Say hello to the new electric MINIWed, 06/09/2017
Minis come in all shapes and sizes, with the three-door Mini, the roadster Mini, the two-seat coupe Mini, the two and four door SUV-Mini and now the electric Mini!
The Mail Online reports:
The electric MINI that is due to be built in Britain by German car giant BMW has been revealed tonight (Tuesday) ahead of its official unveiling at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
With Union Flag tail-lights and indicators, the iconic car for the 21st century displayed a flash of patriotic pomp promising 2p a mile motoring when it charged up from the mains.
In a vote of confidence for post-Brexit Britain, BMW bosses announced in July that the ‘green’ battery-powered car would stay true to its roots and would be manufactured at the firm’s Oxford plant where petrol and diesel models roll off the line - fighting off competition from factories on the Continent.
The new Mini Electric will go on sale from 2019 and the prototype destined for the Frankfurt Show is ‘very close’ to the final production model, says the firm.
It promises sporty ‘go-cart’ performance with acceleration from 0-62mph in around 7 seconds and onto a top speed of approximately 120mph.
Owners will be able to boost the charge up to 80 per cent after just 40 minutes of the car being plugged in, while the total range will be 250 miles.
Prices are expected between £20,000 and £25,000 depending on whether Government grants of up to £5,000 remain available when it arrives in 2019.
The debut follows the launch of the brand’s first ever electrified production model, the MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid earlier in 2017.
MINI and BMW director Peter Schwarzenbauer said: ‘With its characteristic go-kart feel and powerful electric motor, the MINI Electric 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.’
Harald Krüger, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG said: ’The MINI Electric offers a thrilling preview of the all-electric production vehicle. MINI and electrification make a perfect match.’
BMW said: ‘The drivetrain and performance characteristics offer an enthralling drive on both city streets and country roads that is typical of the MINI product range.
’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.’
BMW had previously warned it could move production of the electric MINI to the Netherlands. There had also been mounting speculation that the firm would build a plant in Germany.
But instead BMW announced in July that the electric MINI will be assembled at its historic home in Cowley, Oxford.
The first fully electric Mini E will roll off the production line in 2019, just as Britain cuts ties with the EU.
However, the electric drivetrain - the components that transfer power from the transmission to the wheels - will be built in Germany, before being shipped to the UK.
BMW said it would be able to offer a fully electric version of any new model of BMW or Mini launched from 2020, if there was enough demand.
MPs described the firm's decision as a 'clear endorsement' of Britain's car manufacturing, workforce and long term economic prospects.
It is also a boost to the 4,500 workers who churn out around 1,000 Minis a day at the 100-acre plant.
BMW employs 24,000 staff in the UK, from the factory floor to its dealerships, including the Rolls-Royce factory in Sussex, and other plants in Birmingham and Swindon.
It won't be the first time an electrified MINI will be spotted on the road - a decade ago in 2008 BMW unveiled and tested a prototype 'MINI E' with ‘guinea-pig’ private drivers. It was used in everyday traffic conditions as part of an extensive field trial.
More than 600 ‘MINI E’ cars entered service worldwide for the field study, which provided vital insights into the daily use of all-electric cars. The findings from the trial contributed to the development of the BMW i3.
BMW’s vice president of design Adrian van Hooydonk said: ‘The MINI Electric is a quintessential MINI – compact, agile, simply the perfect companion for everyday driving’.
The styling also points the way to the look of next generation conventional MINIs.
With no engine to worry about, the electric version stands out with its hexagonal radiator grille and circular headlights.
BMW said: ’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’
The rear lights provide a clear pointer to the car’s British roots, each forming one half of the Union Jack as an LED dot matrix.
Aerodynamic inlays were made using a 3D printing process.
There’s little question whether the electric Mini is going to be a huge success; it’s an excellent environmental step and will hopefully lead the way for other popular brands to follow suit in creating fully electric models of other popular cars.