MINI going electric and there’s a lot that will be gained by that transition. But there’s also a lot that can be lost. One of those things is the visceral qualities of driving. Acceleration and even steering feel can be retained but gone is the ability to change gears and the overall aural feedback that so often makes driving satisfying. The last part MINI intends to do something about. Enter the MINI Sound Design team and the all new MINI Sound Design for the all new J01 MINI Cooper electric.
While we had plenty of hands-on time with the interior and the digital experience, we didn’t get a chance to hear the new sound design in context. But we did hear them isolated and here’s what we know.
The MINI has made the brand and even Experience Mode soundscapes an integral part of the overall driving experience. From all-new driving sounds in the interior to an unmistakable MINI brand sound that aims to confirms the car’s identity from the outside there’s a lot here that’s new.
Particularly well done are the new MINI Experience Modes, and a whole collection of 30 new sound signals with information and warning functions. The overall feeling is one that is both familiar yet futuristic. And that’s not by accident.
The MINI Sound Design team went deep in the MINI product catalog to capture some of those sounds. Specifically the team spent time with an original 1959 Mini and a 2006 JCW GP to capture some of the more iconic sound moments from those two models.
The aim is to add an extra dose of emotional appeal to the interior of the MINI, shaping its acoustic statement and providing a distinctive MINI-typical feature on an acoustic level. Is sound really fundamental to the experience? In our time driving EVs (and the current F56 MINI Cooper Electric) there’s little question that they do add to the experience. But this new sound design taking things much further than we’ve seen before.
The new sound design will extend to the entire range. We believe even some elements will make it to the internal combustion Countryman and Cooper. However not surprisingly the majority of the sound design will only be available on the EV models; the 2024 MINI Cooper electric, the 2025 MINI Aceman and the 2024 MINI Countryman Electric.