MINI not only released a new photos and details on the 2024 electric MINI this week but also invited a few European journalists to sample a development prototype a full 18 months before it’s launch. What they found was a car that was been comprehensively rethought to be electric from the ground up.
As always Autocar was there and has some interesting early impressions. Let’s start inside:
Inside, we got a peek behind the camouflage and saw that the new Mini takes inspiration from the Strip concept, with a much more minimalist design ethos. The aim is to reduce the design to what matters and rely less on chrome and stylistic flourishes.
If that sounds familiar it’s because we heard a preview of that design philosophy from Head of MINI Design Oliver Heilmer last year. The change will better align the modern MINI’s aesthetic to that of the 1958 classic Mini.
Autocar also confirmed the rumors we’ve been hearing that the new electric MINI will not have a gauge cluster and instead will rely on the massive center screen we previewed a few weeks back along with a heads-up display.
The centre console is dominated by a giant round touchscreen – in place of Mini’s traditional centre-mounted speedo – that controls almost all the climate functions as well as the infotainment system. It also takes over the function of the gauge cluster, which disappears in favour of a head-up display.
But how does it drive? Apparently MINI has been busy righting some of the wrongs of the current car:
On the move, the Mini is slightly quieter than before, while the suspension seems more settled, with less of the bounciness that afflicted the old car on some surfaces.
Behind the wheel, vehicle dynamics engineer Klaus Bramer agreed the electric power steering in the current car can feel slightly stodgy and said it will be improved on.
Autocar reports that traction is also improved given that the DSC unit is integrated into the motor itself allowing for reflexes that are impossible on a petrol powered car. The result is a reduction in understeer giving the car more neutral handling. This also has the additional benefit of reducing torque steer in the more powerful models.
While this early impression is just that, it provides a very positive look at what will be the most revolutionary MINI since perhaps the original.
The all new 2024 electric MINI will debut early next year and should hit dealers in the second half of 2023.