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Artist Speculates About Next-Generation MINI With Zero Design Study

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With all the variants that have been coming out lately, it’s easy to forget that a next-generation version of the best-selling MINI hardtop is in the works. The MINI hardtop has remained largely the same since its introduction in the United States 10 years ago.
BMW is working on a next-generation model though that represent a more significant change.

It has been spotted testing and the spy shots show an interior devoid of the funkiness that is such a hallmark of the current car. Most have said the exterior will follow suit to some degree. Cool, but with the funkiness toned down. What is MINI if not funky though? And the question is, how do you keep the MINI fresh while maintaining its character? Designer Sonny Lim thinks he has the answers to those questions, and the result is the MINI Zero.

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Modern, fresh, sleek but still recognizably MINI. In an effort to advance the brand, Lim brings in some new design elements for the next-generation MINI, such as LED headlight surrounds. One thing we particularly like is the nearly uninterrupted glasswork, which gives off the appearance of a floating roof. Out back there is wraparound glass which would lend the interior an airy, open feel. The proportions are a bit different as well, which gives a more forward-looking, modern appearance. We’d be happy if the next-generation MINI looked as good as the Zero.

Lim used to work for BMW DesignWorksUSA. If the MINI Zero looks smaller than the current MINI, your eyes aren’t fooling you. The Zero is shorter and lighter than the current car. The next-generation MINI may get smaller. A better idea though is keeping it the same size and introducing a truly mini car (a la Rocketman Concept) alongside it. Either way, we’re looking forward to the next chapter of MINI’s story.

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