The new MINI USA configurator has verified some news we heard a few weeks back. As was the case with the previous generation MINI, the US market will be getting a different (i.e. less cool) version of the lower cushion on R56’s sport seats. Due to the US airbag sensor mandated in the front passenger seat, MINI’s had to design a simple, less contoured bottom cushion. With the previous seat design, this wasn’t a terrible loss. However with the new bottom cushion design (not to mention the English Leather seats), the change is clearly a downgrade from what is available elsewhere.

It’s worth noting that the change mostly just affects the aesthetics of the seats, not really how they grip. And yes, the US market will still be getting the $1900 “English Leather” seat option.