Report Card - A MINI that's Big on Sports -

Report Card – A MINI that’s Big on Sports

by Ed Sunkin

When the MINI Concept Detroit debuted at the North American Auto Show in January, one could see that the Mini engineers were focused on three design issues: combining sporting engine performance with a sporting ambience coupled with an intelligent use of space.

According to its designers, their result is a car where friends on board are always welcomed, where there is lots of space for sports equipment and where innovative roof carriers and cargo box systems offer additional storage space.

With adequate space for four (the front seats swivel to the side for easy and convenient access to the rear), the MINI Concept Detroit places an emphasis on features such as the wheel arches, the shoulder line and the power dome of the car, making a clear visual statement that it is full of class, muscle and elegance. And by dropping the usual B-pillar, MINI Concept Detroit has an openness usually only found in a coupe or convertible.

MINI Concept Detroit was designed with an adjustable Cargobox in the luggage compartment. The transparent cover on the Cargobox moves up or down to serve as a partition between the passenger area and the luggage compartment. The rear section of the roof opens up just as conveniently for easy loading.

Also incorporated into the design is a Sports Utility Box a multifunctional storage box hooked into position behind the open rear side window. The unique box features flaps on either side for convenient loading and unloading from both outside and from the passenger compartment, and, like a station wagon, for handing through objects easily and conveniently.

The Floating Elements of the vehicles interior offers a generous and open impression for the driver and passengers as they enter the car. The seats are suspended in position, and the free-hovering dashboard with its Center Speedo, a revolving central dashboard with both a digital and analogue display, enhances and upgrades the feeling of space and style.

The MINI Concept Detroit also stands out with its unique silver paintwork. Parts of the car not directly in a persons line of vision are viewed in a more discreet gray and special highlights in red and blue give this concept car a dynamic touch.

Of course, the best news about this car, which was influenced by last years MINI Traveller Concept, is that MINIs parent company, BMW, will be giving the Concept Detroit a sporting chance. A production model based on the Concept Detroit is expected to reach the U.S. market in the next few years!

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