2021 MINI Vision Urbanaut
MINI’s head of design, Oliver Heilmer, feels it’s important to bodily expertise the Vision Urbanaut to understand the idea. Which is why the marque has created a life measurement mannequin of its future-facing electrical autonomous idea research so viewers — and journalists like me — can research among the excessive idea concepts being experimented with this shape-shifting product. “The feeling of house and the progressive supplies are simply asking to be explored,” continues Heilmer from his studio in Munich the place the present automotive was conceived final November and the place it has now been constructed. “So, it was crucial for us from the outset to additionally make a bodily mannequin of the Vision Urbanaut. We have deliberate and constructed each facet of the automotive to permit individuals to expertise all of its sides.”
MINI’s head of design Oliver Heilmer and the Vision Urbanaut
The Vision Urbanaut has tapped into among the important questions going through automotive design within the put up combustion age, specifically the alternatives that may come up from not needing to drive and the probabilities of expertise to emancipate the automotive past transportation.
Central to the research automobile you see listed here are the “MINI Moments” — the pre-programed themes, Chill, Wanderlust and Vibe, which alter the inside form, the automobile’s operate and passenger expertise. The Chill zone sees the Vision Urbanaut remodel right into a sanctuary and an area for rest and work, in Wanderlust the automation tech turns off for a bit of non-public driving enjoyable, whereas within the Vibe mode the automotive opens as much as the skin world to turns into a social house.
Vision Urbanaut’s mono-volume exterior form helps to maximise the cabin house
All alongside, the outside and inside alter to mirror and encourage these numerous extremely sensory theatrical scenes with gentle, sound, scent, texture all elevating these episodes for a fastidiously narrated and extremely experiential product. Meanwhile, the scenes are activated by way of a “Token” which is housed within the desk on the middle of the automotive to be democratically accessible to all passengers who can in flip additional personalize their MINI Moments by way of the system.
Creatively, the Vision Urbanaut is greatest defined from the within out. When stationary, the dashboard lowers to develop into a daybed so the driving space turns right into a seating lounge, whereas in Vibe mode shifting the windscreen upwards creates a balcony so passengers can immerse themselves of their environment. There is a soothing nook within the rear for a quiet chill-out zone and the central part of the automotive doubles up as an additional seat when the automotive is stationary — good within the Chill situation.
The ‘skateboard wheels’ are completed in Ocean Wave that are clear and illuminated from the … [+] inside to change their look and talk the automotive’s standing to different highway customers
The Vision Urbanaut is a extremely linked automotive too with the tech saved as discreet as potential. Since this isn’t a automotive designed across the driver alone, as an alternative of its normal positioning, the round instrument panel is now positioned within the middle of the automobile to be accessible to all occupants. And as a shared idea, the Vision Urbanaut features by way of a sensible system which anybody inside an outlined circle of household and mates can use.
Naturally, this being an thought for the close to future, supplies are largely sustainably sourced, with the cabin that includes fascinating recycled and reused materials to incorporate wool, polyester and Tencel, which is constituted of wooden pulp and fast-growing seeds. Knitted textile function right here and the automotive is chrome and leather-based free, whereas the steering wheel and sections of the ground are composed of recycled cork. Lastly, an built-in desk with a plant on the facet of the automotive introduces residing nature to the automotive.
When stationary, the dashboard lowers to develop into a daybed so the driving space turns right into a seating … [+] lounge
One of the important thing components of the inside design has been the event of the perfume and sound, which fits far past the Vision Urbanaut revealed in November. Annabell Coffinet, perfume designer on the BMW Group, explains the method. “A particular perfume signature sticks within the thoughts and may remind you of a optimistic environment and general expertise. In this fashion, we’re creating one other, very private reference to significantly memorable occasions.” She says the concept prolonged to linking the MINI model with a particular perfume signature. “This waft of one thing intangible, refreshing and sudden brings emotion to how the model’s message is communicated — a type of worldwide signature with a excessive recognizability issue. It will likely be discreet and revealed as a part of a welcome situation.”
To assist elevate these sensory experiences, the automotive’s artistic director of sound, Renzo Vitale, has designed a welcome tune to evoke the spirit of the scent Coffinet talked about, in addition to compose music for the Chill, Vibe and Wanderlust moments. In the Chill second, the automobile wraps the consumer within the delicate soundscapes of a forest, with rustling leaves and flowing water filling the inside. The Wanderlust and Vibe moments are accompanied by a soundtrack of specifically composed music to be performed inside and outdoors the automobile.
Inside, sound and scent work in concord to assist elevate the Chill, Vibe and Wanderlust moments
The physique design is fascinating too. The mono-volume exterior form helps to maximise the cabin house, whereas the basic fashionable MINI grille and lights have advanced so the matrix gentle form now shows multi-colored graphics to speak the varied Moment scene. Meanwhile, the “skateboard wheels” are completed in Ocean Wave that are clear and illuminated from the within and alter their look to speak the automotive’s standing to different highway customers — one thing that I think will develop into increasingly more elementary as we head in direction of automated drive.
In its non-capitalized days, the Mini model was the image of sixties youth tradition, of counterculture, of liberation and the automobiles had been cherished by Boomers and specifically metropolis dwellers. With the standard motor automotive experiencing what can solely be described as an existential disaster, fashionable MINI has an opportunity to develop into a logo of the progressive 2020s and be the non-public transport alternative for Gen Zs and past.
The MINI Vision Urbanaut explores the automotive past a automobile only for transportation
The MINI automobiles produced below BMW Group possession within the final twenty years are fashionable merchandise. They are handsome, just like the sixties’ unique are enjoyable to drive and should not too posh and valuable for urbanites. Yet I can’t assist considering there’s something lacking from the fashionable MINI method. The marque may very well be a lot extra. Which is why this shape-shifting Vision Urbanaut appears like the proper route for the model. It is stuffed with intelligent, imaginative and enjoyable ideas. MINI can get away with far more esoteric concepts than different conventional manufacturers and it’s nice to see the staff tackle the problem and see the probabilities past easy transportation.
Vision Urbanaut faucets into among the most essential questions going through automotive design
Talking to the BMW Group artistic director Adrian van Hooydonk lately, he instructed me: “MINI clients usually are in city environments and I imagine they’re much more prepared for electrical drive and new methods of taking a look at mobility than maybe our different manufacturers. We can positively go sooner on this route. The Vision Urbanaut reveals how the model can take our BMW iNext (the marque’s future imaginative and prescient) ideas to a different degree. I believe we will use MINI to push these ideas additional.”
The Vision Urbanaut will see its world premier on 1 July.
See the 2021 MINI product household; learn concerning the all-new MINI Electric; and see the final word in luxurious motoring within the form of the coachbuilt Boat Tail by MINI’s sister model Rolls-Royce.