Mini is preparing for the launch of a new generation of models. We already got strong hints at what to expect in the form of many spy photos and an official teaser (see the related links below) but most of them showed only the exterior of the new cars. Now, it’s finally time to take a closer look at the interior, though Mini is ready to only show us its new personal assistant, which is part of the brand’s redesigned infotainment system.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Mini Spike – “the canine friend of the Mini brand” – which returns in an animated form for this new application. Or, putting the marketing speech aside, Mini Spike is an English Bulldog that will provide all the support to users from the infotainment screen of the company’s new generation models. It is now making its debut appearance during the 2023 Auto Shanghai in China in the form of a large-format sculpture and we will see it in production cars very soon.

Gallery: Mini Spike personal assistant

Obviously, this cute big toy isn’t the most important and interesting thing as Mini also shows us what its upcoming infotainment system will look like for the first time. Not all the details are known but the automaker says it will reveal more throughout the year until the full debut of the new model family arrives. All we know for now is that Mini Spike “is becoming a characterful companion for the user experience.”

If this isn’t the first time you are hearing about Mini Spike, your memory serves you right. The playful character was introduced with Mini’s launch in the modern era back in 2001. It was considered the perfect animal equivalent of the marque at the time and it seems that Mini is ready to take it to the future in this new digitalised form.

In China, Mini Spike will be also shown onboard the Aceman concept. The crossover-ish show car was unveiled for the first time in July last year as a preview of the company’s future design language. The concept also received a Pokemon-inspired makeover a month later for Gamescom 2022.