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MINI gives larger-than-life preview of its new cars, AI driving assistants

MINI goes big — at the Sphere

MINI introduces 2025 MINI Countryman Electric with Spike MINI digital assistant via MSG Sphere in Las Vegas.

There’s something about cars and the Sphere in Las Vegas. Media coverage of the 2023 F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix in November nearly always included the Sphere. The Sphere was located inside the 3.8-mile F1 race track, which made it impossible to ignore the visual background on the 366-foot high and 516-foot wide screen. BMW Group’s MINI USA division put the undeniable attention-commanding aspect of the Sphere to introduce the 2025 MINI  Countryman Electric, the largest member of the next-generation MINI family.

From November 27 to December 2, MINI USA’s campaign with the Sphere filled the Las Vegas skyline with still and animated images of the 2025 MINI Countryman Electric SUV. Pereira O’Dell, the independent creative agency that designed the oversized advertisement, also featured MINI’s new intelligent personal assistant, Spike, in the Sphere’s captivating visuals.

MINI introduces Spike MINI digital assistant with 2025 MINI Countryman Electric via MSG Sphere in Las Vegas

Spike, depicted as a playful, shape-shifting cartoonish canine, assumes the critical role of a digital companion for drivers engaging with MINI’s new technology. Spike will be a familiar, friendly presence to guide and assist owners with the next-gen MINI driving experience. For example, drivers can say, “Hey Spike, turn down the A.C.,” or “Hey Spike, where is the closest coffee shop?”

The Sphere in Las Vegas isn’t the only out-sized circular display in Pereira O’Dell’s presentation for MINI. The upcoming 2025 models will include a new technology stack, often called a center stack, because of the location in the middle of a vehicle’s dashboard. The 2025 MINI Countryman Electric interior will feature a 9.4-inch circular OLED display running the new MINI Operating System 9.

MINI introduces 2025 MINI Countryman Electric with experience modes on circular OLED via MSG Sphere in Las Vegas.

The center stack in most modern vehicles houses the infotainment system and vehicle controls. Typical stacks include a large-ish display with digital controls for phone and text communication, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, streaming media, maps and navigation, and vehicle temperature settings and controls.

In addition to the typical vehicle operation and entertainment controls, center stacks increasingly include style settings, such as adjustable ambient light colorways and exterior LED signature light patterns. The 2025 MINI Countryman Electric will have eight driver-selectable Experience Modes that switch up the vehicle’s interior look, feel, and sound by combining color patterns with light projections on the dashboard and four different driving sounds.

MINI introduces 2025 MINI Countryman Electric via MSG Sphere in Las Vegas.

Global figures for reference only for the 2025  MINI Countryman Electric include 313 horsepower with temporary boost mode, 363 pound-feet of torque, again with temporary boost, zero to 60 mph acceleration in 5.6 seconds, and 245 miles estimated range per charge (based on the relatively liberal European WLTP standard). MINI USA also stated the vehicle will support 135kW D.C. fast charging. U.S. specifications are not available at this time.

The 2025 MINI Countryman Electric will arrive at MINI U.S. dealers in July 2024 with a starting price of $45,200 plus a mandatory $995 delivery and handling fee. According to MINI, local dealers can assist prospective buyers with pre-orders.

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Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Cars teams. He also writes technology news…
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