Mini to ditch leather from its future interiors

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  • #138641 Reply

    Leather trim won’t be offered on future Minis, according to design boss Oliver Heilmer.

    It’s part of a raft of changes that Mini is looking at as it moves towards the next generation of cars. Responsibility forms a key part of the strategy, along with three other values: curiosity, heartbeat and daredevil.

    Last year, 54% of new Minis ordered in the UK featured real leather. According to Heilmer, the lack of leather is a key consideration in making Minis as sustainable as possible.

    “We don’t need leather any more in the future, because we don’t believe it’s sustainable,” he said. “We’re totally convinced that we will have modern and high-value products without leather.”

    An absence of hide isn’t the only area that Mini has been working on.

    Heilmer told Autocar: “The fabric in the production seats is now 100% recycled. The lining underneath is 70% recycled. We’re looking to create a timeless design. A one-season design, like fashion, isn’t our aim with the design of future Minis.

    “It’s inventive simplicity. Materials will be recycled, but they’re luxurious at the same time. And inventive in terms of function. For instance, we used cork in the Urbanaut [concept]. The aesthetics will be coming more from a home perspective, rather than an automotive one.”

    Despite this forward-looking agenda, Heilmer will continue to study Mini in relation to its heritage. The proportions are one of the most important aspects for him – “creating the smallest footprint for each of our products is a driver” – as well as the little design elements that make a Mini the Mini.

    He explained: “We ask questions like ‘is there still a toggle switch in the future?’ because you love to use it. We need to do the basics right but then add the magical Mini touch over that.”

    Heilmer is convinced that a Mini “should be fun as well”. He said: “It’s not pure driving performance that we’re talking about, but it’s the ease of use, the ease of driving, that I believe will last.”

    Hot John Cooper Works versions of Mini models will remain part of the line-up and, as a self-confessed petrolhead, Heilmer is keen that these retain their focused handling characteristics.

    He said: “I personally believe that there will still be an emotional connection that we have to keep for our hardcore fans in order to have those John Cooper Works pinnacle products that are purely for driving pleasure.”

    The only person who got all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe.
    Anything i post over three lines long please assume it is an article lol.

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #138648 Reply

    If we are going to be eating less meat as the wef suggest in their davos agenda / great reset video’s i forget which it in but it’s all on there web site or facebook page for all to see, then there will be less leather moving forward. Unless they intend to grow that in a lab also.. but i doubt it. I am sure though, as we use less fossil fuel they will create and use more synthetic Faux leather, also known as synthetic leather, which is a petroleum-based alternative to genuine leather. Another natural thing replaced with man-made stuff.


    #138650 Reply

    no no no.

    minis leather is excellant.

    #138658 Reply

    Alacantra >>>>> Leather

    #138711 Reply

    My new car which is on order has alcantara seats. Don’t despair Mitch!

    #138715 Reply

    sorry i prefer this lol

    #139840 Reply
    Richard Burton

    Leather/animal hide has many disadvantages including the obvious  ethical and environmental issues and no real practical advantage other than the luxury label “real leather”.

    Artificial is much better and wins in practically every department. It’s lighter – it’s used in fast exotic vehicles because of this, more comfortable especially in sports seats which hug your waist/chest leather stands no chance in comparison, not cold to the touch unlike real leather, smells much better and cleaner,it’s easier to clean, it ages much better, the list goes on.

    I now go with alcantara/artificial wherever possible, it’s a clear winner.

    Rich Burton




    #139885 Reply

    the claim that faux leathers are better for the environment are nonsense, effectively faux leathers are plastics bi products of the petrochemical industry so use far more harmful chemicals in larger quantities than the leather processes. plus they do not decompose are thrown away far more readily whereas many leather products last and are used for many years.

    i have jackets and shoes and boots that i have had for well over 10 years and they are still going strong their plastic alternatives died years ago. long term i reckon my leather flying jacket is far more eco freindly than the 30 or more syntetic items ive ditched over the same time.

    #139906 Reply

    Wish I could have had my Mini with cloth seats. More comfy and easier to look after. Had to have leather (which I suspect is plastic anyway) to get the engine and accessory pack at the better price. Would have cost me more to get non-leather seats.

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