Mini has sold bold plans about its future model range, but it’s not letting go of the current line-up just yet.
A version of the current Mini Hatch, built on a heavily modified version of the existing car’s UKL1 platform, is expected to soldier on alongside the new electric Mini we’ve seen pictured in China undisguised.
This platform is currently used in the BMW 1 Series, 2 Series Gran Coupe, outgoing X1, and current X2, as well as the Mini Countryman and Clubman. The petrol Mini will be built in the UK, like the existing Mini Hatch.
The electric Mini, on the other hand, will be built as part of a joint venture between BMW and Great Wall Motor (GWM) at a plant in Jiangsu province, China.
The petrol Mini retains the fundamental F56-generation styling with its bubbly, rounded hatchback silhouette and familiar tail lights with its Union Jack lighting signature.
This being the JCW, you can see two chunky exhaust pipes poking through the diffuser. It rides on bigger wheels than the other prototypes we’ve spotted previously, too.
Powertrains are expected to carry over from the current generation Mini. Currently, the Mini Hatch powertrain lineup consists of a selection of turbocharged three- and four-cylinder engines. The JCW packs 170kW and 320Nm.
We’ve yet to see the interior of the petrol Mini, but the electric Mini has a strikingly minimalist dashboard with a fabric cover and a leatherette strap on the passenger’s side.
Its steering wheel has just two spokes, and ahead of the driver is a head-up display instead of the digital binnacle.
It’s uncertain if the petrol-powered Mini Hatch will receive this head-up display, as a digital driver’s binnacle only recently became standard across the range.
In the centre of the dashboard is a large free-standing circular slab for the infotainment system with edge-to-edge glass. Underneath there’s a small elliptical pod with a line of physical knobs and switches.