You would share the Mini with everyone, but the Rolls is about pampering its owner.
Doing anything for 100 years is an achievement, and BMW is continuing its centenary celebration by revealing two new concepts: the Mini Vision Next 100 and Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100. Like the BMW Vision Next 100 from March, these futuristic vehicles imagine how these brands' styling could look far into the next century.
The Mini Vision Next 100 shows BMW considering the design necessities for an autonomous ridesharing service. Rather than owning a single Mini, customers would pay to have access to every one in a city. To keep the vehicles from being too impersonal, each one could tailor itself to the person calling it by changing the roof color and interior lighting to match the rider’s preferences.
Mini’s designers put a major emphasis on maximizing the concept’s interior space. A bench seat runs the vehicle’s full width, and there’s no center console to take up room. This model would generally be autonomous, but people could slide a steering wheel and pedals into position when they want to drive themselves. Finding your way is easy because an augmented reality display shows the route through the glass front end.
However, occupants might not take control very often with the Cooperizer on board. This replacement for Mini’s traditional center-mounted instruments can select the right entertainment, communications, and autonomous-driving options for each person. If they don’t want to trust the computer, drivers can also make adjustments to these systems using a rotary knob.
Not everyone in the future will want to share a car with thousands of people in a city; some will still want to spend money on the ultimate in opulence. The Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100, also called the 103EX, imagines what luxury might look like in the next century. The company believes that all of its customers desire a one-off vehicle, and this concept would give it to them. Rolls would build a lightweight platform with electric power. By using composite materials and technology like 3D printing, the company could then create a custom body that fits the buyer's exact design wishes.
The vehicle would be fully autonomous, which means there’s no need for a steering wheel, instruments, or even a traditional driver’s seat. Instead, occupants sit on something like a couch, and a virtual version of the Spirit of Ecstasy listens to their requests on where to go. The interior features a huge amount room and exotic materials like Macassar wood, hand-twisted silk carpets, and silk upholstery.
The BMW Vision Next 100 is here again, too, and the futuristic vehicle continues to show just how attractive adapting the i8’s styling for a sedan could be. This trio also won’t be the last time BMW celebrates its birthday with a concept this year. The company will eventually debut the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100, which will show how the future of riding “promises limitless freedom.” We’ll look forward to finding out exactly what that enigmatic statement means at the unveiling.