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Now meet Mini's vision of the future
In the future, all Minis will become your very own Mini. Full details here
Get in your Mini, a highly personalised car. Drive to the airport. Fly somewhere. Get into another Mini. And guess what, it’s exactly the same as the one you left behind.
And if someone else uses it, it’ll equally become their car.
The Mini concept Vision 100 is another in the series of cars created for the BMW Group’s centenary. Chief Designer Anders Warming says: “Today we connect emotionally to a Mini. In future we’ll connect to it digitally.” Every Mini, they say, will become your Mini.
It’s sort of like when you change your phone. A full backup exists in the cloud: your apps, your preferences, your history. Lose your phone down the toilet, buy a new one and it becomes instantly yours.
The impulse for all this is that in future you might very well not own a Mini at all. Car-sharing options are likely to grow in future crowded cities – they already are at a significant rate. If you can share a car that still feels like your own, then you’ll be more loyal to the brand.
In this Mini’s case, that means not just driving and performance preferences, but graphics projected onto the roof and doors, the cabin ambience. Even the ground around the car is used as a projection surface.
More than that, because BMW believes in a highly connected future, the car’s navigation knows the sort of places you go. And suggests places people ‘like you’ like to go. It’ll harvest all that sort of stuff from your internet and social networking history. Or whatever they have in two decades time when Twitter is long-dead.
Meanwhile, the car itself. It’s pretty tiny, close to the length of a 1959 Mini. That’s possible thanks to the absence of any petrol engine in the nose. Instead it’s a transparent void for your feet. Advanced safety systems mean little need for a crumple zone, and so the view to the road is breathtakingly clean.
Proportions keep the original Mini effect too - wheels at the corners, speaking of agility. The grille shape remains on outline, the round headlamps enclosed within.
Inside, there’s no dash, just a ‘frame’. Onto that sits a super-versatile instrument, housing a ‘Cooperizer’ (no cheese there then), your control interface for the personalisation options. The steering column and pedals are also hung on this frame, and they can park themselves into the centre when you’re on autonomous driving, or to the left or right for human driving.