World Debut: Mini Electric Concept Live At Frankfurt Motor Show

4 days ago by Eric Loveday 15

Mini Electric Concept – Image Credit: InsideEVs

Set for production in 2019, we provide the first live look at the Mini Electric Concept straight from the show floor at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show before it opens to the wider press and public.

Mini has yet to provide full technical details on this electric concept car, but we do know the following bit of ever-so important information:

A production version of the MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT will be unveiled in 2019.

Mini Electric Concept – Image Credit: InsideEVs

Fans of Mini and electric vehicles,in general, will recall that Mini had a low-volume electric offering nearly ten years ago. It was called the Mini E and had quite the loyal following. This Mini Electric Concept builds upon the foundation laid by that early-day electric car. Even the paint finish of Reflection Silver and Interchange Yellow is reminiscent of the Mini E from 2008.

Bonus below:  Some shots of the wider BMW “plug-in show area” (its huge) in Germany for the 2017 IAA which opens to the press tomorrow

Never fear, Mini fans, the electric concept won’t stray from the basics upon which we’ve come to expect from the brand:

“With its characteristic go-kart feel and powerful electric motor, the MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT is great fun to drive while also being completely suitable for everyday use – and producing zero emissions to boot. That’s how we at MINI envisage electric mobility in tomorrow’s world,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad.

Mini Electric Concept – Image Credit: InsideEVs

Update: Some more shots live from the IAA floor now the event is open!

MINI Electric concept IAA 2017 (InsideEVs/Tom Moloughney)

MINI Electric concept IAA 2017 Tom Moloughney

MINI Electric concept IAA 2017 Tom Moloughney

MINI Electric concept IAA 2017 Tom Moloughney

We should have more technical details when Mini officially debuts the Electric Concept in the coming days.

For now, feast your eyes on these exclusive first pics.

Mini Electric Concept – Image Credit: InsideEVs

Full press blast on the new MINI Electric Concept can be found below – but first, an early look at BMW’s expansive 2017 IAA show stand for plug-in vehicles!

BMW 2017 IAA display (2018 BMW i3s shown)

BMW 2017 IAA stand (BMW i3s on display)

BMW iPerformance stand at the 2017 IAA

2018 BMW i3s from the 2017 IAA

Inside the BMW i3s (2017 IAA)

BMW i3s/BMW i8 from the 2017 IAA

BMW i3s (from the 2017 IAA)

BMW 225xe Active Tourer (2017 IAA)

BMW 5er Limo w/wireless charging

THE MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT.

Mini Electric Concept – Image Credit: InsideEVs

Debut of the MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT – fully-electric, iconic design and exciting driving dynamics +++ Taut, clean cut surfaces produce a minimalist impression +++ World premiere at IAA Cars 2017, Frankfurt, public display from Saturday 16th September +++ Production version will be unveiled in 2019 +++ Concept follows introduction of the first electrified production MINI, the MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid

Debut of the MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT – fully-electric, iconic design and exciting driving dynamics
Taut, clean cut surfaces produce a minimalist impression
World premiere at IAA Cars 2017, Frankfurt, public display from Saturday 16th September
Production version will be unveiled in 2019
Concept follows introduction of the first electrified production MINI, the MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid
Almost 10 years after MINI E laid the foundations for production-standard battery electric vehicles within the BMW Group, MINI is now offering a window on the future of urban electric mobility. With a focus on driving excitement and inspiring design, it moves the brand’s urban tradition into the electric age and in doing so spices up the conventional notion of electric mobility. A production version of the MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT will be unveiled in 2019.

The MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT will debut at IAA Cars 2017 in Frankfurt, and be on public display from Saturday 16th September. This debut follows the launch of the brand’s first ever electrified production model, the MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid earlier in 2017.

“The systematic electrification of the brand and product portfolio is a mainstay of the BMW Group’s NUMBER ONE > NEXT strategy. The MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT offers a thrilling preview of the all-electric production vehicle. MINI and electrification make a perfect match,” remarked Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.

An innovative, zero-emissions solution to the current challenges facing personal mobility, the MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT combines a drive system that is always quick off the mark with a precision-tuned suspension. The drivetrain and performance characteristics offer an enthralling drive on both city streets and country roads that is typical of the MINI product range.

