American automotive students have decided to work on a futuristic Mini for the year 2025, straying far away from the iconic, quirky retro look of the rehashed original under the BMW Group.
They decided the old-school approach just doesn’t cut it anymore in the years to come and have come up with their own proposal – as part of their two-year master program at Clemson University. Working for Deep Orange, a student-run engineering arm of the university, they came up with the Deep Orange 7 Mini concept, as the name implies the seventh in a long line of creative concepts before it – and arguably among the most unique. While envisioned by students, this is a fully functional, drivable vehicle. It’s also a collaborative project between the Clemson engineering students and the ArtCenter College of Design students over in California, with some help from BMW and Mini, acting as the primary sponsor.
The 18-student team unveiled the fully-functional, drivable concept vehicle at the BMW Zentrum in Greer, South Carolina on October 14, featuring a scalable powertrain that provides the hypothetical customer the choice of internal combustion engine, two plug-in hybrid options or a pure battery electric vehicle (BEV), with all four using the exact same platform. Inside, there’s an equally innovative design, with the students creating a floating dashboard called MINI Open, and the passengers being accompanied by a customizable personal virtual companion, MINI Face, that comes instead of the traditional instrument cluster and center stack.