‘Classic with a twist’: MINI and Paul Smith unveil new sustainable MINI STRIP

Mini UK to unveil their first ELECTRIC car

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As the name suggests, the process began by completely stripping down the MINI Electric and reducing it to its structural essence. Only then were the elements that the designer viewed as absolutely necessary defined and implemented – with sustainability taking a front seat.

Despite the hurdles of the pandemic, Oliver Heimler, Head of MINI Design, and Paul Smith managed to design and create a car focused on the importance of sustainability. 

The exterior of the car has been described by Paul Smith as “the perfect imperfection” with its metal exterior, covered only in a thin film of transparent paint to protect against corrosion.

Grinding marks from the factory have been consciously left intact on the galvanised steel panels to clearly identify the car as a functional object.

Oliver Heimler explained the distinct choices for the car, saying: “For me, the MINI STRIP shows in an impressive way that MINI and Paul Smith share the same bold way of thinking about the future in terms of innovation and design – and together we create more.

“Paul asked essential questions right at the start of the design process with his non-automotive and therefore fresh perspective.

“We are proud to have developed such a strong character statement together.”

Parts of the MINI black band have been 3D-printed from recycled plastic and their basic material qualities have been left exposed, like the metal panels.

The deliberate choice to keep the screws visible in the add-in parts, show how simple dismantling would be and how easily the vehicle could be reincorporated into the raw-material cycle at the end of its service life.


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Recycled Perspex was also used for the large panoramic roof that allows curious eyes to view the largely bare structure of the bodyshell inside.

Legendary designer Paul Smith was instrumental in the unique design of the MINI STRIP and praised the partnership.

He said: “I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to rethink the iconic MINI. I know and love the existing car, but by respecting the past and looking to the future we have created something very special.

“I feel very privileged that the MINI team have given me the confidence and freedom to think laterally about the approach to the design of the car.

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