By on August 30, 2017

mini electric concept

In 2009, BMW avoided jumping the gun when it introduced an electric conversion of its Mini Cooper as a test platform instead of a production vehicle. Dubbed the “Mini E,” and limited to two seats due to its massive battery pack, the prototype served as a short-term consumer testbed for field trials and was deployed in several countries, including the United States.

However, as other automakers brought production EVs into the world, Mini held off — perhaps waiting for an more advantageous moment to enter the segment.

That moment appears to have arrived. The brand decided Wednesday to tease us with photos of its new “Mini Electric Concept,” which it says will enter into production in 2019. Its shares its powertrain with the BMW i3, so expect a driving range of at least 110 e-miles (or 180 with an optional gasoline range extender) and an electric motor producing a minimum of 160 electric concept

Unlike the Mini E, the Electric Concept is a four-seater, and it will persist in this layout when it inevitably goes into production.

Styling is always subjective but it’s on-brand in just about every way you could imagine. Its perhaps a bit much in terms of aero, but distinctively modern and clearly a Cooper. Mini claims the bodywork is mostly aerodynamically sound but also specified this was a car designed with the urban environment in mind — so it’s not so much about making downforce as it is adding MPGs.

mini electric concept

That said, BMW Group says it wants the EV to maintain the Cooper’s enjoyable handling properties.

“With its characteristic go-kart feeling and powerful electric motor, the Mini Electric Concept is great fun to drive while also being completely suitable for everyday use — and producing zero emissions to boot. That’s how we at Mini envisage electric mobility in tomorrow’s world,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, management board member of BMW AG responsible for Mini, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, said in a statement.

mini electric concept

As this is a concept vehicle, the automaker had plenty to say about the vehicle’s appearance. But we wouldn’t encourage you to hold your breath on a two-toned matte and gloss paint job with contrasting accents. Likewise, those aftermarket-looking font fenders probably won’t stick around. But we wouldn’t be opposed to the closed-off faux grille, EV bumpers, and unique LED lights staying. It’s also nice to see a car entirely devoid of chrome, which presents a sense of modernity without feeling gimmicky — something the standard Cooper lacks.

The Frankfurt Auto Show gets underway this September and the concept Mini is certain to make a public appearance. The production model is tentatively slated for 2019, a full decade after the Mini E was introduced.

mini electric concept

[Image: BMW Group]

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7 Comments on “10 Years in the Making: Mini Previews Styling of Upcoming EV Concept...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    It’s the 2013 Fiat 500e!

    Seriously, this is disappointing. With BMW’s experience with the i3 and i8, you’d think they could do better with Mini than create an iterative car with yesterday’s specs.

    As for “aero”: on a car with a 110-mile range intended for city driving, aero means nothing.

    • 0 avatar

      The range “should” be better than the current i3. The 2018 is getting a range boost (I don’t have US numbers) and is supposed to be getting another upgrade in the near future. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s 180 to 200 miles range given the 2019 timeframe.

  • avatar

    when the Mini first came out it was unique and, yes, a bit funny lookingand very exciting. But there are so many darn Mini’s in so many versions that they just don’t say “buy me” any more. The Mini has reached and passed the saturation point. I see dozens every day on the Toronto freeways. They are no longer in the bit exciting. You get to the point of oh no, not another variant And a wider, fatter one at that.!

  • avatar

    The tail lights look like halves of a Union Jack, which is a nice touch – but as turn signals, the arrows would be pointing the wrong way!

    The wheels look like some sort of an electrical outlet, which is also an appropriate touch.

  • avatar

    Shares underpinnings with the i3…so this is a RWD MINI?

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