MINI Cooper D and MINI Cooper S 2014 620x277

MINI designers take a look back

As a new generation MINI is launched, designer Anders Warming said that despite its expanding dimensions and burgeoning model line-up, the car will always remain close to Sir Alec Issigonis’s original 1959 concept.

He said: “Whatever we do with MINI we always take a look back and study what Issigonis was all about – flair, design and function. If you look at his original Mini drawings they are still wonderful pieces of art.”

The original Mini, said Warming was the “cleverest car on a short footprint” and although coming from a functional standpoint it had great performance, it’s limited size and weight allowing it to become a race and rally legend.

“It really was a creative use of space and minimalistic, a word not much used at the time,” he added. “It was not just great packaging but hip and chic. Even those who could afford much more expensive cars wanted to be seen in a Mini.”

Austin Mini 1970 Left FrontThe New MINI, launched in 2001, also remains relevant, said Warming, as does the new generation currently being launched. “The silhouette is future proof and the MINI’s design language makes a clear statement. While the graphic remains largely unchanged, it’s progression in size reflects the way the segment has moved – it is still the smallest car in its segment.

“The new generation is instantly recognised with its round headlamps and distinctive grille but it builds on these heritage details. Inside there is the iconic, large centre dial which now houses the very latest in infotainment systems. All these things make the new car instantly recognisable as a MINI.”

The Clubman concept seen at the Geneva Motor Show will move MINI into the compact car segment said Warming.

“A full family car with a shooting brake silhouette and the split folding rear doors will be kept, a “MINI-typical solution – you don’t necessarily need to have the whole of the rear opening,” he added.

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