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Next Mini: Vision of future?

2013-07-26 11:31

'THE NEXT GENERATION MINI': Mini's Vision gives us a glimpse of the next generation from the British automaker. Mini says the new model's grille is closer to that of the original Mini Cooper (inset). Image: Mini

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MUNICH, Germany – Mini has unveiled its Vision concept at its Design@Home event hosted by chief designer Anders Warming.

Designed to preview the 2014 Mini Cooper, the Vision has a radical design that, Mini says, blends classic styling with "future-focused aesthetic and technical innovations". The Vision concept has design elements that could make their way to other models such as the next Cooper.

Warming said: "We think we've taken the Mini grille back to being closer to the original (see image - Ed.). However, the bonnet is much more curvaceous, especially when viewed from the driver’s position."

Image gallery

The concept has larger, more streamlined, headlights and a wider, assertive grille. It has, Mini says, "a more aerodynamic shape than current models and larger tail lights".

'ORGANO METAL' EXPLAINED

The Vision uses “organo metal". According to the automaker that's an “extremely mouldable but also very strong material produced by pressing various fibres into a composite. Organo sheets have a unique texture comparable to that of fabrics".

Inside you can see the stylish centre console, new facia and lounge seats. The doors have elasticated fabric straps arranged to form the stripes of the Union Jack flag. The stretchable straps serve to “hold a magazine, mobile phone or water bottle".

The interior has a “click" system which allows the smartphone holders, storage box, cup holder and small safe to be detached and repositioned.

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The Driving Experience Control (DEC) switch allows the driver to choose between a focused interior or fully-interconnected mode. The two modes are expressed in different interior colour schemes.

DISCO FLOOR

The fully interconnected mode makes use of “Mini’s Disco” floor that displays vibrant colours on the facia and footwells. The DEC also changes the traditional circular central display from a classic analogue view to 3D elements.

According to Mini: “Its unbeatable scope for personalisation and an extremely sporty and precise design make the  Vision the perfect partner for the road, tailored to the needs and preferences of the individual driver.”

Adrian van Hooydonk, director of BMW's Group Design, said the Vision "displays the next generation of Mini" and "shows a vision for the core model of the Mini brand."

The Mini Vision will make its official debut at the 2013 Frankfurt auto show in September.

STUNNING - OR UGLY DISASTER?

Wheels24 staffers are at odds (one of us anyway) on the new model's styling.

Editor Les Stephenson: "Wow, not a happy puppy. It has a sad mouth and a glum face. Do people want to buy a model like that?"

Sergio Davids: "That interior is amazing though LED chevrons could prove distracting behind the wheel. Overall it's a step up from the current Cooper."

Janine-Lee Gordon said: "It looks robotic, like Mini has lost the plot, ripped out its heart and stomped on it. I know we're in a new era and the classic looks will once be a distant memory but I think it has an ugly face... that bum doesn’t do it for me either.”

What do you think of the new model? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts on Wheels24.

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