Remember when Mini introduced the Vision Urbanaut concept last year? It was essentially a living room on wheels. At the time, however, the concept minivan only lived in the virtual world. Now, the automaker made one for real. Best of all, people can check it out in person at a display in Berlin.
The Vision Urbanaut Concept measures 4.46 meters in length, making it quite compact for a minivan but big, for well, a Mini. It doesn't look like any of Mini's vehicles in the lineup either with its rouned shape and futuristic styling cues. Despite the somewhat small size, it doesn't scrimp on interior space. Like the rest of the Mini lineup, the brand's age-old ethos of “Clever Use of Space” has been incorporated into the concept, offering maximum space with the smallest footprint.
Inside, there's loads of space, and it's clutter-free. For example, the dashboard serves two purposes. When driving, it raises to the appropriate height, and the steering wheel extends. During self-driving mode, the dashboard can act as a daybed. What about the instrument cluster? Well, the circular display can be folded down to become a table lamp. The windshield can also pop out when parked, doubling as a window.
If the front of the Vision Urbanaut Concept was impressive, the rear is even homier. Rather than having bench seats, there's an L-shaped sofa; yes, sofa. It's complemented by a swivel chair and a table on the side. We're not sure if the plant comes standard, but it does add to the zen appeal, especially with a large greenhouse. If you notice, there's also a lack of chrome or leather. Unfortunately, it's a sign of things to come. Mini says the same approach will be applied to its next generation of vehicles. Overall, the Vision Urbanaut Concept's cabin would look perfect at an IKEA, don't you agree?
Mini did not disclose details about the powertrain about the Vision Urbanaut concept. But, the automaker previously said it will be electric. Since the steering wheel can be tucked away, needless to say, it will be autonomous as well.
While the Vision Urbanaut Concept seems perfect for Metro Manila traffic, don't expect to see it in production form anytime soon. Still, the idea of an autonomous lounge on wheels is one thing we'd like to have in the future.