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PressClub Ireland · Article.

Distinctive sounds for the new, all-electric MINI family.

Sound staging becomes a fundamental component of the purely electric driving experience. Diverse sound worlds enrich the immersive experience and come to the new MINI Cooper Electric for the first time.

Design issues, Concepts and Studies
BMW Group Design
MINI Design

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Laura Condron
BMW Group

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Laura Condron
BMW Group

Note: This press release is a 1:1 copy of the original issued by BMW headquarters in Germany. No adaptations have been made to cater for the Irish market.

The new MINI family all-electric models get sound worlds distinctive to the brand for an even more immersive driving experience. The repertoire includes completely new driving sounds in the interior, an unmistakable brand sound to distinguish it as a MINI in the exterior, jingles for the new MINI Experience Modes as well as new sound icons for information and warning functions.

"The new sounds are an integral part of the digital experience and individually tailored to the character of each of the new models. They make an emotive appeal to the passengers in the interior while shaping the acoustic perception to the outside world. They also make it sound as well as look as unmistakably a MINI,” says Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design. These can be experienced for the first time in the new MINI Cooper Electric.

The new MINI Sound DNA is based on the essential brand values and exudes a positive, charismatic aura. The MINI Experience Modes become the stage for the completely newly created sound worlds. Analogue instruments, digital technology and artificial intelligence combine to generate sounds that simultaneously define it as MINI, convey information and arouse emotions.

Four driving sounds for an individual user experience.
The MINI “Core”, “Go Kart”, “Timeless” and “Balance” Experience Modes feature individually curated driving sounds that acoustically feed back to the driver during acceleration. These sounds are audible in the interior of the future MINI models, emotionalising the driving experience and also conveying an authentic yet informative impression of the driving situation.

The default sound world for the new MINI model family will be the “Core” driving sound. It is the only sound mode that is not only heard inside the vehicle, but outside it as well, as acoustic pedestrian protection. As a MINI brand sound, it sounds inviting, energetic and inspiring. “The new sound design for MINI is inspired by Nicolaus Copernicus, who depicts the heliocentric view of the world in which the planets revolve around the sun,” says Renzo Vitale, Creative Director Sound at the BMW Group. “We drew inspiration from the round shape of the OLED central display for the ‘Core’ driving sound. It reminds us of the sun radiating warmth. In an analogy to the planets, which each reflect the sunlight in their own way, we designed different sound components that vary depending on the driving situation.”

The MINI “Go Kart” driving sound was created for a particularly sporty driving experience. This features strongly pronounced pitch and load curves, forming a fitting sound backdrop for agile and dynamic driving.

Tradition and progress come together in the MINI “Timeless” driving sound. The engine sounds of conventionally powered models from the classic Mini to the MINI John Cooper Works GP were sampled and combined with a futuristic interpretation of the MINI “Core” driving sound to create an acoustic journey through time. The more intensively the vehicle accelerates, the more the sound morphs from the internal combustion engine past to the purely electric present.

A fourth soundscape opens up with the MINI “Balance” driving sound. It was originally designed for the MINI Vision Urbanaut and is based on the sounds experienced in a forest at different times of the day and night: from the babbling of a stream to the chirping of crickets and the rustling of the wind in the treetops. The resulting worlds of sound give a sense of relaxation and well-being on board the future MINI models.

Characteristic jingles and striking earcons.
The driving sounds for the future MINI family are assigned to the equally new Experience Modes. Their activation is announced with a characteristic jingle. This short sound sequence gets the occupants in the mood for the change to a new vehicle setting.

Another component of the completely new sound worlds for the new MINI family are known as earcons. Similar to optical icons, these serve as distinctive audible symbols to alert to certain events or information. Around 30 of these sound signals have been newly designed: from the acoustic accompaniment of the turn indicator to the seat-belt warning system and the Park Distance Control (PDC) tones. In future, they will fulfil their function as clearly identifiable signals with a distinctive and brand-typical sound, which will catch the attention of the occupants or warn of any dangers with their different sound characteristics and intensities.

The BMW Group

With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises over 30 production sites worldwide; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2022, the BMW Group sold nearly 2.4 million passenger vehicles and more than 202,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2022 was € 23.5 billion on revenues amounting to € 142.6 billion. As of 31 December 2022, the BMW Group had a workforce of 149,475 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company set the course for the future at an early stage and consistently makes sustainability and efficient resource management central to its strategic direction, from the supply chain through production to the end of the use phase of all products.

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