MINI execs have previewed the brand’s first plug-in hybrid model, and announced that the series development process is almost complete.
The upcoming MINI can drive in all-electric mode at speeds of up to 50 mph. Said Head of MINI Brand Management Sebastian Mackensen, this is a question of character: “In a hybrid MINI model, driving electrically must also be an exhilarating experience. This means that entirely electric driving is not limited to speeds of 30 or 40 km/h, but to speeds well beyond city traffic pace.”
The eDrive component is positioned low at the rear, and the high-voltage battery resides under the rear seats, to keep the car’s center of gravity low, and the weight evenly balanced between front and rear axles.
In the MINI hybrid concept, the electric motor drives the rear wheels, and the legacy engine the front wheels. Energy management is linked to the Dynamic Stability Control system to optimize traction and drive stability.
“As soon as there is any risk of drive slip, the second drive unit is activated to provide additional traction when starting off or ensuring a high level of steering precision when cornering,” says Head of MINI Series Management Peter Wolf.
Thanks to the combined output of both drives, the MINI hybrid demonstrates outstanding acceleration compared to its gas-only siblings, the company says.
“As far as the chassis and suspension are concerned, nothing changes from the conventionally driven model variants, and the set-up benefits a lot from the hybrid concept,” said Wolf.
“With this model we want to convince MINI customers of the benefits of hybrid drive and impress everyone who already has hybrid driving experience with MINI’s unique go-kart driving feel,” added Mackensen.
Source: BMW Group