Mini to lose leather interiors for its next-gen cars, report says

The decision comes as a part of a move to make Minis more sustainable.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2022 Mini Hardtop and Convertible

Mini wants to move away from leather, but keep the brand's upmarket feel.


Minis aren't exactly economy cars, and as such, it's not uncommon for buyers to spec them up with options like a leather interior. That's going to change soon, according to a report published Tuesday by Autocar, because Mini is going leather-free.

Yep, that's right. No more leather in Minis, likely starting with the next generation of cars. This move is part of a push toward ecological sustainability by the BMW-owned company, and it's likely to just be the start, according to Mini design chief Oliver Heilmer.

"We don't need leather any more in the future, because we don't believe it's sustainable," said Heilmer, in a statement to Autocar. "We're totally convinced that we will have modern and high-value products without leather."

This change is a core component of Mini's new brand strategy, which involves four key ideas: responsibility, curiosity, heartbeat and daredevil. We're not going to try and decipher those fully, but we suspect that it means Mini is interested in building ecologically friendly, small and fun-to-drive cars in the future.

Mini has already started to offer more recycled materials in its vehicles. The standard cloth seats are covered in fabric made entirely of recycled materials. The seat cushions are around 70% recycled. There will also likely be a push toward unconventional materials, like those used in the Urbanaut concept.

We reached out to Mini for comment but didn't hear back prior to publication.

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