After introducing a plug-in hybrid version of its Countryman SUV, Mini is now readying a fully electric hatch Price from £26,000 (est)
REMEMBER THE MINI E? That fully electric version of the Mini hatchback was built in 2008, with development cars trialled in several major cities. At the time, it seemed like a battery-powered Mini you could buy was only months away from showrooms, but 10 years later we’re still waiting. Not for much longer, though, because a Mini Electric will be launched next year.
One of the main drawbacks of the old Mini E was that the rear seats had to be removed to accommodate the battery pack. However, battery technology has come a long way in the past 10 years, and the new Mini Electric will be a proper four-seater.
The nished design is still to be revealed, but of cial sketches show that it will have a closed front grille with a yellow bar running across it. According to Mini’s head of design, Oliver Heilmer, the yellow bar will become a signature of the brand’s electric models, while the closed design simply re ects the fact that electric motors have different cooling needs from petrol and diesel engines.
Mini showed a concept version of the Mini Electric at the Frankfurt motor show last year, but the production model won’t get the concept’s dramatic bodykit.
Although the range is still to be con rmed, it’s likely to be similar to the 192 miles that the latest BMW i3 manages in of cial WLTP tests, because the Mini uses the same technology. Initially, it will be offered only as a three-door hatchback. However, if it proves popular, electric versions of other Minis could well follow.
The plug-in hybrid Countryman costs from £31,905, which is £8520 more than the Cooper model. If Mini follows the same approach with the Electric, it would mean a starting price of about £26,000, although the car would be eligible for the Government’s £4500 EV grant.
‘Range is likely to be similar to the 192 miles that the latest BMW i3 manages’
This Mini Electric concept previewed the real thing last year