MINI, the luxury British car brand, owned by BMW has unveiled a new concept vehicle called MINI Vision Urbanaut, which looks like a cosy drawing-room on wheels. The eye-catching self-driving pod-like concept vehicle was showcased at the BMW NextGen event.
It is not sure if the MINI Vision Urbanaut will make it to reality. However, if the concept vehicle turns into reality, it will be the most spacious MINI model ever built. Also, it would be the cosiest way to get around the town.
Like any modern concept MINI Vision Urbanaut is an electric-powered autonomous vehicle with a pod-shaped appearance. Presently, the concept exists only as a CAD model. As the automaker describes it, the Vision Urbanaut is a digital vision vehicle that offers more interior space and versatility than ever before, but still on a minimal footprint.
As the company describes, the MINI Vision Urbanaut has three different modes – Moments, Chill and Vibe. The Moments is how the car behaves. Chill is for work or relaxation and Vibe is centred around spending time with co-occupants. However, all these three modes are activated once the vehicle is parked. MINI describes the driving mode as Wanderlust when the driver can drive it or it can drive autonomously.
Talking about the design of the MINI Vision Urbanaut concept, it appears futuristic and like we already mentioned, pod-shaped. In the last few years, we have seen several automakers showcased their autonomous electric concept vehicles that are pod-shaped.
The concept vehicle comes with a slight similarity to the Volkswagen Type 2, popularly known as Volkswagen Kombi and Volkswagen Bus, which was a symbol of the counterculture in the last decade. Interestingly, Volkswagen has already showcased an electric microbus concept dubbed as I.D. Buzz that comes built as a modern age model taking inspiration from the original VW Type 2. The German auto giant will bring the electric resurrection version of the iconic vehicle in 2022.
Coming back to MINI Vision Urbanaut, it gets body integrated LED panel that acts like headlamps and display as well. Similarly at the back, there is a sleek and sharp LED bar that runs along the width of the vehicle and connects the LED taillights. The headlights, rear lights and wheels take on different colours and motifs.
The side profile gets one big sliding door or the passenger side that is the way in and out for the occupants. Apart from that, it looks smooth and minimalist with the large glass panels and without the character lines. The wheels too come with LED light integration that makes the car more unique looking.
Enter the cabin, there are four seats and as MINI says, the interior comprises of three distinct areas. Upfront is Daybed, where the front seats swivel and dashboard lowers to create something that looks like a corner sofa. The windscreen too can be opened upwards, just like an old Land Rover.
The back of the cabin is supposed to be the Cosy Corner with two rear seats that can be modified to create a kind of chaise. There is a textile-covered loop over the top with built-in LED lighting. The front and back areas are connected by an airy central section with a flip-down table, a plant and circular digital display that doubles as a reading light. The full glass roof gives not only an airy and spacious feel but also gives a wide view all around the vehicle.
As mentioned before, there are different modes that can be selected using buttons inside the cabin. There is mood lighting inside the cabin, along with the fragrance and information displays making the interior feel like the living room, instead of a car cabin. The seats can be moved manually.
Also Read: Is this the Renault Kiger sub-compact SUV?