The coming facelift isn’t the only news from our sources this week. According to those in the know about the plans, MINI intends to introduce a mild hybrid version of the B48 four cylinder on some models in the near future.
What is a mild hybrid what would that do to MINIs? The system BMW and MINI are looking to use is known as mild because it is comprised only of a 48v electrical system, a dedicated battery and a starter generator specific to this system. The system relies on brake energy recuperation, which is stored in that dedicated battery. That powers the starter generator and ultimately the car in certain scenarios.
What that means in the real world is much smoother auto stop-start transitions and more efficient coasting (BMW with a similar system do this up to 99 mph). But perhaps most interesting to many of us is the additional performance. BMW’s just released mild hybrid system can produce an extra 11 hp for short periods of time.
The other obvious benefit is economy with this set-up intended offer a reduction in CO2 and improved MPG.
Mild Hybrid Release Timing
Timing is still a bit hazy as our sources originally believed the system would debut with the next generation MINI. However with that car being pushed back to 2023 we are now hearing MINI intends to release this technology sooner rather than later. Will it coincide with the upcoming 2021 facelift for the F55, F56 and F57? It would make a lot of sense as MINI is both trying to inject new life into an aging model and decrease BMW’s corporate CO2 average. However there are size contraints in the smaller MINIs that may not be overcome until the full redesign in 2023. Instead could MINI bypass those models initially and debut the technology in the larger Clubman and Countryman?
The mild hybrid system will slot under the plug-in and the full electric offerings for MINI in regards to the electrification hierarchy. Ultimately we expect all petrol powered MINIs to have some form of mild or plug-in hybrid.