This custom-made one-off BMW MINI Strip sports sustainable, minimalist design
BMW MINI has co-created a three-door one-off MINI Strip hatchback with designer Paul Smith and the vehicle recently made its world premiere in London. The MINI Strip sports a sustainable design language, highlighting an innovative approach to the issue of sustainability in automotive manufacturing.
The hatchback was designed by first stripping down a MINI Cooper SE and reducing it to its structural essence.
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Only the elements that the designer thought are necessary in the new MINI Strip were retained and put in place as the focus was on sustainable method. The process led to applying the principle of maximum reduction to produce a minimalist, high-class design with a fresh and unconventional appeal. "I think we have created something truly unique, by going back to basics, reducing things down and stripping the car,' said Smith.
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The MINI Strip just gets a thin film of transparent paint to protect against corrosion and retains the grinding marks from the factory that have been consciously left on the galvanised steel panels. The intentional rough-hewn effect has been dubbed “the perfect imperfection" by Smith.
Next, the familiar MINI black band was 3D-printed for the MINI Strip from recycled plastic and all the basic material qualities such as metal panels have been left exposed. The visible screws in the add-on parts reflect the simplicity and how easy it would be to dismantle the vehicle and put it back in raw-material cycle at the end of its service life. Further, the functional and distinctive front and rear apron inserts were also built using 3D printing process.
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The grille and aerodynamic covers on the wheels of the MINI Strip have been made from recycled Perspex, saving both weight and resources. The vehicle features high-contrast colour accents on the inside. The charging flap adds a splash of neon green when opened, while the engraved drawing of an electric plug on the flap is Paul Smith’s own work. The dashboard consists solely of a large, semi-transparent section with a smoked-glass finish. The only physical controls in the interior are located lower down in the centre stack. The door panels are made from the same mesh material that covers the airbag.