MINI’s goal to narrow its product line down to just five models, which MINI calls “Superheroes”, was a smart one. The product line was becoming too large and convoluted, so slimming it down to the core models that sell is intelligent. The idea is for MINI to only have five models — the Cooper hatch (both three and five door count as one model), the Cooper Convertible, Cooper Clubman and Cooper Countryman, with a fifth unknown model yet to debut.
According to MINI boss Peter Schwarzenbauer, that fifth “Superhero” will be an electric car, per Autocar report.
Schwarzenbauer also claims that this fifth car will be an electric version of an existing model and not an entirely new car. So fans of the Rocketman and Superleggera concepts are likely going to be disappointed in the future. Although, Schwarzenbauer hasn’t completely ruled them out.
However, don’t expect this new model to be here any time soon. According to Schwarzenbauer, the target launch for this new all-electric MINI is 2019. The reason for that is battery technology, which isn’t up to snuff just yet, according to MINI. “It’s completely new technology,” said Schwarzenbauer. “It’s the next step in battery tech. We chose to launch in 2019 as this is when we will see the technology.”
The new MINI Cooper Countryman will debut a plug-in hybrid variant, but this new MINI will be all-electric. Schwarzenbauer feels that an electric car suits the MINI brand well, due to its city-car persona.
An electric MINI does seem like a good idea, as it would be small and zippy, thanks to electric torque. Hell, MINI could take the BMW i3 powertrain and put that in a MINI Cooper and it would be a blast to drive. But, sadly, that won’t happen. Instead we have to wait until 2019.