MINI has unveiled a leisure-purpose MINI electric van concept – the MINI Vision Urbanaut. The company calls it a vehicle that provides “an oasis” amid the urban hustle and bustle. Here are three lesser-known facts about the MINI Urbanaut:
1. New MINI design language
The MINI Urbanaut concept debuts the brand’s new design language. The next-gen MINI Hatchback due in 2023 and other future MINI models including the next-gen Mini electric cars will feature design cues borrowed from this concept.
The headlights and grille are positioned under a milled aluminum structure with slotted openings. They become visible only when switched on, and can display multi-colored graphics. These features reflect MINI’s preparedness for the autonomous and highly digital future. The enclosed grille is in an octagonal shape, which is something new for a MINI. The connected tail lights and their shape could also be seen on future MINIs. Some interior elements, like the trims, upholsteries and/or colors could find their way in next-gen MINI models.
2. Smaller than the VW ID. Buzz
The MINI Urbanaut may appear as a preview of a direct rival to the VW ID. Buzz concept-based all-electric VW Microbus (VW e-Bulli) that is set to enter production in 2022. However, it is much smaller than the VW van. While the British electric van is 4,460 mm or 175.6 inches long, the German model, based on the extended MEB-XL platform, is 4,942 mm or 194.6 inches long. The MINI model would be suited mainly for moving people, while the Volkswagen model would serve commercial purposes as well equally.
3. Production MINI Urbanaut under consideration
The MINI Urbanaut may be a design study right now, but a production version is possible. That’s according to a report from autocar.co.uk, which says that MINI bosses are seriously evaluating a production MINI Urbanaut. The electric and autonomous vehicle era is going to create a new market for leisure vehicles, and the MINI Urbanaut could be one of them.