be just the angle of the photo, but by any chance is the new one shorter than R50/56?

  • coel

    +1.

    It’s funny the “cute & cuddly” MINI is one of the very few brands (Porsche, Lotus, who else?) offering stick shift across the entire lineup in the US market. And I like that they see the MT to be the standard. My friend had to special order MT R8 because Audi USA doesn’t offer MT on R8 by default, and you’ll need to get top of the line TT-RS for MT in the entire TT line.

    Sadly, I’m sure things will change in the future, but I’m glad MINI is sticking with the tradition in this regard for the time being. Maybe AT can shift faster for most people, but the fun-factor and the simplicity of MT can’t be replicated with AT with puddles.


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