With the wraps coming off of the BMW Vision iNext Concept, MINI has updated us on the forthcoming all electric MINI hatch on timing and production. But more interesting, there’s a statement buried in that Vision iNext release that points towards future MINI models, with a flexible architecture.
First a quick recap. In July 2017 the BMW Group announced that the new, fully-electric MINI would be launched as a variant of the MINI 3 door. Production of the all-electric MINI hatch will begin in late 2019. The US market should see deliveries in early 2020. Pricing and specifications are all TBD.
The drivetrain of the fully-electric MINI will be produced at BMW Group Plants Dingolfing and Landshut in Germany. Why there and not Oxford? much like engines being built in dedicated plants now, these two facilities are known as the the competence centres for electric mobility within the company’s production network. The drivetrain will then be integrated into the car at BMW Group Plant Oxford. Why Oxford? Simply because that’s where MINI makes most of the 3 door hatches currently.
However much more interesting to us is this statement: “in the future, MINI customers will be able to choose from three different drive types: combustion engine, plug-in hybrid or pure-electric motor.
This single sentence confirmed what we’ve heard for the past year. MINI (along with BMW) will move to a flexible vehicle architecture that will allow all models to be offered with either an internal combustion engine (ICE), hybrid powertrain or fully electric. That means that (theoretically) a customer could choose the model and then separately a drivetrain.
We wouldn’t expect such a dramatic shift until MINI moves to an entirely new architecture around 2022 – 2023.