Mini‘s upcoming next-generation electric hatchback has been spied in production specification without any camouflage ahead of an expected launch in 2024.
It’s not the first time the electric Mini Cooper has been photographed undisguised, having been spied in China without any camouflage in late 2021.
As previously detailed, the electric Mini Cooper will be built by Great Wall Motor and be underpinned by the new Spotlight EV platform.
The unrelated combustion-powered Mini Cooper will continue to be built in Oxford in the UK. An updated version of this car is also expected to launch next year.
The electric Cooper reportedly has a wider track, shorter front overhang, larger wheels and longer wheelbase than the current three-door Mini Hatch, though it will remain 3.8m long.
The entry-level E variant will reportedly offer a 40kWh battery pack and a 135kW electric motor, whereas the SE will receive a larger 54kWh unit and a 160kW electric motor, with range of up to 386km.
That’s a big jump from the 233km figure of the current car, which also features a 135kW/270Nm electric motor and a 32.6kWh battery.
There are reportedly no plans for a dual-motor all-wheel drive variant, though a hot JCW version is coming.
It’ll reportedly arrive in mid-2025 with the larger 54kWh battery and potentially a more powerful electric motor with 186kW of power, and serve as a rival for the Abarth 500e and the Alpine version of the Renault 5.
Mini has developed a “soundtrack” for the next-generation EV, but Mini head Stefanie Wurst recently told Autocar it won’t use a Hans Zimmer-composed soundtrack as in recent BMW EVs. It’ll change based on the drive mode.
The company has also reportedly developed a new motor controller with the traction control system built in, said to improve handling.
While the electric Cooper’s exterior styling may be evolutionary, previous spied prototypes have shown the interior will see a more dramatic change.
There will be no instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, while the circular display in the centre stack will incorporate an edge-to-edge OLED display.
Mini is also reportedly focusing on physical switchgear, incorporating an actual ignition key even on electric models, and will employ “funky” projections of information like time and speed on the dashboard for passengers.
The last new Mini model with an internal-combustion engine will be released in 2025, and Mini says 50 per cent of its sales will be all-electric by 2027. Come 2030, every single Mini will be electric.
Based on previous updates from Mini, its next-generation model lineup will include the following cars:
- The Cooper three-door electric hatch, to be made in China in partnership with GWM.
- The Cooper three- and five-door petrol hatch, to be made in the UK.
- The Aceman electric crossover to be made in China in partnership with GWM.
- The Countryman SUV, grown up to take on the Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA with petrol and electric power.
- Another premium compact car in an as-yet unrevealed segment, potentially based on the Vision Urbanaut concept.
- A new Convertible, due in 2025.