During the lockdown period due to the global spread of the coronavirus pandemic there are many initiatives and activities that designers and designers are carrying out. Frank Stephenson, an American designer with a past as head of design at McLaren and the Fiat Group and who has also worked in BMW and Mini, has decided to make a video in which he explains how he redesigned a myth, precisely, the Mini of 2000.

The original Mini has lived 41 years. However, the icon of the British car industry could not last forever: modern regulations have decreed its disappearance. How do you face the task of creating an heir? Among the projects presented in 1995 for the new model, Wolfgang Reitzle, at the time responsible for R&D, and Bernd Pischetsrieder, BMW president, chose to develop Stephenson’s proposal. Both the interior and exterior of the new Mini oscillate between past and present, with many stylistic features of the original model.

In six years of study many teams participated in the project and in the final stages Gert Hildebrand, former chief designer Mitsubishi and Volkswagen, dedicated himself to improving the quality of the materials and interior trim. Hildebrand is enthusiastic about the prospects of the Mini brand and recognises Stephenson’s contribution to the project. “Designing a new Mini was supposed to be his life’s dream, and Frank did a superb job. The new car blends the three human body archetypes: a solid male body, sensual female curves and even some typically childlike rounded elements. Despite its typically English design, this car represents a neo-European tradition: it’s not retro, but it has all the potential to become a cult object again,” said Hildebrand on Auto&Design no.218.