BMW and MINI take their testing efforts to China. The new generation MINI F56 and the BMW i3 electric vehicle were spied together during a test trial. In the picture below we can also see a fully camouflaged 2014 BMW X5.
The F56 MINI is built on a new front-wheel drive platform which will be shared between the MINI and the FWD BMW vehicles. The first FWD BMW made its debut in concept form last year. The F56 MINI will compete the Audi A1 and other non-premium European brands. Design wise, the proportions of the F56 are similar to its predecessor, R56. Some design elements like the headlights and taillights will go through some changes, but will not steer away from the DNA of the British brand.
Inside, the large central speedometer will be replaced by a more conventional speedometer placed behind the steering wheel.
With the new MINI, BMW will also introduce a new family of three-cylinder engines. We expect to see an entry-level MINI One and MINI Cooper with power rated just under 100, respectively 130 horsepower. MINI will debut the F56 models at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show in September.
The BMW i3 will also debut at the same auto show and the Munich-based automaker has high sales expectations from their first fully electric vehicle. Over 100,000 have already booked a test drive when the car reaches the market later this year. In the U.S., the upcoming BMW i3 will have a base price of around $40,000 and it will have its official debut next month. The i3 will be offered also with an optional two-cylinder 0.65-liter gasoline engine and auxiliary generator that will extend the driving range. Pricing for the REx feature has yet to be set.
The i3 can cover up to 136 miles on a single battery charge, but the range can be increased up to 217 miles using an optional range extended.
“The i3 has a range on a single electrical charge of 130 to 160 kilometers (80 to 99 miles), but with two eco modes the EV range could grow to 220 kilometers (136 miles),” said Maximilian Kellner, head of product management of BMW i division.