The refresh of the MINI Hatch and convertible models is bringing a new operating system with it as well. The British brand made the announcement today and it looks like our favorite small car will be entering a new digital age with its help. Starting this year, all MINI models will come with a 8.8-inch screen as standard and with new functions, a new design and more in-car technology than ever.
The center console of the refreshed MINI models will include this new screen as well as other changes. For example, the control units for the audio system and the touch-sensitive favorite buttons are integrated flush into the surface. The LED decor ring now features a distinctive laser engraving but the main improvements are happening behind the screen. The menu is now even more intuitive, having a different layout.
You will now get to use what MINI calls ‘Live Widgets’ which allow you to enter various submenus, giving everything a more familiar, smartphone-like feeling. You can even adjust and arrange the widgets in any way you want. The standard configuration shows one widget each for the menu items Media, Communication, Navigation, Vehicle Settings, the MINI Connected Apps and Messages.
Depending on the function, the current status – for example, the route currently being taken on the navigation map or the last audio program selected – is always displayed on the corresponding graphic. In addition, you’ll be able to adapt the color world of the displays on the center – and the multifunctional instrument to his or her driving style and individual mood. Two modes are available for the graphic displays. In “Lounge” mode, a relaxing color world between turquoise and petrol is called up. Switching to the “Sport” mode makes the screen backgrounds glow in red and anthracite.
Another important upgrade the new operating system will bring is the integration of third-party apps. Amazon Alexa will now be available inside the new MINI models, including its capabilities, through spoken word. You’ll be able to play music, put together a shopping list or even control smart home functions from the comfort of your car. To get a better idea as to how it all works and looks, check out the video below.