2019 MINI Electric Spotted Testing in the Alps

2019 MINI electric

When we last saw the 2019 MINI electric it was testing in the Arctic Circle covered in snow and camouflage. Now it would appear (thanks to Autocar) that the testing world tour has stopped in the Alps for some testing at altitude. Gone are some of the bits of camoflauge and in their place production wheels (16s?) and a cleaner look at what will likely be a non-functional grille.

2019 MINI electric

Those wheels are pretty interesting in that they harken back to an 80’s aesthetic that MINI has played with on and off for the past few years. The outer edges feature a wind-cheating inner lip that likely is intended to reduce drag and improve efficiency. They are in fact the exact asymmetrical wheels MINI previewed for us earlier this week. What’s particularly interesting for wheel nerds is that the typical plastic piece covering the lug nuts is covering a giant portion of the wheel due to the design. In these photos we can see that this is intact a production intended design.

2019 MINI electric

Given the details here, it’s clear that the final design has been signed off and what we will likely see in showrooms will be much less different from a standard F56 than the concept might have suggested.

MINI brand boss told Autocar earlier this year that the look will be toned down from the earlier concept because “Mini doesn’t need to make a big statement saying we want to be cool and electric any more”. Instead, the final production car’s design will mix the updated look of the 2018 Mini models with aerodynamic features of the concept.

Perhaps even more interesting is what we can see inside. We had assumed MINI would not make the trade-off for a larger batter pack by ditching the rear seats but we didn’t know for sure until these photos. You can clearly see rear seats in a few of these photos which means that MINI will be positioning this car as a fully featured MINI with all the utility you’d find in a normal F56.

The MINI Electric (final name TBD) will debut in about a year and will go on-sale in late 2019.

  • Mr Remi

    Hopefully it also comes with a manual transmission option. Would go perfectly with the grill. (Otherwise I won’t buy it.)

    Kidding aside, does anyone know if there will be storage space under the front hood (like a Tesla)? Or does it all need to be taken up by batteries in such a small car?

    • Great question. Unclear at the moment. It could be similiar to the original MINI E Or could go i3 in layout. The latter could be tough given the layout of the F56 chassis however.

    • WheelNut

      I guess we’ll see soon, but I doubt there will be any space under the hood. 1. This is a converted gasoline platform so the packaging isn’t optimized for an electric drivetrain. 2. Other vehicles in this category (besides the model 3) don’t have any under hood storage, so its not likely that Mini would have prioritized that feature during the design process

  • Nick Dawson

    The 2019 all-electric MINI is the fifth and final “Superhero” model in the F-series range, and will prolong the F-series life cycle until the fourth generation G-series MINI, the all-electric MINI Metro three model range, is launched in 2013/14.

    MINI is playing its cards close to its chest regarding the location of the electric motor in the 2019 MINI E, but I think it is inconceivable that the electric motor will be located other than in the front of the car, as was the case in the 2008 MINI E.

    Despite the 2019 all-electric MINI using essentially i3 technology, the electric motor in the i3 had to be rear mounted to accommodate the optional range extender twin-cylinder petrol engine, something the 2019 F-series MINI E doesn’t have to worry about.

    • WheelNut

      Rear drive would require a new rear suspension too, also front motor would allow for more efficient regenerative braking.

      • Nick Dawson

        Quite right. When BMW confirmed that the fifth and final “Superhero” MINI would be an all-electric version of the F56, it also stated that it would be a low budget operation in the “tens of thousands” – so the engineers will be changing as little as possible.

  • Nick Dawson

    By the way, the 2019 MINI E is a wholly developed BMW project, and should not be confused with the BMW and Great Wall Motor recently committed joint venture, “Spotlight Automotive Limited”. The establishment of the new company is still subject to approval from the relevant Chinese authorities.

    Assuming it is given final approval, Spotlight Automotive Limited, will share the joint development of an all-electric platform to underpin the next generation G-series MINI Metro for BMW, and an all-electric City Car for GWM. The first MINI in the three model MINI Metro range is due for launch in 2013.

  • Pat won

    Does the instrument cluster look like it’s going to be a screen like the i3, or the mini GP concept?

  • Gone are some of the bits of camoflauge and in their place production wheels (16s?)

    FWIW, in one of the pics on Autocar, it’s possible to read the tire size, which is 205/45/R17.