First of these is potentially an SUV the BMW-owned brand has developed in China as part of a joint venture with Great Wall Motors.
That car has been confirmed, however it remains unclear if that model will be sold in other international markets.
The new car has a fresh platform and, according to a report by British magazine Autocar, will have a new generation of cobalt-free batteries, with an as-yet undisclosed capacity.
At the moment Mini has one purely battery-driven car in Australia, the Cooper SE, also known as the Mini Electric, a derivative of its signature three-door hatch. Adopting technology derived from the BMW i3 city car, which is now eight years old, it has a range of about 230 kilometres and has a price of $54,800 plus on-road costs.
Mini also has a plug-in hybrid version of its five-seat SUV wagon, in a higher price bracket, the Countryman. That car appears set to be re-developed as a fully electric car in its next generation.
A smaller hatchback, based on a concept called the Rocketman that was revealed at a motor show in 2011, is also expected to be built, to sit below the Mini Cooper SE.
The enhanced electric push was revealed in a product strategy announcement that continues support for fossil-fuelled engines, Mini citing ongoing merit in provisioning “highly efficient” petrol and diesel engines as these would continue to “be an ideal solution for target groups and regions whose mobility needs are not yet met by all-electric vehicles”.
However, it also said intent to “enable customers all over the world to have emission-free driving with a completely electrified model family” was also sensible.
“Mini was always the answer to very special challenges relating to individual mobility. And the willingness to reinvent the status quo continues to shape the brand to this day,” says Bernd Korber, who heads the brand.
“Alongside electromobility, harnessing new target groups and sales markets will be crucially important for the future of Mini.”
BMW reprised the Mini brand 20 years ago and since then approximately four million vehicles have been produced at its factory in Oxford, England.
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World news – CA – Mini to create electric vehicle family | Drive Car News