Ten years since the BMW Group conducted pilot trials with over 600 units of lease-only MINI E in Europe, MINI has now confirmed that it will be putting into series production an all-new electric drive-only model in 2019.
The upcoming all-new EV model will be previewed at next month’s Frankfurt International Auto Show as the MINI Electric Concept.
No technical details about its electric drivetrain have been released yet but it’s likely to mirror what’s offered in the BMW i3, possibly with an optional range extender petrol engine that doesn’t drive the wheels but to recharge the high-voltage batteries.
What we do know is that MINI is claiming that the electric MINI will stay true to the virtues of the MINI brand by offering MINI’s signature handling and agility.
“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,” says Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad.
Currently, the only electric-drive model in MINI’s line-up is the plug-in hybrid (and the very long name) MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. The upcoming 2019 electric MINI will be the brand’s first all-electric vehicle.
Since it’s an all-electric vehicle, the MINI Electric Concept doesn’t need air intakes for cooling and thus the front grille is only for aesthetics and is sealed.
The yellow accent bar extending across the grille and the E badge in the same colour could also point to a design identity for all future MINI electric vehicles.
The concept also previews the potential of incorporating 3D printing to produce functional design elements in future cars. The aerodynamic inlays fitted onto the 19-inch wheels are made using 3D printing process.
The Frankfurt International Auto Show will run from 14 September to 24 September.