Clemson Engineers Design Mini Concept That Could Revolutionize Electric Cars


This Mini concept isn’t too cool for school

Meet Deep Orange 7: a rear-wheel-drive all-electric concept conceived and built by students from two very different schools a continent apart. A crew of 18 young engineers from Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (ICAR) collaborated with a design team from the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California to produce a “2025 Mini” at the behest of BMW Group, who sponsored the project.

Deep Orange 7Reportedly, the EV was engineered to achieve three main goals: “target the premium U.S. market 2025 and beyond, maximize the use of interior space and ensure a fun driving experience.” Certainly we can see they’ve achieved at least one of these by extending the windshield out over the space a traditional hood might occupy, creating a spacious front hatch. We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt as to whether the driving experience is fun, since it’s electric and, well, instant torque awaits your right foot from the get go. Whether it successfully targets a future premium US market, that’s for you to decide. This writer is not quite convinced they nailed that essential element, given that the unique front glass probably wouldn’t make it through crash tests with any success.

Still, it is an interesting approach with regards to its architecture. Instead of a uni-body, the engineering team developed the vehicle to be built from four different modules: front, middle, rear, and greenhouse. This would allow them to change one or more of the main components to create variants from convertibles to four-door sedans.

Check out the video above if you haven’t already for other unique details about the project. We also would like to send out a big congratulations to the students involved, many of whom might take on engineering your future vehicle at their new-found employers.

Source: Clemson University via Car and Driver

Categories: Mini


Leave a Reply

16 Comments on "Clemson Engineers Design Mini Concept That Could Revolutionize Electric Cars"

newest oldest most voted

This is revolutionary. The first car that is defensive about being beat up in the parking lot by humans with low depth perception. Looks like they borrowed the keycard access trick from the Tesla Model III. Some of their features are clearly too focused on worthless hipsters who can’t afford a car (too much money on flat caps, expensive shoes, and beard oil), and there is a glaring absence of practicality in displaying what is in your vehicle from the standpoint of break-ins, but I like that it has a front trunk, all the same.

The California team needs to stop what they are doing, immediately. They’ve managed to merge the insipid, Voltron-esque styling with a 1970’s AMC Pacer body and paint job.

No kidding. I was about to vomit over the all stereotypes. The little “showcase” of who you are is particularly nauseating. Couldn’t they just get the “digital paint” to do digital bumper stickers and call it a day?

That thing looks pretty craptastic to me, but if that’s what millennials want to ride around in, so be it. It’s their future so I guess they can shape it however they want. Just don’t make me have to ride in it.

We won’t, Dave! You can walk…


Digital Paint? What an interesting concept.

I can only imagine the “abuse” of this feature by passengers inside Level 5 autos. LOL What’s the highway version of the mile high club called?

We aren’t even allowed to have tinted windows in front here in California. Black out the whole car? I doubt it.

That’s simply not true. You are allowed to have tinted windows in front but only to a certain degree. Front side windows must pass through more than 70% of light inside your car (70% VLT).

Sure, in 2025, BEV will use 48 volts battery!

Make “Tailgater” version of that front end and they’ll sell like hotcakes. Maybe you can even get NFL team branding in the paint…. 🙂

Meet Bruno. Bruno is a street thug with a crowbar. He makes a killing off smashing into Minis and stealing all the stuff laid out on display.

Bruna can’t read. ‘Digital Paint’?



Mini is traditionally a front wheel drive vehicle. Will the change to RWD affect the Mini driving feel?

Yet another design exercise that if we’re lucky, some minor aspect might make it to market in five to ten years.

Maybe those “origami storage modules” might become an accessory some day.

There must be something wrong with me, I’m not a Millennial but I like this styling.
Ok, get rid of the Mini brand, start a new brand called Deep Orange. Don’t sell it at dealerships, do it online and use stores. Perfect opportunity to change your business model.
Agree with others, the trunks need privacy screens at least, and that floating dash is just a problem with items flying into the cabin when you accelerate.
There are lots of great features in this concept, if they did a reveal and reservation event then they could get a real idea whether this is the sort of thing people want. It looks like a great around town type car, well done to these students.