3D-printing, infrared-reflective paint, roof and rear patio with BBQ and pneumatic pop-top roof: developed in collaboration with BASF, the Mercedes-Benz-based concept vehicle VisionVenture breaks new ground in terms of design, self-sufficiency and lightweight construction. The concept car offers a foretaste of what modern travel could be like in 2025. It combines the pioneering spirit and innovation of Hymer with more than 20 innovative materials from BASF in order to offer a forward-looking response to current and future industry trends.
Hymer VisionVenture: A marriage of innovative material and visionary bodywork
Built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, VisionVenture is a concept vehicle whose integrative front design has created a new motorhome category all of its own, replacing precise contours with harmonious transitions between cab and body. The chassis cowl with its original doors, the headlights and the radiator grille have all been retained, but the windscreen has been shifted further forward and the A-pillar, bonnet and rooflight have been redesigned. A four-wheel drive is included for off-road use. The wheel arch panel and selected body parts are produced using 3D printing techniques, giving them an extremely robust, rubber-like quality. Also new is the ultra-resilient paintwork in striking dark green: the temperature-regulating, energy-efficient Chromacool technology from BASF reduces the surface temperature of the vehicle by 20°C and that of the interior by up to 4°C. It also allows a more individual look, offering an alternative to the classic white.
The roof of the VisionVenture is fitted with an inflatable pop-top roof with honeycomb outer walls nearly seven centimetres thick that provide excellent insulation and can be inflated with heated or cooled air in the space of a minute. It is equipped with ambient lighting and can be opened at the rear to give access to the private roof patio. What’s more, the roof covering is fitted with a photovoltaic system for even greater self-sufficiency on the road.
Multifunctional and open layout for the ambitious adventurer
Together with the designers from Studio SYN, the VisionVenture team has come up with a brand new layout with numerous smart solutions closely geared to customer needs and inspired by the DIY conversions of the target group. For a start, the interior has an extremely spacious feel despite the compact dimensions of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The eye is drawn to the seating area under the generous panoramic window in the rear of the vehicle. A further highlight here is the tailgate which, once opened, instantly turns this area into a private patio complete with pull-out electric barbecue. The kitchen in the interior is integrated into a unique, space-saving stepped structure leading to the “bedroom”. The large, LED-illuminated steps are reminiscent of the staircase in a house, and provide extra interior storage space. The integrated cupboards occupy the full depth of the steps, incorporating a yacht-style drawer refrigerator that can be easily loaded from above.
On the “ground floor” of the VisionVenture, the designers have used novel material combinations made from high-performance plastics from BASF and light, natural materials such as slate, leather, felt and even bamboo. The wall covering is partly designed as a multifunctional rail system. This provides scope for individual decoration with pictures, or for fitting practical storage systems, e.g. for kitchen utensils. The lamp is also designed for versatile use, whether as a pendant luminaire, patio light or ceiling spotlight. Also integrated into the living area is a practical office space complete with its own LED lighting and a magnetic pinboard that retracts almost invisibly into the wall in one simple move.
The bathroom is designed for maximum flexibility and compactness. The side wall unfolds to allow the washbasin to be moved aside, leaving space for a generous shower cubicle with rain shower function. The luxurious look of the bathroom is further enhanced by using natural stone. The use of real materials in a motorhome is made possible by the BASF product Veneo Slate®. This material combines a thin layer of stone with plastic and is just one millimetre thick, making it light and bendable. In keeping with this design, the concrete floor of the living area extends into the bathroom so that everything is level, without the conventional shower tray.
According to Christian Bauer, President of Hymer GmbH & Co. KG, “Innovation has always been part of Hymer’s DNA, and the concept car VisionVenture is our take on modern van life. A major source of inspiration for this project was the camper community, who have given us new impetus with their creative ideas and DIY conversions. Thanks to the material expertise and technical know-how of BASF, we have managed to put this into practice in a highly realistic concept vehicle. We are confident that we will be able to introduce some elements from this array of innovative and extremely customer-friendly solutions into series production in the not too distant future”.
Video: Vanlife exklusiv: HYMER Concept Car VisionVenture