MINI has released a pair of design sketches as an early preview of the brand’s first fully-electric production model, which is set to make its debut in 2019. The first sketches of the production model coincides with the MINI Electric Concept making its UK debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018.
Following on from the MINI E pilot project ten years ago and the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 plug-in hybrid model on sale since 2017, the first fully-electric MINI represents the next stage in the electrification of the MINI brand and reflects the BMW Group’s NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy.
“MINI is an urban brand and the fully-electric MINI the logical next step into the future,” says Oliver Heilmer, Head of MINI Design. “These initial sketches for the fully electrified MINI outline our vision of authentic design creating a bridge between the history of the brand and its electric future.”
The sketches show the car’s grille. Its hexagonal form is a signature MINI design element, but the closed-off interpretation is new. Behind the grille, cooling elements are conspicuous by their absence – which means the grille can stay closed and therefore improve airflow. A yellow accent bar with an E badge in the same colour produces a contrasting effect and identifies this as an electric MINI. The second sketch shows the wheel design of the fully-electric MINI, which has been carried over from the MINI Electric Concept – unveiled for the first time last year – into the production model. The wheels take the motif of the accent bar on the radiator grille and add their own asymmetrical twist.
The BMW Group announced the development of a battery electric MINI production vehicle in July 2017. The first of these large-scale produced MINIs with battery-electric drivetrains will be available from 2019 – exactly 60 years after the launch of the classic Mini.
The electric drivetrain will be built at the BMW Group’s e-mobility centre at Plants Dingolfing and Landshut in Bavaria before being integrated into the car at Plant Oxford, which is the main production location for the MINI 3-Door Hatch.