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Here's MINIs take on the Future of Mobility: The Mini Urbanaut is Here

Here’s MINIs take on the Future of Mobility: The Mini Urbanaut is Here

Mini made of physical model of its Stunning Urbanaut Minivan concept from November last year

““The”” Mini Vision Urbanaut is not really a new concept as the design of the vehicle was first showcased back in November last year. The Vision Urbanaut concept has now been ultimately realized from those 3D mockups and can be experienced at BMWs Design studio in Munich, come July the 1st.

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2020 MINI Vision Urbanaut Concept

2020 MINI Vision Urbanaut Concept

Will the citizens of the future spend time in mobile living rooms? MINI thinks so

Try to predict what mobility will look like in the next 15 or 20 years judging by the current prototypes from a couple of companies and if your imagination allows it, you’ll be looking at a very diverse environment.

I mean, Uber wants to take ride sharing to the skies, flying car startups are slowly making headway, and pretty much every carmaker out there has some sort of self-driving prototype in mind. And most often than not, these contraptions are designed like mobile living rooms or work spaces on wheels. Another thing in common is their promise to cut down on dead time since they ditch the human driver in the first place.

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2017 MINI Electric Concept

2017 MINI Electric Concept

Previews a production model that will arrive in 2019

The modern Mini Cooper was launched in 2001, some 42 years after the British firm launched the original model. This time build under BMW Group ownership, the Mini became more of a fashion statement rather than an affordable, people’s car, but this is exactly what turned it into a big hit. Redesigned in 2006 and 2013, the Cooper grew larger and larger and gained more technology with each generation. In 2017, Mini introduced its first hybrid model, the S E Countryman All4, and it’s now looking to launch its first-ever electric car. And it just unveiled the Mini Electric Concept ahead of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Designed as a preview for a production model that will be introduced in 2019, the Mini Electric Concept arrives almost ten year since Mini built its first EV, the Mini E. More of a demonstration vehicle rather than a production car, the Mini E was produced between 2009 and 2010 in the form of a three-door Cooper. More than 600 cars were deployed in several countries for on-road testing in a project that eventually led to a couple of BMW trial cars and finally the i3. A modern reinterpretation of the Mini E, the Electric Concept moves Mini one step closer to joining the EV market. It’s a bit late to the party, but as they say, better late than never.

Updated 09/19/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the concept’s debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mini Electric Concept.

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2017 Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept

2017 Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept

Now this is how you introduce a nostalgic, rally-inspired race concept

I suppose we should’ve expected something like this from Mini. Give the company an inch, and it’s more than happy to take a mile. Take the new John Cooper Works GP Concept for example. On the surface, the concept’s objective is pretty simple: pay tribute to its conquest in the Monte Carlo Rally back in 1967. But like everything that Mini does, it’s as interested in simply giving homage to a rally car as it is in making a statement and going above and beyond what’s needed. That attitude gave birth to the Mini Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit and the Mini John Cooper Works GP from 2006 and 2012, respectively. Now, Mini’s back with a new randy concept called the John Cooper Works GP Concept, and wouldn’t you know it, it looks positively stunning.

Nobody’s going to ever accuse Mini at being bashful, but even the JCW GP Concept seems to have been done with a simple purpose in mind: get a Cooper JCW and drown it in aerodynamic bits. Even Mini boss Peter Schwarzenbauer describes the JCW GP Concept as “driving fun in its purest form,” and it’s hard to even come up with a reasonable argument otherwise. The end result is a car that can make even the most demented of tuning firms blush with pride, though I suppose getting that kind of reaction is already old hat for Mini. Good to know then that after all these years, the BMW-owned automaker still has what it takes to grab everyone’s attention the way very few of its peers in the business are able to.

Updated 09/18/2017: Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept looked even more aggressive on the Frankfurt floor. Check our gallery for more images from the show.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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