Alpine proudly introduced their Mini Speedster at the 2004 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and it promptly received the show’s two top awards—Best of Show for both People’s Choice and Editor’s Choice. Based on a 2003 Mini Cooper S, this awesome vehicle showcases the latest in Alpine technology as well as the best work that the Alpine install crew has to offer. Alpine’s Application RTeam of Steve Brown and Mike Vu spent no less than seven months and 4000 hours of labor creating this masterpiece, and now you get an insider’s look at the entire process.
The first step in any demo car project is the gutting of a perfectly good car, to see what obstacles lurk under those trim panels. With this complete, the crew made the first major modification to the car—they cut off the roof! The whole concept of this vehicle is to be a speedster, a vehicle with no top. A custom two-piece wrap-around windshield was created to finish off the look, then it was molded into the body of the car. Speaking of the body, the Mini received a custom Konig Seder widebody kit that the Alpine crew molded completely into the body. All of the body and paint work was done in house, by Steve Brown and Mike Vu with airbrush work by Noah.
With the body work completed, it was time to move to the inside of the car. Again, the Alpine crew came up with a unique idea for this area—a motorized seat. Instead of getting in the car through the doors, the seat motorizes out the back of the car five feet to allow the single lucky driver to enter. Of course, this eliminated the need for doors, so they were welded shut to smooth out the overall look of the car. The motorized seat assembly also contains two 12” Type X subwoofers porting directly into the driver’s back, vented through the custom plexiglass seat.
The rest of the interior consists of fiberglass panels that wrap around the driver, containing Type X separates and Alpine monitors. After all of the fiberglass panels were built, they were polyester primed, sanded, primed again, sanded again, then painted with a base coat/clear coat process. The clear coat was then scuffed down, airbrushed, and then clear coated and color sanded. Finally, the car was assembled for the last time and wired just in time for the 2004 CES show.