AWD Mini Plug-In Hybrid Expected In 2015

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 14

2014 Minis - These Aren't Plug-Ins

2014 Minis – These Aren’t Plug-Ins

On several occasions, we’ve presented the case for the plug-in hybrid Mini.

BMW i8 Cutaway

BMW i8

2015 Mini Cooper Gets Revealed – Plug-In Hybrid Version in the Works

Mini Re-Confirms Plug-In is Coming

Mini Cooper Gets BMW i8 Engine – Plug in Hybrid Mini Takes Shape

2014 Mini Cooper Gets Priced as Low as $19,950 – How Much Will the PHEV Version Cost

But wait, there’s even more to add to the PHEV Mini story.

As Motoring File reported:

“Sources have been telling us for more than a year to expect something special in the drivetrain of the next generation MINI Clubman. More recently, we’ve had a high-level source confirm that the Clubman will indeed see all-wheel drive in at least one configuration. What we didn’t realize was that both sources were actually saying the same thing. When MINI releases the 2016 Clubman next year, we believe they will also introduce the brand’s first hybrid model…”

So, the plug-in hybrid Mini won’t be a Cooper, but rather a Clubman.

Makes sense to us as this allows Mini the space to package the plug-in components without eliminating the rear seats.

The PHEV Mini Clubman is slated to get the same powertrain as the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer:

  • Plug in version will likely feature a a 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged (borrowed from the BMW i8) engine with a “high-performance” electric motor (likely borrowed from the BMW i3) and a lithium-ion battery.
  • This setup will crank out somewhere in the neighborhood of 190 hp, which will propel the production vehicle from 0 to 60 mph in 7 seconds.
  • Top speed will be approximately 125 mph.

We suspect that the Mini Clubman PHEV will have 15 to 20 miles of electric-only range, which isn’t brag worthy, but the fact that it will have both BMW i8 and BMW i3 bits within is something we’re sure future Mini Clubman PHEV owners will be thrilled to know.

When will this AWD Mini Clubman PHEV arrive?  Word is that it’ll debut when the next-gen Clubman does in the second half of 2015.

Automotive News‘ BMW launch timeline (shown below) doesn’t mention the PHEV Clubman, but the article by Automotive News titled “Mini: Many variants to join the lineup,” states the following:

“An electric vehicle or a hybrid may also come in 2015.”

An Electric Or PHEV "May" Come In 2015

An Electric Or PHEV “May” Come In 2015

So, all indications are that Mini will get some sort of plug-in vehicle (likely an AWD Mini Clubman PHEV) in 2015.  Let the waiting game begin.

Source: Automotive News

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14 responses to "AWD Mini Plug-In Hybrid Expected In 2015"

  1. Jaime says:

    Attention, in 2017 say “i5 debut?”.

    1. DaveMart says:

      The 5 series is pretty much the gold standard for drivers cars, fairly roomy without the bulk of the luxo-barges like the 7 series.

      I expect BMW to make every effort to keep it that way in the i5 whenever it arrives, and to avoid the somewhat eccentric styling of the i3.

      For that reason I don’t think they will bring one out until they have better batteries capable of 130-150 miles on the EPA at reasonable weight, whether that is in 2017 or 2018.

      Two motors for front and rear would be good, but we will just have to wait to see what the BMW engineers come up with.

      1. Makes Sense says:

        I agree with you. Although, I think they can produce an i5 with 200+ mi range now with current tech. If you start with the i3 as the base weight, ~2700 lbs, there’s room to grow. The 5-series weighs 3500 +/-300 lbs depending on options. If you go with that as a reasonable weight, that leaves up to 1100 lbs for the i5 to grow into, which is plenty for increased dimensions and battery capacity. I think the real issue is the current price of batteries. To get the i5 into 200+ mi range then you’re at 7-series/Model S price levels. So maybe by 2017 BMWs projections indicate $/kWh decrease to acceptable ranges. It would make sense if you think about it… Chevy, Tesla, Nissan… their new lower priced 200+ mi range EVs are all to debut around 2017.. coincidence perhaps.. but probably not

  2. Doug B says:

    Need to do much better than 20 mile EV range. Would have to at least best the current Volt to get new customers into a Mini.

    1. A 40-50 mile (60-80 km) plug-in range shoud be at least an optional offering. This range only requires ~10 kWh of battery capacity.

      By enabling the 30-40 mile (50-65 km) daily commutes, enough gas will be save to justify battery option in few years. A smaller 10-20 mile (15-25 km) range will require some expensive gas miles each day, lengthing period to lower net costs.

      A relationship between PEV range and rate of sales growth has been evident over the last year, or so … the 40-120 mile (60-200 km) range being strongest.

  3. JRMW says:

    Looks like BMW is really stepping up to the plate! the i3, i8, and now a Mini PHEV. It’s great to get more options.

    Like others, I find 20 mile AER to be disappointing. However, I’m overjoyed about the AWD

    Can’t believe that the Outlander PHEV is the only AWD option out there. (and it’s not even available in the US).

    But things really change the next year with the AWD Cayenne, Mini, BMW X5, Volvo XC90, Tesla S, and hopefully Tesla X.

    Mini will be attractive particularly as it’ll be the only semi-affordable AWD car option, and it has a name badge people really like.

    I was thinking that the Outlander PHEV would be the only viable option for me. But now I have some choices. And that’s a good thing.

    1. JP White says:

      I agree. The Germans, while late to the EV party are making up for lost ground. VW have 5 plug-ins, BMW will shortly have 3.

  4. JRMW says:

    it’ll be interesting to see how they do the AWD.
    I’ve read elsewhere that they will do a RWD electric motor and pair it with a FWD ICE motor.

    Interesting if that is how they eventually structure this car.

  5. tedfredrick says:

    I like the Mini but fear the trunk will not exist

  6. mrenergyczar says:

    If it had 35 mile range with AWD it would be on a lot of people’s radar. I think there is only one AWD plug-in for sale. The i8….

    1. lol, mrenergyczar, did you sleep through the Tesla D announcement?

      3 variations from Tesla no less.

      I’m most impressed by the efficiency gains.

      1. Makes Sense says:

        Key word “for sale”… Elon’s D isn’t for sale yet. 😉

        But.. Mitsubishi confirming PHEV versions of the CUV and Full-size SUV… that should rile things up a bit as long as they make it to US shores.. not sure when the Outlander is making it over. Last I recall there were delays due to mods required to meet US regs.

        1. Spec9 says:

          The Tesla D is indeed for sale. I don’t know when deliveries begin but you can go to the web site and buy one.

  7. Spec9 says:

    For get those models .. . build the MINI Superleggera Vision. It is a moral imperative.