What Can We Expect From 2019's MINI Electric

Ever since 1959, the MINI has been setting trends and blazing trails. The celebrations for the British icon’s 60th birthday are going to be truly electric – literally so. For 2019 heralds the beginning of a new era for one of the UK’s most popular manufacturers, as the first ever MINI Electric is due for release. 

What’s the concept? 

MINI unveiled the concept for their first fully electric vehicle at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, taking things up a notch from the Countryman plug-in hybrid. It’s going to be part of the 3-door Hatch range, bringing the legendary go-kart handling and classic MINI design to an all new battery powered engine. In fact, MINI is promising that the electric powertrain’s lower centre of gravity mean the Electric is going to serve up an even more dynamic drive than petrol and diesel models. 

What do we know so far? 

From the concept and some teasers released by MINI so far, we’ve got a good idea of what the front grille’s going to look like. Electric motors need air to be delivered in a different way to combustion engines, so the new MINI will have a closed grille with a yellow bar wrapped around a long, thin vent. The yellow bar is set to be the signature of electric MINIs, and we can see the same design cues translating from the grille to the innovative alloy wheels, which are asymmetric and almost closed for enhanced aerodynamics. 

Although the production model won’t come with the same radical bodykit as seen on the concept, it will combine some of its aerodynamic features with the latest MINI styling. For example, the side of the body is set to be more heavily sculpted than the current MINI Hatch, while there could be an air extractor slot behind the front wheel. The concept also has deep air intakes either side of the front grille and an intake with a small spoiler in front of the rear wheel, although we may not see these features on the finished article. 

What’s the performance going to be? 

The performance figures for the new MINI Electric haven’t been confirmed yet, but we can expect them to be similar to parent company BMW’s i3 model. The latest i3 has a range of up to 186 miles, and its electric motor produces 181hp. MINI will look for the optimum balance between performance and range, but the carmaker is committed to providing their drivers with an exciting, responsive experience. Their first EV will be no slouch, and it promises to deliver an immersive, zippy ride. 

Is it the future? 

Quite simply, yes. In the immediate future, if the MINI Electric sells then we can expect models such as the Countryman to follow suit sooner rather than later, as well as the 5-door variant of the MINI Hatch. In the longer term, the UK has pledged that half of all new car sales will be hybrid or electric by 2030, while the government wants to end the sale of conventional petrol and diesel cars by 2040.