The world got to see the MINI Electric concept for the first time at the Frankfurt Motor Show and officials didn’t shy out of confirming that this is indeed a preview for a production model to come. But it looks like this wasn’t just a model MINI was forced to bring out because of the spotlight EVs are under these days or the tightening regulations imposed for governments. According to one official, the MINI brand and electrification as a phenomenon go hand in hand.
MINI senior vice president Sebastian Mackensen had quite a lot to say about the future of the brand and the way it will embrace EVs into its line-up. Speaking to Car Advice on the sidelines of the motor show he insisted on the fact that, unlike it’s the case with other brands, MINI’s traditional customers are young and in tune with the latest technology, which makes the British brand ideal to offer an electric city-car.
“[Mini] is more attractive to electric vehicles. The nature of the brand, it is an inherent nature car, made for urban driving. I will say it’s the most urban car brand probably out there. The brand was created back then in 1959, by the size of the car it’s not the regular car you drive every day for 200-300 miles, it’s an urban brand already and I think the electric propulsion technology goes in like a hand in the glove for Mini. We don’t have to bend ourselves and we do not [have to pretend] to be really urban and make an urban electric car, no, people expect that already and it feels very natural to have that from the Mini brand,” Mackensen said.
Even so, there are still some steps to follow before jumping head on into the EV madness. Despite the fact that the MINI Electric Concept was unveiled and will become reality, that doesn’t mean every model made in Oxford will become electric over night. “We announced the [fully electric] concept car for the three-door hatch, does this mean we automatically do this for every vehicle? Is it feasible to do the effort to put every drivetrain in every car? Our answer is no it’s not. We create niche inside a niche, [there are expected to be] 15-25 per cent of electric buyers, this means on the flip side, 75-85 per cent are not electric buyers – we want to make all our Mini fans happy.”