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BMW reveals Mini Electric Concept previewing 2019 production car

Jordan Katsianis
13 Sep 2017

BMW's Mini Electric Concept previews a series production EV due in 2019

Cast your mind back to the late 2000s when EVs were considered little more than a fad and you may remember the Mini E. We drove a prototype of the electric Mini that was conceived as an experimental and development car for research into electrified drivetrain platforms. Almost a decade on, Mini is finally having another go at an EV with the Mini Electric Concept – displayed at the Frankfurt motor show – and this time, it will make it to showroom floors in 2019.

Previewed in the form of this snappily-named Mini Electric Concept, the forthcoming production electric Mini will apparently utilise similar drivetrain components to the recently updated BMW i3. This means it could use a 33kWh battery pack attached to a 170bhp electric motor, which should be good for an on-paper range of around 190 miles. In the current i3, BMW estimates a more conservative real-world range of around 125 miles, although this will obviously depend on driving style and conditions.

> Click here for more on the updated BMW i3 and new i3s

 

For now though, this concept is as close as we will get before seeing the real thing, with Mini designers keen to differentiate the E from its more traditionally powered siblings. The concept uses the same basic body-shell as the standard car but differentiates the Electric Concept with a blocked-in grille and some dramatic aero additions. The lights front and rear have also been redesigned, the rears donning a union jack treatment that looks worryingly production viable.

The production car will likely mirror some of these elements as well as some of the new styling details we expect to see on a facelifted conventional Mini when it is launched next year. To be built at the Cowley plant in Oxford, the electric Mini is likely to diversify the appeal of the electric car and might even attract buyers of traditional IC powered Minis.

> Click here for our review of the Tesla Model S

On the back of the new i3s, a car that could almost constitute being the world’s first (pure) electric hot hatch, would a Mini running the same drivetrain add to the marque or erode some of the fun-loving appeal that has been the cornerstone of the modern Mini? We think it will all be down to the way that it drives, but we will need to wait a little while longer to answer that question.

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