MINI has proven true recent rumours it would show a concept of its forthcoming all-electric model next month at the Frankfurt auto show.
Unsurprisingly, or uncreatively, named the MINI Electric Concept, the show car gives us the first clues to what the first all-battery MINI will look like when it goes into production two years from now.
The BMW-owned brand also says the concept is “a window into how pure electric day-to-day mobility might look in the years ahead,” at least in the context of the driver-focused subcompact hatchback at the heart of the brand’s lineup.
MINI says the concept’s design makes it obvious the car is electric, at least compared to the company’s more conventional models. Key among the styling cues is a closed grille that favours aerodynamics, along with yellow trim that’s echoed on the roof and mirror caps. The front end design also incorporates faux air intakes MINI says add “technical flair” to the car’s appearance.
As a nod to what the future of car manufacturing might bring, elements of those simulated air intakes and aerodynamic inlays in the asymmetrical wheels were created using 3D printing techniques.
MINI hasn’t revealed anything about the concept’s powertrain, which suggests to us that aspect of the car’s design won’t be locked in until much closer to the production version’s launch in a couple of years.
However, given recent advances in EV tech – the Chevrolet Bolt can do 285 km on a charge, for example – we expect MINI’s first EV will be capable of covering more than 300 km at a go.
The MINI Electric Concept follows the recent introduction of the brand’s first hybrid model, a plug-in version of the Countryman crossover. The all-electric MINI will follow a roadster version of the BMW i8 hybrid and appear just ahead of a battery-powered X3 SUV. BMW says electrified vehicles will account for as much as a quarter of its sales by 2025.