The exterior design of MINI models didn’t stray too much from the original even though 60 years have passed. Once BMW took over and recreated a modern interpretation of the classic Mini Minor, the design they employed stayed true to the original as much as possible. Of course, changes in regulations and other factors have forced the designers to change a few things along the way. Yet, you can still identify a MINI for what it is today, just by glancing at it.
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When it comes to the exterior design of future MINI models, things will not change a lot in the future either. That’s what the new Head of Exterior Design in Oxford is promising, Mr. Thomas Sycha, a 55-year old Polish national, has taken over the reigns of the MINI Exterior Design department this year, beginning on July 1.
In a recent interview, he highlighted the fact that the car will remain ’emotional’ in the future.
“The future is something positive for me. That’s what drives us all here.[…] I strongly believe that a MINI will retain its sympathetic expression. To exaggerate somewhat: even if it were to become a self-driving box, the experience in a MINI would always be very personal and radiate sympathy. Just what form that would take is what we’re working on. The MINI experience has to be charged with optimism: when you see your MINI again in the morning, you instantly sense that it’s probably going to be a good day. To be specific: for me, MINI will definitely remain emotional in the future, despite the ubiquitous process of digitalization, or indeed precisely because of.” said Sycha, when asked about the future design of MINI cars.
Times ahead are shaping up to be quite troublesome though, especially because of the planned electrification of cars and implementation of autonomous driving systems. Those will play a big part in how future cars will be designed. Speaking about it, Sycha claims some features might be hard to hold on to: “Let’s take the typical MINI face, for example – one of the most important MINI features for me. Today there are two round, friendly headlamp “eyes”.
But this might be a subject of debate in the future when vehicles drive autonomously. After all, headlamps only exist so that we as drivers can see ahead. An autonomous vehicle will no longer need them. ”
As such, things will get interesting in the future. There are a couple of challenges to overcome but there are also plenty of opportunities ahead, as technology evolves.
“I would like a MINI to still be immediately and authentically recognizable, trigger positive emotions and perhaps also have an impact on other design areas. So generally speaking: the challenge is to retain the iconic character traits of a MINI and translate them into the new technoid world – so that a MINI doesn’t become a soulless, self-propelled capsule in the future,” added the head of MINI exterior design.