MINI has started the countdown to the double world premiere of the next-generation Cooper hatchback and Countryman crossover programmed for September 1. Released today, the teaser image shows the already familiar shape of the two models, which will both be unveiled featuring electric power. However, the Oxford-based automaker is still planning to sell these two cars with combustion engines. It won’t be until the early 2030s that MINI will switch to a purely electric lineup.
BMW Group is moving production of the Countryman in-house by manufacturing the compact crossover in Leipzig, Germany rather than outsourcing it to the VDL Nedcar in Born, The Netherlands as has been the case with the outgoing model. In regard to the next Cooper hatchback, production of the EV variant is moving to China but the ICE models will continue to be built at home in the UK.
The zero-emission hatch will be put together by Spotlight Automotive, a 50:50 joint venture between the BMW Group and Great Wall Motor created back in 2019. A new factory in Zhangjiagang in China’s Jiangsu Province has been built for the next electric Cooper as well as the upcoming Aceman subcompact crossover due in 2024 strictly as an EV.
As shown above, MINI has already revealed the minimalist dashboard design of its future models with a 9.4.-inch OLED and few conventional controls. Accessing most functions will be done by using that circular display or by relying on Spike, a newly developed voice assistant. This new wave of models will benefit from a cloud-based navigation system and support for AirConsole in-car casual games, just like on the more expensive BMWs.
As far as technical specifications are concerned, the Cooper E is getting 181 horsepower and a 40.7-kWh battery while the Cooper SE will have 215 hp and a bigger 54.2-kWh. The range is estimated at anywhere between 186 to 249 miles (300 to 400 kilometers). The hatchback will ride on a platform developed by Great Wall Motor and is expected to be slightly shorter but with a longer wheelbase and a tad wider body.
Step up to the Countryman and MINI is going to make it much bigger than its predecessor, at about 4429 millimeters (174.3 inches) long and 1613 mm (63.5 in) tall. It’ll have a wheelbase of 2670 mm (105.1 in) and will be sold in two flavors: Countryman E and Countryman SE ALL4. Expect the former to have 188 hp whereas the latter will boast 268 hp and all-wheel drive. In terms of range, the FWD model should cover 273 miles (440 kilometers) before running out of juice while the heavier AWD variant is going to do 261 miles (420 kilometers).
Full specs will be disclosed on Friday when MINI will unveil the hatchback and crossover duo at 11 AM CEST before bringing them next week to the 2023 IAA Munich. At the same event, BMW will premiere the Vision Neue Klasse.