Mini Strip concept unveiled

The Mini Strip isn’t a salacious dance craze, but a minimalist take on the current three-door Electric hatchback produced in conjunction with fashion designer Paul Smith.

Conceived as a way of making car design more sustainable, Smith and Mini began by “completely stripping down the Mini Electric and reducing it to its structural essence”.

The Strip’s metal body doesn’t feature any coloured paint, just a thin layer of clear coat to protect it from rust. Grinding marks on the steel panels have been left untouched.

The car’s wheel arch protectors are 3D-printed from recycled plastic and feature visible screws. Other 3D-printed elements include the front and rear bumpers.

Recycled perspex was used for the car’s fake grille, aerodynamic wheel covers, and panoramic roof. The latter not only allows passengers to see up and out, but also means onlookers can see the car’s underlying metal structure.

The interior has been even more radically pared back, and features no chrome or leather. While the metal exterior has been left unpainted, the exposed body shell in the cabin is painted a dark blue.

Fully recyclable cork is used for the top of the dashboard, upper door trim, and parcel shelf. Cork, Mini notes, absorbs carbon dioxide during its production, so its use could help to minimise greenhouse gas emissions.

As for the dashboard, it’s now a single-piece unit with a smoked glass finish.

The orange door pulls are constructed from wound climbing rope, the door openers are milled aluminium, and the steering wheel rim is covered in bike handlebar tape.

The seat coverings and piping can also be fully recycled, and are made out of a knitted fabric. The floor mats are made from recycled plastic and feature a terrazzo-style pattern that’s a result of the recycling and manufacturing process.

In the centre of the dash there’s no central infotainment system or instrumentation display. Instead there’s a holder and connector for a smartphone that controls all of the car’s media functions.

Underneath this is an array of physical switches, including those for the windows and engine start/stop.

A mesh material covers the steering wheel’s airbag mechanism, as well as the majority of the door panel with the metal structure clearly visible underneath.

If the idea of a minimalist version of the current Mini has you excited, the company has some bad news: right now the Strip is only a “custom-made, one-off model”.

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