The drip-feed for the next-generation Mini Hatch and Mini Countryman continues, with the German-owned British marque previewing various elements of its upcoming electric car family.

    Dubbed Charismatic Simplicity, the company’s new design direction that incorporates a “reduced design language that focuses on the essentials”.

    “Sustainable materials are another essential part of the new design language,” the brand adds in its media release.

    In this announcement, Mini confirms a new rounded OLED infotainment display, sustainably-sourced materials, and aero-optimised wheel designs.

    While not featured in the accompanying imagery, the new OLED touch display measures 240mm (9.4in) in diameter, and incorporate both the instrument cluster and the infotainment system.

    Mini says it’s the first time a vehicle manufacturer has offered a “touch display with fully usable round surface”, which will serve as the latest interpretation of the Mini’s trademark rounded central instrument display.

    Beyond instrument cluster and infotainment functions, occupants will use the minimalistic interface to also toggle climate functions – yet another manufacturer moving to touch-based HVAC switchgear.

    “With the purist dashboard as a stage for the circular central display, Mini continues the traditional design heritage of the classic Mini,” the company says, indicating the dashboard will feature not much else other than the new display.

    Mini has also revealed its new steering wheel design as well as one of the “range” of seat trims that will be made available in the new Mini Hatch and Countryman.

    The standard steering wheel will come with a two-spoke design, while the “optional version adds a distinctive fabric finish as a third element in addition to a sporty geometry” – the third spoke appears to be a fabric strap.

    A new range of “high-quality and sustainable” materials will be employed throughout the cabin of the new Mini range, including “a variety of materials and colours as well as innovative textile designs”.

    Mini says Vibrant Silver will be a “recurring colour accent, adding a special touch with its shimmering metallic appearance”.

    New seat upholsteries will team new colours and patterns with classic design elements like a houndstooth pattern, which the company says “builds a bridge from the past to the future”. New laminated side panels for said seats will also form part of the new design catalogue.

    Rounding out the design announcement – literally – are “completely redesigned” alloy wheel designs.

    Mini says the new range of rims will “no longer focus on the sculptural nature of the spoke structure, but on a graphic design characterised by strong colour contrasts”, which is claimed to create an illusion of size, further emphasised by a recurring theme of “outward-pointing spokes”.

    The company adds that the new pared-back, two-dimensional wheel design “contributes to improved aerodynamic qualities and increased range”.

    Not sure about you, but the golden design on the camouflaged next-gen Mini Countryman has a bit of BMW XM about it…

    The new-generation Mini Hatch and Mini Countryman will offer both E and SE versions of their respective all-electric variants.

    In Hatch guise, the Cooper E gets a 40.7kWh battery while the top-spec Cooper SE gets a 54.2kWh unit. Mini says this gives the new electric hatchback a “predicted range between 300 and 400 kilometres“, a marked step-up from the 233km (WLTP) offered by the current model’s 32.6kWh battery.

    The Countryman, meanwhile, will draw upon the related BMW iX1’s underpinnings and offer single-motor 140kW Countryman E and dual-motor 230kW Countryman SE – the latter being the first all-wheel drive Mini EV.

    Both versions of the electric Mini Countryman will feature a 64.7kWh battery pack, with an estimated range of “around 450 kilometres“.

    The all-new Mini Hatch and Mini Countryman are expected to be revealed in the coming months, with production of the SUV scheduled to commence at BMW’s Leipzig plant in Germany from 2023 – the hatch will be made in China.

    BMW Group Plant Leipzig currently is in charge of assembling the bulk of the brand’s compact models, including the 1 Series and 2 Series, but has also produced the likes of the E90 3 Series, all-electric i3, and the plug-in hybrid i8 supercar.

    Mini has also confirmed the new Mini Aceman, a new electric crossover that will sit between the Hatch and Countryman in the line-up, “will complete the new model family from 2024 onwards”.

    We haven’t seen the production version in full as yet, but it was previewed by the Concept Aceman show car in 2022, featuring a strong preview of the design elements covered here.

    Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest, and share your thoughts below!

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    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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