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MINI at the IAA 2017: The joy of driving, smoothies and all things beard – drooping in on MINI’s turf

Adjacent to BMW's vast exhibition area, MINI has created an urban-industrial world for the IAA 2017. In addition to the range of lifestyle models and two spectacular concept cars visitors can experience an elaborate attention to detail, fresh smoothies and three barbers.


A manhole. Right in the middle of the MINI zone. “Go ahead an stand on it”, the booth designer advises with a smile. We take a step forward and with a slight yield of the cast iron manhole, a MINI John Cooper Works just meters away roars into life. A powerful engine sound at an authentic level of volume. The MINI has engaged and the orchestrated backfire of the double exhaust blasts down the street.


Street? Indeed. The MINI brand area is not just an exhibition booth, but a city; not an unapproachable presentation platform but a lifestyle world with elegant attention to detail. House fronts and shop windows, a store with the newest MINI collection and a smoothie bar. Precisely aimed spotlights accentuate the cars in their preferred surroundings.


For example the MINI John Cooper Works sports models, that are positioned on a stretch of road along with a guard rail and lane markings. If one follows the in British Racing Green lacquered dynamists down the line, an encounter with the new chief of the pack ensues: the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept celebrates its world premiere at the IAA 2017 and this can be understood as an exercise for the racetrack – not without a prospect of line-production: the Brits already had a limited GP in their product range back in 2013.


We pass by the smoothie kiosk with the promise of a few vitamins in the area of MINI Convertible. Behind the next wall: electrolytes, or at least the first half of the word. The equally modern and fresh look of the MINI Electric Concept serves as a concrete forecast of the Electro-Mini, planned for 2019. 177 PS and a battery range of 300 kilometers are to insure best day to day use and the brand typical joy of driving.


One level up on a balcony created in the design of a railroad bridge, the MINI Yours Individual-division and the station wagon MINI Clubman await their visitors in a casual atmosphere coupled with nicely groomed beards. In fact, the MINI-Area designers arranged a fully equipped Barber-shop for this purpose.


Contouring, trimming, grooming. For a free of charge beard polishing all in about 30 minutes, you can make your reservation on-site. Up on the balcony we enjoy the view over the neighboring world of BMW – and we cannot help but notice someone else has discovered the magical manhole directly underneath us.


Translation: Hanna Coco

Published: 13. September 2017

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About the author

Jonas Eling is a freelance motoring journalist. He writes for Germanys AUTO ZEITUNG as well as one of the largest BMW magazines in the world - german Bimmertoday.

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