An electric version of the MINI car is on the roadmap for the British carmaker. According to AutoNews, quoting BMW board member Peter Schwarzenbauer, the new MINI will not only be their first mass-production electric car – MINI E-electric was a trial – but also their first model to move away from the Mini original design.
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Earlier this year at the 2014 Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance, the MINI design team unveiled the Superleggera concept car, a two-door, longer and sleeker MINI. The car has been widely praised for its exceptional design and for the combination of classic and modern lines and materials.
Schwarzenbauer, who is responsible for the Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, said:
“To really investigate seriously … you look into several different options, you come to the question: do we produce it ourselves, do we give it to somebody else.”
“To evaluate all of this, I would say six months at least,” he told Reuters at the company’s Cowley Oxford plant on Tuesday.
The Mini has undergone several reincarnations and changed ownership since it first came on the scene in 1959. The brand was relaunched in 2001 under BMW’s ownership at the Cowley plant, which has just produced its 3 millionth MINI. But sales has been less than spectacular in the last year and a potential brand shake-up has been the talk of the town.
BMW produced 303,177 Minis in 2013 at sites in Oxford, southern England, the Netherlands and Graz in Austria.