Mini Elec­tric

After in­tro­duc­ing a plug-in hy­brid ver­sion of its Coun­try­man SUV, Mini is now ready­ing a fully elec­tric hatch Price from £26,000 (est)

What Car? - - Electric Car Special - Steve Hunt­ing­ford Steve.hunt­ing­[email protected]­mar­ket.com

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

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