MINI has sent us first details and images of its MINI Electric Concept, of which there will be a production version in 2019, ahead of its reveal at the Frankfurt Motorshow in a couple of weeks, .
Following on from the launch of the MINI Countryman Cooper S E PHEV earlier this year and prior to that, the MINI E hatch trials dating back to 2008, this concept is designed to show what the production version that will be built at the Oxford Plant could look like.
Plus, as part of the BMW Group’s NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy, which is basically a systematic electrification of the brand, this concept is also expected to demonstrate how the MINI brand and electrification are the perfect match.
As such, like the standard models, the MINI electric concept is designed to focus on driving excitement and inspiring design.
Outside, the inspirational design can be seen as the basic shape of the MINI electric concept is instantly recognisable as a current-generation MINI hatch.
From the front, there’s the characteristic hexagonal shape where the traditional radiator grille used to be, together with circular headlights, which have been reinterpreted to reflect the emission-free technology powering this car. To take your eyes off of the fact this MINI doesn’t have a grille there’s an accent bar in Striking Yellow, with an E badge in the same colour to give contrast.
Then there are the new all-LED headlight assemblies. Those ‘air intakes’ on the front apron are also sealed, yet they still have dark louvres that look like cooling fins.
Other identifying features of the MINI electric concept’s exterior include the contrasting matt Reflection Silver and Striking Yellow roof colour scheme, that looks white in some lights and similar to the earlier MINI E. You won’t miss the distinctive E badge picked out in gloss on the A-panels and the front of the doors and the non-MINI flush door handles either.
Other exterior design features unique to the MINI electric concept are produced by innovative 3D printing, such as the front air dam and side skirts with their cut-outs smoothing airflow over the car and optimising the aerodynamics. There are distinctive ‘three-spoke’ wheels too.
Despite the smoothed rear, the new MINI electric concept is still recognisable as a current-generation hatch with its sporty stance although the rear light assemblies, which each form one half of the Union Jack as an LED dot matrix, are yet another standout visual feature and provide a clear pointer to the car’s British roots.
Senior Vice President BMW Group Design Adrian van Hooydonk said of the MINI electric concept: “The MINI electric concept is a quintessential MINI – compact, agile, simply the perfect companion for everyday driving. At the same time, it conveys a whole new take on the concept of sportiness.”
MINI have given no details on the MINI electric concept’s interior power plant, or what performance we can expect of this new version of the current hatch. Business Car Manager, will give you more details of this all-electric challenger when we have them.