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MINI goes classic for interior of new MINI

July 28, 2023

Round oled display in new MINI

MINI is taking a giant leap forward into the digital age with its new model lineup. Central to this is the center-mounted instrument display: the MINI Interaction Unit. The round oled display, with a diameter of 240 mm and rich colors, fits perfectly into the interior of the models of the new MINI family. Its central placement makes the display easy to use by both the driver and the front passenger.

Digital highlights of the new MINI family*:

New MINI Operating System 9

MINI’s new design language: “Charismatic Simplicity” is also reflected in the design of the user interface, which combines functional and emotional elements. For the minimalist design, MINI uses all-new graphics to create an extremely modern look. Static and dynamic elements blend naturally into the circular shape of the OLED display and are arranged in a clear structure. Micro-animations enhance the interaction between the driver and the central instrument and accentuate the digital character of the new MINI family.

Start menu

The start menu is in the center of the screen. There, the user can select and access personalized content by swiping to the side. In the lower part of the screen is the fixed status bar containing the menu items Navigation, Media, Phone, All Apps and – depending on the situation – Home, which the user can choose directly. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen makes the so-called ‘tool belt‘ visible, as is common in many consumer electronics. Here favorite features can be stored and quickly recalled, such as destinations and radio stations. The tool belt is also accessible via the star button on the multifunction steering wheel. The upper part of the screen is reserved for information relevant to driving, such as driving speed and vehicle status. The optional Head-Up Display shows the most important information in the driver’s field of vision.

The temperature for the driver and passenger is permanently displayed, on the left and right edges of the screen respectively. The settings of the two-zone automatic air conditioning are integrated into the MINI Interaction Unit and can be changed at any time, whether by touch or by voice commands.

Depending on the Experience Mode selected, a single tap on the speed display is enough to turn the entire MINI Interaction Unit into MINI’s familiar speedometer.

MINI Experience Modes

Time to explain the MINI Experience Modes in more detail. The standard specification includes Core, Green and Go-Kart modes, each with its own specific user interface. Optional Experience Modes include additional, coordinated use of light and sound. The MINI Experience Modes in the new generation of MINI models allow drivers to immerse themselves in up to eight “worlds,” and each mode indicates its activation with a distinctive jingle.

The MINI Interaction Unit displays various designs and content depending on the mode selected. A striking feature is the fresh interpretation of the distinctive MINI interior lighting. A projector on the back of the OLED display illuminates the entire dashboard with colors and patterns. The interplay of projection, ambient lighting and the MINI Interaction Unit creates a unique, impressive experience that also involves the interior.

A special highlight is the Personal Mode, which is groundbreaking in terms of personalization and customization options. In this mode, users can set their own photo from their smartphone via the MINI App as the background photo of the MINI Interaction Unit. The mood lighting is automatically given a color to match this background picture.

The color design of the optional Head-Up Display also adapts to the selected MINI Experience Mode. This also contributes to an engaged and consistent digital user experience.

Featured: the MINI Experience Modes

Core: In Core mode, the main menu with the MINI widgets is in the foreground. The user interface has the color Laguna, an elegant, pure and modern MINI color. The projection and ambient lighting automatically adjust to this color, and the dashboard is illuminated with the projection design of the Core mode. The accompanying driving sound “Core” is also the signature new sound of electric MINI models and is the only tone that can be heard not only in the interior, but also outside the car, as acoustic pedestrian protection. It is an inviting and stimulating sound that characterizes MINI.

Go-Kart: In the ultra dynamic Go-Kart mode, overflowing with motorsport DNA, the display and interior as a whole are anthracite-colored and tinted red. The MINI Interaction Unit displays a sporty speedometer – if the driver so desires, over the entire surface. The projection and mood lighting automatically adjust to the Go-Kart colors. The dashboard shows the projection pattern of the Go-Kart mode; for dynamic handling, the accelerator pedal responds faster to foot movement. The driving sound of the Go-Kart mode – intended to further enhance the sporty driving experience – is characterized by sharp increases and decreases in volume, providing an appropriate soundscape for dynamic driving.

