Clemson University's International Center for Automotive Research has unveiled the Deep Orange 7 MINI concept.
The latest in a long line of Deep Orange concepts, the model was created by 18 students as part of the university's two-year master’s program in automotive engineering.
Envisioned as a MINI for 2025 or later, the Deep Orange 7 features a unique exterior which was developed with the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. While the styling may not appease everyone, the university says the process of working with another school gave engineering and design students the "opportunity to collaborate just as they would in a real-world design studio."
The interior is relatively sparse as it features a handful of seats and a floating dashboard which houses a "personal virtual companion" called MINI Face. More than just a pint-sized Templeton Peck, the MINI Face anticipates the needs of the driver and presents relevant information on a holographic display which has multiple layers. The system also features hand gesture recognition technology.
The innovation doesn't stop there as the students developed a scalable powertrain which enables the model to use an internal combustion engine, a plug-in hybrid powertrain, or electric drive unit. The concept is equipped with the second option and features electric cooling motors which are located inside the rocker panel.
According to BMW's Julian Weber, “Working with the students as a mentor in the Deep Orange 7 project was a wonderful experience. They worked really hard and showed creativity and professionalism at the same time."
H/T to Jalopnik