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Meet the MINI Vision Urbanaut

Mini Ubranaut side shot

The MINI brand is using #NEXTGen to present, in a world exclusive, the MINI Vision Urbanaut – an all-new interpretation of a vision of space. This digital vision vehicle offers more interior space and versatility than ever before, but still on a minimal footprint. The last massive news from #NEXTGen for us was the BMW first iX.

Watch the World Premier video

The interior design – More Creative Use of Space.

Mini Ubranaut sideshot

Designers went with the space concept theme and began the process from inside out. They actually created the interior space of the MINI Vision Urbanaut before the exterior. They used floor plans, pieces of furniture plus wooden scale models to provide an indication of size. Over the course of the project, augmented reality was employed to create a digital model, which was then systematically optimized. Unusually tall for a MINI, but only 4.46 m in length, the MINI Vision Urbanaut provides an interior space that can be used in many different ways and offers a whole new ease of movement inside the car.

The interior of the MINI Vision Urbanaut provides the ideal environment in which to go on a journey but is also the aim of the journey. Having arrived at the chosen destination, it can transform into a living room in just a few simple steps. Occupants enter the innovative cabin through a large sliding door in the side of the car. The cutting-edge slide and swivel mechanism is the ideal design for urban driving conditions where space is at a premium. There are no other doors on the driver’s side or front passenger side.

Driver’s area with “Daybed” and “Street Balcony”; “Cozy Corner” in the rear.

Mini Ubranaut interior

An extremely flexible four-seat layout provides the basis for the bright interior. The two front seats are designed to rotate, while the backrests for the generously sized seat surface in the rear can be folded manually (left rear seat) and turned around (right rear seat). When the car is stationary, the dashboard lowers and the driver’s area becomes a comfortable seating corner – the “daybed”. Added to which, the windscreen can be opened upwards when stationary to create a kind of Street Balcony. This enhances interaction with the car’s surroundings and creates an even more generous spatial experience. 

User interface and interaction design – “Analogue love, digital connection” as a guiding principle.

Mini Ubranaut interior

Intuitive, discreet user interface solutions allow conventional controls such as switches or buttons to be omitted. This creates a minimalist, cozy spatial experience while maintaining full connectivity. The principle of making things as simple as possible to use (“natural interaction”) is highlighted by the “analogue”, tactile, haptic experience of initiating a feature, e.g. the direct touch operation option in the Loop over the rear seat bench. The circular instrument is now positioned in the middle of the car – the new center of the action – and brings information to the place where people meet.

The exterior design – the spirit of the brand in a new form.

The purist mono-volume design of the MINI Vision Urbanaut gives new meaning to the “Creative Use of Space” approach. The flush, virtually seamless surface creates a modern baseline mood, with high-quality details adding carefully judged stylistic flourishes. In signature MINI fashion, the wheels are positioned at the outer corners of the body, with short overhangs rounding off a compact and agile appearance.

A new MINI face.

The front end of the MINI Vision Urbanaut represents a clear evolution of two-time honored MINI design icons – the headlights and radiator grille. Positioned under a milled aluminum structure with slotted openings, the headlights are only visible when switched on. Thanks to their multicolor dynamic matrix design they can display different multi-colored graphics, which creates a new form of communication between the car and the outside world to suit each moment. The lights on the MINI Vision Urbanaut complement the front “grille” with the attractive look distinctive to every MINI. The enclosed grille itself is now octagonal in shape, representing an evolution of the traditional hexagonal form. Since the MINI Vision Urbanaut does not have a combustion engine requiring cooling air, the grille assumes a new function: it now serves as an intelligence panel for automated driving.

As with the headlights, multicolor dynamic matrix rear lights behind milled aluminum covers deliver a fresh aesthetic and present different looks in the various driving modes and MINI moments. On closer inspection, the distinctive, convex surfaces also pay homage to previous MINIs and the classic Mini. One small detail – the contour of the rear windows – references the form of the front grille and underscores the car’s stylistic consistency. 

Illuminated skateboard wheels provide visual flourishes.

Mini Ubranaut rear side

The visual highlight of the MINI Vision Urbanaut when viewed from the side are the wheels, finished in the color Ocean Wave, a turquoise blue which sparks associations with the beach and the sound of the sea. The abstract Union Jack profile of the wheels is a nod to the car’s British heritage, while their shape recalls skateboards – thereby further highlighting the car’s nimbleness and non-conformist MINI twist. The wheels also represent another way in which the car communicates with its surroundings. Transparent and illuminated from the inside, their appearance changes according to the selected MINI moment.

More details, like a whole ton, can be read here on their news site

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1 comment

Mini Electric Car Concepts for JCW Models December 2, 2020 at 10:22 am

[…] recently MINI wowed us with the Urbanaut, and now they’re extending their ongoing expansion of MINI electric car range with new offerings […]

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