Mini STRIPped down to bare essentials by Paul Smith


It’s all about maximum MINImalism.

Amidst all the chaotic and fussy design languages and complicated technologies we often see in cars these days, what would it be like to try out a minimalistic approach for once? You know, strip down to bare essentials and see how it looks and works. Mini teamed up with British fashion designer Paul Smith to find out exactly that by creating a one-off. The Mini Strip we are seeing in the photos here, is minimalism and sustainability pushed to the max, and then some.

The Mini Strip began its life as a Cooper SE. The body has been left not only unpainted but also unfinished; grinding marks on the galvanized steel panels are visible in person. However, a thin lacquer has been applied to prevent corrosion. Elements of the front grille and front and rear bumper inserts are 3D-printed from recycled plastic—with their basic material qualities left exposed. Inspiration for the visible screws came from Smith’s world of bicycles, as a way to showcase how easy it would be if we could just dismantle parts and send them for recycling at the end of their service life.

The aerodynamic wheel covers are made from recycled Perspex—also known as plexiglass. The same material forms a panoramic roof, exposing the bodyshell structure—painted in an intense blue tone.

The interior carries over the stripped-down theme with pretty much nothing on the dashboard and the steering wheel; the infotainment display is substituted with the driver’s smartphone. The only physical controls we can notice are those five toggles for power windows, start/stop, and a couple of other functions.

While there are aluminum bits, the interior is completely free of both leather and chrome. The seats are upholstered in a knitted fabric, while the dashboard top pad, door shoulders and parcel shelf are made from recycled cork. The floor mats are made from recycled rubber; the terrazzo-like pattern is a by-product of recycling and manufacturing process.

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