The world premiere of the van will take place on July 1 at the DLD (Digital - Life - Design) Summer innovation conference in Munich. The BMW Group is one of the DLD partners.
The virtual concept Mini Vision Urbanaut, which outlined the movable living room in November 2020, is built in reality. True, this is still a mock-up, but now it is possible to evaluate live the idea with "clever use of space, which can provide an answer to the needs of the cities of the future and the way of life in them." The car is really suitable for the city, because it is quite small in length (4.46 m). As conceived by the developers, we have an electric car. There are still no technical characteristics, and the prospects for converting a van into a serial one too. However, individual elements invented for the Urbanaut may well find application in other Mini.
Oliver Heilmer, head of MINI Design, believes that the best way to understand the idea of a concept is to try everything yourself, touch the materials, see how the interior is being transformed, and feel how much space and light it has. Before being appointed Chief Design Officer of the MINI brand four years ago, Heilmer worked for BMW interiors for many years. Salons are his strong point. Therefore, it is interesting to consider the interior in detail here (see "Close-up").
The three "MINI moments", in fact three interior modes, are the same announced earlier. The developers have now revealed more details. The transformation is triggered by moving the MINI Token to one of the slots on the table. In relaxed Chill mode, the arch above the rear sofa represents a green forest canopy (it is a screen under the fabric). At the same time, the OLED display above the table goes down, turning into a lamp. Wanderlust is both manual and automatic driving. By clicking on the MINI logo in the center of the cabin, you can "extract" the hidden steering wheel and pedals. A circular display in the center starts showing route and point of interest information.
Finally, the Vibe communication mode (in the parking lot) assumes maximum immersion of passengers in a comfortable environment, while blurring the line between the car and the outside world. Here the side door swings open, the windshield opens, and the central round screen turns into a control panel for the multimedia complex. The lighting on the rear arc and the diodes in the rims become graphic equalizers, changing in time to the music. And also added the fourth mode of the salon - My moment - with the ability to customize the work of interior elements.
MINI Moments are not just about immersion in different visual environments. At the same time, one or another aroma matched to the situation is launched into the salon, and either music (written specifically for each of the modes) or the sounds of the forest (rustle of foliage, murmur of water) comes from the speakers. This mixture, which affects all the senses, has been complemented by digital integration under the motto “analogue love, digital connection”. This means multifunctional devices such as a table and a movable display above it, as well as LED matrices that shine through the fabric in the front and rear parts of the cabin. This technique, recall, was previously tested in the BMW Vision iNext concept.