For anyone with an eye for detail, or a long commute for that matter, a car equipped with as much customization as possible probably has a lot of appeal… or so think the engineering minds at MINI Cooper.
The automaker has recently announced it will now offer current owners of its Cooper hardtops and convertibles the ability to customize their vehicles as an aftermarket service utilizing 3D printing technology. According to Car & Driver, printed pieces are available for personalized trim options such as door handles and sills, as well as puddle lights that can be designed by the user, as long as the aesthetics fit within the standards that MINI Cooper has set.
The program, dubbed “MINI Yours Customized,” offers new patterns and textures and the promotional photos from MINI show samples with an owner’s name emblazoned basically all over the car – a creative way to prevent the embarrassing moment in the grocery store parking lot when you point your key fob at someone else’s similar-looking car and wonder why the trunk won’t open.
If you’re not artistically-savvy enough to attempt your own designs, MINI offers templates to work from. But being at least a little auto-savvy is a must: once the designs print on the plastic, metal or LED slide cover of your liking, they’re sent from Germany to the end user who is then responsible for snapping them into place. Car & Driver says they’re easily swappable later, as long as you can do some light wiring.
While current MINI aftermarket accessories like door sills and light panels retail in the $300 range, it’s likely the customized options will require owners to dish out a little more cash.