The auto show rumour mill has been running full steam these past few weeks, and its latest prediction is MINI will preview its forthcoming all-electric model this fall at the Frankfurt auto show.
MINI’s parent company, BMW, has already confirmed the British brand will start producing its first battery-electric model in 2019, based on the iconic Cooper hatchback.
The addition of an electric model will give MINI a full range of powertrain options, in addition to gasoline, diesel and, most recently, hybrids: the company just began selling a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of its Countryman compact crossover.
BMW says the electric MINI’s powertrain will be manufactured at the German factories that crank out the hybrid systems used in the BMW 5 and 7 Series models, but will then be shipped to the UK to be installed in cars rolling off MINI’s existing assembly line in Oxfordshire.
While this will be MINI’s first crack at a mass-market electric car, the brand isn’t without experience in battery-powered vehicles: in 2009, it built a small number of electric Coopers to see how a typical owner would use an EV.
BMW says an electric MINI is an early step that will lead to electrified vehicles (meaning fully electric or hybrids) accounting for anywhere from 15 to 25 percent of all BMW group sales by 2025. Next year, BMW will add a roadster variant of its i8 hybrid sports car, an electric X3 crossover in 2020, and an electric crossover with level 3 autonomy called iNext in 2021.
(via BMW and Autocar)