Mini Electric Concept – Image Credit: InsideEVs

The perfectly streamlined design provides an optimal balance between agility and weight, enabling the MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT to offer a maximised range in combination with the brand’s unique driving dynamics.

“With its characteristic go-kart feel and powerful electric motor, the MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT is great fun to drive while also being completely suitable for everyday use – and producing zero emissions to boot. That’s how we at MINI envisage electric mobility in tomorrow’s world,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad.

MINI – blazing a trail for electric mobility at the BMW Group.

It has been nearly ten years since MINI took an important and pioneering step and laid the foundation for developing electric mobility to production standard at the BMW Group with the MINI E. Unveiled in 2008, the MINI E was the first all-electric car from the BMW Group to be driven by private users in everyday traffic conditions as part of an extensive field trial. Over 600 MINI E cars entered service worldwide for the field study which provided vital insights into the daily use of all-electric cars. The learnings from this trial were subsequently incorporated into the development of the BMW i3.

In spring 2017, the BMW Group presented the first ever production plug-in hybrid model from the British premium brand in the form of the MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid.

Since its UK launch in June 2017, the MINI Countryman Plugin-Hybrid has impressed customers with its combination of versatility, handling and the option of zero local emissions. The all-electric MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT ties in seamlessly with the story so far.

Unmistakably MINI – the design.

Mini Electric Concept – Image Credit: InsideEVs

“The MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT is a quintessential MINI – compact, agile, simply the perfect companion for everyday driving. At the same time, it conveys a whole new take on the concept of sportiness,” explained Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design.

“For aerodynamics and lightweight design aren’t just important in the world of motor sport; they are also essential factors for maximising the electric range. The surfaces furthermore have a sense of precision and contemporary clarity about them that gives added impact to the car’s efficient character. In addition to this, the striking accents and vivid contrasts give the exterior that distinctive MINI twist.”

The new MINI Electric concept is instantly recognisable from the front by its hexagonal radiator grille and circular headlights. Identifying features on the exterior include the contrasting silver and yellow colour scheme that is reminiscent of the earlier MINI E, as well as the distinctive E badge.

In addition, the radiator grille and front headlights have been reinterpreted to reflect the emission-free technology under the bonnet. As the electric drive unit does not require any cooling air, the radiator grille is closed for superior aerodynamics. An accent bar in Striking Yellow in the grille with an E badge in the same colour produces a powerful contrasting effect, which is echoed by the styling of the daytime running lights in the all-LED headlight assemblies. The front apron’s simulated “air intakes” are also sealed, yet they still include dark louvres that look like cooling fins.

All additional exterior design features have been specially developed to both highlight the dynamic driving character of the MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT while at the same time increasing its range with their optimised aerodynamics.

Mini Electric Concept – Image Credit: InsideEVs

Clearly moulded fibreglass add-on parts along the lower edge of the electric MINI concept serve to intensify the stylish MINI proportions. The car’s silhouette is composed of taut, clean-cut surfaces which produce a minimalist impression. Short overhangs and the characteristic MINI stance on the wheels instil the brand’s trademark dynamics. The paint finish is Reflection Silver – a matt liquid metal colour shade.

The technical appearance of the car’s sides has been softened with a series of material and colour highlights. An eye-catching E badge above the front wheel is another defining feature to highlight the electric power source. Its shiny finish within the otherwise matt exterior paintwork creates different effects depending on how it catches the light. The interplay between matt and high-gloss surfaces within a shared colour scheme results in a modern look. As well as the badge in the radiator grille, the exterior mirror caps also sport MINI E badges. Colour gradients incorporated into both the side skirts and roof using the accent colour, Striking Yellow, create a unique side profile. The roof goes from matt white to high-gloss yellow, while the yellow finish of the side skirts fades at the top until becoming transparent so that it appears to merge into the body colour. The colour transitions give the car a lighter, fresher and more sophisticated presence while the new Striking Yellow shade provides a new take on the classic yellow colour for the electric MINI.

