Mini is charged up about its Frankfurt-bound all-electric Cooper concept

Mini told us an all-electric model was coming, and it looks like we’ll have our first teaser at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. The U.K. automaker announced it would debut the Mini Electric Concept ahead of a production model due in 2019.

Mini’s production EV will be a first for the brand, though it comes nearly a decade after the automaker field-tested a number of electric prototypes. In 2008, Mini released 600 Mini-E vehicles into the wild. The results of these tests inspired BMW’s i3, but Mini never received its own car.

In many ways, the inherent driving dynamics of an electric vehicle — quick off the line, low center of gravity, etc — mesh well with the small stature of all Mini models. “Mini and electrification make a perfect match,” quipped Harald Krüger, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG.

Mini’s first production steps towards its electrified future took shape within the Cooper S E Countryman All4, a plug-in hybrid version of the Countryman. Now the brand is going all-in with an urban-focused concept.

“The Mini Electric Concept is a quintessential Mini — compact, agile, simply the ideal companion for everyday driving. At the same time, it conveys a whole new take on the concept of sportiness,” remarked Adrian van Hooydonk, senior vice president of BMW Group Design.

Hooydonk focused on aerodynamics, precise lines, and striking accents with the Electric Concept. At the front, a hexagonal radiator grille (which has been sealed off) and circular LED headlights help identify the Mini heritage. Yellow accents and E badges give hint to the electric powertrain on board.

In profile, the car has a sleek, minimalist design that shares cues with the current generation Cooper, contrasted by stylized 19-inch wheels. At the rear, the Electric Concept has a wide stance. The taillights each form one half of the Union Jack with LEDs for a neat visual feature.

Without any details on the Mini Electric Concept’s powertrain, we’re left to assume this vehicle is more design study than anything else. Most likely, the production version will share components with the recently updated BMW i3 and will target an electric range in excess of 150 miles.

Cars

Startup Rivian exits stealth mode with a bold promise to electrify off-roaders

Electric car startup Rivian has finally turned off stealth mode and provided details about what it's been working on since 2009. It will build battery-powered off-roaders instead of taking on Tesla and others in the luxury EV segment.
Social Media

Build a wish list and shop videos with Instagram’s latest shopping update

Eyeing a product on Instagram? Now there are more ways to shop from the social network. Instagram just rolled out options to save products in a collection as users can also now shop from videos.
Cars

Our favorite fuel-efficient cars are as frugal as they are fun

You don't need to opt for a hybrid or an all-electric ride in order to achieve good fuel economy. These vehicles pack both performance and style, whether you're in the market for a luxury sedan or a game-changing pickup truck.
Cars

The DBX SUV will go where no Aston Martin has gone before

When it launches in 2019, the Aston Martin DBX will be the British automaker's first SUV. In the meantime, camouflaged DBX prototypes will undergo strenuous testing around the world.
Cars

Want to keep connected on the road? Here are 5 ways to add Bluetooth to your car

The best way to make an old ride feel young again is to bring it up speed with the 21st century. Here's how to properly add Bluetooth to your vehicle, via independent kits, vehicle adapters, or aftermarket head units.
Cars

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.
Cars

Jeep’s outdoorsy Gladiator pickup truck bares it all ahead of schedule

Jeep will introduce the long-promised Wrangler-based pickup truck at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Named Gladiator, the model was designed to conquer the great outdoors, not for the construction site.
Cars

The hamster-friendly 2020 Kia Soul will rock out at the Los Angeles Auto Show

Kia has released a teaser image to preview the next Soul. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Soul will keep the outgoing model's boxy proportions but it will wear a sharper design.
Cars

2020 Toyota Corolla sedan aims to offer sharper handling, better tech

The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan gets the same upgrades as the recently-introduced Corolla hatchback, including a firmer foundation, new engine, and more tech features. Will that be enough to keep the long-lived Corolla nameplate relevant?
Cars

Honda will squeeze another model into its SUV lineup at the Los Angeles show

Honda will introduce a new SUV with a familiar nameplate at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show. It envisioned the 2019 Passport as a five-seater alternative to the eight-seater Pilot. The two models will share a platform and many tech features.
Cars

Uber rolls out rewards program that lets its most loyal riders lock in prices

Uber launched a new loyalty program today called Uber Rewards. It offers frequent riders credits to Uber Eats, car upgrades, and the ability to lock in prices on their most traveled routes.
Cars

The world’s first 3D-printed titanium wheels are so intricate they look fake

HRE Performance Wheels and GE Additive have teamed up to create the world's first 3D-printed titanium wheels. They are not only impressively durable, but extremely lightweight as well.
Cars

Fisker failed. But now the EV pioneer is ready for an epic redo

Henrik Fisker has already had a career most executives can only dream about. He designed the BMZ Z8, a couple of Aston Martins, and his own Fisker Karma. But he’s got a plan to disrupt the auto industry, forged by lessons learned over the…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!