BMW has provided a glimpse of the motoring future in the form of the Mini Electric Concept, which will debut in public at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
This is by no means the first electric Mini, given that 600 Mini Es existed as part of a big study nearly a decade ago (the findings of which were used for the i3), but BMW’s Mini Electric Concept will be the first to go all the way.
The Electric Mini Concept will be British-built at BMW’s gigantic Oxford plant and is designed to be ‘a window on the future of urban electric mobility, which is easily the least sexy way of describing how we will get around in years to come.
An all-electric Mini is hardly surprising, especially now that the UK Government wants the combustion engine dead (and sooner than you may think) and BMW has already pushed hard into electric with the i3 and i8. Then there is the fact Mini’s Countryman can now be had as a plug-in hybrid.
BMW will be showing off the Mini Electric Concept at the IAA Cars 2017 show in Frankfurt, with the public debut on the 16th of September. Here is what we have learned, as well as official photos of what it looks like.
Mini Electric Concept: The design
There is no way you could mistake the Mini Electric Concept for anything but the German interpretation of the Mini, but it is more quirky than usual. Quite predictably, it has trademark circular headlights, but the usually open grille is closed because electric motors require less cooling.
To ensure everyone can see it coming from a mile away, Mini has use an unusual paintjob comprised Reflection Silver with Striking Yellow and white accents and it works rather well. There is also a roof painted in a white to yellow gradient.
An ‘E’ badge on the grille tells people exactly what it is, while some of the strangest-looking alloys ever to grace a car maintain the attention the Mini craves.
At the back, meanwhile, are rear lights of the LED Matrix variety with a Union Jack design, in case anyone was unsure of the original Mini’s heritage, as well as air deflectors and a fibreglass diffuser to further help with aerodynamics.
Mini Electric Concept: The running gear
Yeah, about that. Mini is yet to release absolutely any details of the Electric Concept, which means we can only speculate how powerful or fast it would be. At least we can tell you the parts for the motor, gearbox and battery pack will be produced in old Blighty.
That is, of course, hardly surprising given that 60 per cent of 360,000 Minis made every year are built at BMW’s gigantic Oxford Mini factory.
Absolutely no information or photos of the interior have been released either, but it is safe to assume some sort of touchscreen infotainment display and lots of quirky buttons and switches will be present, like you get in the production Mini.
Mini Electric Concept: Will it reach production?
BMW says it will be unveiling the production version of the Mini Electric Concept in 2019, which means it could be on sale before or during the year 2020.
“With its characteristic go-kart feel and powerful electric motor, the Mini Electric Concept is great fun to drive while also being completely suitable for everyday use – and producing zero emissions to boot,” commented BMW AG board member, Peter Schwarzenbauer. “That’s how we at MINI envisage electric mobility in tomorrow’s world.”