(Pocket-lint) – Concept cars come in many guises, from close to production final, all the way through to what’s pretty much an abstract fantasy.
The Mini Vision Urbanaut definitely falls toward the fantasy end of the scale, with about the only thing you can relate to a Mini being the fact that the wheels sit right out on the corners. Ok, so the expressive headlights and grille have hints of Mini too, but in Mini’s own words, it’s “unusually tall.”
It’s a car, but it looks more like a tiny campervan, thanks to the lounge style interior and the single sliding door on the side. It imagines a future when you’ll be ensconced in the interior, surrounded by soft finishes, relaxing as you are transported to wherever you’re going.
That you can swivel the front seat – requiring the windscreen to lift – does make you wonder whether this is really about urban mobility or a solution to high rent prices in urban centres, because it looks like a small apartment on wheels.
Mini doesn’t say much about the actual driving, except to say that it would be electric and autonomous, of course, with the whole thing really being an experiment into what you can do with a small spaces.
We’ve seen a number of Vision vehicles from the BMW group over the past few years. The previous Mini vision had a digital skin and a bizarre Cooperizer dial, while the Rolls Royce concept was like a Star Wars yacht with matching luggage.
It’s a lot of fun, but we’re pretty sure that people buy Minis for that go-kart driving feel. We’d be worried that the passengers would be sliding around the place as you take those corners faster than they should in this little critter, not that we imagine it would ever come to fruition in this guise.
Writing by Chris Hall.