2009 MINI Life Ball by The Blonds – Click above to view in high resolution

If you were waiting for that grand-prix-edition Mini to hit the roads, you may want to wait a little longer, 'cause this ain't it. What you're looking at instead is a (thankfully) unique MINI cabrio prepared for Life Ball 2009.

MINI has participated in the premier European AIDS fundraiser the past nine years, annually commissioning another designer to reinterpret its fashionable little retromobile. Previous editions were designed by Diesel (long before the Diesel Fiat 500), Versace (before teaming up with Lamborghini) and Agent Provocateur (which tickled Max Mosley pink), to name just a few. This year, however, Mini solicited the – um -- "talents" of Hollywood fashion icons The Blonds, known among the red carpet crowd for dressing top pop stars. Their inspiration for the pink leopard-print 2009 Life Ball MINI, believe it or not, was neither cartoon panther nor French detective, but Katy Perry, the singer popularized by the hit song "I Kissed a Girl", who will perform at the gala in Vienna on May 16, where the car will then be raffled off to raise money to combat HIV/AIDS. More details in the press release after the jump.

[Source: MINI]
PRESS RELEASE

The Life Ball MINI 2009, designed by "The Blonds" for Katy Perry.
Prize draw for the first time at this year's Life Ball.

Munich/Vienna. When fashion and music come together at the Life Ball, the result will always be something fascinating and unique – the new Life Ball MINI created in Katy Perry style by American designer duo The Blonds.

MINI is supporting the Life Ball for the ninth year in succession in 2009. The 17th Life Ball – taking place on 16 May 2009 – marks the beginning of a four-year cycle, the elements water, earth, air and fire representing both metaphorically and in their artistic embodiment the fundamental symbols of life. Europe's biggest AIDS charity event offers MINI an outstanding platform on which to underline its socio-political commitment.

The Life Ball MINI will be offered in a prize draw for the first time in 2009.

Becoming the owner of the new Life Ball MINI has never been easier for all MINI, Life Ball and Katy Perry fans. A ticket costs 10 euros and can be purchased at all Life Ball events, from all BMW and MINI dealers in Austria, directly from the Life Ball, from the official distributor of Austria's "class lottery" Prokopp and, of course, over the Internet. Go to www.mini.at for detailed information on the various sources. All the proceeds from the draw will go to the Life Ball and projects fighting HIV/AIDS.

The "Life Ball MINI 2009 designed by The Blonds for Katy Perry".

MINI handed American creative double-act The Blonds the latest addition to the MINI family – a new MINI Convertible – to serve as the canvas for their inspiration. The brains behind The Blonds are Puerto Rican Phillipe and US designer David Blond. The Life Ball MINI 2009 is dedicated to their friend Katy Perry. The singer has been in the music business since 2001 and achieved her international breakthrough in May 2008 with the worldwide hit "I Kissed a Girl". Its success was then surpassed by the follow-up single "Hot N Cold". Katy will escort "her" MINI down the Blue Carpet at the Life Ball.

The Blonds specialise in stand-out couture oozing sex appeal and glamour. Their outfits are striking, richly decorated and complemented by knock-out accessories: sparkling, dazzling, dramatic. Stars such as Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Shakira, Madonna, Britney Spears and Dita von Teese have all worn creations by The Blonds at big occasions.

And now The Blonds' signature style and Katy Perry's personal look have come together to produce a one-off piece of automotive couture: the Life Ball MINI 2009. You can find an early design mock-up of the new Life Ball MINI at www.press.bmwgroup.com (image no.: P90046815)

"MINI is a long-standing Life Ball Partner with an exceptionally fine understanding of how to incorporate creativity into the fulfilment of a partnership," said Life Ball organiser Gery Keszler. "Year after year, the Life Ball MINIs created by the designers of the Life Ball Fashion Shows provide stunning evidence of this. The Life Ball MINI 2009 will be a special edition reflecting a life in the limelight; after all, international pop star Katy Perry and New York's The Blonds – the designers of this year's Life Ball Fashion Show – are responsible for the Life Ball MINI. The signature features of the pop princess and the cutting-edge designers are sex appeal and maximum glamour, set off by striking, richly decorated, knock-out accessories. I wish the future owner lots of fun with the Life Ball MINI."

MINI. A history of success.

The MINI has been a magnet for public affection ever since its launch in September 2001. In April 2007 – just six years after the start of series production – the one-millionth MINI rolled off the assembly line at the Oxford plant in England. The design, charisma and agile handling of the MINI made it a highly desirable car from day one.
The new MINI Convertible lays on an even more intense experience of freedom on the road. With its beautifully evolved design and extended functionality, state-of-the-art chassis technology, even more powerful and yet more economical engines, and further optimised safety systems, the latest edition of the open-top four-seater builds soundly on proven strengths. Added to which, new and attractive colour options and equipment details lend an extra level of appeal. An unbeatable standard of materials and workmanship reinforces the stand-alone status of the MINI Convertible as the only open-top premium car in its segment.

It goes without saying that the new MINI Convertible comes with the latest fuel-saving systems and optimisations. This MINIMALISM strategy includes the Auto Start Stop Function, Brake Energy Regeneration and the Shift Point Display. All of these measures reduce fuel consumption and therefore CO2 emissions.

The social commitment of the BMW Group.

Worldwide measures to combat HIV/AIDS are one of the main elements of the corporate and social policy pursued by the BMW Group. The company's involvement in South Africa is particularly wide-ranging, covering a comprehensive workplace programme for employees and their families, plus a number of different projects in the local communities and further afield. The carmaker is also committed to fighting this pandemic in other affected countries, such as Thailand and China. Membership of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GBC) underlines its long-term commitment at its various locations.