Electric Mini Cooper has a large round OLED display

I’m not a big fan of touchscreens in cars in general, especially for critical functions, but anything that’s this specialized and unique for a specific model of car would give me even more concern. Rectangular touchscreens are common and many different manufacturers are set up to produce them, so there’s at least a decent chance that you could buy replacement screens if needed for a repair in another decade or so. But very few suppliers are set up to make round screens, so if yours breaks in 10 or 12 years it may very well render the car undrivable and unrepairable. If this turns out to be a short-lived design fad rather than something that Mini sticks with for the long term then buyers best beware.


We have a current gas powered mini. The circular information panel is indeed front and center now…this looks just like ours except digital.

1 Like

I doubt it’s that big of a deal. Weirdly shaped screens like this are just regular screens with the interface masked to the display’s shape. You could theoretically replace it with a regular rectangular display and it would work fine. It’d just look stupid.

… plus, this is BMW so chances are that they will ensure parts are available for a looong time. They are not entirely stupid and won’t want to piss off owners by rendering cars unusable if such a critical part needs replacing.

The central circular dial is a very established design feature in the modern Mini, ever since it was reincarnated by BMW - and as I said, the design point stems from the original Mini - so I very much doubt it is a “short-lived design fad”.

That said, it IS part of the nascent EV design and manufacturing movement and who knows what the longevity of it all will be or how design features may change overnight when someone comes up with a new design paradigm for EVs or personal transport generally.

(And @Otherbrother)

But @ficuswhisperer it is not a ‘masked’ screen - it is a cut-out-in-a-circle screen. Not sure if there is a practical or semantic difference in your meaning but … :man_shrugging:

@ycleptShawn Exactly! The news here is not that it is round and central, the news is that it is an OLED touch screen that is round.

You’ve heard of the Cadillac XLR brake light fiasco, right? Those became nearly impossible to find less than 10 years after production of that car ended.


Almost makes one think that instead of some bits of plastic, wiring and a traditional bulb, designing a complicated sealed unit that can only be replaced as a complete unit, and charging a premium for it might have been a deliberate decision? But the sealed unit is replaceable. As to availability, I cannot comment on why General Motors limited it so.

The Mini round screen will of course cost an arm and a leg to replace. But it will be replaceable. And given that it will be in every variant of Mini EV, call me (yes, me, Mr. Cynical) naive, but I reckon BMW will not make a large number of cars obsolete by restricting its availability as a spare part after a few years.

In the past, of course (and today) old fashioned mechanical parts are almost universally available from third party manufacturers. Not sure if that’s gonna happen with expensive ‘digital’ units.

Well that was basically my point. The more unique the design the less likely it will be that replacements are going to be available from anyone once the original manufacturer stops producing them, and a manufacturer very well may decide that it’s no longer worth producing spares for some wacky design that was a short-term design trend using technology that goes obsolete very quickly. That’s why I said that buyers better hope that Mini sticks with this design for the long term rather than just a few model years.


This is what I don’t get.

My state recently passed a pretty restrictive cell phone use law. Even if the phone is mounted to the dashboard you basically can’t touch it, even at a traffic light.

I listen to SiriusXM through an app, changing channels near a cop might invite a ticket.

But built in touch screens are getting bigger, the new law does not apply to those touch screens.

I love my 2003 minivan, just an analog speedometer and manual heat/air controls.

I love my 1995 RV on a Ford E350 chassis even more. Not even power locks or power windows.

Your general point is well made. Especially re third parties. But…

But I do not believe it is.

It is such an iconic Mini design feature (ever since the original Mini) that I’m sure they will.

Oh it looks like they put a bigger battery pack in it! Looks like it might get closer to 200 miles.

I’m not googling that.

That’s how at least some Hyundai EVs work. I had to jump start the aux battery of one out on the river once. The drive batteries were topped off, but without the aux battery, the car wouldn’t “start.”

Shrugs What GIF by ABC Network

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.