While the combustion-engined line-up of the next Mini hatchback – due internationally by second half of this year as a 2023 model – will be built in Oxford, UK, the electric version is set to be made by BMW's Chinese joint venture partner Great Wall Motors.
- Next-gen Mini EV to have atleast two body styles
- Will be shown in around 18 months from now
- Entire line-up will shed some traditional design cues
Next-gen Mini: platform, EV powertrain details
The new electric Mini will have a three-door model as standard, making it the ideal basis for a convertible. The wheelbase of this three-door architecture is also 40mm longer than the outgoing model, which should improve the ride as well as noticeably increase space in the rear. This stretch also means that any production Mini Convertible would have a significantly bigger battery than the one-off prototype that Mini is testing right now. The EV platform has allowed the current Mini’s long front overhang to be significantly reduced while passing future crash tests.
The future electric convertible will have a bigger battery, with the equivalent Cooper model getting a 40kWh battery. Any Cooper S convertible could get a battery as big as 50kWh and a real-world range of 400-plus km, as well as very strong performance.
Next-gen Mini to drop some familiar styling cues
As far as styling goes, a number of the classic Mini design cues will be dropped on the next-generation model, including the clamshell bonnet that has featured since BMW relaunched the brand in 2001. The large bonnet pressing was expensive to produce as well necessitating the inclusion of the substantial chrome rings around the Mini’s headlights, which are an essential part of the lamp-bonnet alignment set-up. Mini says the removal of the clamshell bonnet not only saves money and speeds up construction time, but it also allows the chrome headlight bezels to be ditched.
The bezels around the rear lights will also be dropped for the fourth-generation design, as will the distinctive separate panel in front of the Mini’s front doors.
Even though the three-door Mini EV and Mini ICE hatchbacks are based on entirely different architectures, they will both share the stripped-back interior that has been developed under Heilmer. Sources say the Mini’s circular speedo will survive as a touchscreen and other switchgear will be significantly reduced, including the axing of the BMW-style circular controller.
BMW and Mini EV line-up in India