The fifth and final model in Mini’s all-newline-up will be an electric version of an existing model when it launches in 2019.
Mini boss Peter Schwarzenbauer has previously revealed his desire to trim the Mini range to five models, which he describes as “superheroes”. The three and five-door hatches are considered one, the Convertible, Clubman and Countryman three others.
There has been mystery surrounding the fifth, with speculation suggesting that it could be a production version of the well-received Rocketman or Superleggera concepts, but Schwarzenbauer has now confirmed the fifth ‘superhero’ will be an electric version of an existing model, throwing further doubt on the prospects of either of those concepts ever making production.
The 2019 launch date is significant, Schwarzenbauer said, because there will have been a breakthrough in battery technology by then to allow the model to be far more usable than existing electric cars. He added that EV technology is the perfect fit for Mini because of the brand’s urban roots.
Schwarzenbauer said the decision to build an electric Mini made the likelihood of doing the Rocketman and Superleggera “a little bit less now”. He said “the focus is on the all-electric Mini”, but added that it does not rule them out of ever making production.
Before the arrival of the EV, Mini will launch its first plug-in hybrid next year in the form of a Countryman variant. Mini has previously experimented with an EV with the 2009 Mini E that was leased for trials, the feedback from which went towards the development of the BMW i3.