Green: this mode focuses on the essentials and accentuates the MINI’s sustainable side with green shades. The mood lighting is green, of course, and the animations with animals indicate by their color and character which efficiency level (high, medium and low) the driver is currently at. Throttle response is optimized for the most efficient driving.

Balance: the colors, animations and layout in this purist mode are deliberately soothing and subdued. The driving sound of Balance mode is based on the sounds heard in a forest at different times of the day and night – from the babbling of a stream and the chirping of crickets to the rustling of the wind in the treetops. The resulting soundscape creates a sense of relaxation and well-being in future MINI models.

Timeless: this mode “celebrates” the heritage of the classic Mini with a so-called serif font and a large speedometer, combined with a modern decorative element against a light background. Timeless mode is a very attractive option for nighttime rides, as the design and projections are adapted to the conditions. Tradition and progress merge in the driving sound of Timeless mode, as the engine sounds of conventionally powered models – from the classic Mini to the MINI John Cooper Works GP – are recorded, sampled and blended with a futuristic interpretation of the ‘Core’ driving sound to create an acoustic journey through time.

Vivid: This mode is focused on presenting media content. The colors in the user interface design, projections and interior mood lighting are inspired by the artwork of the covers of the music currently being played.

Personal: The possibilities are endless with the Personal Picture Upload. The Personal mode is groundbreaking in terms of personalization and customization options. In this mode, the MINI App allows users to choose their own photos as the background of the MINI Interaction Unit. As in Vivid mode, the system automatically selects an appropriate color from the image for projection and ambient lighting.

Trail: the Experience Mode for adventurers and explorers in the MINI Countryman. A virtual compass and display of the car’s inclination symbolize the pleasure of driving on untraveled roads and exploring unknown terrain. This mode is available exclusively for the MINI Countryman.


Characteristic soundscapes of the new electric MINI family are also part of the digital user experience. The numerous features also include all-new interior driving sounds, an unmistakable sound that makes the car recognizable as a MINI even from the outside, jingles for the new MINI Experience Modes and thirty new sound signals with information and warning functions.

The new sounds add ear candy to the interior and are an acoustic statement of the MINI to the outside world. They give the MINI a distinctive, acoustic identity. The first customers to experience the new sounds will be riders of the new electric MINI Cooper.

MINI’s new sound DNA is based on the brand’s fundamental values and embodies a positive, charismatic aura. The MINI Experience Modes are the stage on which all-new soundscapes are performed. Familiar MINI sounds that convey information while evoking emotion are generated using analog instruments, digital technology and artificial intelligence. These MINI Experience Modes provide sensual driving experiences.

MINI Intelligent Personal Assistant

For the first time, MINI offers a full voice assistant in its new models. The user activates the MINI Intelligent Personal Assistant with the greeting “Hey MINI” or by pressing the push-to-talk button on the steering wheel. The voice-activated interaction on the OLED display takes the form of an animation composed of graphics, typography and an avatar. For visualization, users can choose between “MINI” – a stylized representation of a MINI – and optionally “Spike” – a figure familiar to many MINI fans in the form of a digital English Bulldog.

Many important functions – such as navigation, telephony, radio and temperature – can be controlled by voice commands. The driver can ask travel-related questions and give commands, such as “What is the weather like in…/at my destination?” and “Show me charging stations along the route.” For example, if the MINI driver says “I’m hungry” or “I’d like coffee,” the MINI Intelligent Personal Assistant displays relevant restaurant options in the area and can immediately start route guidance to the desired destination. Thanks to two microphones on the front of the headliner, the system detects whether the driver or passenger is speaking.

The typical MINI character of the MINI Intelligent Personal Assistant can be experienced by the user through personal questions. That then yields MINI-specific answers, jokes and stories. For example, in response to questions such as “Do you like me?” or “Do you know another joke?”

MINI Navigation

The cloudbased navigation system is a significant performance improvement over the previous generation system and offers particularly intuitive travel destination input. The new system provides very fast and dynamic route calculation based on accurate real-time traffic information it receives at short intervals. The navigation system then combines that information with prediction models. When the navigation app is selected, the map occupies the entire round screen. The colors of the map images always correspond to the selected MINI Experience Mode. Buildings can also be rendered in 3D if desired.

