MINI has unveiled the MINI STRIP, a custom-made, one-off model co-created by UK fashion designer Paul Smith and MINI, shining the spotlight on the issue of sustainability in automotive design and manufacturing.
The brand says the car ‘showcases inspirational ideas for a more sustainable method of automotive design’.
The MINI STRIP uses recycled, environment-friendly materials which underpins the car’s sustainability credentials. The interior is free of both leather and chrome, with the seats upholstered in a knitted fabric. The completely mono-material design for the seat coverings means they are fully recyclable.
The floor mats are made from recycled rubber with their terrazzo-like pattern a by-product of the recycling and manufacturing process.
The dashboard topper pad, door shoulders and parcel shelf are made from recycled cork which doesn’t contain synthetic binding agents – ensuring it’s fully recyclable.
Instead of the usual multi-part design, the dashboard consists of one large, semi-transparent section with a smoked-glass finish. There is no classic centre instrument, leaving the driver’s smartphone to take centre stage instead.
It is placed where the centre display would normally be, connects automatically to the car and becomes the media control centre.
Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design, explains: “For me, the MINI STRIP shows in an impressive way that MINI and Paul Smith share the same bold way of thinking about the future in terms of innovation and design – and together we create more. Paul asked essential questions right at the start of the design process with his non-automotive and therefore fresh perspective. We are proud to have developed such a strong character statement together.”
Paul Smith adds: “I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to rethink the iconic MINI. I know and love the existing car, but by respecting the past and looking to the future we have created something very special. I feel very privileged that the MINI team have given me the confidence and freedom to think laterally about the approach to the design of the car. Together, I think we have created something truly unique, by going back to basics, reducing things down and stripping the car.”
The BMW Group, the owner of MINI, has a production network comprising 31 production and assembly facilities in 15 countries; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.