Automotive

Mini hints at its battery-powered future with the Electric Concept

The Mini Electric Concept will debut in Frankfurt at IAA 2017
The Mini Electric Concept will debut in Frankfurt at IAA 2017
View 12 Images
The new Mini Electric Concept will debut in September 
1/12
The new Mini Electric Concept will debut in September 
The Union Jack motif is neatly integrated into the rear lights 
2/12
The Union Jack motif is neatly integrated into the rear lights 
Mini has closed up the grille on the Electric Concept 
3/12
Mini has closed up the grille on the Electric Concept 
The Mini Electric Concept will debut in Frankfurt at IAA 2017
4/12
The Mini Electric Concept will debut in Frankfurt at IAA 2017
The lime green highlights on the Mini Electric Concept are designed to reiterate its eco-credentials 
5/12
The lime green highlights on the Mini Electric Concept are designed to reiterate its eco-credentials 
There's no doubt it's a Mini,  but the Electric Concept has some clever show-car touches, too
6/12
There's no doubt it's a Mini,  but the Electric Concept has some clever show-car touches, too
The decals on the Mini Electric Concept are all designed to prove it's a working EV 
7/12
The decals on the Mini Electric Concept are all designed to prove it's a working EV 
The Mini Electric Concept points toward the electric future of the brand 
8/12
The Mini Electric Concept points toward the electric future of the brand 
The aero-inserts on the wheels of the Mini Electric Concept are 3D-printed 
9/12
The aero-inserts on the wheels of the Mini Electric Concept are 3D-printed 
The grille on the Mini Electric Concept is closed up to improve the car's aerodynamics
10/12
The grille on the Mini Electric Concept is closed up to improve the car's aerodynamics
The Mini Electric Concept 
11/12
The Mini Electric Concept 
The Mini Electric Concept 
12/12
The Mini Electric Concept 

Mini has been playing a long game with its electric vehicle plans. The company dipped its toe into the water with plug-in hybrids and electric teasers, but we don't have a clear picture of how a proper battery-electric Mini would look. It isn't a production reality yet, but the Mini Electric Concept provides some pretty strong pointers.

OK, so it still doesn't provide any powertrain clues, but the electric vehicle-specific touches on the Mini Electric Concept give us a few hints as to what the production version will look like. Without a hungry engine to cool, the radiator grille has been covered over for better aerodynamics, and its shape has been traced in lime green as a hint at the green credentials of its powertrain.

The details are still mostly Mini Cooper but small changes – things like the reworked daytime running lights and matte silver paintwork, along with a few choice decals – make for a showier, more interesting design. Although they're unlikely to make production, we're big fans of the Union Jack motif worked into the brake lights.

There's no doubt it's a Mini,  but the Electric Concept has some clever show-car touches, too
There's no doubt it's a Mini,  but the Electric Concept has some clever show-car touches, too

Those dark 19-inch wheels are another difference between the Electric Concept and regular Minis. Their shape is similar to that of the older Mini JCW GP, but they're a bit smarter, thanks to 3D-printed air deflectors designed to mimic the shape of the vents on the exterior. Speaking of the vents, their louvered shape is also the result of 3D-printing.

The electric Mini Cooper won't be the first electric car to come from Mini – that was the Mini E – but it will be the first series production model. When it launched in 2008, the Mini E was more of a rolling science experiment. Around 600 were built, before being handed over to real-world users for real-world testing. Lots of the information from the trials was subsequently integrated into the design of the BMW i3.

When it lands in 2019, the new Mini EV will be a fully-fledged production car. Here's hoping it still drives like a Mini, albeit a cleaner and quieter one. The concept will be on show at next month's Frankfurt Motor Show.

Source: BMW

2 comments
vince
As a Mini Cooper Convertible owner for decades this thing is hideous. No thanks. I'll stick with my gas model if it's going to look like this toy.
DavidB
I owned and loved driving an '03 Cooper S for over ten years, but the interior finish—materials and quality—was never its strong point. Neither was power, even with the supercharger: my '14 Fiat 500e has better acceleration and handles corners every bit as well. No, with the MINI, it was all about the car's good looks, but subsequent years have not been kind to the exterior aesthetics. Throw in the astronomical prices, and MINI just isn't a car that grabs me, any more. Yes, I'm interested in seeing their production EV's specs—range, charge time, DCFC capability, and so on—but I'll bet it's going to have a base price of more than $40,000(US), which will make it more expensive than a Tesla 3, and you wouldn't be getting access to Tesla's growing charging network. Smells like a compliancy car, to me, MINI. So, it's a big "yes" to EVs, but probably "meh" to this one.
Thanks for reading our articles. Please consider subscribing to New Atlas Plus.
By doing so you will be supporting independent journalism, plus you will get the benefits of a faster, ad-free experience.