Published on August 16th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair


MINI STRIP By Paul Smith Looks Like It’s Not Finished

MINI worked with Paul Smith to create this one-off MINI STRIP as a vision of sustainable automotive design.

Do you feel like newer cars come with too much plastic and leather cladding on in the inside? Do you yearn for a car that presents the owner with as little material as possible? Well, fashion designer Paul Smith and MINI have just delivered the car for you. Introducing the MINI STRIP, a one-off based on the 3-door MINI Cooper SE (the MINI Electric in some markets) that reduces the vehicle to its structural essence, without looking like it’s not a finished product… well, sort of.

The MINI STRIP was guided by the overarching theme of ‘Simplicity, Transparency, Sutainability’. They decided to do certain things in a way most manufacturers probably wouldn’t have. For instance, the body was left in its unfinished state with no coloured paint applied. Instead, it just got a thin film of transparent paint as a form of corrosion resistance. Grinding marks on the galvanised steel panels have been left intact to create an intentionally rough look for the car.

The MINI Black band have been 3D printed out of recycled plastic and this material too has not been painted over. What’s more, Paul Smith decided to leave the mounting screws visible to show how easy dismantling the part would be at the end of its life. The blank radiator grille and aero wheel covers were made of recycled Perspex which also had the effect of reducing the car’s weight as well as its environmental effects. The same material was employed in the production of its panoramic sunroof.

More reductions can be found on the inside, where all trim has been removed save for the dashboard, topper pad and parcel shelf. The interior of the bodyshell has been coloured blue.

Of course, Paul Smith couldn’t have just stopped with the with a simplified car with ‘greener’ materials. He also added the signature Paul Smith stripes in 5 colours inside, a splash of neon green on the inside of the charging flap with an engraved drawing of an electric plug.

Instead of an infotainment unit, the centre is occupied with a smartphone slot, which connects to the car and becomes its media control centre. The only physical controls that have been retained are the power switches and stop start function at the bottom of the centre stack.

Interior Material Choices

Inside, the MINI STRIP uses no leather or chrome parts. Its seats come upholstered in knitted fabric and are fully recycleable down to the piping. The floor mats in here are made of recycled rubber. The entire dashboard and door shoulders are all made of recycled cork.

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The steering wheel has been wrapped in handlebar tape like a road bike with a one o’clock position marker made of the Paul Smith label. And the steering wheel itself has visible screws. Lastly, the pull handles in the door shoulders are made from wound climbing rope and they match the orange seat belts.

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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