MINI Electric Concept
From the back the new MINI electric concept is still recognisable as a distinctive MINI design, with a side sporty stance. The top section is dominated by clear surfaces, and takes on a far more dynamic aspect the nearer it gets to the road.

MINI’s familiar approach of cascading, where the car’s volume steadily increases from the top down, creates broad and athletic shoulders. The rear light assemblies constitute yet another standout visual feature and provide a clear pointer to the car’s British roots: framed within the classic MINI outline, they each form one half of the Union Jack as an LED dot matrix

Further down, in the rear apron there are more aerodynamic elements similar to those at the front, including air deflectors and a fibreglass diffuser. These reinforce the car’s efficient dynamism on both a visual and a functional level. There is also a yellow accent stripe that provides a striking colour contrast while also announcing the presence of an electric drive system from the rear, something which is further underlined by the lack of exhaust pipes and the dark louvred surfaces in the simulated air outlets.

Innovative 3D printing.

The aerodynamic inlays were made using a 3D printing process and echo the fibreglass structure of the air deflectors. The recessed louvred surfaces in the air intakes were also produced using a 3D printing method. These two elements emphasise the lightweight and ground-breaking character of the MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT, while at the same time illustrating the opportunities offered by 3D printing in terms of producing small-run or individually personalised parts.

Destined for production.

Sophisticated and efficiently dynamic, the MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT encapsulates MINI’s near-term vision of an all-electric car designed for modern urban mobility. A production version of the MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT will be unveiled in 2019.

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15 responses to "World Debut: Mini Electric Concept Live At Frankfurt Motor Show"

  1. mxs says:

    Yes, we need more numbers/specs etc.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Definitely will be coming, we just got into the 2017 IAA a day ahead of the press days…so figured we would pass along the live shots of the new MINI EV (and the wider BMW floor area)

      1. mxs says:

        Appreciated. This is one of the cars on my list …. I hope BMW really does come through.

  2. VazzedUp says:

    “A production version of the MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT will be unveiled in 2019”

    So maybe available in 2019 but probably 2020?

    Nice looking car, but dang thats slow going.

  3. mx says:

    Wish they’d build the 225 Active Tourer at the i3 factory, with carbon fiber, that would really juice performance.

  4. Vexar says:

    I like the Union Jack tail lights, that’s pretty swank. The go-cart comment is a little deflating.

    1. mxs says:

      Why?? I gather you don’t have one, otherwise you would have completely understood and approved?

    2. John says:

      Not Union Jack, I think those are arrows pointing to the hatch.

    3. 3laine says:

      Go-Kart, as in nimble handling. Very common comparison for all hardtop MINIs. Perhaps you’re thinking they meant “goLF cart” which is sometimes used as a derogatory comparison to EVs?

      1. Vexar says:

        I understand the term now. Thanks everyone. It does not reach me, however. Go-karts are for kids, in my experience. Underpowered, loud, break easily, think Disney’s Autopia.

        1. John Doe says:

          You’ve been driving the wrong gocarts 😊.
          You have to test the fast ones, where you have to sign a document (can not blame the company).
          They feel very much like a smaller Ariel Atom.

  5. pjwood1 says:

    Seeing: A grill, rockers and some neon.

    1. Ben says:

      Where is a grill?
      Since many many years almost every front of well designed cars represents faces of animals fitting to its proportions, which creates emotions and interpretations… cute, bad, strong, dangerous… Every car has eyes and a mouth, somehow it just would look weird without. Minis as example are frogs. BMWs are eagles, cats, sharks for sedans or bears for the x, lamborghinis are snakes, Teslas are somewhere between ducks and snakes, thats why i dont like it. A cars facial expression is actually very important, thats why the mouth (grill) will always be there in some way

  6. Zhao says:

    I’m glad to see mini coming out with one, but the looks doesn’t do anything for me. Why the ugly socket looking wheels, or the East Asian looking lights. This car makes my father’s i3 look better. To give it a fair look, I’ll wait to make a final thought when it comes out and whether this car will replace my 15 year-old BMW ICE burner. Thanks for the update.

  7. Tom Harriss says:

    Love the idea, although this concept looks unattractive.
    Would only buy a convertible version, which I don’t think they are producing.

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