We’re getting closer to an all electric MINI. While this is good news for some, it means that the Superleggera and Rocketman (both deeply loved concepts within the MINI community) are likely to be shelved. The confirmation comes from BMW Board member Peter Schwarzenbauer during an interview with Autocar. The

Schwarzenbauer wouldn’t confirm what sort of model the electric car would be, but he did say it would be a version of an existing Mini rather than an all-new car.

The 2019 launch date is significant, because Schwarzenbauer said there would have been a breakthrough in battery technology by then to allow the model to be far more usable than existing electric cars.

“It’s completely new technology,” said Schwarzenbauer. “It’s the next step in battery tech. We chose to launch in 2019 as this is when we will see the technology.” He added he believes electric technology is the perfect fit for the Mini brand because of its urban roots.

Schwarzenbauer admitted that the decision to make the electric car the fifth Mini ‘superhero’ model made the “likelihood of doing [the Rocketman and Superleggera] a little bit less now”. He added: “The focus is on the all-electric Mini”, but did not formally rule them out of ever making production.

Much of this echoes some of the conversations we’ve had with MINI insiders as well. When we asked what to expect at the recent Countryman premier, we got big grins and the promise of “something cool. Something very cool.”