The 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show was a significant one for MINI, as not only did it mark 20 years since the original MINI R50 project debuted as a styling study, but it also marked the world premiere of the MINI Electric Concept – a car that the BMW-owned brand says will be central to its future plans.
The first all-electric MINI is expected to roll off the production line at MINI’s Plant Oxford next year. Meantime, here’s what we know so far about the car that will be leading the brand’s charge into the future.
When does the Electric MINI go on sale?
While there’s no official on-sale date, the MINI Electric is scheduled to begin production in 2019. Pre-production cars have already been spotted undergoing testing in the Oxfordshire countryside, suggesting that it’s launch will be sooner rather than later. Our best bet is that a production version is revealed at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, with sales starting mid-2019.
What will its range be?
The MINI Electric is expected to share a lot of its electric propulsion technology with the BMW i3, which – in electric-only guise – currently has a range of 125 miles. However, EV technology is evolving all the time, and the MINI Electric is also smaller than the i3, so we’d expect to see a pure electric range closer to 200 miles by the time it goes on sale.
What power and performance does it promise?
Again, the goalposts of EV performance are consistently moving, but with MINI’s brand pillars being performance and driver excitement, it won’t be a slouch. Indeed, with the EV drivetrain’s instant torque, you can expect the MINI Electric to accelerate as quickly as, if not more quickly than, the MINI Cooper S. We expect it to be one of the most exciting and engaging EVs to drive.
Will it look different to a normal MINI?
While it will have styling differences that mark it out as different, the MINI Electric will retain the model’s iconic silhouette. The concept vehicle goes without the MINI’s trademark grey wheelarches and body cladding in favour of one-piece mouldings, which are more aerodynamic and carry less weight. But at the same time, it retains distinctive features such as the models distinctive Union Jack tail lights.
How much will it cost?
It’s difficult to predict exactly how much the MINI Electric will cost, but by definition it should be cheaper than the £30,000 i3. A Volkswagen e-Golf is £27,500, so we think the MINI Electric will have a price tag of around £25,000 when it arrives in showrooms next year.
Will there be other electric MINIs?
Yes. BMW makes no secret of the fact that electric power is a significant part of the company’s future, and that applies to both the MINI and BMW brands, including BMW motorcycles. The MINI Electric is just the start, with EV versions of the Clubman and Countryman expected to follow.