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.
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