Mini’s Vision Next 100 is your urban runabout of the future

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Fellow BMW Group brand Mini has unveiled its own Vision 100 Next concept celebrating its parent company’s centennial this year.

Previously we saw Vision 100 Next concepts from BMW and Rolls-Royce previewing the future of luxury and ultra-luxury, respectively.

With Mini’s concept, we’re given a taste of the future of the premium compact car for the urban landscape. For the British brand the future means more digitization and interconnectedness.

The concept features the familiar form of Mini’s Hardtop, with a boxed-shaped body, flat roof, wheel-at-each corner layout, and circular motifs at the front resembling the headlights on the current Hardtop.

It’s fully autonomous of course, allowing urban dwellers to call the car on-demand. People in cities won’t own cars, you see. But they’ll have their own profile registered with Mini so that any called car, via artificial intelligence, will adapt itself to the user’s individual tastes, interests and preferences. For example, the exterior is wrapped in a silver skin Mini refers to as a “blank canvas.” This can be altered to suit the user.

This level of personalization will be crucial towards ensuring people of the future still feel a car belongs to them, even if they don’t own it. The alternative, unfortunately, is many smaller car brands disappearing, something Fiat heir and major Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] shareholder Lapo Elkann is predicting.

Fortunately, Mini wants people to still be able to actually drive its cars in the future. Therefore the concept still provides the mechanical experience of speed and the feeling of nipping swiftly through twists and turns that makes current Minis so much fun to drive. Notice the concept still has a steering wheel?

A large windscreen provides a clear view of the world outside. And there aren’t any traditional displays. Instead, augmented reality displays show the route or ideal driving line, heightening the driving sensation. Lightweight, sustainable materials are used throughout and drive comes from a zero-emission powertrain.

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