With the all-new 2014 MINI hatchback just around the corner – and recently papped – MINI’s Head of Design Anders Warming has unveiled the brand’s latest concept, showing some of his team’s more radical styling and materials ideas.
The MINI Vision features interactive gadgets such as the Driving Experience Control, which alters the colour scheme and appearance of the interior at the touch of a button, transforming it to suit the driver’s preferred ambience.
Externally, the MINI Vision features elliptical full-LED headlights where the outer ring fulfils a daytime running light function. Among the other signature features, derived from familiar MINI styling cues, are a clear separation of the roof, glasshouse and body.
In fact the design you see here is essentially the 2014 MINI, with many details reaching the final production car except for concept-like features like door mirrors, exterior handles and the diagonal trim across the front wings.
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 production car will feature a more conventional front bumper with fog-lights either side of grille, rather than mounted within.
Alongside lightweight construction techniques – using a mouldable ‘organo metal’ material – aerodynamics also play a role in the conceptual ideas behind the MINI Vision. There’s an aerodynamic air intake and outlet around each front wheel arch, airflow-optimised wheel rims and exterior mirrors, plus an integral, air-channelling roof spoiler. Of these, only the roof spoiler looks to be present in the production car.
At the rear end, tight swage lines frame the rear lights while the rear bumper wraps around the MINI Vision’s twin exhaust pipes. We understand both these features are evident on the 2014 MINI hatchback.
Inside there’s the usual concept car flair, with the previously mentioned ‘Driving Experience Control’ switch, a ‘MINI click system’ for personalising the location of storage boxes, cup holders and other containers plus a selection of flexible retaining devices arranged like the stripes of the Union Jack flag.
Expect to see the undisguised 2014 MINI at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September or probably sooner.