Mini Electric designed with Paul SmithMini Electric designed with Paul Smith

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Mini goes hatchback-to-basics as it teams up with fashion designer Paul Smith to shine spotlight on sustainability

  • Recycled materials have been used throughout concept model
  • Mini Strip is based on all-electric hatchback
  • Manufacturer says car can be used as catalyst for future use of more sustainable resources

Time 1 month ago

Mini and top fashion designer Paul Smith have come up with a one-off stripped-back car that focuses on sustainability.

The manufacturer took a hatchback-to-basics approach in coming up with the Mini Strip, which is based on its Electric model, and got rid of anything that wasn’t completely necessary.

The car was left in its unfinished state, with the only paint being a thin anti-corrosion film.

Grinding marks on the steel panels also stayed – labelled a ‘perfect imperfection’ by Smith.

Meanwhile, recycled perspex was used for the panoramic roof as well as the grille trim and wheel covers.

It’s especially minimalist inside the concept car, with just about all the interior trim removed, leaving the car’s bare shell exposed.

The usual large touchscreen has been torn out, leaving just an area for a smartphone.

A host of recycled materials have also been used in the cabin, which doesn’t have any leather or chrome.

The seats and mats are fully recyclable, and cork is prominent on the dashboard, doors and parcel shelf – a material that Mini says could be a substitute for foamed plastics in the future because of its firmness and soft feel.

Mini Electric interior designed with Paul Smith

Inside the Mini Electric concept car

The steering wheel has been stripped back, too, and wrapped in the same tape used on a road bike – a nod to Smith’s love of cycling – while the pull handles for the doors are made from orange climbing rope and add a splash of colour.

The Strip continues Mini’s long-running partnership with Paul Smith, which dates back to the 1990s when the two developed a limited-run version of the classic Mini, painted in a Smith-designed shade of blue.

Talking about the latest model, Smith 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 has given me the confidence and freedom to think laterally about the approach to the design of the car.

‘Together, I think we have created something truly unique by going back to basics, reducing things down and stripping the car.’

Although the Strip will stay as a concept, Mini says it can be used as a ‘catalyst for more sustainable use of resources in automotive design’.

Mini Strip rear view

Ted Welford's avatar

Ted Welford is a motoring journalist for Car Dealer's parent company Blackball Media. He writes for a variety of motoring publications and tests the latest cars on a regular basis. He likes cleaning them too.

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