In discussing his plan for Mini’s future, the brand’s CEO, Peter Schwarzenbauer, has said that Mini will offer a core lineup of five models, which he referred to as “superheroes.” Four of the five are in place: the Hardtop (both two- and four-door versions), the Clubman, the Convertible, and the Countryman. Mini had put out two exciting concepts that could have taken the fifth spot: the Rocketman city car and the two-seat Superleggera Vision sports car; there also was talk of a four-door sedan. Alas, Schwarzenbauer, speaking to Britain’s Autocar, has revealed that the fifth “superhero” instead will be a Mini EV.
Could the EV merely be the powertrain for the Superleggera or the Rocketman? Apparently not: Schwarzenbauer indicated that the EV will be an electrified version of an existing model.
Timing for the Mini EV is said to be 2019. That’s when a battery pack using “completely new technology” (Schwarzenbauer’s characterization) is expected to be ready. Some may remember that Mini has previously offered a electric car, the Mini E (pictured above), which was available for lease on a limited basis in 2009 and used as a sort of test bed for technology that would later appear in the BMW i3. The recently unveiled next-gen Countryman also will offer a plug-in-hybrid powertrain.