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All-new MINI dashboard goes mainstream (spy photo)

Sat, 30 Mar 2013

The all-new MINI – the third generation of the new MINI – is due later in 2013 and will be getting a more mainstream dashboard.

Whatever you may think of the ‘new’ MINI – the one BMW make – it’s been a huge success. And it’s been a huge success because it’s managed to evoke the spirit of the original Issigonis Mini without being a pastiche.

BMW did that by making the new MINI a familiar shape (albeit several sizes bigger) and giving their MINI a quirky interior that, despite being modern and nicely bolted together, seemed instantly familiar with a huge speedo plonked in the middle of the dashboard.

But where do you go when your car’s success is built on memories of an original,  iconic, model when you make a new one? BMW has done that with the second generation of the new MINI by keeping everything familiar but upping the goodies and options and a few tweaks to the cosmetics.

But there’s an all new MINI due to arrive later in 2013 based on BMW’s new UKL front-wheel drive platform – which will also underpin the new front-wheel drive 1 Series – so now, with MINIs that already break any real connection to the original Mini – like the Countryman and Paceman – it seems MINI are being a bit braver with the interior layout and dumping the big central speedo.

The spy photo above comes courtesy of Reddit where a user reports the new MINI was in a friend’s engineering shop, and you can clearly see the speedo has disappeared from the centre to appear atop the steering wheel, just where MINI currently puts the rev counter and digital speedo.

But MINI seems to have lost its bottle with the redesign and kept the big circle in the middle and filled it with radio and Infotainment (well, they will on higher spec models – this is the base MINI with few toys) in an effort to keep a bit of MINI history intact.

Is this a half-hearted attempt to break the traditional Mini layout for the dash, or a sensible move from MINI to bring the all-new MINI properly up to date?

By Cars UK