MINI Urbanaut concept becomes reality

MINI has taken its futuristic Urbanaut concept a step closer to reality, unveiling a full-size physical model at the DLD Summer conference in Munich.

Until now, the MINI Vision Urbanaut existed only in concept form as a digital render, but the physical model will “allow audiences to engage more extensively with the spatial concept and sustainable materials at work.”

With a strong emphasis on spaciousness and sustainability, the starting point for the concept was the “Clever Use of Space”. The vehicle measures 4.46m in length while possessing a multi-faceted interior space that can be configured into three separate modes, called “MINI Moments”.

The first mode “Chill” aims to emulate a lounge-style format for stationary use. The second, “Wanderlust” for use in autonomous and normal driving situations, and the last mode “Vibe”, which “blurs the boundaries between the inside and outside” by folding the windscreen up and projecting graphic equalizer displays onto the wheels.

MINI says the flexible nature of the interior means that it can be used as “an urban space for people when it’s standing still, as well as an electric urban mobility solution.

“At MINI Design we believe that the best way to understand the overall concept behind the MINI Vision Urbanaut is to experience it. The feeling of space and the innovative materials are just asking to be explored,” said Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design.

“That is why it is very important to us from the outset to also make a physical model of the MINI Vision Urbanaut. And now that moment has come. We have planned and built every aspect of the model – which allows people to experience all the facts of the MINI Vision Urbanaut.”

Conceived to be a leader in automated driving, the vehicle has been engineered with Level 4 self-driving capabilities. The concept retails its steering wheel and pedals allowing the driver to take control of the vehicle at any stage.

While there remains no firm production intent for the Urbanaut, the concept serves as a preview of what to can be expected from future MINI models.

Source: BMW Group | Mini Vision Urbanaut. The virtual vision becomes a tangible reality

1 July 2021

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