Its smaller proportions hark back to the original old-school Mini.
The Mini Cooper SE marked the start of a new electric era for the British brand. Unsurprisingly, electrification is a key part of Mini's newly outlined strategy. While the humble hatchback is currently available with combustion and electric powertrains, Mini will become an electric-only brand at the start of the 2030s. Currently, the Mini Cooper SE Countryman All4 plug-in hybrid and the Mini Cooper SE make up 15 percent of Mini's global sales, but this is expected to increase to 50 percent by 2027. Before then, Mini will launch the next-generation iteration of its iconic hatchback.
The next-generation Mini 3-door hatchback will arrive in 2023 with electric, gasoline, and diesel powertrains. 2023 will also see the launch of the next-generation Mini Countryman, which will be available with an electric powertrain for the first time as well as a combustion engine and be built in Leipzig, making it the first Mini made in Germany.
Two new EVs will also be built exclusively for the Chinese market as part of a joint venture with Great Wall Motors including a small crossover, while the last Mini model with a combustion engine will launch in 2025.
Previewed for the first time in official teaser images, the next-generation Mini hatchback adopts a familiar shape and retains its predecessor's round retro headlights. However, the new model is more compact and has shorter overhangs, with proportions harking back to the original old-school Mini. The smaller proportions make the headlights look massive, but they are likely placeholders. For now, Mini is only showing the three-door version of the redesigned hatchback, but we expect a five-door version will also go on sale.
We don't get a look inside the interior, but the new Mini's digital instrument panel will have surfaces that act as "canvases" that can be personalized according to Mini. The interior will also be more premium with extensive use of recycled materials for the roof liner, upholstery materials, seats, foot mats, and floor coverings. Natural fiber materials and plastics from recycled PET bottles will be used instead of leather and floor mats will be made from recycled fishing nets.
There's also good news for hot hatch enthusiasts because Mini has confirmed that high-performance John Cooper Works models will be a part of Mini's electric future. Mini says it is working "intensively on concepts for electric John Cooper Works models" that "combine sustainability and extreme sportiness in a unique way."