Sunday, October 26, 2008

The MINI Cooper

Stock Photo.



"Whatever one may think of the Mini Cooper's dynamic attributes, which range from very good to marginal, it is fair to say that almost no new vehicle in recent memory has provoked more smiles." Source: Swan, Tony. "Behind the Wheel/Mini Cooper; Animated Short, Dubbed in German." The New York Times.2 June, 2002.

"Evoke(s) strong, positive emotions such as love, attachment, and happiness... The car is so much fun to look at and drive that... you overlook its faults." (7) Source: Norman, Donald A. Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things. Perseus Books Group; Cambridge: 2004.

This quote, by Norman, makes a similar assumption as Konrad Lorenz when he discussed humans' proclivity toward experiential attachment. If a possession is attractive to you, you will become attached to it and be happy when you interact with it. When this happens, you are more likely to overlook the object's negative aspects.

"But none of that is the real reason we're buying the Mini. The car is cute. It has a magnetic personality. We loved its oversized speedometer and the wacky location of its tachometer atop the steering column. We loved the reaction it drew from onlookers everywhere. ...Some of our friends and family members also called the Mini Cooper 'cute' but said they would never buy a car 'that small.' We don't care. We drove it. We love it." Source: Brown, Warren. "Cute Little Detour? We'll Take It!" The Washington Post. 2 June, 2002.

"Hands down, the MINI Cooper is one of the cutest, most adorable cars on the road. The slightly prominent headlamps and oval grille convey the look of a surprised toddler on Christmas morning. The car's profile looks like a baby bootie, ready to be bronzed and displayed on a mantel." Bugg, Sean. "The Cute Factor." Metro Weekly. 3 March, 2005.

Results from Cute Survey:

"It's so small and has a rounded silhouette--seems to have a 'face,' too."
"Small. Round features such as the lights and rear-view mirrors."
"The name alone is cute. ...It’s little and can navigate down small streets like in all those slightly comical chase scenes, the headlights are like big eyes."

The MINI set a precedent when it was redesigned in 2001. Today's automakers realize the power of cuteness in car design, and designers have continued to create evermore cute automobiles.

The Smart Car.

The Nissan Pivo Concept Car.

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