MINI has unveiled the Vision Urbanaut, and the new concept wants you to rethink space by offering more of it on a minimal footprint.
JUST LIKE THE ORIGINAL MINI?
In a way yes, although the link may not be apparent in these pictures.
The MINI Vision Urbanaut, which is currently only a digital rendering, utilises its electric drivetrain to rethink how a car should be packaged. This is similar to how the very first Mini ushered in a new way of thinking about vehicle construction with its transversely mounted engine.
The design of the MINI Vision Urbanaut was also motivated first and foremost by its cabin. The concept was designed from the inside out, starting from its floor plan and cabin experience, before its exterior was developed.
WHAT CAN DRIVERS DO WITH THE SPACE?
Quite a lot. You step into the cabin via the car’s single slide and swivel door to enter a “living room”. There is no need for a driver’s door when cars can drive themselves.
Inside, the car is said to deliver three “curated MINI moments”. “Chill” turns the car into a private retreat, with the rear seat bench adopting a lying position, and ambient lighting and sounds being toned down to mimic a forest canopy.
“Vibe” will open up the MINI Vision Urbanaut to its surroundings and turn the cabin into a central meeting hub. A central circular instrument becomes a media control centre.
The ambient lighting displays magenta and black with turquoise highlights, and plays animations of graphic equalisers for a club-like atmosphere.
On the go is when “Wanderlust” mode in the MINI Vision Urbanaut kicks in. The central circular instrument in this mode displays travel paraphernalia from the 50s and 60s alongside an animation of the route.
For those that will still feel the urge to drive themselves, a tap of a finger on the MINI logo will bring out the necessary steering wheel and pedals. A minimalist parallax display in the dashboard will provide route instructions or hazard alerts.
The MINI Vision Urbanaut rethinks the iconic MINI headlights, giving them a dynamic matrix design they can display different multi-coloured graphics. The grille is also now enclosed and octagonal in shape, serving instead as an intelligence panel for automated driving.
Illuminated wheels also feature an abstract Union Jack profile and can change displays according to the MINI moment selected.
A display on the C-pillar of the car will also offer reminders of places travelled in the form of pins or stickers, presented as graphic collector’s items behind glass. It is meant to display what the owner has experienced with the MINI Vision Urbanaut.
Read our review of the MINI Electric here!