After multiple spy shots of its next vehicles, MINI has now provided further details about the Cooper-branded completely electric three-door hatchback that will debut in 2024. The EV and its ICE-powered sibling will be offered together, however the platforms for the two vehicles are anticipated to differ.
We previously knew that Spotlight Automotive, a joint venture between Great Wall Motors and the BMW Group, had created an EV-specific design for the new MINI. A single electric motor will provide 181 horsepower (135 kW/184 PS) in ordinary form and 215 horsepower (160 kW/218 PS) in the SE model. A JWC hot hatch with even more horsepower is also expected to be released in the future.
There will be two distinct battery sizes, each having a capacity of 40 kWh and 54 kWh, giving an electric range of at least 240 miles (386 km). The aforementioned specifications are an upgrade over the previous MINI Cooper SE's 181 horsepower (135 kW/184 PS) and 144 miles (235 km) of range from a 32.6 kWh battery.
According to a batch of leaked images from December 2021 and the subsequent spy photographs of disguised prototypes, we already have a sense of the external styling of the MINI Cooper EV. The vehicle maintains the small footprint and three-door bodystyle of its predecessors while continuing the progressive stylistic approach. It has larger oval-shaped headlamps, wider tracks, a somewhat longer wheelbase, and shorter overhangs than the outgoing model.
A bigger free-standing spherical OLED touchscreen situated in the middle of the dashboard will enhance the interior of the next MINI. While the majority of functions will be integrated into the infotainment screen, there will also be physical controls on the center console and steering wheel, as well as a conventional ignition key, which is said to be available for both ICE and EV variants. The sophisticated head-up display of the new Cooper EV is set to replace the outdated traditional digital instrument cluster of the current generation, boosting the interior's minimalist design. Anticipate sustainable and animal-free upholstery alternatives that will eventually be available for the whole MINI series.
A recent report says that manufacturing of the next MINI Cooper EV may go to Oxford, UK, alongside the ICE-powered variants, contrary to earlier speculation that it will be manufactured in Jiangsu, China. Although it has not yet been verified, the BMW Group is said to be about to make a public statement.
The next-generation ICE-powered MINI, which will be built on an advancement of the present model's FAAR design and have no mechanical link to the EV, will have similar bodyshells, with the only visible difference being the inclusion of a tailpipe, according to UK media. If this is the case, then the disguised prototypes that have shown in our espionage reports for the past two years have been equipped with temporary bodyworks that were also used by their forerunners.
According to MINI CEO Stefanie Wurst, the new Cooper EV will cost over £30,000 ($35,500). Ahead of its ICE-powered equivalent, which will follow in July 2024, the new model will make its premiere in May 2024. In addition to the compact hatchbacks, MINI is also working on the next-generation Countryman SUV, which will go on sale in February 2024, and the Aceman, an all-electric vehicle that will follow in 2025.