While we are waiting for Mini to finally unveil the 2014 Cooper , the company decided to come up with a pretty cool concept car that previews the new model. The concept is called "Vision" and it is based on a virtual 3D hologram.
The new Vision concept features an evolutionary design that combines classic styling cues with a "future-focused aesthetic and technical innovations." Alongside an innovative design language, the new Vision concept features interactive gadgets, such as the Driving Experience Control switch, which offers a glimpse of what the future will bring for Mini models. The concept also features a sweet Glamorous Gold paint finish that we’ve never seen before on a Mini model.
Mini unveiled the new Vision concept at today’s MINI Design@Home event with Chief Designer Anders Warming. The production version is expect to arrive at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show .
Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Vision.
The new Vision concept is immediately recognizable as a Mini model, despite its future-focused aesthetic features. The concept keeps the hexagonal grille and the elliptical full-LED headlights. Another Mini feature is the clear separation of the roof, glasshouse and body made by using a chrome strip.
Mini built the concept, using a lightweight "organo metal" that it produced by pressing various fibers into a composite. Along with this innovative metal, Mini also focused on making the concept very aerodynamic. For this, the car’s body includes an aerodynamic air intake and outlet around each front wheel arch, airflow-optimized rims and exterior mirrors, and an integral, air-channeling roof spoiler.
The concept’s interior is defined by "individual style, variability, functionality and aesthetic appeal." Mini installed a transparent and open cockpit, sweeping doors and a "floating" center console.
For the interior of the door, Mini used an elastic fabric with stripes identical to the Union Jack flag. Along with offering a pretty cool aesthetic look, these stripes also work like holders for a magazine, mobile phone or drink bottles. In fact, the entire interior is filled with smartphone holders, a storage box and cup holders.
An innovative feature offered by the concept is the new Driving Experience Control switch that allows the driver to choose between a pure and focused or fully interconnected mode. The fully interconnected mode uses dynamic, energy-charged shades to set the mood inside the cabin. Also included as a part of the fully-interconnected mode is a “MINI Disco” floor that uses as interplay of colors, light and forms to bring the car to life.
Mini offered no details on the engine used for the Vision concept, but for the production version we know that Mini plans to offer a new three-cylinder engine family along with the conventional four-cylinder engines.
When can I drive one?
Of course, you will never have the chance to drive the Vision concept, but its design features will inspire the new generation Cooper and that’s a model you will be able to drive starting 2014.
The Fiat 500 is one of the best choices you will have for a small city car. It is powered by an all-new 1.4-liter, in-line four-cylinder engine with state-of-the-art MultiAir technology that delivers 101 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 98 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. In the U.S. market the model is priced from $16,000.
gallery: Fiat 500
The Beetle has a long tradition on the market. The new generation arrived on the market in 2012 and is already enjoying great success.
The model is offered with a choice of three different engines: a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower; a 2.0 TSI engine with 210 horsepower; and a 2.0 TDI engine with 140 horsepower.
The new Beetle is priced from $19,995.
gallery: Volkswagen Beetle
As Mini promised, the new-generation Cooper will offer a design language like we’ve never seen before. We are not very sure if this is a good thing though, because the concept’s front look is rather strange. We’re just hopping the production version will be slightly different.
We just love that orange paint
The interior is pretty cool
There is something wrong with the car’s front
No clue on drivetrain option
At today’s MINI Design@Home event Anders Warming, Head of MINI Design, previews a sampling of visionary design and innovative ideas. The MINI Vision, for example, showcases various elements of future MINI design. Here, MINI has developed a vehicle design laced with new creative impulses that advance the cause of premium quality in the compact class.
In customary MINI fashion, the MINI Vision seizes the limelight with creativity, individuality and a generous helping of versatility. Interactive gadgets such as the Driving Experience Control switch offer a glimpse of the future. This particular feature allows the whole of the car’s interior to be transformed into a variety of different colour and experience worlds in the blink of an eye.
The presentation of the MINI Vision is based around a virtual 3D hologram. This form of expression provides a window into how the MINI designers go about their business. Complementing their familiar toolset of sketches and 1:1 clay models, virtual reality allows them to test and fine-tune creative ideas quickly and under realistic conditions.
