The Driving Excitement Analyser is the latest example of how MINI owners can enjoy a distinctive brand of driving fun through the intelligent link-up of the driver, car and outside world. The MINI Connected app is regularly updated to include new and innovative infotainment, driving fun and social network functions. In cars equipped with the MINI Visual Boost radio or MINI navigation system, MINI Connected already offers features such as a web radio function, the Google Local Search and Send to Car services, use of Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, the AUPEO! and Stitcher services, reception of RSS news feeds, use of the iPhone’s calendar, and the Driving Excitement, Mission Control, Dynamic Music and MINIMALISM Analyser functions. All are intuitive to use and presented with customary MINI flair with the help of the MINI joystick, steering wheel buttons and onboard monitor.
The Driving Excitement Analyser allows drivers to experience the hallmark MINI driving fun in even greater depth. In addition to the Condition Check function, Force Meter and digital sports instruments already included in the Driving Excitement app from MINI Connected, the new points system rates the driver’s ability to pilot the MINI with a sporty yet steady hand. Praise is given to particularly sprightly sprints, precise gear changes, controlled braking, smooth cornering and U-turns executed at well-judged speeds. For example, the system awards maximum Experience Points for upshifts carried out within the ideal rev range and in less than 1.2 seconds. Super-slick gear changes prompt a “Perfect change up” message on the on-board monitor, while a “Breathtaking U-turn” and a masterful touch with the anchors (“Well-balanced braking”) are similarly recognised with top marks and positive, MINI-style feedback. At the opposite end of the scale, no points are given for potentially dangerous manoeuvres. Instead, excessively sharp braking and precarious or erratic cornering cause a warning to be displayed on the monitor.
In other words, sustained poise and assurance at the wheel are the key to sending a driver’s points total skywards. Topping 100 points in any of the four categories results in promotion to the next level. Added to which, drivers can collect badges reflecting their accomplished acceleration, gear changes or cornering technique within the scope of special tests. Navigation-linked badges are awarded as a special bonus, lighting up on the onboard monitor if the MINI passes one of the essential destinations identified by the app – the MINI factory in Oxford, for instance.