Mini Dances the Electric Cooperloo in Frankfurt with Reveal of Mini Electric Concept Car
In advance of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, Mini has confirmed that it is planning to launch an electric car in 2019, for the 2020 model year. But this won’t be the automaker’s first foray into electric vehicles.
Back in 2008, BMW Group’s Mini leased, in limited quantities, a Mini E, which was based on the second-generation Cooper. That car served as a field study, ultimately culminating in the BMW i3.
Now, Mini is returning to electric cars. First out of the chute is the plug-in hybrid version of the new Countryman crossover SUV. Long-windedly dubbed the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4, it offers no more than 12 miles of projected range.
While Mini can’t yet drop the mic based on this dubious achievement, the Countryman is a start on the company’s path to electrification. Undoubtedly, however, what Mini needs is a pure electric vehicle.
At the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the company will display the Mini Electric Concept car, which points the way toward its future production EV.
Details are almost non-existent. Mini promises “iconic design” and retention of the brand’s “customary go-kart feeling.” According to Mini, its new electric car will combine compact size and a powerful electric motor with agile handling and “a sublimely judged suspension.” Aerodynamics will be a focus, too, in order to maximize driving range on the highway.
The Frankfurt concept car’s color scheme contrasts Reflection Silver matte liquid metal paint with yellow accents, similar to the original Mini E. Closed grille and sealed air intakes reflect the fact that the drivetrain requires little in the way of cooling air, while the dark 19-in. wheels feature 3D-printed aerodynamic inlays. Around back, the LED taillight patterns each form one half of the classic Union Jack flag.
Mini did not reveal anything about the car’s interior, technology, or other details. With that said, the design is clearly modeled upon the Cooper Hardtop, and it will almost certainly need to deliver 200 miles of range if it arrives for 2020.
If it can’t hit that benchmark, well, it won’t be any more competitive than the Countryman plug-in.
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