Mini plans a revival of the Minor, a new SUV and an EV hot hatch
Good news or bad news?
BMW openly said they want to turn their subsidiary brand MINI into an ell-electric brand by 2030. The Cooper SE and the JCW opened the electrified pandora box for MINI and virtually every other existing model in their line-up will eventually be powered by batteries and/or replaced by a new EV model. And that's not the end of the story because MINI will also launch a new super-compact three-door city car, a new SUV (larger than the Countryman) and a new MPV. The good news, or bad news depending on your point of view, is that one of these cars may actually use the 'Minor' namesake.
These new cars will reportedly be launched between late 2022 and 2025 and on top of that, a less 'extreme' version of the JCW is also scheduled for 2022. The all-electric 3-door supermini, the car that will likely utilise the Minor nameplate, will be based on an all-new platform that BMW and Great Wall are developing together in the factory in China, in the Jiangsu province, with an initial investment of £550m.
As things stand, China is the largest-growing EV market and it looks like this is just the start and the market will only get bigger. This was a major issue for BMW because they were struggling to meet demand for electric MINIs as all new cars have to be imported, meaning a brand new MINI is basically just as expensive as a brand new 3 Series because the 3 Series, unlike the MINI, is also produced in China.
The new platform, code-named 'Heat', will feature a single module, mounted transversely, which will include the single-speed transmission, all the electronics and the water-cooled motor. The car will likely be significantly smaller than the current MINI, with a power output of around 135 bhp and a range of 170 miles.
In a recent interview with Autocar, MINI head of design Oliver Heilmer said all new MINIs (before the Heat platform arrives) will use a flexible platform, dubbed FAAR, which can be used for ICEs, PHEVs and EVs.
Heilmer also said that keeping true to MINI's original design is crucial and that he would like to make cars a bit smaller. Back to top
“The footprint is most crucial with the hatch,” Heilmer said. “Size is less of a problem with the other models. I want each model to be the smallest in the segment, or visually the smallest. But small may not be helpful for sales.”