To say that BMW’s modern designs have become complicated would be a gross understatement. Its flashy, bombastic design language is a far cry from the simplicity of its golden years. However, some simplicity is coming back to the BMW Group but it won’t come wearing a blue and white Roundel. Instead, it will wear a MINI badge.
MINI’s new design language is called “Charismatic Simplicity,” and MINI wants to get back to basics and keep things simple. However, the brand doesn’t want its signature charm to be lost along the way.
“With our new ‘Charismatic Simplicity’ design language, we are completely rethinking the iconic MINI. Our purist, progressive approach combines the simplicity of functional elements with the emotionality that MINI is renowned for,” said Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design. “We are convinced that the conscious reduction to a few, but expressive elements enable innovations that would have been unthinkable before.”
While most of that sort of talk is usual corporate PR gibberish, after seeing the new MINI Cooper SE, it’s actually pretty easy to understand what Heilmer is talking about. The new MINI looks pretty good so far, with a clean, minimalist design. Of course, it will never capture the iconic charm of the original classic Mini, but that isn’t possible in this current age of intense crash standards. Still, it’s about as close as you’re gonna get.
One of the more interesting design elements are its wheels. The six-spoke wheel design is flat for aerodynamics but it also gives off a unique almost two-dimensional vibe, which is both simple and stylish. There are obviously more wheel options than that but there’s clearly an emphasis on basic looking wheels.
MINI is also expanding that simplicity into the cabin, too. Its steering wheel features an odd two-spoke design that gets an additional third spoke but the latter is different than the other two, as it’s a skinny fabric strap. MINI is also reverting back to a central driver’s display, also like the original, and is ditching the digital gauges in front of the driver. That frees up the dashboard in front of the driver and makes it easier on the eyes.
We’re very excited about this new generation of MINI and can’t wait to see if its simple, back-to-basics approach migrates over to its driving experience, where MINIs are always best when they’re simple.