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Concept Detroit
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  MINI Concept Detroit

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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:2006
Introduced at:2006 NAIAS
Source:Company press release
Last updated:March 20, 2006
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Click here to download printer friendly versionMINI Concept Detroit combines sporting engine performance and a sporting ambience inside the car with the flexible, intelligent use of space. This is a car where friends on board are always welcomed, where there is lots of space for sports equipment, and where innovative roof carriers and cargo box systems offer additional storage space.

Now entering the year 2006, the year marking the 100th birthday of Sir Alec Issigonis, the "inventor" of Mini, MINI is proudly presenting a design study in the guise of MINI Concept Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, entering the 21st century with a reinterpretation the fundamental idea of the Mini Traveller under the motto "Go Sports!".

In its overall appearance MINI Concept Detroit is sleek and smooth, while nevertheless placing the emphasis on important features such as the wheel arches, the shoulder line and the powerdome of the car. So MINI Concept Detroit makes a clear visual statement - this is a car full of class, muscle, and elegance all in one. Dropping the usual B-pillar, MINI Concept Detroit offers a particular impression of generosity and flair otherwise to be admired only on a coupe or convertible.

The fundamental idea in developing MINI Concept Detroit was to make loading and entering the car as simple and convenient as possible. This is why all the doors (the driver/front passenger and rear doors) come with parallelogram kinematic joints and springs: To allow optimum access and entry into the car, the doors swivel to the side and at the same time to the front in one single movement, ensuring maximum opening space leading into the interior. The rear sliding windows open electrically.

MINI Concept Detroit comes with an adjustable Cargobox in the luggage compartment with its loading cover moving out to the rear for convenient loading at all times. A further convenient feature is the transparent cover on the Cargobox moving up and thus serving as a partition between the passenger area and the luggage compartment. The rear section of the roof, finally, opens up just as conveniently for easy loading.

The Sports Utility Box is a multifunctional, additional interchangeable storage box hooked into position behind the open rear side window. This unique box features flaps on either side for convenient loading and unloading from both outside and from the passenger compartment, and for handing through objects just as easily and conveniently. Introducing the Roof Box, MINI Concept Detroit also offers an equally practical system for the cargo opening in the roof.

MINI Concept Detroit stands out perfectly in the light through its beautiful silver paintwork, all points not directly in the beholder's line of vision being kept in a more discreet grey. Special highlights in red and blue give this outstanding concept car a particularly dynamic touch.Soft, resilient neoprene, finally, is featured on the black side band so characteristic of the car, extending along the side-sills and wheel cutouts.

The "Floating Elements" concept offers a surprisingly generous and open impression right from the start when the driver and passengers get into the car. The seats are suspended in position, and the free-hovering dashboard with its Center Speedo, a revolving central dashboard with both a digital and analogue display, enhances and upgrades the feeling of space and style.

It almost goes without saying that MINI Concept Detroit offers adequate space for four, the front seats swivelling to the side for easy and convenient access to the rear. And when tilted down, the rear seats form a flat surface flush with the floor of the luggage compartment.

Throughout the interior, white leather underlines the impression of modern style and generous space, adding a strong touch of sophisticated class and stylish flair. An aluminium-coated glass-fibre structure accentuates the door panels and linings inside the car, while a special carbon-fibre look highlights the foot area in combination with nylon texture in powerful blue also to be admired on the seat inserts and armrests.

The four-seater Mini with its extra-large luggage compartment was launched in September 1960 in the guise of the Austin Seven Countryman and the Morris Mini Traveller. The term "Traveller" alone clearly proved that this special version of the Mini was intended from the start for an active target group. Sales of the Mini Traveller from 1960 to 1982 amounted to more than 400,000 units, including a special version of the Mini Clubman introduced in 1969.

Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis was born on 18 November 1906 as the son of a Greek father and a German mother in a region which now belongs to Turkey. He moved to London for his schooling and technical studies, later becoming one of the most successful English car designers and automotive engineers.

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