MINI Businessman Concept Car Channels Tomorrow's MINI Today

If today's MINI compact car is a triumph of retro automotive style, what will BMW's boxy British brand look like tomorrow? The MINI Businessman Concept revealed by students from the International School of Design in Valenciennes, France, offers us a tantalizing glimpse of MINI's future.

The one-off MINI Businessman Concept, images of which were recently uploaded to MINI Switzerland's facebook fanpage, features few classic MINI styling cues – the front fascia's headlights and accessory lighting display have a vaguely MINI-ish vibe to them.

That's about it unless one considers the squashed two-box cabin layout to be a MINI trademark (which it isn't). It would seem the ISD student stylists' idea of a “future MINI” is set not in the near future but somewhere much further ahead of our time.

Not that this is a bad thing: some of the most memorable concept cars were just too far-out to ever see the light of day as production models. We might actually see a road-going version of the MINI Businessman Concept at some point... just don't hold your breath.

We'll leave it to future generations of engineers to ensure the MINI Businessman Concept's stretched gullwing doors and removable glass roof remains water-tight in real world driving situations. They'd better be, since the concept car's floor, rear seats and front bucket seat shells are sculpted from planed & stained wood!

Also inside, the dashboard offers a knowing nod to MINI models past and present with a circular central instrument cluster that appears to glow via electroluminescent illumination. Nice!

Last but not least, a small but strategically-placed graphic on the vehicle's lower left flank indicates this possible next-next-next generation MINI will be a plug-in hybrid. Let's hope the ISD students graduate already and get this cool concept ready for the road while we're still able to drive it! (via and Le Blog Auto)