MINI Electric Concept Revealed Ahead of Frankfurt Motor Show

3 months ago by Mark Kane 15

MINI Electric Concept

It has a similar color pattern to the original Mini E electric car that saw low-volume production nearly a decade ago.

MINI is previewing its first volume all-electric production model through what it calls the Electric Concept, that will be unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. We’ll be on hand to capture live images of this concept as it hits the show floor.

MINI Electric Concept

There was no technical details given on the all-electric car ahead of its debut in Germany in a couple weeks.

The electric MINI is one of the smallest in the automaker’s lineup, as we believe it will ultimately share power-train and battery with the next generation i3.

The hexagonal front grille is closed in order to enhance the car’s aerodynamic properties, while the paint finish in Reflection Silver and Interchange Yellow is reminiscent of the MINI E from 2008.

The production version will be based on the MINI 3 door and is scheduled for 2019.

Production will take place in Oxford, UK, while the drivetrain will be produced at the Dingolfing and Landshut sites.

Let’s look at the MINI Electric Concept images:

MINI Electric Concept

MINI Electric Concept

MINI Electric Concept

MINI Electric Concept

MINI Electric Concept

Press blast:

THE MINI ELECTRIC CONCEPT.

  • 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.

MINI Electric Concept

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.

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.

MINI Electric Concept

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

“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.

MINI Electric Concept

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.

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.

MINI Electric Concept

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 "MINI Electric Concept Revealed Ahead of Frankfurt Motor Show"

  1. Bruce Nawrocki says:

    Not sure why they seem to be bragging about having an electric concept car 10 years ago, and after all that time has passed, today’s result is — wait for it — another electric concept car.

    1. Dan says:

      Umm, the original Mini-e technology became the BMW i3, which has consistently been in the top 3 electric cars in Europe.

      1. DurkleGT says:

        Sort of… the knowledge went into the ActiveE, then into the i3. That being said, an awful lot of the technology changed between those generations, and neither the brand new i3S nor Active E can match the range and power of the Mini from 10 years… hopefully they step it up with this new Mini, though I doubt they’d sell it with better specs than the i3.

    2. speculawyer says:

      Honestly, it does seem quite weird. If you had a fully functioning MINI EV 10 years and now show a concept…you seem stalled.

      OK, that 10 year ago car was a prototype with no back seat. But still.

  2. Someone out there says:

    I predict 80 miles of range from a 19 kWh battery and priced at $39k.
    Oh, it didn’t sell? I guess people don’t really want electric cars then?!

    1. ffbj says:

      Ouch! The truth hurts.

    2. speculawyer says:

      I’m sure it won’t be THAT bad but I wouldn’t have high expectations.

  3. Courtney vegan says:

    Love it. Now let’s see if they could get 200 miles out of that little mini.

  4. MTN Ranger says:

    As a Mini owner, I wish they would use the Clubman body since it would be large enough to house a decent size battery pack and room for five people. I don’t see this concept offering a 200+ mile range the market needs.

    1. speculawyer says:

      By what I understand, the MINI cars have pretty poor aerodynamics. Electrifying them may just not be a good idea.

  5. speculawyer says:

    *Looks at concept*

    I think Tesla is going to continue dominating the EV space.

  6. john Doe says:

    At the moment, the Renault Nissan alliance is in the lead (number of cars produced).
    By the end of the year that may change.. but until then..

  7. Captain Jack says:

    The tail light arrows are backwards! This is why graphic designers for concept autos shouldn’t have a Driver’s License.

    1. Jay Cole says:

      It is supposed to be the UK flag/Union Jack homage:

      “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”

  8. speculawyer says:

    The wheels look like spinning iPhones.

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