The historic British brand belonging to the German group BMW, MINI recently launched its first production electric car: the MINI Cooper SE. A battery-powered version of the popular third-generation MINI Hatch 3-door. However, this will not be the only electric MINI that we will see in the short term.
Peter Schwarzenbauer, a member of the BMW Board of Management and head of the MINI brand, stated at the time that the anti-pollution restrictions that will be imposed in large cities around the world throughout the decade will force MINI to transform itself. Such as being able to offer electric cars by 2030 exclusively.
“For MINI, the plug-in hybrid Countryman was the first step. It is working much better than originally expected and shows that electrification is the way to go MINI. Step by step, we will electrify the entire MINI range, which fits perfectly with the brand’s philosophy. If there is an automobile firm that can be called urban, it is MINI. In this transition period, it will be important to have thermal models, but beyond 2030 this will change. The clear trend is to become fully electric.”
All MINI vehicles currently sit on BMW’s modular platforms UKL1 (MINI Hatch 3-Door, MINI Hatch 5-Door, and MINI Convertible) and UKL2 (MINI Clubman and MINI Countryman) for front-wheel drive vehicles. However, the next models of the brand will be based on the FAAR platform, also designed for front-wheel-drive models, but designed for thermal, hybrid, and electric vehicles from the beginning.
We have already seen that in the coming years, all models in the MINI range will have electric versions, thanks to BMW’s ambitious electrification plans. However, this evolution will be accompanied by a complete reconfiguration of the range of the English manufacturer, which will win new models and see others transform. In fact, the company plans to make the John Cooper Works sports versions electric in the medium term.
MINI Rocketman: The next generation of the MINI Hatch 3-door will decrease in size thanks to its exclusively electric mechanical configuration, renaming itself as the MINI Rocketman. This shrinkage will allow MINI to compete again in segment A (urban) against the newly released FIAT 500 electric.
MINI Hatch: The 5-door version of the MINI will maintain its current size to continue competing in the B segment (utility), in which the 3-door bodies have almost completely disappeared due to their lower practicality. Unlike the Rocketman, the Hatch will continue to be offered in the conventional engine vehicles, and it will have 100% electric versions.
MINI Clubman: today this model is a premium C-segment model (compact) such as an Audi A3, a BMW 1 Series, or a Mercedes-Benz A-Class; it differs from these more current proposals by camouflaging its compact nature under the guise of a MINI with a natural body. However, its width and wheelbase give it away: it is not a ranch version of the MINI Hatch, but a completely different model. For its next-generation, MINI is studying to increase the size of the Clubman and convert it into an SUV to gain sales in markets like the United States. It is probably derived from the BMW X1, while its electric version will take the mechanical organs of the iX1.
MINI Countryman: This B-segment SUV is one of the best-selling MINI models today. However, the transformation of the Clubman into an SUV could lead to a change in size in the Countryman to differentiate them. While the Clubman could be around 4.30 meters long, the Countryman could decrease to approximately 4.10 meters (for the moment, there is nothing confirmed). Whereas before we have indicated that the Clubman could derive from the BMW X1, the Countryman could do the same with the MINI Hatch, from which it will take the mechanics in its electric versions.
MINI Roadster: Between 2011 and 2015, MINI sold the Coupé and Roadster models, each two-seater derived from the second generation of the MINI Hatch. On the other hand, in 2014, the MINI Superleggera Vision prototype was presented, an elegant sports car called to replace the Roadster whose arrival on the market, was finally canceled. However, internal sources of MINI indicate that the brand could have taken up the project intending to develop a rival for the Mazda MX-5. The disappearance of the MINI Cabrio would also allow the automaker to offer this model without overlaps within its range. On the other hand, Andreas Lampka, head of communications at MINI, recently stated that this “rear-wheel drive” model might “not necessarily need a combustion engine.” In other words, it will be a 100% electric sports car.