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MINI’s New Metallic Matte Black in Depth

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MINI is launching it’s first ever matte color option with a limited edition model that will be uniquely offered in most key markets. Frozen Black metallic paint is now available as a limited edition color for the top of the range MINI Countryman and MINI Paceman models around the world. In the US this will be exclusively available on the Black Knight Edition Countryman Cooper S but elsewhere will be available on both Paceman and Countryman across the MINI Cooper SD, Cooper S and JCW models.

This innovative paint which has a textured, shimmering matt finish, gives the car a depth that isn’t normally found in matte finishes.

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The Frozen Black metallic paint finish is created using a complex manufacturing process exclusive to the BMW Group. This special painting procedure, which involves not just innovative technology but also a high level of manual craftsmanship, is now being applied for the first time by Austrian production partner Magna Steyr in Graz where the MINI Paceman and MINI Countryman are produced. The special surface treatment encompasses the base layer for grip and corrosion protection, the color layer as well as the clear lacquer finish which has added silicates to create the matted impression as well as the velvet effect which can be seen and felt.

Attached exterior parts such as the model-specific front and rear aprons and the exterior mirror caps are finished separately in the paint finish Frozen Black metallic. Due to the labour intensive process used to apply this exclusive body colour during production it is limited to a restricted number of cars.

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Frozen Black metallic is of the same high quality as the other paint finishes available for MINI in terms of abrasion resistance and colour fidelity. The finish is completely weather resistant and car wash resistant, however hand washing does require special care as spot cleaning of the surface using wax or polish can leave an unwanted gloss effect. For this reason the BMW Group offers care products developed specially for treating the Frozen Black metallic paint finish.

As we reported earlier this week, MINI USA is rolling out its first special edition Countryman that will use the new Frozen paint. The special edition will be called “The Black Knight Edition” and will be limited to only 60 units order-able via a special email address.

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Because the car will be limited to 60 united it’s first come first serve. In other words if you think you fancy yourself an official matte black Countryman (as opposed to those wraps we see so often) you’ll want to act fast if you’re lucky enough to be on the list.

We’ll have more on MINI’s new matte paint soon.

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Written By: Gabe

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

    Not everyone will like this but I think it’s rather fetching!

  • r.burns

    That is not what makes it less ugly

  • scamper

    Like putting a ninja outfit on a sideshow freak.

  • http://www.mynameisjay.com/ Jay
  • Chris

    Oh dear, fried egg indicators, what a spoil………..

    • lavardera

      Yellow indicators look great. I don’t get why some Mini people get their panties in a twist over that. Is that something that exists with other brands/models? Never heard of it before. Seems lame.

  • ulrichd

    “In the US this will be exclusively available on the Black Knight Edition Countryman Cooper S but elsewhere will be available on both Paceman and Countryman across the MINI Cooper SD, Cooper S and JCW models.”

    I wonder who makes decisions like this and why. My “other” car is a 128 6-speed and I really wanted the leather/cloth seat combo available in Europe. Considering that all 1-series are built at the same factory in Leipzig it seems silly to have these specific market restrictions. The same for MINI as they are all still built in Oxford.

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      It’s a complex answer we should probably report one of these days.

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      The short winded answer: Each configuration in the US needs to be crash tested (costs money)- must last 5 years/50k miles (to picky US customers) must not decrease the residual value or perceived value of the brand as a whole (some think cloth is cheap- but some cloth costs way more than leather) and BMWNA buys in bulk from BMWAG; the less options/configurations the less a production allotment costs. If you look at the i3 you will note that there are few options for interior/exterior because it actually keeps the production costs down.

      I have heard whispers that MINI would like to lessen its available customizations a bit to decrease overall production costs and be able to compete on price a bit more… we’ll see as there is a fine line there as part of MINI’s pull is its customization options. But then there is MINI Yours…

      We could go on but it would take a while :)

      • Lee L

        What does crash testing have to do with allowing us to buy colors like the rest of the world?

        And building half your cachet on customization and then wanting to back away is pretty lame, IMO.

        • BimmerFile_Michael

          Crash testing costs a fortune- and that was in regards to seats and materials. Those costs would then need to be passed on to consumers.

          If you read the press release it clearly explains why matte paint is a limited production option- as it is in the rest of the world. It is time consuming and expensive. BMW offers Individual colors in a similar manner- with added costs of more than $3k for just paint, does MINI have that pull? No as has been made clear by how some of the higher end options and cars have not sold well.

          If you don’t get the big picture I can’t help you understand it all but different markets have different requirements and the US requires more than any other market- preventing some options.

          The final run of the M3 in the US was supposed to feature a different engine but it would have been so cost prohibitive (crash, emission testing, aftersales parts etc.) that it was never green lit.

          MINI while selling a good number of cars has made limited profit, and the way some look at it- it has not been profitable at all. The limited marketing on the Paceman is because there is a limited budget because profits are so trim.

          Creating less customization saves money. Would you operate a business if it wasn’t making any money? The LSD that never really sold is something that MINI lost money on- as are some of the extraneous colors offered.

          This is why BMW had to move to FWD- to try and support MINI in a way of being more profitable through economies of scale.

  • Brianna Tanco

    I love the look.

  • Tan

    Not available for the Paceman in the US..!!!!!!Whyyy!!!?

    • BimmerFile_Michael

      Its a new vehicle, these limited runs are for aging products that need life pumped into them. Standard Operating Procedure in the auto industry.

      • Tan

        but its available in the other markets though,as seen in the photos.

        • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

          MINIUSA likely didn’t want to bother given the current sales rate of the R61.

        • pleaserelease

          maybe if they didn’t price it so high it would sell more. mini got ahead of themselves

        • Dr Obnxs

          I drove a Paceman at MRLS last March. It was the wrong car for the track… Auto S All4…. At first I hated it, but then the chassis really showed through, and it’s a gem. A manual S FWD would have been a real hoot! I just think that MINI didn’t market it well for whatever reason. Even most of the automotive press at the event didn’t know what a Paceman was. If the experts in the industry don’t know you launched a new model, you are doing something very, very wrong indeed, independent of price point.

  • Shane

    A hardcore color for the grocery getter of the MINI lineup. This is getting hard to watch.

  • bluzeke

    Somewhat ironic that a “dull” finish might be trickier to maintain than a regular glossy finish. “oh damn, there’s a shiny spot on my car!”

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      Because of the tough-ness of BMW’s “frozen” paint it’s not that hard. The beauty is that you really only need water and light soap to care for it as opposed to waxes for normal finishes.

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

        Saw a pickup truck over the weekend that was painted entirely in flat black bed-liner. This is like that, right? ;-)

      • lavardera

        I’d love a wax-less finish on my coupe.

  • Brian R

    Technically, the Dakar Edition Countryman was the 1st MINI edition to released in Matte Black… Just sayin’

  • CT

    This paint would be perfect on a r59!!

  • JonPD

    All the better to slip unseen into the mass of black cars on the road imo, and from my view all the better not being visually assaulted by this portly cousin ;).

  • lavardera

    A blog note: some of the images seem to be coded with the wrong resolution? At least on my machine the side view of the Paceman for example is displaying with a stretch in the vertical dimension, making it look a big more portly than it even is already…

    • http://bridger.us/ Gabriel Bridger

      We’re having massive and extremely frustrating image issues behind the scenes.

      • lavardera

        bleh – sympathies

  • Dave

    Hope the nimrods sending these over have the brains not to fit them all with automatics…..( like they do with 99% of the other “limited editions” )

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

      The allocations are set by the dealers. So if you want one with a manual (and good for you), then have your dealer order it that way.


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