Almost everyone knows what a Mini looks like once it comes pass right in front of them. This is how well it maintained its image right from day 1, and it seems that a futuristic model still pledges to the brand’s design code.
Meet the Deep Orange 7 concept, which is Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research’s (CU-ICAR) version of a 2025 and beyond Mini. It’s futuristic, almost sci-fi-like, and uniquely-designed. However, it can’t hide the British automaker DNA with its boxy body shape, which is a trademark of Mini.
“Based on a thorough analysis of the future customer base for MINI in the U.S., the team competently addressed these customers’ aspirations through innovations and vehicle design.”
The design is undoubtedly a tomorrow’s thing. The Deep Orange has no visible headlamps, add the absence of a traditional grille, plus a seamless flow from roof down the nose. In fact, it doesn’t even have a separate hood for the front trunk, as the windshield can be swung open to access the storage area. Clever design, we must say.
According to CU-ICAR, there are 3 primary goals why the Deep Orange 7 was built: target the market from 2025 and beyond, ensure driving experience, and maximize the use of interior space. This pushed the team to create a single space floating dashboard called ‘Mini Open,’ while the windshield-slash-hood provides a wide view of the road. The rear storage, on the other hand, can be secured in the ‘Origami Storage.’
As futuristic as how it looks, the Deep Orange 7’s platform can house a combustion engine, 2 plug-in hybrid setup, and an electric motor. This is because of the scalable powertrain feature of the car, where customers may choose whether to possess a pure battery electric vehicle (BEV), plug-in hybrid, or a conventional combustion car.
For safety and convenience, a key feature of the car is the Mini Parking Marshal. The concept uses the car’s head- and tail-lights to tell other drivers to stop based on their distance. The lights illuminate as a vehicle approaches in front or behind the car. This encourages drivers to park at ideal distance to avoid parking-related collisions.