LISTEN 03:57

The New York Auto Show was treated to quite a surprise when rock music legends KISS made a surprise appearance to officially introduce four MINI Countryman vehicles, each wearing one of the band member’s world-famous face paints.

Each of the cars were dressed up with their own unique paint finishes bearing the face paint of each of the four members of the rock band. While the cars aren’t going to be sold to the public, all four special edition Countrymans will be auctioned off during a special Father’s Day eBay charity auction to raise money for UNICEF and its attempts to assist the children of Japan. The auction is scheduled for May 29th, 2011, which, incidentally, is Father’s Day.

The tie-up between MINI and KISS is a joined effort in providing assistance to the people of Japan who were struck with a devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami last month. "Our hearts go out to the people of Japan in this time of great tragedy. We wanted to help and also to provide a real way for the KISS Army to get involved," said Gene Simmons, the frontman of KISS.

"UNICEF raises money to help children who are still coping with the effects of these disasters, and also supports other very important emergency relief efforts around the world. Join the KISS Army in giving."

While the cars are set up to be auctioned off on Father’s Day, fans of the both MINI and KISS who won’t be able to buy the cars will get a chance to dress up their MINIs with KISS-inspired wraps, which MINI USA introduced on April 21, 2011. Just like the special edition cars themselves, all proceeds from the sales of these wraps will be given to UNICEF.

UPDATE 06/01/11: The four special edition MINI Countryman KISS Edition is now up on eBay and is currently being auctioned off. Here’s your chance to post your bids and if you want it bad enough, you can own any one of these four special edition MINIs. Keep the bids coming, people! It’s for a great cause!

Video and Press Release after the jump

  • 2011 MINI Countryman KISS Edition
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  • Engine:
    1.6-liter four-cylinder engines
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    122 horsepower
  • body style:

KISS Joins MINI USA at the New York Auto Show

MINI and legendary rock band KISS partner to raise money for UNICEF

April 21, 2011 - MINI USA launches the "MINI Rocks the Rivals" competitive test-drive tour in the USA, and as part of the kickoff, MINI has partnered with legendary rock band KISS to raise money for UNICEF to help children in Japan and emergencies around the globe.

KISS band members made the announcement live as four MINI Countryman vehicles with KISS-inspired designs made their debut at the New York Auto Show, each representing one of the KISS band member’s iconic faces. All four vehicles will be auctioned after being custom painted with the revealed design and signed by all four KISS members. Fans will be able to bid on the vehicles during a special Father’s Day eBay charity auction opening May 29th and proceeds will be donated to UNICEF.

"Our hearts go out to the people of Japan in this time of great tragedy. We wanted to help and also to provide a real way for the KISS Army to get involved," said Gene Simmons of KISS. "UNICEF raises money to help children who are still coping with the effects of these disasters, and also supports other very important emergency relief efforts around the world. Join the KISS Army in giving."

In addition to the vehicle charity auction, MINI USA will sell MINI vehicle wraps of the KISS designs revealed at the New York Auto Show beginning April 21, 2011. MINI USA’s proceeds from those sales will also be donated to UNICEF.

"MINI and its owners have long been dedicated to contributing to philanthropic and charitable efforts," said Jim McDowell, Vice President - MINI USA. "MINI USA had established a relationship with KISS as we kick off the ’MINI Rocks the Rivals’ tour in the US, and these fundraising initiatives were an ideal way for us to incorporate a fun charitable component to the campaign with these original pieces of art."

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
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Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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Show Comments


  (382) posted on 02.9.2012

Wow! Nice cars inspired by rock music legend’s KISS. It’s a good thing that the car will be auctioned to help the people in Japan. This car definitely ROCKS!

  (238) posted on 12.8.2011

This Countryman looks like a rocker vehicle because on their graphic design, which is kind of cool for me. Just too bad that its engine output can’t give a rocker speed performance on it.

  (503) posted on 09.28.2011

Very unique painted style as it made every car look aggressive and on character. These model cars look very adventurous somehow rock and iconic too.

  (231) posted on 09.14.2011

A perfect match while you were driving this MINI with a KISS song marathon on it. I like the concept on MINI’s Kiss edition, very creative yet simple and attractive.

  (577) posted on 05.18.2011

Oh! You really have think about it..Well, I think MINI doesn’t have an awesome
design for their car just like the Fiat! Let’s just think that this one is for the charity and it would
be a great reason to buy this car.

  (580) posted on 05.18.2011

Well, you have a point sioc_tong and I don’t like to think the reason behind the "not-so-beautiful" production is because its almost donation of the Mini for the earthquake victim. However, I’m proud that this is the only company that I have known that gives all the precede for charity.

  (445) posted on 05.4.2011

Let’s set aside that they have been doing this for charity and the KISS group was
there performing. Well, focusing in the car makes me bored. I don’t think that it has an amazing look and its not even qualified for NASCAR.

  (648) posted on 05.2.2011

I agree with you on that one. I they definitely did a great job here, since they were able to draw in more crowds for the event, thanks to KISS.

  (474) posted on 04.29.2011

Hey guys, don’t forget about the whole event for which the cars were made. This one is important too, since it is all about providing better welfare for children.

  (345) posted on 04.28.2011

Yeah, I am also looking forward to seeing more of these custom Minis. I hope they would tie up with other artists, like Elton John or Carlos Santana for this one.

  (570) posted on 04.27.2011

Good thing that they have made this one really gorgeous, it makes me even more interested in getting one of these. Or at leads the wrap ons for the regular Mini.

  (412) posted on 04.27.2011

Well, it really is a good thing that they were able to come out with an event that would be I hope they would be able to setup more of these for the benefit of these folks.

  (676) posted on 04.26.2011

Yeah and I’m familiar wit h the KISS band though I find their car kind of cool and their advocate as well but I will not consider to buy

  (613) posted on 04.26.2011

Well, I salute their aimed to helped the UNICEF though I don’t that their car is cool enough like like their advocate.

  (683) posted on 04.26.2011

Well now that’s certainly something. Seeing KISS and Mini teaming up for this worthwhile event will definitely earn a soft spot in the hearts of fans.

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