Today we’re excited to bring you an exclusive first look at the radical all-new 2024 MINI Countryman Interior. We’ve heard from MINI for years to expect an evolution on the outside and a revolution on the inside of the next generation MINIs. Today we see our first look at just how different these new MINIs will be.
Thanks to our intrepid spy photographers we have a direct look at an early test mule with the final form of the interior design clearly evident. The most obvious change is that massive circular display sprouting from the dashboard. But based on what we know, there’s a few more secrets in plain sight than just an enormous display. Or more specifically that plastic shroud.
Massive Leap In Technology & Infotainment
Yes that is a massive circular screen. And yes it’s identical to what we saw a few months ago on the upcoming 2024 MINI electric hatch. But there’s seemingly one difference here – that massive plastic enclosure that connects the screen to the dash. However we believe that enclosure is actually camouflage and the final design will feature a floating circular display like we you see to the right from the 2024 electric MINI hatch leak.
Beyond the massive screen there’s a lot to take in here. The switches and knobs (which are actually marked) are also identical to what we saw in the electric hatch leak meaning that MINI is moving to a consistent user experience across all models no matter where they’re produced or what platform they’re on. That’s an essential move if MINI wants that digital experience to be a selling point of the brand.
The gear selector (which will be almost identical to BMWs) is actually not here in production form but will be a small lever or toggle where the white plastic is in the top photo. Also gone is the iDrive multi-function controller. In it’s place will be a digital experience that’s more touch-based and (we’re told) easier to use.
For all those hoping the digital cluster would change shape or size, you’ll be disappointed. However look for it to become all screen as it’s becomes much more of a part of the overall digital experience.
2024 MINI Countryman Level 2 Autonomy
Seen clearly in the spy shots is a large center sensor in the grill. That will be part of this massive upgrade to driver assistance systems that are typically only see in much larger cars. With the optional Driving Assistant Professional package, Active Cruise Control can be used at speeds up to 130mph, with Steering and Lane Control Assistant helping drivers to maintain their current course with subtle steering corrections.
What does that mean? Steering and lane guidance assist isn’t just that annoying buzz that alerts you when you hit a white line on the side of the road. When turned on, this system will gently turn the steering wheel and follow well marked roads without your input. Granted the system will require eyes on the road (with an eye tracker) and hands on the wheel. But make no mistake, systems like this (which have been on BMWs and others for a few years now) represent real benefits in highway driving by lessening the cognitive load on drivers.
Driving Assistant Plus will include Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function which will bring the car to a complete stop in traffic and start again when the cars in front of you move. In Europe it will also include automatic Speed Limit Assist which works in conjunction with local speed limits and overtaking bans in specific markets.
Over the Air Software Updates
Following the tech world’s lead, MINI will be leveraging the integrated 5G in these new cars and offering remote software updates. These will likely follow BMW’s pattern of quarterly updates that add new functionality and even performance to the cars.
2024 MINI Countryman Launch Details
Given what we know and how far along these test mules are, we believe we’ll see the 2024 MINI Countryman make its debut in the second half of 2023 as a 2024 model in the US. We’ll likely see petrol powered Cooper and Cooper S models first before MINI launches its first ever all electric Countryman. And don’t worry; an even higher horsepower JCW Countryman is coming.