MINI confirms development of electric crossoverOctober 28, 2020
MINI has confirmed that it will update its lineup with two new small SUVs – an all-electric compact crossover and a larger version of the current MINI Countryman – which will join the fully redesigned three-door hatchback.
These three models will become the main lineup of the BMW-owned small car brand from 2023, marking the end of production of lesser-selling models such as the MINI Clubman station wagon and MINI Convertible. In doing so, the next-generation MINI three-door hatchback will be smaller and “closer to the roots of the brand”, making room for a closely related new electric crossover that could herald the return of the Paceman name.
Pre-conceptualized by the Vision Next 100 several years ago, the all-electric version of the hatchback, like the new electric crossover, will be built in China on a new global platform being developed in partnership with Great Wall Motors. The hatchbacks with internal combustion engines, which remain on the company’s plans, will be produced at the MINI plant in Oxford and will have the same design, but a different platform from the BMW Group.
The Countryman’s plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version is expected to be phased out and replaced by an all-electric MINI as technology continues to improve.
In a statement of plans, MINI said the lineup change reflected a “clear focus” on engine technology and car segments that the company has identified as its future. The key principles of the strategy are “expanding electromobility, strengthening its position in the crossover and premium compact car segments, and strengthening its market position in China.”
According to Global Brand Director Bernd Kerber, “In addition to electromobility, attracting new target groups and markets will be critical for MINI’s future.” As such, the company clearly aims to become fully electric, stating today that “in the future MINI will enable customers around the world to drive emissions-free in an all-electric family of models.”
“At the same time, MINI will continue to offer highly efficient gasoline and diesel engines, which will continue to be ideal solutions for target groups and regions whose mobility needs are not yet met by fully electric vehicles,” the company said.
Earlier it was reported that MINI is planning two all-new SUVs in addition to the Countryman – a revived Paceman to match the all-new crossover description that has now been confirmed, and a larger SUV called the Traveler, which will sit above the Countryman in the lineup.
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