Mini to become EV brand?

Mini has just taken the covers off an electric version of its Hardtop, but in a few short years the entire lineup could be fitted exclusively with electric powertrains.

Automobile reported Tuesday that managers at parent company BMW Group have cancelled plans to offer internal-combustion engines in the next-generation Mini family. Instead, the cars are said to be developed as dedicated EVs.

According to the report, the electric Minis will be based on a skateboard-style platform housing an electric motor at the front axle and packing battery sizes ranging from 35-50 kilowatt-hours. The lineup is also reported to be pruned to include replacements for the Hardtop and Countryman along with a new downsized Mini. The downsized Mini was reported only a month ago to be a production version 2011’s Rocketman Concept.

BMW Group last year signed a letter of intent with Great Wall Motors to jointly develop and manufacture electric Minis in China. Timing wasn’t mentioned, though rumors point to a 2022 or 2023 arrival for the first of the jointly developed Minis.

What isn’t clear is whether Minis will continue to be built outside of China. There’s the possibility BMW Group follows Daimler’s strategy for Smart, which has also been transformed into an EV brand. Daimler in March signed an agreement with Geely to jointly develop and manufacture future Smart cars exclusively in China. Stay tuned.


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