The all-electric models of the new MINI family are given brand-typical soundscapes for an even more immersive driving experience. The repertoire includes completely new driving sounds in the interior, an unmistakable MINI brand sound as a distinguishing feature in the exterior, jingles for the new MINI Experience Modes and new sound symbols with information and warning functions.
“The new sounds are an elementary component of the digital experience and are individually tailored to the character of the new models. They make an emotional contribution for the passengers in the interior and shape the acoustic perception in the outside world. This also creates unmistakable, MINI-typical recognition features on an acoustic level,” says Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design. In the new MINI Cooper Electric, they can be experienced for the first time.
Four driving sounds for an individual user experience.
The MINI Experience Modes “Core”, “Go Kart”, “Timeless” and “Balance” feature individually curated driving sounds that provide the driver with acoustic feedback during acceleration. These sounds can be heard in the interior of the future MINI models, emotionalize the driving experience and also convey an authentic impression of the driving situation on an informative level.
The elementary sound world for the new MINI model family will be the driving sound “Core”. It is the only sound that can be heard not only in the interior, but also outside the vehicle as acoustic pedestrian protection. As the MINI brand sound, it sounds inviting, energetic and inspiring. “The new sound concept for MINI is inspired by Nicolaus Copernicus, who described the heliocentric view of the world in which the planets revolve around the sun,” says Renzo Vitale, Creative Director Sound at the BMW Group. “For the ‘Core’ driving sound, we were inspired by the round shape of the OLED central display. It is reminiscent of the sun, which radiates warmth. As an analogy to the planets, which each reflect the sunlight in their own way, we have designed different sound components that vary depending on the driving situation.”
For a particularly sporty driving experience, the MINI “Go Kart” driving sound was created, which is characterized by strongly pronounced pitch and load curves and thus forms the appropriate sound backdrop for an agile and dynamic drive.
Tradition and progress are combined in the MINI “Timeless” driving sound. Engine sounds from 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 varies from the history of the combustion engine 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 that can be heard in a forest at different times of 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 soundscape ensures relaxation and well-being on board the future MINI models.
Characteristic jingles and distinctive earcons
The driving sounds for the future MINI family are assigned to the new Experience Modes. Their activation is announced with a characteristic jingle. This short sound sequence prepares the occupants for the change to a new vehicle setting.
Another component of the completely new sound worlds for the new MINI family are the so-called Earcons, which, like visual icons, serve as fixed symbols for certain events or information. From the acoustic accompaniment of the indicators to the seatbelt reminder and the sounds of the Park Distance Control (PDC), around 30 of these sound symbols have been redesigned. Striking and typical of the brand, they will in future fulfill their function as clearly identifiable signals that attract the attention of the occupants or warn of danger with different sound characteristics and intensities.