Mini appears poised to unveil its first van concept if this just-released teaser image is anything to go by. The brand showed a teaser image for the Vision Urbanaut on Twitter, calling the vehicle “an urban oasis.”
— MINI (@MINI) November 16, 2020
Mini previously offered a panel-van version of the Clubman, but the Urbanaut concept appears to be a much differerent one-box design. Its ultra-short frontal area suggests it does not utilize the current Mini platform. Instead, this is likely an EV, with its batteries packaged under the floor. The concept, then, could also debut a new dedicated EV platform for Mini. (Mini’s current electric car, the Cooper SE, is a battery-powered version of the standard Mini hardtop.)
Based on its profile, the Urbanaut concept does not appear to be a preview of any of the future models the brand has recently discussed. Those include two new crossovers, a BMW X1–sized model that revives the Paceman nameplate and a second entry built on BMW’s RWD platform and possibly called Traveler. However, the brand also mentioned adding more EVs, and that could be where the Urbanaut fits in.
Of course, the Urbanaut also could end up going nowhere, like the Rocketman concept that failed to launch. Still, a tiny-sized van does strike us as an intriguing and brand-correct new model for Mini — certainly more so than another large-ish crossover. We’ll be interested to learn more about the Urbanaut.