In MINI’s all-electric models, the navigation system – once the destination is entered – calculates a route optimized for charging on the road if the MINI’s range is insufficient to reach the destination. Both the computational algorithm and the computational speed for routes optimized for on-the-go charging are constantly being improved. The route overview displays important information about the charging stops, such as the estimated charging state on arrival, the recommended charging time and the intended charging state for the onward journey. Live data is processed during the trip, so new available charging stations are automatically added to the route if an originally planned charging stop is no longer available. If possible, the driver will also be offered alternatives for on-the-go charging. By default, the system is set so that the MINI reaches both its final destination and charging points along the way with at least 10% battery charge remaining. This setting for desired remaining charge is adjustable.

Charging is also made easier with the integration of the authorization and start/stop functions for the charging process in the MINI App.

The optional Augmented View feature enables exceptionally accurate navigation. It perfectly complements the navigation system’s instructions in crucial situations. To do this, the system displays a live video stream from the driver’s perspective on the MINI Interaction Unit, supplemented by information appropriate to the context. At complicated intersections, for example, an animated directional arrow is integrated into the video image to help the driver make the right turn. Furthermore, information about local parking rules also appears in the live video stream in augmented reality form.

Other innovative navigation features, such as accurate visualizations of lane directions, are part of the optional MINI Connected Upgrade.

MINI Connected Store

The new MINI Connected Store is combined with the optionally available MINI Connected Upgrade to provide access to a constantly growing range of practical and entertainment apps, such as apps for gaming and music or video streaming. The availability of the apps varies by country in order to provide an optimal offering. Following its introduction in BMW’s current models, riders of the new MINI models can now also look forward to a form of in-car gaming that is unique in the automotive sector. For example, the driver and passengers can play games in the AirConsole App while the MINI is stationary – for example, to kill time while recharging the battery.

Setting up the gaming experience with AirConsole is very simple. All players need is their smartphone – which acts as a controller – and the MINI Interaction Unit. Once the AirConsole App is activated in the MINI, the smartphone and car are connected by scanning a QR code on the OLED display. Players can then get started right away.

The AirConsole technology allows games to be instantly available wirelessly and controlled with smartphones. This unique setup allows multiple players – including rear seat passengers – to participate in in-car gaming during breaks during the journey. In general, it is possible to play alone or with all other occupants of the MINI, either as a team or in competition mode.

The games offered are so-called “casual games,” which are easy to pick up with the game’s intuitive controls. A variety of racing, sports, general knowledge quiz and music quiz games are available, as well as simulation, strategy, jump-and-run and puzzle games, with titles such as Go-Kart Go, Golazo, Music Guess and Overcooked. The portfolio of available games is constantly evolving.

Music streaming apps such as Spotify have been adapted for MINI Operating System 9 to integrate perfectly with the round MINI Interaction Unit. This allows occupants to enjoy an intuitive and visually appealing music streaming experience. The user’s Spotify account can be connected by simply scanning a QR code.

MINI Connected services will be rolled out again in more than 40 countries once MINI introduces the new MINI family.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also included in MINI Operating System 9 to connect smartphones wirelessly.

MINI Digital Key Plus

The new MINI family offers another special feature in the form of the MINI Digital Key Plus. If set up on a suitable device from Apple, Google or Samsung, the driver can count on a warm welcome as he approaches his new MINI thanks to ultra-wideband technology. The welcome cycle continues in the car once the door is opened and ends with a personalized greeting from the MINI ID feature. Everything takes place without the driver having to take his or her smartphone out of the pocket or bag. Digital keys can be securely passed to friends and family from the Apple and Google portfolios with the integrated “Share” feature of most apps.

Remote Software Upgrades

As a member of BMW Group, the MINI brand also benefits from more than five years of experience with BMW wireless upgrades. The software architecture of the new MINI family uses the same Remote Software Upgrades software, which has benefited from the ongoing development in BMW models since 2018 and ensures that updates are performed smoothly and securely. For example, new MINI models receive free Remote Software Upgrades several times a year for quality improvements. Depending on the country, model, specifications and status of the car, the updates can also add new features or feature improvements for free.

*The availability of digital services varies by country, model and version. Certain features can be added via Remote Software Upgrade even after introduction.