It was only a matter of time before vehicle technology launched us into the future. The MINI Urbanaut concept car does just that. This digital prototype is fully electric and teeming with autonomous driving features.

Details about the MINI Urbanaut concept

A lot about the Urbanaut has been left a mystery. However, we do have some details to spill about the concept car.

It’s fully electric, which means it has a low footprint. This is true to MINI Cooper fashion. The 2021 MINI Cooper gas car gets a highway fuel economy of 37 MPG. Meanwhile, the 2021 MINI Cooper Electric has a 110-mile battery-only range. Sure, it’s a low range for an electric vehicle, and consumers already have range anxiety — but maybe the Urbanaut will make up for it.  

The vehicle also focuses on autonomous driving features. While MINI didn’t exactly go in-depth on what these features entail, we do know that drivers would be able to switch the self-driving off so they can take the wheel. For those who want to let the car do the driving, the steering wheel retracts into the dash.

The main intrigue of the MINI Urbanaut is truly its interior. It’s practically the corner of a hotel room. Since there’s so much focus on autonomous driving, they wanted to design a space where people could relax, sleep, eat, work remotely or really do whatever they please. There are three different configurations to choose from, including the Vibe, which looks like this:

mini urbanaut interior

Image Source: Car and Driver

The Urbanaut is actually supposed to run larger than the MINI Clubman. It’s a bit longer, but especially taller, so passengers can move around when the car is still.

As for the outside, we’ve got an octagonal grille instead of the hexagonal part MINI fans know. There’s a one-sided door to make the most of the interior space.

Fun fact about the MINI Urbanaut headlights

Because of its supremely futuristic motif, headlights on the MINI Urbanaut are only visible when they’re on. This means you can’t see them unless they’re actually illuminated. Why? I suppose to make the car look more like it came from The Jetsons world.

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Should you hold your breath for production?

Right now, the MINI Urbanaut is nothing but a concept car. This means they’re still very much on the drawing board, and they haven’t even attempted production.

MINI Cooper announced the concept car at an online conference in November 2020. They have yet to announce any production plans. If and when it does come, we’ll be at least a few years down the line.

In short, you shouldn’t hold your breath for production of the MINI Urbanaut (at least not yet). Even if they don’t ever produce the MINI Urbanaut, you can likely expect the concept’s features to make their way into other MINI productions as time goes on.

Who owns MINI Cooper?

MINI Cooper is actually owned by German automaker BMW. The two are separate brands that function under one corporate umbrella (so no, your BMW is not a MINI Cooper, nor vice versa).

Rachel Curry
"Hey! My name's Rachel Curry and I'm a full-time writer who loves telling the world's stories as much as hanging with my dogs (and that's saying a lot). A University of Delaware graduate, I've traveled extensively, living everywhere from Ireland to Thailand. Bylines include Matador Network and Delaware Today."

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