Anders Warming, head of Mini Design, has unveiled a new concept called the Mini Vision that points the way for future models.
Unveiled at Mini’s design studios in Munich, the Vision was shown to the assembled press by Mini design boss Anders Warming as a computer rendering, projected onto a large screen.
The Vision, which is claimed to advance the premium-quality compact class, showcases features like Mini's 'Driving Experience Control'. This feature alters the colour scheme and appearance of the interior at the press of a button, tailoring the car's ambience to suit the driver's mood or preference.
Warming said that the Vision showed how the company “knew its heritage, but also wanted to introduce new features and design language”. The nose design - including the LED ‘ring’ around the headlamps - is thought to be very close to the real Mk3 Mini, which will be unveiled later this year, while the grey cladding, oversized tail lights and high-tech interior are much more conceptual.
Externally, the Vision receives styling cues from previous Mini models, including the hexagonal radiator grille - but with integrated lights. Also featured are elliptical full-LED headlights, with the aforementioned ring of daytime running lights, a twin-exit exhaust and a prominent strip that separates the glasshouse and body.
"We think we have taken the Mini grille back to being closer to the original. However the bonnet is much more curvaceous, especially when viewed from the driver’s position", said Warming.
Mini says that the Vision's body is made from a reputedly innovative and lightweight 'organo metal', which is claimed to be extremely mouldable and strong. It's formed by pressing various fibres into a composite layer, which delivers a workable material that has a texture similar to fabric.
Aerodynamics play a prominent part in the car's design, with air intakes and outlets around each front wheel arch to reduce pressure and cut drag, airflow-optimised wheel rims and exterior mirrors and an integral roof spoiler.
Warming added that the air intakes in front of the front wheels were a hint that aerodynamics "would become increasingly important in future Mini design."
Inside the Vision concept you'll find a floating centre console, lounge seats, flexible retaining devices - elastic straps - for bottles and phones and plenty of space. As well as the aforementioned 'Driving Experience Control', other interior highlights include a 'Mini Disco' floor that vibrantly illuminates the footwells, and customisable digital instruments.
The Vision is finished in a vivid gold colour, while the car's 'organo metal' adds highlights to both the interior and exterior. A tough blue fabric is used for the seats and some of the minor interior trim.
Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW’s overall design boss, said that the Vision was about communicating "the next generation of Mini."
He also commented that it "shows a vision for the core model of the Mini brand", and that shape of the next Mini would be "cleaner, but with some sharper lines being introduced to reflect a sense of precision.’
Mini's Vision concept follows the recently revealed Clubvan and Countryman camper concepts.