MINI’s Camper Of The Future
What do we truly talk about when we’re talking about vehicles? Is it the fact that it simply takes you from point A to Point B? Or does it propel you into a discourse on carbon footprint and sustainable living? How about we entertain you with the idea that vehicles of the near future can be radicalised into something more than just a motorised set of wheels but are instead versatile and liveable spaces where we can relax and unwind.
Sounds intriguing? Introducing the MINI Vision Urbanaut, a four-seater passenger vehicle that breaks all the conventional rules of vehicle design. It’s actually quite difficult to put this car in any segment, for that matter. From what we can obviously see, it’s definitely not a sedan. Rather, this car looks and feels like a futuristic hatchback or mini-van, with a small footprint that calls back to its predecessor. What sets it apart is the ingenious use of space that maximises practicality and usability. Think camper van minus the cumbersome size.
Space Is All that We Have
Now, when we say ingenious use of space, we really mean an out-of-the-box interior experience you wouldn’t normally get on other cars. Measuring at only 4.46 m in length, the MINI Vision Urbanaut provides an interior space that can transform into a living space in an instant.
Begin by entering the cabin via one large sliding door on the side of the car. The four-seat layout is modular, fully rotatable and generously sized to boot. The driver’s area – which is really just the dashboard – can be converted into a comfortable seating corner (or as the folks at MINI like to call it, the Daybed) when the car is stationary.
Meanwhile the rear of the MINI Vision Urbanout would seemingly have a quieter area called the Cosy Corner, which we reckon is an ideal reading nook for bibliophiles out there. There’s even a built-in table with a plant in the open central area, which acts as a focal point for passengers to engage with other passengers. But that’s not all as the windscreen can actually be opened upwards, transforming the space into a kind of Street Balcony and creating an even more generous spatial experience while letting the breeze in, too.
This gives you a rough idea of how versatile the interior space of the MINI Vision Urbanaut is. Just think of it as a mobile living room, where you can kick back and relax with your buddies while exploring the great outdoors, going on a road trip or just simply getting around town!
MINI Moments, Maximum Delight
The MINI Vision Urbanaut envisions itself to present a wide range of possible usage scenarios. These are three core modes altogether, or MINI moments, as the brand calls them. These modes revolutionise the way we utilise space, especially that of the interior cabin of a vehicle.
“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. “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 centre stage – in every way,” said Oliver Heimer, MINI’s head of design.
To Car Or Not To Car
As you might have guessed it, the MINI Vision Urbanaut is conceptualised to run on a purely electric drive system and autonomous driving – something which is now becoming less of an element of science fiction but closer to reality, sans the flying bit. However, it can also deploy a steering wheel and pedals too, if you’re in the mood to maneuver manually. However, we’d say that driving is largely an afterthought as the MINI Vision Urbanaut is essentially a living space, best experienced when parked.
For now, the MINI Vision Urbanaut remains a ‘digital vision vehicle’ or more commonly known as a concept car. Nonetheless, it’s definitely giving us a glimpse into the future of automobiles as well as the way we travel.
Izzat is your regular 20-something, currently trying to navigate his way through the murky waters that is adulting. When he’s not hunched in front of the computer trying to catch deadlines, you’ll find him buried under the sheets watching films, or doing what he does best, which is sleeping.