realized MINI Vision Urbanaut EV maximizes space with adaptable design

Jun 30, 2021

the MINI Vision Urbanaut revealed a new vision of mobility with an all-new spatial concept on its debut in 2020. now the imaginative electric vehicle becomes a tangible reality crafted with both sustainable materials and highly technological features, and sensory experiences with fragrance, sound and lighting also built in. the design is seen as an enabler and companion for unforgettable times. MINI moments tailor the interior and exterior design on the move and at standstill to fit the user.

‘at MINI design we believe that the best way to understand the overall concept behind the MINI Vision Urbanaut is to experience it,‘ explains oliver heilmer, head of MINI design. ‘the feeling of space and the innovative materials are just asking to be explored. that is why it was very important for 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 of the facets of the MINI Vision Urbanaut – at our MINI design studio in munich.‘

MINI’s famed ‘clever use of space’ is apparent throughout the Vision Urbanaut. it offers maximum space on the smallest possible footprint – 4.46 m in length specifically. the adaptable exterior and interior design can extend its use – both physically and conceptually – as doors open up, tables fold away and other elements change to accommodate users for all activities, even at standstill. by stepping inside inside, a high proportion of recycled materials are seen to be used, including cosy and soft textiles like wool, polyester and tencel. renewable cork features on the steering wheel and sections of the floor to add tactility and a natural feel.

as the vehicle changes to accommodate the driver and passengers’ needs and desires, MINI has tailored three special moments to accentuate the design’s capabilities. ‘chill’ invite users to pause. the car’s cabin becomes a retreat to relax or work with full concentration. the rear seat bench, also known as the cosy corner, offers various seating and lying positions whereas a dimmable backlit loop above it takes on an appearance inspired by a luscious green canopy. in the middle, a circular instrument folds down in the central area to become a table lamp. finally, the dashboard at the front turns into a comfy daybed to deliver an unprecedented, very clever dual-function.

the ‘wanderlust’ moment can be activated when on the move, either self-driving or manually. the interior design changes into a place to rediscover the romance of travel. just a tap of the MINI logo brings out the steering wheel and pedals, in case the driver wishes to take control. the central circular instrument cohesively adapts to the journey, displaying an animation of the route and additional travel information, such as arrival time and even visitor attractions nearby.

the last moment is ‘vibe’ which creates a community space with the EV at the heart. the side door opens and the windscreen folds up to merge the inside and out. the central circular instrument becomes a media control booth. an animation of graphic equalizers moving with the music is projected onto surfaces of the front, rear, wheels and loop above the rear seat bench. the whole experience sets a pleasant club atmosphere that extends further that the physical limits of the car.

users can customize their own moments to tailor the car to their match exact needs too. all sensory elements are considered to curate the perfect on-board experience in the MINI Vision Urbanaut. the ‘analogue love, digital connection’ approach uses digital integration to intensify the analogue experience. technology sits embedded below several of the surfaces. this is exemplified by the central table initiates the MINI moments once the MINI token is place in one of its slots.

concept info:

brand: MINI

concept: Vision Urbanaut

physical premier: DLD summer conference