Mini Vision Urbanaut is the minivan of the future

Alvin Reyes - Jul 2, 2021, 7:29am CDT
Mini Vision Urbanaut is the minivan of the future

Remember the Mini Vision Urbanaut concept first seen at BMW’s NEXTGen event last 2020, a pill-shaped people-carrier with autonomous driving features and sustainable construction? Well, Mini and BMW have built a working prototype of the Vision Urbanaut. The real-life working model of Mini’s vision for mobility will make its world-premiere this July 1, 2021, at the DLD Summer conference in Munich, Germany.

“With our eyes fixed on the future, we developed an idea with the Mini Vision Urbanaut, of how we can take the Mini attributes into the future of mobility and interpret them in a typically Mini way,” said Bernd Körber, Head of Mini.

Mini has perfectly encapsulated the ‘chill and wanderlust’ vibe with its Vision Urbanaut. For instance, the rear seat bench configures multiple seating and lying positions, and the backlit loop can dim or brighten for maximum effect. Meanwhile, you get a central folding table with a desk lamp in the middle area.

Also, Vision Urbanaut has a wide-opening side door and a fold-up windscreen “that creates a welcoming scene that blurs the boundaries between the outside and inside,” said Mini, but the fold-up windshield is, indeed, a welcome feature when relaxing at the campsite.

Measuring around 4.46-meters in length, it offers maximum cabin space with the smallest possible footprint, reminding us of VW’s iconic Type 2 Microbus, which VW is also reviving as the ID.Buzz EV.

Of course, you still need to drive the thing, and Mini obliges with an all-electric powertrain, the details of which remain unknown at this time. However, you may not have to since it has automated driving functions. But if you insist on driving it, tapping your finger will bring out the pedals and steering wheel.

But the biggest draw is sustainability. The Mini Vision Urbanaut features more recycled and sustainable materials like wool, polyester, and Tencel. In addition, the floor sections and steering wheel feature recyclable cork, while the interior is devoid of anything resembling leather or chrome.

The best part? Mini is presenting a driveable model instead of just a static prototype. We’re not entirely sure if the Vision Urbanaut is entering production soon, but don’t be surprised if it arrives at dealerships in the next two or three years. If anything, the upcoming DLD Summer conference in Munich will give Mini an idea if the Vision Urbanaut is ripe for production.


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