BMW has been refining its interpretation of the Mini formula for over 20 years and even the very latest model owes a lot to the design of the original reimagined model launched in 2000. And the same can be said of the upcoming all-new model, which was just teased in electric three-door guise, revealing a very evolutionary approach to its design.
If you look closely, you will notice that even though it looks the same, it’s a completely different vehicle with a different stance and revised proportions. The wheels look like they have been pushed towards the corners of the vehicle even more, the windscreen is more slanted and the stance appears wider (with more muscular flanks to match).
When it comes to the design of the front end fascia, we can’t quite tell whether it retains the current model’s basic grille design, but it looks very similar in shape to the one on the recently facelifted Mini hatch. And the same can be said of the rear, which just looks like a tweaked version of what you get in the current model.
Gallery: MINI Cooper SE 2023
For non-car people, this new Mini, which is expected to debut in 2023, will probably seem identical to the old one, unless you park them alongside one another in order to spot the differences.
Regarding the interior, we were not given a peek inside, but we’re pretty sure we can see a tablet-like screen placed atop the center of the dash, like in most modern cars. Mini is expected to push its models upmarket, even though it is completely giving up on animal-sourced leather, so we should expect the new model to be more luxurious than the one it’s set to replace.
The manufacturer also recently stated that
Starting as early as 2023, MINI is presenting a new generation of all-electric models. Two of the models developed from the ground up for pure electric mobility are being produced in China. Local production offers MINI optimised opportunities as a provider to participate more extensively than before in the dynamic growth in the Chinese automotive market. From 2023, the successor to the current MINI Countryman will be built at the BMW Group Plant Leipzig, powered by an electrified drive and with a combustion engine.
All other MINI models will be produced at the MINI Plant Oxford, which remains the heart of MINI production. The United Kingdom will continue to be the home of the MINI brand.
In other words, the electric version of the Mini hatch will be built in China on a different platform jointly developed by Mini with Great Wall Motor; the latter will also handle production. An older report that has yet to be suggested that Mini is, in fact, developing two separate hatchback models of different sizes and there seems to be more to it because the manufacturer recently announced that
The future core portfolio of electric cars will include the MINI 3-door and a crossover model in both the small-car and in the premium compact segment. The brand’s small-car models and a crossover model in the premium compact segment also provide a parallel choice powered by conventional combustion engines.
It could be that Mini is just referring to its two new crossover models, not two separate hatchbacks - the phrasing leaves room for interpretation, but it would confirm the rumor that two models of different sizes are being developed to be sold alongside. Mini has plans to grow its lineup, and even though having two hatchbacks doesn't really sound like a good idea when most buyers are looking for crossovers, so we'll have to wait and see; the manufacturer will still offer three- and five-door versions of the next-gen hatch.
Mini chose an electric version of the new model to tease us with, hinting at the fact that electrification will unsurprisingly play a bigger part in the future lineup than it does today. The current Cooper SE is one of the most fun to drive electric vehicles on the market, but it has a very low range that leaves it trailing behind rivals like the new Fiat 500e or upcoming Chinese rivals bound for Europe, such as the Ora Cat.