We’ve spoke a lot about MINI moving to an all electric model line-up over the last year. MINI has even thrown some dates out; 2025 being the year the last new petrol powered MINI will be released and the “early” 2030s as the time period when MINI will stop selling petrol-powered cars altogether. But the reality is that MINI isn’t ready to give up on the internal combustion engine and will its next generation line-up between ICE and electric models.
It makes sense given that MINI and parent company BMW have been talking a lot about choice when it comes to drivetrains. While BMW has created the CLAR platform capable of electric, hybrid and ICE in one package, MINI’s product strategy is a bit more complex.
The Next Hatch to be Split Between Two Models
The F56 hatch will be produced for nearly ten years before it’s officially done. However much of that chassis will live on in its successor. The next generation internal combustion hatch will be heavily based on the F56 and will be made at Plant Oxford. Much like the transition between the R50 and the R56, key elements will be reengineered but much of the core structure will remain the same. This will allow for cost savings as BMW launches the parallel all electric MINI hatch designed on a completely separate platform and built in China by Great Wall Motors.
The petrol powered range will use an evolution of the current B48 engine range with mild-hybrid added to decrease CO2 and add performance. As we detailed in our recent preview of the next generation MINI Countryman, every petrol powered engine is a revision of an existing one. So things will look familiar but numbers will rise slightly. The 1.5 three cylinder which will be rated at 137 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque and then there’s a series of 2.0 four cylinder with varying tunes; 170 hp and 206 ft-lbs and 218 hp and 265 ft-lbs. All petrol engines will get a 48 volt mild hybrid system and will be mated to a revised 7-speed dual clutch with an all new gear selector design. Rumors point to the manual going away in many if not all variants.
The electric hatch will offering much more performance and range than the current Cooper SE If rumors are to be believe, MINI will make use of the Ora Kat’s single electric motor producing 169bhp and 184lb ft, (which results in a 0-31mph in 3.8sec) and come with driver assistance systems not seen in small cars before. It will also feature a range of around 250 miles in base form. That last number is identical to what we’ve heard from sources about the next generation MINI (although expect that to be closer to 200 miles on the EPA’s testing cycle). We’d also expect a Cooper S and even JCW variant with even greater performance.
Both of these cars will be similarly styles and will feature evolutionary exterior styling with a decidedly shorter from overhang.
Massive Leap In Technology & Infotainment
Here’s where things get really interesting. In the BMW version we’ll see the all-new BMW Operating System 8 debut. Note this is not called iDrive because the iDrive controller is gone in this application. We’d expect MINI to follow suit. In our minds it’s a step backwards given the data that points to a multi-function controller being safer to use while driving. And having tested the new BMW OS8 recently we can also say things have gotten much more complex in both functionality and usability.
Yet MINI has a history of going their own way in terms of infotainment so we expect an in-car experience that feels more intuitive and much more MINI. It’s unclear if MINI will carry over the two large screens seen above.
The Next Generation MINI Hatch Timeline
We believe the next generation internal combustion hatch and separate electric model should both debut sometime in late 2023. What models will be available at launch is a mystery as is the JCW sub-brand product strategy. It’s expected MINI will offer both petrol and electric JCW models but that launch might be staggered.