MINI has been extensively teasing its new wave of models but we’ve only seen the cars on the outside. This fresh preview finally allows us to peek inside where major changes are being implemented for the next-gen cars that will be arriving later this year. The BMW Group brand doesn’t specify which vehicle is going to have this minimalistic dashboard layout. That tells us all upcoming models will have a variation of this design.
If it already looks familiar, there’s a perfectly good reason for that. Around this time last year, MINI unveiled the Aceman concept. Its interior has been toned down for production without any major changes. As seen in the small electric crossover, the Oxford-based marque is getting rid of the driver’s display. The person sitting behind the wheel will still have relevant info displayed in their line of sight since we’re noticing a hole in the dashboard for the head-up display.
Speaking of the steering wheel, it’s going to be smaller than the one you’ll find in current MINIs. We’re being told it has a sportier design, but that’s up to you to decide. The interior’s focal point is undoubtedly the circular screen mounted in the center of the dashboard. As a refresher, it was an OLED on the Aceman concept. That’s where you’ll be accessing most functions since the switchgear has been reduced to a minimum. You still have a few conventional controls mounted below on what the BMW-owned brand calls an “analog toggle bar.”
Elsewhere, the upper part of the dash has a knitted surface through which we can observe the ambient lighting that also bisects the dashboard and is also found in two separate areas on the door cards. Speaking of which, we can’t help but notice how unusually low the door handles are positioned. Other features worth pointing out include the dual USB-C ports, a pair of cupholders, a sunroof, and individual armrests for the driver and front passenger.
This simple yet functional layout is a throwback to the original Mini from 1958 but obviously modernized to meet 2023 standards by having a generously sized display. As much as some people tend to despise screens these days, having buttons for all functions isn’t a realistic solution anymore given how feature-rich cars have become. MINI appears to strike a balance between analog and digital.