An Automotive Icon Reinvented

Deep Orange 7

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The Challenge: Reinvent The Mini

For the seventh generation of the Deep Orange program, students were challenged to re-envision the MINI to develop a fully-functional, drivable concept vehicle for the MINI brand targeting the premium U.S. market for 2025 and beyond.

With the BMW Group in Munich as the primary sponsor, students were in charge of determining which innovations would fit the MINI brand, as well as how these innovations would be integrated into the vehicle. As a result of this collaborative real-world educational experience, the students designed and built a functioning, drivable concept vehicle with multiple innovative features.

Started in 2014, the Deep Orange 7 vehicle was engineered around three primary goals: target the premium US market, maximize the use of interior space, and ensure a fun driving experience.

The 18-student team unveiled the fully-functional, drivable concept vehicle at the BMW Zentrum in Greer, South Carolina on October 14, 2017.

View the full Deep Orange 7 press release.

From Concept to Completion

As part of the graduate automotive engineering program at CU-ICAR, students are given the unique opportunity to create and build a concept vehicle.

The project showcases advanced technologies and provides students an opportunity to work directly with automotive industry partners and experience all phases of the product development process.

Finished Vehicle

The Deep Orange 7 vehicle was engineered around three primary goals: target the premium US market, maximize the use of interior space, and ensure a fun driving experience.

Based on a thorough analysis of the future customer base for MINI in the US, the team competently addressed these customers’ aspirations through innovations and vehicle design.


Persona Gallery

Using market research data, customer demographics and psychographics, students developed representative user personas and determined their preferences to help them design the Deep Orange 7 vehicle.

Four personas were used to develop the concept’s unique selling propositions during the ideation process.


A Project Made Possible Through Collaboration

The following organizations have provided generous support, in-kind contributions and mentoring to achieve the objectives of Deep Orange 7.


DO7 Automotive Engineers & Innovators

Deep Orange 7 Videos

Deep Orange 7 First Look
Students on the Deep Orange 7 team get to see their completed vehicle for the first time.

MINI Takes the States
Deep Orange 7 students from Clemson’s Department of Automotive Engineering participated in MINI Takes the States as part of their graduate educational experience. Thousands of MINI owners take a road trip across the United States from Atlanta, GA to Palm Springs, CA. The Deep Orange students joined the fun from Atlanta to Charlotte. The students had the opportunity to meet several hundred other MINI customers, drive the vehicles on two legendary NASCAR tracks and caravan on beautiful South Carolina country roads.

Guard Your Life
Deep Orange 7 team members volunteer at Guard your Life events at the BMW Performance Center. Teens participate in a half day driving clinic with BMW Performance Driving instructors that includes both classroom and behind the wheel instruction. The classes are designed to educate teens on the dangers of distracted driving, to teach basic braking skills and give participants a feel for stability, traction control and ABS systems and the effect these systems have on the vehicle.

View and download photos from the Deep Orange 7 project at the links below:
Deep Orange 7 Concept to Completion Photos
Deep Orange 7 Completed Vehicle Photos
Deep Orange 7 Driver Persona Photos
Deep Orange 7 Project Team & Process Photos