The exterior: a perfect balance between old and new.
The design of the MINI Vision reaches pointedly into the brand’s past and combines the underlying features and values of MINI with future-focused aesthetic and technical innovations. The hexagonal radiator grille is inspired by the classic Mini, for example, and the MINI Vision integrates both the bumper and auxiliary lights into the grille.
The traditional and unmistakable rounded MINI forms are reflected in the exterior through elements such as the elliptical full-LED headlights. Their outer ring emits a consistent light and fulfils a daytime driving light function.
Among the stand-out signature features of the MINI brand are the clear separation of the roof, glasshouse and body. The chrome strip wrapped around the top of the body, the distinctive side indicator element and the black band framing the lower edge of the car are all hallmark MINI styling elements.
The MINI Vision presents these three defining design elements as a flowing, interconnected unit – conjured from innovative and lightweight “organo metal”. This extremely mouldable but also very strong material is produced by pressing various fibres into a composite. Organo sheets have a unique texture comparable to that of fabrics.
Alongside lightweight construction techniques, aerodynamics also play a frontline role in the conceptual ideas behind the MINI Vision. The car’s body includes an aerodynamic air intake and outlet around each front wheel arch, airflow-optimised wheel rims and exterior mirrors, and an integral, air-channelling roof spoiler.
At the rear, muscular shoulders lend the MINI Vision extremely sporty and compact proportions. The finely drawn and clearly defined edging in the car’s bodywork is central to the exterior design language of the MINI Vision and underlines the concept’s precision and sporting intent.
The interior: originality and creativity packed into a very small space .
The interior of the MINI Vision stands out with its individual style, variability, functionality and aesthetic appeal. The fundamental idea behind the MINI brand – of providing maximum comfort within minimal exterior dimensions – filters through every detail of the interior.
A transparent and open cockpit, sweeping doors and a “floating” centre console allow the driver and passengers to experience the sensation of a wide open space coupled with the benefits of a space-saving small car. Lounge seats featuring dynamic piping add the finishing touch to the unique interior ambience.
The creative design solutions have been brought together with established pillars of MINI design. For example, the elastic fabric straps on the insides of the doors – arranged like the stripes of the Union Jack flag – are a nod to the brand’s British heritage. However, the stretchable straps have a functional as well as stylistic role: these flexible retaining devices are designed to hold a magazine, mobile phone or drinks bottle within easy reach.
The fresh layer of variability added by the MINI click system offers additional scope for customising the interior. Smartphone holders, a storage box, cup holder or small safe can be attached and removed in a single movement as and when required.
The interior of the MINI Vision as a whole can also be adapted to a variety of interaction requirements with similar flexibility and immediacy.
The Driving Experience Control switch allows the driver to choose between a pure and focused or fully-interconnected mode. The two modes are expressed in different colours using calm, clear light and dynamic, energy-charged shades. Another highlight of the fully-interconnected mode is the “MINI Disco” floor. Here, an expressive interplay of colours, light and forms transforms the footwells as the MINI Vision appears to come vibrantly to life. As well as turning the ambient colour scheme of the interior on its head, the Driving Experience Control switch also changes the face of the familiar MINI circular central display. Depending on their selection, drivers will be met by either a classic, analogue-style view or an impressive 3D look, which gives the full suite of display elements an unaccustomed depth.
Colours and materials: structures form characters.
The Glamorous Gold paint finish – a shimmering gold-tinged orange tone – has never been seen before in the history of MINI design. And the use of organo metal creates an intriguing contrast to this gleaming metallic shade. The organo metal adds highlights not only to the outside of the car, but also to the interior, its unique structure lending the MINI Vision a cutting-edge character.
A tough, dark-blue fabric recalling the properties of a high-quality suit is employed for the seats and sections of interior trim. The seamless transitions of the various materials between the interior and exterior bring consistency to the MINI Vision despite the use of different materials and textures.
Its unbeatable scope for personalisation and an extremely sporty and precise design make the MINI Vision the perfect partner for the road, tailored to the needs and preferences of the individual driver. This design vision demonstrates that MINI will continue to use intelligent variability, imagination-capturing technology and a compact sporting presence to deliver unrivalled driving fun over the years to come.