There’s a lot of news going around these days about the future of the automotive industry and what EVs bring to the table. What is probably causing CEOs to have night terrors is the fact that EVs have considerably lower profit margins, yet that can be offset by a couple of measures. One of the best ways to go about it is to develop modular platforms that can support both ICE and EV setups.
Students from Clemson University have put together a concept which does bare the MINI logo up front. Called MINI Deep Orange 7, this is a completely modular car according to them and a fully functional car that has been in development since 2014. Being more of a forward-looking concept than anything else, it’s not exactly brimming with safety features and it doesn’t follow every design cue a road-legal, production car should have but it does bring a couple of interesting solutions to the table.
The platform it is built on seems like a Holy Grail at first, apparently being scalable and able to house internal combustion units as well as electric motor or a combination of both for hybrid models. By using four separate modules – a base platform, rear section, front section and a roof unit – the car is truly modular and can be changed depending on what the end product has to be.
As you can see, the design is quite outlandish as well, featuring air vents in the front door hinges to cool an eventual internal combustion engine while the windscreen is removable and goes from the front to the back of the car, being one solid piece. Theres also a holographic display up front that they call the Mini Face which can show a variety of info and details depending on what the driver needs.
The MINI Deep Orange 7 is definitely an eye catcher but could it make it into production? Remains to be seen but there are some interesting ideas at work here, as Julian Weber, one-time head of Innovation Projects E-Mobility at BMW in Munich said: “Working with the students in the Deep Orange 7 project was a wonderful experience. They worked really hard and showed creativity and professionalism at the same time. The resulting vehicle is a huge step forward is a huge step forward and showcases very interesting solutions.”