Mini announces new electric cars
British brand MINI has revealed plans to expand its electric car range, while still offering “highly efficient petrol and diesel engines” for buyers and regions where EVs don’t tick all the right boxes. MINI boss Bernd Körber says this adheres to the Power of Choice approach of the BMW Group, which also includes plug-in hybrid models.
The brand also confirmed its core portfolio would include a smaller MINI 3-Door Hatch than the current model, with an electric powertrain, as well as a small crossover and a ‘compact’ crossover that’s likely to be a new version of the Countryman. The small crossover will be offered both as an EV and ICE vehicle, while the larger model will feature combustion engines and an electrified drivetrain, “meeting the different requirements of customers all over the world.”
The new electric vehicles are expected to be built in China as part of a joint venture with Great Wall, based on an all-new platform and using cobalt-free battery packs. It’s possible the small crossover could also re-establish the Paceman badge that disappeared from the market in 2017.
A combustion-engined MINI Hatch will continue to be built in Oxford, most likely using an updated version of the hatchback’s current platform. While no launch date has been given for the new EV models, the factory in China where they are to be built is due to be operational in 2022.
“Alongside electromobility, harnessing new target groups and sales markets will be crucially important for the future of MINI” said Körber. MINI’s announcement also stated that every new model will “continue to be a typical MINI”, with an “exciting drive and individuality, achieved on the smallest footprint amongst its competitors.”