2019 Mini electric details revealed

A company backed by Nest co-founder Tony Fadell is taking Andy Rubin's startup to court.


Mini trusts its first series production electric model, which is presently being tested in prototype form in the Arctic Circle, marks a pivotal point in its history because it directly links to the core values for which Mini was created. At the Mini launch in Brussels, brand boss Sebastian Mackensen said he has faith in the Mini Electric is the car that Alec Issigonis, who was answerable for the original Mini, would have created had he been alive today. “We always joke and say if Issigonis would develop the Mini today, it would certainly be an electric car,” said Mackensen. “It is the answer to current challenges, as the original Mini was in 1959.” The car, first showed by the Mini Electric concept of 2017, is experiencing cold weather testing, where the mechanisms and range of a growth mule based on the pre-facelift Mini is being examined in sub-zero conditions. Its handling is also being measured in these tremendously slippery conditions; Mackensen has confidently predicted that the Mini EV will actually handle more like the original Mini due to its lower center of gravity.

“We always talk about go-kart feeling and probably the electric Mini will bring that to another level,” he said. “The torque and the responsiveness, combined with the low center of weight – it will stick to the ground even more [than the combustion-engined car.” Although the car’s range is not yet confirmed, the latest i3 of Mini parental BMW offers clues about what’s possible using the group’s electric expertise. The i3 uses a synchronous electric motor delivering up to 181bhp and 270Nm while offering up to 300 kilometres of range, according to NEDC tests. Mini is undecided whether other variants of the electric hatchback, which will be based on the 3-door body shape, will be launched in the 1st gen. Reliability crossways the brand’s line-up suggests a Cooper model could follow, but Mackensen said finding the balance between performance and range was the first significance.

He suggested the design of the Mini Electric will be toned down from the concept because “Mini does not required to make a big declaration saying we want to be cool and electric any more”. Instead, the final manufacture car’s design will mix the updated look of the 2018 Mini models with aerodynamic features of the concept. These contain veins that channel air around the body and a grille-less nose, as well as an air extractor slot behind the front wheel – related to the one featured on the BMW 8 Series concept. The electric Mini concept also has a more deeply sculpted body side and a neat consumption with a tiny spoiler in front of the rear wheel. Mini exterior design boss Christopher Weil mentioned to this as the “efficiency layer” at the concepts disclose last year.