The new MINI will come with 8 experience modes

Jay Tee

MINI’s upcoming operating system 9 will feature eight different experience modes and soundscapes, with a little hint of analogue charm.

Photos: BMW Group


In the realm of interior design, there’s a fine line between simplicity and functionality. As evidenced by cars in the past decade, bigger screens and dizzying displays of RGB lighting elements are gradually becoming the norm where interior design language is concerned. 

But to toe the line between a functional cabin with a clean, minimal aesthetic is no mean feat. However, MINI seems to have hit the nail on the head with their “iconic elements” cabin approach we previewed earlier last week. Said “iconic elements” includes the steering wheel, switch panel and a circular display mounted in the centre of the dashboard. 

Developing the circular screen itself is an impressive feat – the slim OLED panel measures 240mm in diameter and has thin bezels for a near seamless edge on the rim of the display. Typically, a round display would impose some design constraints for UI/UX designers, but MINI’s designers have managed to develop the MINI Operating System 9 (based on open-source Google Android software) around the round interface to great effect.

The MINI Interaction Unit (MINI-speak for infotainment screen) offers drivers up to eight different MINI Experience Modes (themes) that displays a wide variety of specific graphics and thematic colours in the cabin. MINI interaction unit even features an optional projector lamp that displays different graphics and patterns on the dashboard surfaces – corresponding to your selected experience mode.

The eight MINI experience modes are: Core, Go-kart, Green, Balance, Timeless, Vivid, Trail and Personal. While each experience mode is visually unique and distinct from one another, there are three just main modes which alter the drivetrain characteristics of the car; Core for your “normal” setting, Go-Kart for “Sport” and Green for “Eco”.

Just like however smartwatch interface has numerous themes to suit their respective owners, the MINI Interaction Unit operates much the same way. Regardless of whichever mode a driver selects, your HVAC controls and speed readouts are permanently displayed. We’re also told that each of the eight experience modes will come with its unique audio signature, from synthesised exhaust notes of classic MINIs in the “Timeless” experience mode to ambient forest sounds in “Balance”.

The new slew of MINIs will also come with a digital, intelligent personal assistant with two avatars; MINI and Spike. The intelligent personal assistant can be activated by saying “Hey MINI/Spike” (much like you would say “Hey BMW” in a Bimmer) and allows you hands-free operation of your navigation system, climate controls or multimedia controls.

But that isn’t all. Even after the car’s launch later this year, MINI will continue rolling out updates that include music and video streaming services, even AirConsole gaming compatibility which we first saw in the upcoming 5 Series reveal

It’s a lot to take in, but the technology showcased in the new MINI range is edging closer to what we’d find in the upper echelons of the BMW Group family. 


bmw Mini mini cooper mini countryman

About the Author

Jay Tee

A millennial with the mental age of a quadragenarian, CarBuyer's latest stringer writes and talks about anything with four wheels and a motor. Doesn't fully get TikTok, makes TikToks anyway. Moonlights for TopGear Singapore. Follow him on Instagram (and TikTok) at @jayyteejy

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