It’s Official – CarPlay is Coming to MINI

Last year we broke the story that CarPlay was coming to the MINI Clubman and Countryman with July production. Today MINI is making it official along with a slew of other technology and display changes on all models. We expect the addition of CarPlay to make it to the rest of the range in either September production or for the LCI next March.

Official release: The MINI brand is further enhancing the appeal of its model line-up in summer 2017 with a range of new design, functionality and infotainment improvements.

From July 2017, all new MINI models will feature an enhanced cockpit instrument with a new night design and a fuel level display that offers greater precision. Operation of MINI Driving Modes and MINI Head-Up Display will also be revised. In a brand first, MINI Clubman and MINI Countryman will offer Apple CarPlay and an alertness assistant will be introduced on MINI 3-door Hatch, MINI 5-door Hatch and MINI Convertible models.

Apple CarPlay for MINI Clubman and MINI Countryman.

MINI Countryman and MINI Clubman customers who choose Media Pack XL or MINI Tech Pack will now benefit from Apple CarPlay preparation included. This new functionality allows MINI customers a range of new intelligent connectivity and infotainment options.

Apple Carplay integration offers customers a convenient, wireless connection to compatible Apple iPhone apps, including iMessage, Phone, Apple Music, Apple Maps and selected third party apps. Apps are displayed and operated on the 8.8” high resolution MINI central display, and controlled using either the MINI Touch Controller or the touchscreen.

New cockpit displays: night design in white and fuel level display offering greater precision.

As of July 2017, the cockpit instrument on the steering column of all current MINI models will offer improved clarity and an enhanced graphics display. At night time, the numbers and letters will appear in white rather than orange in future. This new colour scheme will also apply to the Head-Up Display whilst driving in the dark. Individual height setting for the Head-Up Display will now be stored in the personal profile on the vehicle key, as will the settings for the exterior mirrors and the electrically adjustable seats.

The new fuel level display on the right-hand section of the cockpit instrument features an enhanced and more precise display, making it easier to read fuel level details.

New operation for MINI Driving Modes and MINI Head-Up Display.

Operation of the MINI Driving Modes will be modified in all current MINI models as of July 2017. Changing from the standard setting to SPORT mode or GREEN Mode and will now be facilitated by means of a toggle switch positioned underneath the air conditioning controls. Head-Up Display controllers will be managed from a separate menu item in the MINI operating system from July 2017 onwards.

Alertness assistant now available across the range.

The alertness assistant will be introduced on the MINI 3-door Hatch, MINI 5-door Hatch and MINI Convertible as of July 2017, enhancing safety on lengthier trips. Included with the optional MINI Visual Boost screen, MINI Navigation or MINI Navigation XL, the system continuously analyses how the vehicle is driven. If the distance covered or the driver’s behaviour indicates that the driver may be losing concentration, the system encourages the driver to take a break with a graphic displayed on the central display screen.

  • Chris Wynne

    Surprisingly subtle changes on the LCI. The fuel gauge is much improved as its look awful since launch…I wonder if MINI will offer a retrofit option for those who want to swap ?.

    I prefer the sport/green switch where it is now, even though mine rattles. Still disappointed that they are not adopting AndroidAuto, not sure why they continue to pigeonhole themselves to Apple. I also note that having mediaXL gives your CarPlay preparation, is it then a further option to use CarPlay? When both CarPlay and AndroidAuto can be had in a multitude of vehicles, many costing half what a MINI starts at, I for one am a little disolusioned as to the length of time it’s taken them to adopt as well as the way in which it’s being introduced.

    • This isn’t the LCI. For the F55, F56 and F57 that comes in a few months. For the F54 and F60 that comes in a couple of years.

      • Chris Wynne

        Ah, I see. I seen one of the pics was an F56/55/57 and assumed incorrectly.

    • There are changes to the smaller MINIs but they’re considered minor production changes.

      • fishbert

        Any chance one of those minor production changes is a larger gas tank?

    • Kevin Bartlett

      That gas gauge is a big improvement. Sign me up for a retrofit if its possible for a reasonable investment.

    • Charles

      Apparently Android Auto will be arriving later. http://www.motoringfile.com/2016/08/19/future-mini-connected-carplay-android-auto/

      But if I order a Mini before it’s available, I may require the dealer to put that in writing.

      • Actually BMW and MINI have decided to not support Android Auto for the time being: http://www.motoringfile.com/2017/03/02/mini-will-not-supporting-android-auto/

        • Charles

          Well, I guess I won’t be buying a Mini Countryman PHEV after all.

          What’s disturbing about that article is statement: “controlled so tightly by BMW and MINI” (referring to the “brand experience”) — from a company that has a one-star rated Android App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bmwgroup.connected.mini.usa. I just don’t trust any auto company outside of Tesla to do a good job on telematics.

        • I’ve tested the Model S multiple times put a couple of thousand miles on the car over the past 18 months. It’s my opinion that Tesla does a mediocre job at best in terms of automotive grade information design. They allow too interface variation, distraction and their design language is all over the place when it comes to human interaction elements. On the other hand BMW and MINI hold that space sacred (due to the amount of research they’ve done in the area) and at times are too conservative – limiting innovation. In other words no one is nailing this but Tesla is approaching the space in such a different way that many of us can’t help but be excited by what it’ll lead to.

          So what does this mean for Android Auto? BMW and MINI are very conservative when it comes to altering the human/machine interface of one of their products. They’ve allowed Apple in because of the strict visual and interaction consistency that Apple demands on its applications. For BMW/MINI, Android Auto doesn’t offer that level of visual consistency because they give app developers so much more ability to step outside of the interface guidelines.

  • darex

    Why is changing the nighttime color scheme to white from BMW orange considered desirable, let alone an improvement? The whole intelligence behind the automatic switching to the nighttime orange scheme is wonderful. Why deliberately ruin it? I don’t get it.

  • Kurtster

    Hard for me to see this as anything but great news! I so want to hack apart my dashboard now and install a touchscreen and Airplay into my R58. Probably impossible but at least there’s going to be OEM hardware that is capable.

  • Kevin Bartlett

    Just my take on CarPlay and Android Auto…..

    Cell phones changed a lot every year there for a while. I think we are to an installed base size and a level of refinement that the changes are getting smaller every year now. Hopefully the auto makers can catch up now and offer integration that will hold up better. Once every car has CarPlay (or most at least) things will settle down even a bit more.

    When I bought my car this spring I considered waiting for CarPlay and decided against it. I’m really happy with the car I have now, its maybe the only manual F54 JCW that I’ve seen so I’m happy to have it. Hopefully I love it 4 or 5 years down the road just as much. I think the next car I buy will have great integration of my smartphone at that time. I think right now we are still on the edge of it being what it will really become.

    Funniest thing in my Clubman is it has wireless charging. My iPhone doesn’t, maybe Apple is behind there, BUT it doesn’t matter because my 7+ (like almost all the Android phones worth having) wouldn’t fit in the cradle anyway. So it’s kind of a fail. That’s the type of thing that gets fixed as things catch up.