- Mini has shown off its next generation of Cooper and Countryman models ahead of a hands-on reveal at IAA Munich next week.
- This is the first time the Countryman will get an all-electric powertrain, while the new Cooper Electric gets a much improved range over the outgoing model.
- Interestingly, the Electric Mini range will be built in China and exported globally, whilst the combustion option will continue to be built at the company’s Oxford factory.
Mini continues its all-electric transition
Mini has revealed the all-new, electric version of its Cooper hatchback, also unveiling the next generation Countryman SUV – which will be available with a fully-electric powertrain for the first time.
The Cooper maintains the compact, short-overhang proportions of its predecessor. It’s also cheaper than the outgoing electric version of the Mini, with prices set to start at £30,000 for the ‘Cooper E’ – compared to the current model’s £32,625 price tag.
The new model also blitzes the current model’s relatively low 145 mile range, which was kept low to keep weight down and maintain that go-kart handling synonymous with the Mini range. The Cooper E ups that to 190 miles, while a more expensive SE, which will start at around £35,000, will pack an impressive 250 miles between charges. That’s better than similarly-sized electric rivals such as the Fiat 500e, which manages a 200 mile range.
The Cooper SE also ups the power to 218hp, which will help propel the car from 0-62mph in an impressive 6.7 seconds. An all-electric John Cooper Works model is reportedly in the works too, and judging by the SE’s performance figures, this could end up being a serious rival for electric hot hatches such as the MG4 EV XPOWER.
The all-new Countryman was also revealed, and with an increased size over the outgoing model, this makes it the largest Mini ever produced. In electric Countryman E form, this will offer a decent 287 miles of range, and a 201hp electric motor that offers up 0-62mph in 8.6 seconds.
Both models use a new central circular OLED screen, co-developed with Samsung. This doubles as both the speedometer and a screen for music and sat-nav, much like the solution seen on EVs like the Tesla Model 3. Much to the delight of many however, the cars will retain physical steering wheel buttons and several physical buttons below the display.
Electric production in China
Both new models will also be available with internal combustion engines. Interestingly, the electric models will be built by Great Wall Motor within China, to be exported into Europe.
Internal-combustion-engine (ICE) models will continue to be built at the company’s Cowley factory in the UK, though that leaves a question mark as to the future of the factory – particularly as the sale of new ICE passenger cars is set to be banned by 2030 within the UK.
However, it has been reported that BMW is in talks with the UK government regarding the Cowley factory. This could include retooling the factory to support production of electric Minis in the future. We’ll be watching these developments closely.
“The continued high demand for our locally emission-free vehicles confirms our path to a fully electric future. It demonstrates the openness of our global MINI community to electric mobility, and I am confident that the new generation of MINI models will inspire even more people. Thanks to our electrified go-kart feeling, an immersive user experience and a responsible attitude, the new MINI family is tailor made for urban target groups all around the world.”
Stefanie Wurst, Head of MINI Brand