We got to see the 2025 Mini Cooper’s interior the other week, but now Mini is peeling back the veil on everything there is to know about the new round screen in the center and the all-new software it’s running.
Mini is calling this fancy, round screen the “Mini Interaction Unit.” From a hardware perspective, it’s rather special. The super-thin screen itself is a perfect circle and measures 9.4 inches in diameter. That might sound small in the world of ever-increasing car screens, but every other screen out there is rectangular, so the measurement applies in every direction, rather than just the diagonal of a rectangular screen. We sat in the driver’s seat of the new Mini, and there’s certainly no lack of screen size to be seen here.
To make matters even better, Mini is using OLED technology — Samsung is the supplier — for this round screen. That means extra vivid colors and the darkest-possible blacks. Cadillac uses OLED tech for its screens in the Escalade, too, and the result is beautiful.
Of course, the software playing on this screen is the real star of the show, and it’s called Mini Operating System 9. It’s a completely new-from-the-ground-up software suite, and you can wave goodbye to the old BMW
What you see on screen is largely dependent on what “Experience Mode” you’re in. Those include Core, Go-Kart, Green, Balance, Timeless, Vivid and Personal (Trail is added for the Countryman). Core is going to be your standard mode that provides a simple interface with your navigation, media and phone status spread out across the screen. A lot changes in the other modes, but certain things remain consistent across all modes including the auto climate controls, speedometer, range and the shortcut bar at the bottom with often-used menus. You can store even more (customizable) frequently used commands into a “tool belt” that is accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. And for those worried about Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, we can confirm that Mini did a lovely job of making that rectangular interface look professional on a round screen. The edges of the phone interface simply bleed out into a background that looks like an extension of whatever CarPlay or Android Auto are featuring, so it doesn’t look out of place whatsoever.
For sporty driving, Mini has Go-Kart mode that turns the screen black and red, adopts a big speedo and adjusts the optional ambient lighting in the cabin to match the screen colors. This lighting projection corresponds with every mode, too, so your cabin will always be lit up in a matching color to the “Experience Mode.” Beyond the screen customization, Go-Kart also brings unique noises played over the speakers for the electric model, and it changes the throttle response for more dynamic driving.
The most interesting of all the modes (shown above) is “Timeless,” as it attempts to remind you of the original Mini’s large speedo. You get a serif typeface, light background, and Mini augments this with cabin sounds generated from the classic Mini and the JCW GP blended together. You can get a sense of what this will sound like in the video at the bottom of this post. These noises aren’t limited to performance car sounds either, as Mini says the “Balance” mode samples from sounds of a rippling stream, chirping crickets and treetops rustling in the wind.
If none of the other modes appeal to you, Mini has a Personal mode that will quite literally let you pick whatever background suits you. Upload whatever photo you’d like into the Mini app, and the car will then allow you to display it as the “home screen” image in the infotainment system. The interface is able to detect the colors in your image and then theme the rest of the interface around that color scheme. So yes, you can put your dog or cat on your car’s infotainment screen permanently if you so choose.
And speaking of dogs, Mini’s new “Personal Assistant” is named Spike. You can talk to Spike the dog (or Mini, a car alternative) to accomplish any number of tasks, and like other personal assistants these days, Spike is able to have a regular enough conversation when you ask it questions like, “Do you like me” or “Tell me a joke.”
Those that opt for the electric version of the upcoming Mini will also enjoy a new navigation system with a camera-enabled augmented view (projects guidance arrows on a video feed) and EV route planning. As soon as you enter in a route, the nav system will calculate charging stops and recommended charging time. The system will plan for you to reach charging stops and your destination with at least 10% battery
While charging, Mini has new AirConsole gaming and video streaming functions, just like BMW. This allows you to use your cell phone as a controller for certain games projected onto the screen. And the last big, new feature with this tech is the introduction of the Mini Digital Key Plus. Like BMW’s version of it, you’ll be able to use your phone as your key via ultra-wideband tech. You’ll also be able to temporarily “share” your key with friends and family to give them access to the car without the key in hand. Of course, you can also expect Mini to update the system as time goes on, because this latest software suite features the ability to accept over-the-air upgrades.