Paul Smith is no stranger to lending his design touches to automobiles. Previously, there was the eye-catching Land Rover Defender and the equally, if not more, eye-catching 65’ Porsche 911, and now, a MINI has joined the designer’s auto design portfolio.
Called MINI STRIP, this Paul Smith touched Mini Cooper SE takes on an entirely different route. Instead of Paul Smith’s signature colorful exterior, it has an unfinished body that left the grinding marks and the galvanized steel panels completely exposed, protected only by a thin film of transparent paint. An unusual move by the designer, but we adore it a lot.
Moreover, the familiar MINI black band is 3D printed from recycled plastic and like the metal sections, the basic material qualities are intentionally left exposed. Continuing the raw, “the perfect imperfection” looks are visible screws in the add-on parts and blanked-off radiator grille and wheel covers. The grill trim is made from recycled Perspex and so are the wheel covers.
Finally, there is the transparent roof made from recycled Perspex that invites a peek into the interior and part of the bare structure of the body shell:
Very industrial and minimal at the same time. We love it. While the usual pops of colors from the design maestro aren’t present on the outside, they can be found, albeit limited in hue, in the radically minimal cabin where you will also find recycled cork material replacing the usual plastic covers, knitted fabric seats, floor mats made from recycled rubber, and steering wheel that has been reduced to the most essential functions.
If you appreciate art, love cars, you will appreciate what Paul Smith has done with the MINI STRIP. Unfortunately, though, it is a bespoke, one-off example that is not for sale.
Images: BMW Group.