MINI E 2019 preview
A bit of conjecturE on our behalves, as MINI hasn't released any official details on its 2019 EV. The BMW-owned company has, however, confirmed that it will put its first-ever series production pure electric model on sale in 2019 so, with a little educated guesswork, we can try to piece together how it might look and perform. Some of you may remember hearing about the MINI E before, but that was actually a largescale experiment conducted in 2009 rather than a real production model. It helped the BMW Group bring electric cars to market, but given how much of a blast it was to drive, we really hope that some of its personality is carried over to whatever hits the showrooms in 2019.
What will its rivals be?
Naturally, by 2019, there will still be loads of petrol, diesel and hybrid hatchbacks on sale and regardless of what propels the new MINI, it'll have to compete with anything else of the same size and price. Without any official information to go on, we can only assume that the new MINI E (if it is even to be called that) will be the same size as the current MINI Hatch, but pricing is a tricky one to predict. By 2019, we may have more electric car purchase incentives and the technology itself may be cheaper to produce. Here's hoping. Anyway, looking at the current choice of EVs on sale, the electric MINI could be up against anything from the Renault Zoe to the Nissan Leaf at one end and the Volkswagen e-Golf and BMW i3 at the other.
Any tech info?
None whatsoever. It's highly probable that any future electric MINI will share componentry with its BMW equivalent, so perhaps the new car will get the BMW i3's powerful electric motor and battery. That could mean 184hp going through the front wheels and enough regenerative braking to make the brake pedal barely needed. Hopefully the new MINI E incorporates the wireless charging technology already previewed by BMW in its PHEV 5 Series.
What will the range be like?
We usually use this section to talk about specifications and trim levels, but we know nothing about any of that as yet. Will there be Cooper and Cooper S electric MINIs? Who knows? Range, however, will be a key word to the success of the electric MINI, in terms of how far it can realistically go between charges. The BMW i3 officially does up to 314 kilometres, so we'd hope the MINI betters that.
MINI talks a lot about agility and its 'go-kart' handling characteristics. There's no reason all that can't be maintained so long as the electric version isn't too heavy, and the instant torque nature of electric motors should mean it'll feel pleasingly fast too. Let's hope it comes in at a decent price.