Next Electric MINI to Have Its Own Platform, Likely Bigger Battery

The next-generation MINI Cooper is coming and, just like the current model, it will be available with a choice of internal combustion or electric power.

The difference this time is that the car has been developed to offer an electric variant from the outset. In fact, the latter will ride on a completely distinct architecture resulting from a collaboration between BMW Group and China’s Great Wall Motors.

Production will take place at a Chinese plant, while the conventionally powered hatchbacks will still come from the Oxford factory in the U.K.

Right now, MINI is conducting winter tests in Northern Sweden in order to really put the electric powertrain through its paces. The company says the snow-covered roads and specially prepared areas on frozen lakes also serve as ideal test tracks on which the characteristics of the drive, steering and chassis can be very sensitively tested and refined.

Obviously, having a specific platform gives engineers more freedom to incorporate the various components. Rumour has it that the high-tension battery’s capacity will increase from 32.6 kWh to around 50 kWh, which would substantially improve an EV range that’s currently rated at just 183 kilometres.

As for the design, the prototype you see here retains thick camouflage, but the new MINI was caught undisguised last December during another round of tests in China. Other than the shorter front overhang and more muscular fenders, we saw updated headlights, a cleaner-looking front fascia, a panoramic roof up top and trapeze-shaped taillights connected by a thick black bar where the model’s name is found.

Inside, the round interface housing the centre touchscreen appeared to be larger and detached from the dashboard, and there were fewer controls underneath (although the classic MINI toggle switches remained). Interestingly, the instrument panel behind the steering wheel was nowhere to be found, leaving just a small head-up display in front of the driver.

Photo: MINI

An official reveal later in 2022 is entirely possible, but the new MINI won’t enter production until sometime in the first half of 2023, according to a few sources. It will likely launch in Canada as a 2024 model.

By the way, the next-gen MINI Countryman should arrive at about the same time and it will also offer ICE and EV variants (not just a PHEV model like it does now). What’s more, a concept foreshadowing the introduction of a new crossover, possibly reviving the Paceman name, will be shown in the months to come.

Share on Facebook

More on the subject

New ModelsThis is the Next-Gen MINI Cooper You Weren’t Supposed to See
Fresh from a significant update for the 2022 model year, the MINI Cooper is already looking at the next generation. Camouflaged prototypes have been spotted on a few occasions, but this time the car has been fully exposed. To be clear, we’re still talking about a prototype (of what appears …
Test Drives2022 MINI Cooper: Refreshed and More Mature
The MINI is an electrifying little car, especially in John Cooper Works trim. And since 2020 it’s just plain electric, what with the addition of the zero-emission Cooper SE . It’s a major shift for a brand so steeped in history, yet only the beginning: the last model with a …
BuzzSpectre Type 10: A Very Unique Mini Restomod Made in Canada
Honda -powered MINIs have been part of the automotive landscape for a while now. The swap isn’t quick and easy, but it is definitely logical and brings an efficient and powerful mill that lasts under the hood of a classic that will never go out of style. Vancouver-based Spectre Vehicle …
NewsLast Gasoline-powered MINI to be Built in 2025
At the BMW Group Annual Conference today, Chairman Oliver Zipse announced that MINI will be the first BMW Group brand to go fully electric. More specifically, the automaker will release the last model with a combustion-engine variant in 2025. By the early 2030s, MINI will be exclusively fully electric. It’s …
NewsMINI Stops Making Manual Cars, Jacks up Prices for 2023
There’s not a week that goes by without hearing about some automaker that has to make tough choices due to parts shortages. This time it’s MINI . Blaming supply chain-related issues, the company has decided to temporarily stop building cars equipped with a manual transmission, prioritizing production of automatic models …
ElectricMINI Aceman Concept Foreshadows Super-Cool EV Crossover
The new MINI EV concept we’ve been promised for 2022 made its debut on Tuesday night. It’s called Aceman (not to be confused with the late Paceman ) and it looks more like a design study than a pre-production model. This cool and colourful crossover presents a new design language …
ElectricMINI Cooper SE Convertible Debuts as Euro-Only Electric Droptop
Following last year’s concept, MINI today introduced a production-ready Cooper SE Convertible as a limited-edition model. Just 999 units will be built, all of which are earmarked for Europe. The brand’s first electric droptop features the same powertrain as the hardtop we already know, delivering 181 horsepower and drawing energy …