The MINI brand presents its latest prototype, a 100% electric urban minivan that does not require human attention at the wheel. At the moment, it is only a concept car or conceptual prototype, but the “Mini Vision Urbanaut” is already beginning to give us clues about what the Mini of the future will look like.
The Mini Vision Urbanaut is a minivan with plenty of space inside – which is emphasized by a transparent panoramic roof that creates an open and cozy space. 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 whole new ease of movement inside the car.
“The Chill moment invites you to catch a breath and pause in the here and now. The car becomes a kind of retreat, a haven where you can relax – or work with full concentration – during a journey,” Oliver Heimer, Mini’s head of design, said in a statement. “Wanderlust is the only MINI moment where the MINI Vision Urbanaut is being driven or driving with automated driving functions. The moment Vibe puts time with other people at center stage – in every way.“
As for the interior of the vehicle, the Mini Vision Urbanaut stands out for a fully customizable open space that allows you to recreate a kind of living room and an infotainment system that includes the ability to plan trips, playlists, audiobooks, and podcasts to listen to throughout the journey. The two front seats can rotate, while the backrests of the generous rear seat area fold-down manually and turn.
When the car is stationary, the dashboard is lowered, and the driver’s area becomes a comfortable sitting area with what has been called Daybed. The external look is dominated by the width of the glass surfaces, the single access door onboard (as in motorhomes), and a front that represents a clear evolution of the iconic grille and headlights of the Mini. The latter is positioned under a milled aluminum structure with slotted openings and are only visible when switched on.
In addition, all the interiors have been made with recycled materials with no leather or chrome, and the main material in the interior would be knitted textile, thus reducing the ecological footprint of the vehicle. The brand also states that customers could configure the interiors of this Mini Vision Urbanaut to their liking. As with the headlights, multicolor dynamic matrix rear lights behind milled aluminum covers deliver fresh aesthetic and present different looks in the various driving modes and MINI moments.
Finally, it should be remembered that it seems clear that this prototype will never see the light in the form of a production vehicle, but it serves to begin to draw the future plans of the British company and its desire to enter the segment of electric and fully autonomous cars.