Back in February, BMW Group and PSA announced their partnership to produce hybrid technologies in upcoming vehicles. The 50-50 equity joint venture named BMW Peugeot Citroen Electrification will focus on developing and producing hybrid components, including battery packs. The new hybrid components will equip both partners’ vehicles from 2014 onwards.
Today, first spy photos of a MINI Hybrid made their way onto the interwebs and the question arises whether these test mules are using hybrid components developed by the two companies. The MINI Hatchback R56 spied here shows us some interesting components. At the rear axle, you immediately notice the new design of fairly chunky enclosure that seem to be the housing for the electric motor components.
The battery technology will also most likely be placed at the rear of the vehicle, similar to the MINI E.
Since the electric motor is located on the rear axle, it becomes clear that the rear-wheels are also driven by the electric unit. The internal combustion engine will continue to power the front wheels.
The current generation R56 MINI simply serves as a test bed for the hybrid technology and the next generation MINI due in 2013 will be the first one to use the hybrid platform.[More photos at Autoblog ]