Next-Gen Mini Cooper Gets Special EV Sounds, Infotainment Modes, OTA Updates

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Mini has already unveiled almost everything about the next-generation Cooper but the full debut isn’t coming until later this year. Today, the British manufacturer shares more details and photos of the hatchback’s cabin where new gimmicks will be implemented on both the audio and visual aspects of the technology.

Mini seems to be especially proud of the circular OLED display that sits in the middle of the dashboard and has a diameter of 9.44 inches (240 millimeters). It says this is the industry’s first display of this size to feature OLED technology and more importantly, it will make its debut on the next-generation Mini models using the Mini Operating System 9. This is the latest version of BMW Group’s infotainment software based on an Android Open Source Project (AOSP) software stack.

The new round display is also home to Mini’s new cloud-based navigation system, which provides charging-optimized route planning for the electric versions of the new Mini Cooper. Three-dimensional maps and an AI view are some of the new features the navigation system receives. The screen also provides access to the so-called Mini Experience Modes – Core, Green, and Go-Kart, each of which has its own specific interface design and additional light and sound effects. 

“Hey Mini” activates the company’s new intelligent voice assistant called Spike. It provides quick and easy control through voice commands of functions such as navigation, telephony, radio, and temperature. Optional 5G connectivity ensures the new interface can be quickly updated through over-the-air updates, which should happen several times a year. Last but not least, the high-speed connectivity provides access to the Mini Connected Store where different applications can be downloaded, including AirConsole games, video streaming apps, Spotify, and others.

Speaking of the new Mini’s audio capability, the automaker promises “unmistakable sound” for the all-electric models. This includes new driving sounds in the cabin, a different sound from the outside, different jingles for the different Experience Modes, and 30 new sound signals with information and warning functions. 

“We are taking a massive leap into the digital world with the new Mini family and, in so doing, underscoring the charismatic heritage of the brand. The iconic central display in the new Mini family is round and will be filled with round content for the first time. I am convinced that the digital power of the new models will delight Mini customers around the world,” says Stefanie Wurst, head of the Mini brand.

As a reminder, the new electric Mini will be available as the entry-level Cooper E with a front-mounted 181-horsepower electric motor and a 40.7-kilowatt-hour battery for an estimated 186-mile range in Europe’s WLTP test cycle. Above it, the Cooper SE has a slightly more powerful 215-hp electric motor and a larger 54.2-kWh battery pack.