Let's just say it's not the Superleggera or the Rocketman.
We’ll admit that we blew this one. When we spoke to Ralph Mahler, product chief at Mini, during the 2016 Paris Motor Show the vibe we caught was that the automaker’s fifth model would be something fresh and large. Mini has a “five superheroes” plan, as in a five-car lineup, and we wrongly assumed that said fifth model would be something new and bigger. It won’t be. It’s a damn EV based on an existing model. That’s the word Autocar got from Peter Schwarzenbauer, boss of Mini.
The model the all-electric Mini will be based on is unknown at the moment. The candidates are the four existing members of the five superheroes: the hardtop (two-door and four-door), Countryman, Clubman and convertible. Of that group every model but the convertible seems like a strong contender to receive a battery pack. The new Countryman is already set to be the first Mini hybrid. A two-door hardtop EV would be a stylish and fun alternative in the currently-frumpy EV field. Both a four-door hardtop and a Clubman would be a nice mix of functionality and fun. The Mini EV will make its debut in 2019, a date the automaker believes it will have breakthrough tech by.
It's the next step in battery tech. We chose to launch in 2019 as this is when we will see the technology,” Schwarzenbauer told the British outlet. Since an electric car is the automaker’s main focus don’t expect to see any movement on the Rocketman or Superleggera concepts any time soon. Ditto for that sedan we thought was a possibility. Mini’s head honcho didn’t rule the two concepts out entirely, but all resources are devoted to an electric car which leaves little room for anything else.