The Deep Orange 7 concept attempts to revamp the retrotastic Mini.
Since its modern reinvention in 2007, Mini’s overall design direction hasn’t strayed much. The quirky, retro look that was first introduced nearly 10 years ago remains intact – but at least one group thinks the old-school hatchback is in need of a more modern update.
Deep Orange, a student-run engineering arm of Clemson University in South Carolina, has developed a modern Mini for the year 2025 and beyond. Named the Deep Orange 7 concept, the group's goal was to create a fully functional, driveable vehicle that could hypothetically join the Mini range.
The exterior – penned by students at ArtCenter design college in Pasadena, California – shares a number of overall similarities with the current design language. The hatchback styling is recognisably Mini but with a futuristic twist. The standard grille is gone, and a larger, more steeply raked windscreen has been introduced. The overall design was inspired by 'openness', and it certainly looks fairly airy.
The concept’s modular design is said to allow for a range of powertrain options, everything from combustion engines to a full electric setup via a plug-in hybrid option.
That students have used a modular setup for the car to cut down on production costs. Origami-style interior compartments fold down flat when not in use and allow easy access to storage space, which is connected through the floating dashboard.
A 'holographic' display replaces the standard instrument panel and is aimed at reducing clutter overall. Personalised features for each driver are managed using a system of hand gesture controls.