MINI has been very busy this winter. With an entirely new family around the corner, MINI has been honing the next generation of cars with a focus on the new electric hatch and the electric and ICE Countryman. And now it’s time for MINI to officially show off the progress on the new car and give us a glimpse into the future of the brand’s most important product. And from the photos and the info released, there’s a lot to digest about this new, smaller MINI.
For years now we’ve we’ve detailed everything from design to tech to performance on the next generation MINI models. Now we have even more official answers that define details of the new direction for the brand. Starting in 2023, MINI will be releasing a new generation of cars and crossovers with a focus on all electrification. Made in the UK, a revised F56 with internal combustion (ICE) is sticking around for another ten years (as is the manual transmission) but the focus for MINI is on electrification across the line-up. This will start with an all new electric MINI hatch made in China and be immediately followed by an all electric Countryman (made in Germany).
The new electric MINI hatch is currently undergoing its driving dynamics tests at the BMW Group’s winter test centre in Arjeplog, Sweden. With this winter testing in Sweden, the new electric hatch is completing some of its final calibration. According to MINI, the electric drivetrain, high-voltage battery, power electronics and charging technology of the prototypes are already showing a high degree of maturity at extreme temperatures below freezing. And the snow-covered roads and specially prepared areas on frozen lakes also serve as ideal test tracks refining the steering and chassis with the goal to harmonize with each other.
Co-developed with GWM and BMW and built in China, the electric hatch will point to the future of the brand in many ways. While some angles may look like an evolution, under the skin and inside the cabin things have been completely revolutionized.
Why is MINI collaborating with a Chinese company to build the new electric hatch?
Transitioning to electric is incredibly expensive and BMW doesn’t have a similar product to help defray the enormous cost. GWM has the need for that platform and experience in bringing small electric cars to market. Since that platform is essentially a skateboard, there’s enormous freedom in design that MINI has had in creating this new car. One benefit is size – this new electric MINI is closer to the R50 generation that the previous two cars. It also has allowed MINI to shrink the car while maintaining the interior volume and typical MINI proportions that define the brand.
A dedicated electric platform (which the current electric MINI is decidedly not) also allows for much greater design efficiencies when it comes to range and performance. Because of that we expect range to at least double and be well over 200 miles with 0-60 times to be in the 5s for the Cooper S variant.
“MINI is on a path of growth and heading towards a fully electric future. Our iconic MINI 3-door, maximizes the experience for our customers through its electrified go-kart feeling combined with digitalized touchpoints – and a clear focus on sustainability with a minimal environmental footprint.”Stefanie Wurst, Head of the MINI brand
The Next Generation Countryman to be Both Electric and Petrol Powered
While this release is all about the hatch, the next generation Countryman is also coming next year. Unlike the hatch it will be based on a BMW platform (FAAR) and will debut with both an internal combustion engine and a fully electric drive. In fact we’ll see a concept study of a crossover model that will point to this car and give us a sneak peek of the new technology that will power the in-car experience.
2024 Electric MINI Hatch – Launch Dates
Given the speed of development we’ve seen over the past 12 months, we expect the all electric MINI hatch to be unveiled as early as the first quarter of 2023. Our sources point to sales starting sometime in the second half of 2023 globally. The heavily revised F56 petrol powered MINI won’t be far behind and should see a debut next year.
2023 New Electric MINI Photo Gallery
The new MINI family is doing its warm-up laps – and that works best on ice and snow in the bitter cold of the Arctic Circle. The new MINI is currently undergoing its driving dynamics tests at the BMW Group’s winter test centre in Arjeplog, Sweden. The new edition of the MINI is fully electric and is now completing a major chapter in its series development process with the winter testing in Sweden. The electric drivetrain, high-voltage battery, power electronics and charging technology of the prototypes are already demonstrating their high degree of maturity at extreme temperatures below freezing. Snow-covered roads and specially prepared areas on frozen lakes also serve as ideal test tracks on which the characteristics of the drive, steering and chassis can be very sensitively tested, refined and harmonised with each other.
MINI is launching its fifth generation with the MINI 3-door as the first model of the new MINI family once again. With its vehicle concept geared to fully electric driving fun from the outset, the new edition of the original is ideally suited to deliver inspiring hallmark MINI agility and the creative use of space, which guarantees plenty of room inside and a small footprint.
The new MINI 3-door is supplemented in the new MINI family by the successor to the current MINI Countryman. The new edition of the top seller in the premium compact segment will be offered with both an internal combustion engine and a fully electric drive. Still this year, MINI will present the concept study of a crossover model for the premium small car segment.
The new MINI 3-door consistently continues the
concept of urban driving fun that has been
successful for more than 60 years. This will be
implemented even more puristically and
sustainably in the future. This becomes
particularly clear in the design of the classic body
variant. Electrification offers designers the
opportunity to think fundamentally differently
and creates new starting points for the hallmark
MINI combination of individual style, attention to detail, a sense of tradition and a passion for innovation. The design of the new MINI harks back to its unique history, uses the latest technology and creates a maximum of emotions combined with a minimal footprint.