The Mini is one of those cult cars. It might be called the Grateful Dead of automobiles – its fanatical followers love every one of its dozens of variations, while other people just don’t see the attraction.
Of course, the important question is, when will an electric version be available? Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW’s board member in charge of Mini, dropped a hint in a recent interview with Automotive News Europe, saying, “There will be electrification within the Mini brand, including a plug-in hybrid for certain. We’re still investigating pure EVs.”
BMW has already done a lot of investigating. It unveiled the Mini E electric car in 2008, and eventually deployed a demo fleet of more than 500, which were tested in the US, Europe and Asia. This was followed by a similar trial with the BMW ActiveE, but when the company decided to actually produce an electric model, it abandoned the conversion scenario and built the new i3 “from the ground up” as an EV.
A year ago, BMW announced that future Mini models will be based on the UKL front-wheel-drive architecture, which will be shared with entry-level BMWs. In the recent interview, Schwarzenbauer said that the company has 8 to 10 Mini variants in mind, one of which might be a diesel.
Source: Automotive News Europe