Design chief previews futuristic Mini and Rolls-Royce ‘Vision Next 100’ concepts

Published: 10 March 2016

► BMW Group’s ‘Vision Next 100’ plans detailed
► New Mini and Rolls-Royce concepts due soon
► Motorrad Vision motorcycle in late 2016

Mini will push the boundaries of personalisation while Rolls-Royce will explore the pinnacle of interior luxury and technology, claims BMW Group’s design chief of the two brands’ summer 2016 concepts.

The BMW Vision Next 100 concept was unveiled this week, to mark the manufacturer’s centenary – and the group’s British brands have also been asked to show their visions of the future, as BMW widens the scope of its 100th birthday.

Adrian van Hooydonk, BMW Group design director, said the brief was to ‘transport the core of each brand into the next 100 years,’ with a focus on the technology of tomorrow. The Mini and Rolls-Royce concepts will be unveiled in London on 16 June.

‘The Mini brand has grown over the last couple of decades, with individualisation and personalisation,’ said the Dutch designer. ‘We can bring that to another level through clever technology. Indeed, every Mini can be your Mini or my Mini despite being the same car [underneath]. Through clever technology that car transforms into yours or mine.

BMW Vision Next 100 concept: tomorrow’s ultimate (self) driving machine

‘The theme of the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 is ‘grand sanctuary,’ the ideal space to be in,’ he added. ‘Arriving in a Rolls-Royce and getting in and out is a special occasion, and so it will be in this vehicle. Being in this car will be truly memorable.’

The Vision vehicles are being finalised under the watchful eye of Giles Taylor, Rolls-Royce chief designer, and Anders Warming, who runs Mini design. ‘It’s been a lot of work and individual challenges because we didn’t just challenge our own fantasy but also our capabilities of building such vehicles,’ said van Hooydonk.

There is a fourth Vision vehicle, from BMW’s fourth division: Motorrad. The Vision motorcycle’s theme is ‘the great escape’. Nothing to do with the Steve McQueen WW2 film – he rode Triumphs – although BMW started making motorcycles in 1923, before it moved into cars.

‘[Riding] is an emotional experience, and when you do it you can forget all other things in life, the motorcycle is an escape vehicle. We want to show how this can happen in the future, how this experience can be even more rewarding and emotional.’

The Motorrad Vision bike will be revealed in Los Angeles in October, when the BMW’s concept canon will be completed.

What technologies and vehicle concepts would you like to see from Rolls-Royce and Mini? Have your say below.

By Phil McNamara

Editor-in-chief of CAR magazine